Treating allergies in dogs is a little trickier that treating people. This page is dedicated to helping you solve the allergies that might be affecting your dog, but we also cover human allergies to dogs if you've reached this page in error.
If your dog has allergies, the signs are hard to miss. And if you suspect your dog has allergies treating him could be very simple.
Most allergies in dogs are flea-related, but airborne allergies (aka: atopy) and food allergies are also common. Least common would be allergic reactions to household items like detergents, etc.
Many dog breeds are actually prone to allergies like, Shih Tzus, Chinese Cresteds and Bichons, just to name a few.
More of the most common allergies are listed Below.
Flea Allergies: Symptoms and Treatment
If you have a dog that suffers with flea allergies, you may have noticed one or more of the following symptoms:
Licking of Paws or discoloration of fur caused by excessive licking
Swollen Paws or areas of redness between toes.
Chewing and Pulling out of fur
Localized/Patchy Fur Loss
Scaley or Red Skin Irritation
Skin Lesions, rashes, bumps, etc.
Flea allergy Treatment: Step #1. Get rid of the fleas.
Finding the right treatment that will actually work for your dog can be tedious, admittedly, but who wants to live with fleas? Over-the-counter treatments like flea drops sometimes work (vets recommend Frontline Plus.)
Bargain prodcuts like flea collars and flea shampoos aren't normally effective for more than a day or two if nothing else is done. And why throw money away on treating only the immediate symptoms when there's a cure available?
Flea drops are a temporary cure. But don't over-use them!
Don't underestimate the power of flea drops, but also do not over-use them. The over-use of flea drops can over-dose your dog.
The active ingredient in flea drops will depend upon the brand you choose, but it's important to follow the guidelines for administering the drops closely.
If you've already tried one brand without success, seek advice from your vet, (normally you should be able to just phone the office) before administering any other topical or oral treatment.
Killing the Fleas in you home.
Once you've treated the dog, treating your home needs to be done as well.
Fleas and flea larvae can hide in carpet, bedding, furniture, blankets and almost every other soft surface inside your home.
Wash your dogs bedding regularly. Read the tags on your dog's bed. Most say that you cannot wash them, (I always have anyway, but use your best judgement), but if you can, hot water will work best.
If the bed won't fit inside your washing machine at home, try the larger machines at the laundromat.
Treating your yard is also a must or the cycle will begin again.
For the outside of your home, there's nothing better than Vet's Best Natural Flea + Tick Yard and Kennel Spray.
It won't kill the delicate shrubs in your landscaping and it's all natural. There is no need to worry about your dog eating the grass. This product will only kill the fleas and ticks... and a few other insects as well.
Fleas are disgusting little creatures and even if you're dog isn't allergic to them, it's no way to let your pet live... and if your pet is living with them, then so are you.
More Allergies: Signs, Symptoms and Treatment:
Fleas aren't the only allergen that can affect your pet. Dogs can be allergic to some of the same things people are, like mold, bacteria, pollen, grass, wool and even certain foods... just to name a few.
The symptoms of airborne allergies in dogs are about the same as those mentioned above. In addition, you might also notice a lot of sneezing or snorting. If you notice frequent digging of ears, check for signs of infection brought on by a possible allergic reaction.
Since fleas are the most common cause of allergic reactions, to save yourself the time and money of a vet appointment, try treating for fleas first... as described above.
Since an allergic reaction to fleas can last for up to a couple of weeks following eradication of fleas and larvae, you may need to wait about two weeks to see any results for your efforts.
There are other ways of treating allergies in dogs.If symptoms are affecting your dog's ability to function normally, please call your vet as soon as possible. Only a veterinarian can accurately detect what your dog is allergic to.
Even though I can't and don't endorse and would definitely not recommend the practice, Benadryl has been known to relieve symptoms of allergies in dogs the same as it will for humans. Call you veterinarian for advice on dosage before giving your dog any over-the-counter human medication, oral or topical.
Treating allergies in dogs is surprisingly simple and inexpensive. Don't be scared off by the possibility of expense. Most veterinarians, when asked, will advise you on how to treat your dog at home if regular office visits for treatment exceed your budget.
Anyone with allergies knows how unpleasant they can be, so don't make your dog suffer any longer than you would let yourself or your child.
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