One of the most domesticated animals in the globe are dogs. These furry friends are descendants of Canidae, which would mean they are families with wolves, jackals, and foxes. Dogs have a huge role in the survival of early humans, as they serve many functions for our growing civilization. They are good at hunting, protecting livestock, and being a great companion.
In today’s society, dogs became man’s best friend. Dogs have evolved into emotional beings capable of sensing fear, anxiety, and care from their owners. They became an extension of the family, treated with love and compassion. So, what happens when a dog gets sick?
The most common sickness a dog gets in a lifetime can range from parvovirus, rabies, kidney diseases, and more. However, we’re going to talk about a condition that can easily be treated with minor changes. We will talk about dogs and their skin allergies, its effects on their body, how it can be alleviated, and products that might help with this problem.
The Causes of Dog Skin Allergies
Like humans, dogs can have allergies too. It is a natural reaction of the immune system when a foreign contaminant enters the body. A dog can also have different symptoms because of these allergens. If left untreated, it may pose a danger to your fur baby, so make sure to visit the veterinarian.
To give you an overview, these are the different allergens that might cause your dog’s allergies.
Flea Allergy Dermatitis
Dogs can develop an allergic reaction from fleabites. It is not specifically from the insects’ bites. It is from the protein that is left by fleas. Take note that the most affected dogs are occasionally exposed compared to flea-ridden dogs. You might want to check for fleas or flea dirt on your dog’s fur to verify that fleas cause its allergies.
Common symptoms of flea allergy dermatitis are red, scabbed, inflamed spots in the body. Because of this, dogs feel an extreme itch in the body. One bite can cause a reaction for about five to seven days. If left untreated, your dog might develop skin crusting, alopecia, hair balding, lichenification, or skin lesions.
An environmental allergen causes this type of allergy. It is the second most common allergy in our dogs. Dogs that develop this kind of allergy have a genetic defect in their skin barriers, allowing microscopic allergen to enter their body easily. Common allergens from the environment are dust mites, pollen, and even mold spores.
Check your dogs’ skinfolds for redness or itching like the flanks or the armpits to spot if they have an allergic reaction. However, sometimes this type of allergy is seasonal, so determine which time of the year your dog itches the most. If left untreated, it can develop into generalized dermatitis.
Food Allergy Dermatitis
Sometimes, dogs have a food intolerance, especially when a new protein source is introduced to their diet. The most common protein allergens are from products with chicken, egg, soy, corn, and milk. Unlike the types mentioned above, food allergy dermatitis is less common. This type of dermatitis usually develops from one year upwards.
The most common symptoms of Food Allergy Dermatitis are hives, itchiness, and swelling. While other dogs suffer from diarrhea or vomiting, they experience all of the stated symptoms in some cases. If left untreated, your dog might develop foot infection, poor skin coat, and chronic ear infections. In rare cases, a dog may also experience anaphylaxis, which can be severe.
Treating Dog Allergies
There are various ways to treat your dog’s allergic reactions and prevent it from coming back. Treating your dog can be as simple as changing their dietary plan to buying medications for their allergies. However, remember that the best way to diagnose your fur baby is to seek help from veterinarians. It would also help determine what substance is causing the reaction.
Grain-Free Dog Food Diets
This diet basically means that the ingredients for making their products are without rice, soy, corn, and wheat. Grain-free dog food reportedly improves dogs’ health by enhancing digestive functions, improving skin coat and hair, and reducing chances of heart diseases.
Many pet owners have vouched for the effectiveness of grain-free dog food for their canine companion. There was reduced itchiness and redness in their dogs’ skin. Through food elimination trials, they have noticed little to no allergic reactions after they switched from grain-based dog food to grain-free products. Thus, grain-free products are the best food for a dog with allergies.
Skin allergy has been one of the most common concerns of pet owners to their veterinarians. On the other hand, dietary complaints were not a direct protest from pet owners. However, there is a growing recommendation from pet owners and veterinarians to switch to grain-free dog food products to prevent allergies.
Medication is another way of treating your canine companions’ allergies. However, the use of drugs for your fur baby must be prescribed and given by your veterinarian. The use of antibiotic creams, antihistamine, steroids, shampoos, and even parasiticides should be with veterinarian’s approval and consultation. In this way, it will prevent other complications to your fur baby.
Other Treatments and Prevention
Treating environmental allergies is easy as there are many remedies to choose from in clinics or pet shops. However, the best way to deal with this is to prevent your dog from having contact with these allergens.
For example, keep your dogs inside during pollen season and make sure to vacuum your house to avoid dust mite allergies.
Dogs are more than just a pet. These lovable creatures are a family that loves and protects us from harm. In return, we should tend to their needs and secure their safety. One way to do that is to make sure that they are healthy at all times. Allergies are one of the most common dilemmas that a dog can encounter. Thus, alleviating this dilemma by taking away possible allergens is a must.