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Does Your Dog Have Allergies?

September 1, 2017

Did you know that dogs can get allergies, just like people can? Man’s Best Friend can be allergic to a wide variety of substances, and can develop those allergies at any point in his life. Here, a local Roanoke, VA vet discusses allergies in dogs.


Signs of allergies in dogs can vary widely, depending on the pup and, of course, the allergy. Red, runny eyes are common, as are sneezing, snoring, and burping. Allergies can also cause Fido to feel quite itchy, and can cause skin problems, such as redness, flaking, and scaling. Your canine buddy may be a bit flatulent if he is having a reaction. He may also vomit or have diarrhea. Stubborn, recurring ear infections are another red flag. Occasionally dogs suffer more serious symptoms, such as fainting and seizures, but, fortunately, these occurrences are rare.

Common Allergens

Fido can be allergic to many of the same things as people are, including mold, dust, mildew, and pollen. Some pooches are allergic to insect bites, while others react to strong fumes, such as cigarette smoke. Your furry friend could also react to ingredients in his food or doggy shampoo, or even materials in your carpet or upholstery.


If you suspect that your furry pal has allergies, take him to the vet right away for a full exam. Tests will help determine exactly what your canine pal is reacting to. If food allergies are suspected, you may need to put Fido on a restricted diet for a while. Once the culprit has been identified, your vet will be able to offer treatment options, which could range from medication to specific food and care regimens.Ask your vet for more information.

Home Care

There are also some things you can do at home to make your furry best friend more comfortable. Vacuuming and dusting regularly will reduce the amount of allergens in your home. A good air purifier will also help. You may want to start monitoring pollen counts, and limiting your canine companion’s outdoor time when levels are high. Another thing you can do is to wipe down your pup’s paws and belly with a damp cloth whenever you bring him in. This will help get dust and pollen out of his fur.

Our Advice on Allergies in Your Dog

Can dogs develop allergies like humans do?

Dogs can experience allergies similarly to humans. They may react to allergens such as pollen, mold, dust, specific foods, and flea saliva. Common signs of allergies in dogs include persistent itching, skin discomfort, sneezing, and various digestive problems. In some cases, dogs might also show respiratory symptoms. These allergies can emerge at any stage of a dog’s life and must be diagnosed and managed by a veterinarian. Managing these allergies could entail altering the dog’s diet, administering medication, or changing their environment to limit allergen exposure.

What are the common symptoms of allergies in dogs?

Common symptoms of allergies in dogs include persistent itching, skin irritation like redness and hot spots, recurrent ear infections, sneezing, runny nose, and watery eyes. Some dogs may experience gastrointestinal issues such as vomiting or diarrhea. Allergies can also lead to excessive licking or chewing of paws, flaky or scaly skin, and sometimes snoring due to throat inflammation. These symptoms can vary based on the allergen and the dog’s sensitivity. Pet owners must observe unusual signs and consult a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.

What substances are dogs commonly allergic to?

Dogs are commonly allergic to various substances, including pollen, mold, dust mites, flea saliva (from flea bites), certain foods (like beef, chicken, or dairy), and ingredients in dog food or treats. They can also react to environmental allergens such as cigarette smoke, perfumes, cleaning products, and certain fabrics or materials found in carpets and upholstery. Identifying the specific allergen can be challenging and often requires veterinary assistance, which may include allergy testing and observing the dog’s reaction to changes in diet or environment.

What role does diet play in managing a dog’s allergies?

Diet plays a significant role in managing a dog’s allergies. Identifying and eliminating the offending ingredient(s) is crucial for dogs with food allergies. This often involves feeding a limited-ingredient diet or a hypoallergenic prescription diet. For environmental allergies, a diet rich in fatty acids can help improve skin health and reduce inflammatory responses. A balanced, nutrient-rich diet also strengthens the immune system, assisting the dog in better coping with allergens. It’s essential to work with a veterinarian to determine the appropriate dietary changes for an allergic dog, ensuring their nutritional needs are met while addressing the allergy effectively.

What are some severe symptoms of allergies in dogs that require immediate attention?

Severe symptoms of allergies in dogs that require immediate veterinary attention include severe skin infections or hot spots, intense and continuous scratching leading to skin damage, facial swelling, difficulty breathing, and any signs of anaphylactic reaction like sudden collapse or shock. Persistent vomiting or diarrhea, especially if it’s severe, is also a red flag. These symptoms can indicate a severe allergic reaction or an underlying condition that needs prompt medical intervention to prevent further complications and ensure the dog’s safety and well-being.

While we’re on the topic of pet health, don’t forget about your feline friends. Check out our ‘Tips for Brushing Your Cat’ for advice on keeping your cat well-groomed and happy. In addition to allergy treatments, ensuring your dog has a balanced diet is crucial. Learn more about our ‘Nutrition & Weight Management’ services to support your dog’s health and manage any food-related allergies effectively. Please contact us, your Roanoke, VA pet hospital, for all your dog’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!

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