Do Dogs Have Allergies---Really? Is That A Real Thing?
I love dogs. I love puppies even more! Of course, my puppies have all grown into dogsnow. In fact, they are senior citizens! So, to get my 'fix' of puppies, I love to stop inat Petland Naperville, where on any given day, they can have up to 100 (or more!)different puppies for sale. This gives me a great place to observe many differentbreeds of dogs in one setting. Today I watched two puppies called Chinese Shar-Peis.I used to own two Shar-Peis, so I naturally wanted to play with them. I started aconversation with a Pet Counselor about this breed, and we had a very educationaltalk.
I told her all about my younger Shar-Pei, who seemed to be allergic to the entireworld. She was allergic to grass, to leaves, to plants, to food– -you name it. Ofcourse, this was many years ago. The Pet Counselor and I talked about the Shar-Peipuppies, and how they seem 'fine' right now. Of course, though, allergies can stilldevelop in these puppies. In fact, any puppy is vulnerable to allergies, just likePeople.
Dog Allergies Symptoms
How do you tell if your puppy has an allergy? Just because your dog has an allergydoes not mean that you have a sick dog. Signs of allergies can include dog sneezing,scratching the ears frequently, licking his skin repetitively, or rubbing his back orbehind on the ground a lot. I told the Pet Counselor that my Shar-Pei showed herdiscomfort by rubbing her blistered skin on the carpeting for relief. Other allergysymptoms can include itchy, watery eyes, scabs on his skin, or even vomiting ordiarrhea.
Just like humans, dogs can develop allergies to the outside (pollen, trees or grass),mold, in-home dust, food, cigarette smoke, and more. Just because a dog has areaction to these substances does not mean that you have a sick dog. And, if yourdog shows no 'signs' of allergies, but instead just sneezes, then there might be anallergy. For your own sake, it is important to try to figure out what your dog could beallergic to. If not, you will be kept awake at night by a dog that can't stop scratchingor licking all night long and your poor dog will feel tormented.
Since there are many different things that your dog could be allergic to, it makessense to start narrowing it down to a few common possibilities. I recommend makinga vet appointment to rule out any ear mites or ear infection, as well as any otherissues that your vet can diagnose. If the vet finds nothing wrong with your dog, thenI recommend starting with the possibility of a food allergy, since it is very easy tochange the type of food your dog eats. Premium dog foods have exploded over thelast 10 years and the availability is amazing. Grains are a very common type ofallergen, so start out by giving him a grain-free kibble dog food. And, since you arechoosing a new dog food, I also recommend steering clear of chicken, lamb or meat.Try a grain-free fish and sweet potato diet for a couple of weeks, and see if thatmakes any difference.
Some people have asked the Pet Counselor about dog health insurance. Neither shenor I have ever gotten dog health insurance. Each insurance company covers uniqueitems, and there are several different price plans available. I recommend lookingonline or at your local veterinarian's office for a plan that fits your needs and budget.
If your dog is experiencing a severe reaction to allergies, you can give your dog anantihistamine, decongestants, or an anti-inflammatory nasal spray but please talk toyour veterinarian before doing anything.
Sometimes trying to figure out the cause of an allergy is challenging. Don't give up! Itjust takes time and effort to figure out how to relieve your dog's symptoms. If youare having any problems with your dog, I highly recommend that you go to PetlandNaperville to speak to a knowledgeable Pet Counselor.