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 dogs now. In fact, they are senior citizens! So, to get my ‘fix’ of puppies, I love to stop in at 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 different breeds 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 a conversation with a Pet Counselor about this breed, and we had a very educational talk.
I told her all about my younger Shar-Pei, who seemed to be allergic to the entire world. She was allergic to grass, to leaves, to plants, to food– -you name it. Of course, this was many years ago. The Pet Counselor and I talked about the Shar-Pei puppies, and how they seem ‘fine’ right now. Of course, though, allergies can still develop in these puppies. In fact, any puppy is vulnerable to allergies, just like People.
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 or behind on the ground a lot. I told the Pet Counselor that my Shar-Pei showed her discomfort by rubbing her blistered skin on the carpeting for relief. Other allergy symptoms can include itchy, watery eyes, scabs on his skin, or even vomiting or diarrhea.
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 a reaction to these substances does not mean that you have a sick dog. And, if your dog shows no ‘signs’ of allergies, but instead just sneezes, then there might be an allergy. For your own sake, it is important to try to figure out what your dog could be allergic to. If not, you will be kept awake at night by a dog that can’t stop scratching or 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 makes sense to start narrowing it down to a few common possibilities. I recommend making a vet appointment to rule out any ear mites or ear infection, as well as any other issues that your vet can diagnose. If the vet finds nothing wrong with your dog, then I recommend starting with the possibility of a food allergy, since it is very easy to change the type of food your dog eats. Premium dog foods have exploded over the last 10 years and the availability is amazing. Grains are a very common type of allergen, so start out by giving him a grain-free kibble dog food. And, since you are choosing 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 that makes any difference.
Some people have asked the Pet Counselor about dog health insurance. Neither she nor I have ever gotten dog health insurance. Each insurance company covers unique items, and there are several different price plans available. I recommend looking online 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 an antihistamine, decongestants, or an anti-inflammatory nasal spray but please talk to your veterinarian before doing anything.
Sometimes trying to figure out the cause of an allergy is challenging. Don’t give up! It just takes time and effort to figure out how to relieve your dog’s symptoms. If you are having any problems with your dog, I highly recommend that you go to Petland Naperville to speak to a knowledgeable Pet Counselor.