Does your Dog Have Allergies? What to Look For
Dogs and humans have a lot in common. We both value companionship and friendship, we
both love to eat and play, and we both can suffer from allergies. In fact, allergies are more
common in dogs than most people realize. Some breeds are more susceptible than others, but
any dog can potentially be afflicted. Also like humans, dogs can suffer from both seasonal and
food allergies. On top of that, it’s not uncommon for dogs to suffer from allergies to bug bites
from pests such as fleas. For owners, it can be hard to see their furry friends suffer. But before
you can begin reading about treatments, it’s important to be able to identify symptoms.
No matter what your dog might be allergic to, the most common symptom is itchy skin. It’s
important to remember that dogs might itch for a number of reasons, not just allergies. This is
part of what makes diagnosing allergies so difficult – many of the symptoms are not unique to
the problem. Itchy skin my sound like just an annoyance (and it definitely is annoying) but it can
be much more serious than that. Aside from making your dog’s life much less comfortable, the
constant scratching can lead to infections. Dogs don’t understand that they shouldn’t always
scratch an itch, so left to their own devices they will scratch and scratch until they’ve made the
problem even worse.
Another allergy symptom is discoloration. It may sound weird, but if you notice certain parts of
your dog’s body, usually the stomach, ears or mouth, change their hue you’re probably dealing
with a food allergy. If that discoloration is accompanied by itching that’s often a sign of allergies
as well. Unfortunately, the symptoms alone will not tell you what food exactly your dog is
allergic to. That will take some time and patience to identify.
Runny nose and teary eyes are a classic allergy symptom that many humans are familiar with
themselves. It’s very common in dogs but not as serious as some of the other potential issues.
Dog’s noses are usually wet all the time, so if you think your little friend might be suffering from
allergies, pay extra close attention to the nose and see if it is wetter than usual. You have
probably seen dogs with dark stains around their eyes. This is a tell-tale sign of teary eyes,
which can be the result of allergies as well.
Finally, if your dog has been suffering from ear infections, allergies might also be at fault. This
can be relatively easy to notice. Head shaking, constantly scratching at the ears are things you
might notice without even looking that hard. Taking a closer look might reveal a brown-colored
build up in the ear or even a bad smell. Allergy-related ear infections tend to be caused by
allergies to ingredients in some dog foods. They can be especially concerning because they have
potential to get much worse and cause serious damage if left untreated.
Allergies are frustrating and shouldn’t be something to be taken too lightly. It’s not so much the
allergy itself as your dog’s tendency to make things worse that can lead to more serious
problems. Pay close attention for any of these symptoms and if you think an allergy is the cause
of your dog’s discomfort, check with a veterinarian to help learn more.