Summer days mean vacation, and for many dogs that means a trip to their family veterinarian for allergy relief. Allergies in dogs can be miserable and frustrating. The good news is that with a little preparation you can avoid this extra level of anxiety for your dog and ease their pain without further stressing them.
The best way to avoid allergies in dogs is by observing their habits. If your dog responds to any of the things they eat – dog food, grass, or other plants – then you may be able to control the situation without having to rely on allergy shots and medication.
Instead of reacting to potential irritants before they occur, as many dog owners do, it’s better to anticipate the problem and then manage the event itself before it happens.
This way, you have time to react to a potential allergy before it occurs, and your dog has time to prepare their body for the situation.
Most Common Allergies in Dogs
- Food allergies
- Seasonal allergies
- Flea allergies
Most Common Symptoms: Vomiting, Itchy Skin, Looses Hair, Diarrhea. If any of those manifest – go see your Vet!
Preparing your dog for allergies by giving them only a diet for known allergy-free dog food. Of course, this means that you will need to know what allergy states your dog is suffering from before you can begin to feed them a food that is not recommended.
I recommend calling your vet to find out what they recommend and then begin to feed your dog the appropriate foods based on the doctor’s advice and the vet’s diagnosis.
If you know your dog has a history with a particular food, or you plan to introduce a new food shortly, then you should start to give them the food only until their system has adapted to it.
Most dogs should tolerate a certain number of allergens before needing a reaction to the food they’re given.
If you want to avoid reactions and instead help your dog’s system handle regular allergiess, you should give them a hypoallergenic diet for a while.
This requires regular maintenance of their diet but should only take a week or so to do.
Don’t be surprised if your dog begins to refuse food for a bit. Just like it would with a human, a dog’s body needs time to adjust to a new food.
It would help if you also looked for other signs of distress. Is your dog more lethargic than normal?
If so, this could be a sign that they need to rest their stomach. Is your dog more prone to vomiting or diarrhea? These are also signs that something is wrong and should be looked into.
If it turns out that your dog has been allergic to something in their food but they haven’t been eating it lately a simple change could help them be symptom-free.
You’ll want to switch to a brand of food that doesn’t contain the ingredient(s) you initially tested.
If your dog has been eating something previously, like chicken, for example, you may want to try something completely different.
If you cannot find the food your dog hasn’t been eating in the last few days, by all means, switch back to the food they were having.
Be aware that your dog may not like the food you give him to eat – This is fine. Just remember that it may take them a while to choose a food not directly related to their allergy.
The Symptoms You’ll See
There are a few immediate symptoms you’ll see if your dog is suffering from a food allergy.
That doesn’t mean that you should immediately think your dog will die, but you should be aware of any life-threatening symptoms.
Because these symptoms may appear quickly. If you have noticed that your dog is lethargic and irritable, they may have eaten something that did not agree with their system.
A quick visit to your vet is advised to help your dog settle down. You may wish to take precautions to keep your home free of allergic triggers so that you can diagnose what is wrong in your dog’s system.
What Causes Allergies in Dogs
Several things can cause allergies in dogs. As a rule, it is species-specific. Although a dog can develop allergies, it is usually a good precaution to mark what your dog is eating when you buy ingredients for making your own dog food.