Do you think your dog has allergies?
We all know dogs love to have the odd scratch or two, but when they scratch themselves red and raw its time to take immediate action.
If you have a dog doing this, take heed, you are not alone. Recent surveys in the US indicate that approximately 15% of all dogs suffer from some type of allergy symptoms and that 1 in 5 visits by dogs to their vets is about "dog has allergies".
The most common kind of allergies in order of prevalence are
Food allergies occur when dogs react to eating food that they are allergic to and vomiting and digestive problems are a trademark symptom of food allergies in dogs.
Food intolerance can also cause digestive problems such as vomiting and there is a very fine line between diagnosing food intolerance and food allergies, though usually food allergies are accompanied by one or more other symptoms common to allergies, e.g. itchy skin, itchy ears, hives and seizures.
Some dogs can suffer from both food allergies and food intolerance
The most common food causing allergies are eggs, fish, meat, milk/milk products and grains. To be even more specific the most common meats which trigger allergies are chicken, beef and lamb, and offending grains are corn, soy and wheat.
Many vets recommend a 12 week elimination diet trial to try an establish which food/s are causing dog allergies and the associated allergic reactions. If you are planning on using commercially prepared food please browse our allergy free dog food range which offers a huge selection of natural foods for you to choose from, and more importantly free from foreign ingredients and chemicals.
Alternatively you may decide to introduce a raw diet, which is what Mother Nature intended for our four legged friends. Some recent studies indicate that protein as in raw chicken, beef and lamb, may cause less allergies than their cooked counterparts.
These are allergic reactions to a allergens which dog inhale. Common culprits are pollen, molds, dust and dust mites. Symptoms of seasonal allergies are pretty much the same as allergies to food and other culprits - itchy skin, hives, and itchy ears.
Flea allergy dermatitis
Flea allergy dermatitis is a reaction to flea bites.
When fleas bite dogs they inject saliva into the wound. Protein in flea saliva is the main allergen that causes allergies in dogs.
There are other components in flea saliva which also causes allergic reactions; and some dogs can suffer from more than one allergy.
If a dog is hypersensitive to flea bites, it only takes one bite to trigger off an allergic reaction.
Other Types of Allergies
There are many other allergens which cause dog has allergies and allergic symptoms in dogs, these are diverse in nature and range from allergies to mite and tick bites to vaccinations, drugs and medications.
Some dogs, just like humans can suffer from more than one allergy at a time and pin pointing which one or ones, can be a bit like searching for a needle in a haystack.
Incredible as it may sound, a pet can even be allergic to its owner's dander in exactly the same way as an owner can suffer from an allergy to their dog's dander.
In simplistic terms, dog has allergies and allergy symptoms are an over statement of the dog’s natural immune defenses. Once you know what’s causing your pet to itch, you can take action to provide it with some much-needed relief; and take comfort in the fact that he is not suffering from a disease, but rather reacting to an irritant to his immune system.