Allergies That Occur in Dogs
Dogs can have many of the same allergies you or I have. Many times, the allergen is something inhaled like dust mites, mold or pollen. Unlike you and me, however, dogs tend to react to these allergies on their skin. To be able to tell if the skin reaction is because of allergies or if it's a skin disease is to watch what time of year the dog seems to react. Also, take notice of what your dog has been into around the time they reacted, this can be a good indicator of whether it's an allergy or not. Another way dogs react is in their ears. You can tell if they have an infection if they rub their faces/ears on the carpet or by looking inside. If the ears are red and hot, this could be an indication of an infection.
For treatment of these inhaled allergy reactions, you could put your dog in a cool bath with oatmeal, shampoos or Epsom salts. You could also invest in shots that do not work right away but rather could take up to a year to kick in completely. Corticosteroids can also be used to cut out the itching by using anti-inflammation agents. Antihistamines such as Benadryl or Atarax can be used to cut out itching but are known to make a dog (like humans) very tired. Omega 3 and 6 are have anti-inflammation agents in them as well that can help cut out itching. Other ways to keep reactions away is to control the dog's environment and prevention by dusting, and keeping molds down in the house.
Dogs may also have food allergies that are presented in many of the same ways inhaled (atopic) allergies are presented. Reactions can include itching and ear infections as well as seizures, sneezing, and behavioral changes. It is very possible for a dog to eat a particular type of food their whole lives and not develop an allergy until later in life. So even though you may not think your dog has any allergies or sensitivities, they could develop them as time goes on.
To keep your dog from reacting to food allergies, determine what exactly it is they are allergic to. This can be done by eliminating the bagged dog food and only giving your dog homemade food including one protein and a starch, but only for a short time as this isn't enough nutrition for a dog. After this short period, re-introduce different ingredients to try to isolate the food that is irritating your dog. Many owners believe that lamb meat is hypoallergenic, but the more it is used in dog food, the more dogs are reacting to it. You can also try a brand of dog food that is hypoallergenic
Canine allergies are irritating to both the dog and their owner. It is best to stay on top of these things to keep your dog from having reactions in the future.