You love your dog, and you want to keep her happy and healthy. That's why it's so important that you know about dog seasonal allergies. Not only can they make your pup miserable, but they can also affect its quality of life—and yours!
We’ve created this guide to help you determine and address your dog’s seasonal allergies to keep the two of you happy and well the whole year round! Let’s dive in.
Allergies Are Common in Dogs, But Breed Matters
Allergies are common in dogs. They can be caused by a number of things, including food and environmental triggers such as pollen and dust mites. Dogs with hair tend to be more prone to seasonal allergies than their less-hairy counterparts, but it's not just that simple.
Some breeds are more prone to allergies than others; for example, the German Shepherd and Siberian Husky have been known to suffer from humidity-related seasonal allergies. Poodles, Golden Retrievers, and Labradors are among the most allergy-prone breeds out there—but they may suffer differently from their sneezing spells during allergy season.
Allergies in dogs can range from mild itchiness to severe reactions including hay fever, diarrhea, vomiting and even anaphylaxis. Anaphylactic shock is a life-threatening condition in which swelling occurs around airways which makes it difficult to breathe properly.
Ensure that you use the best grooming tools available to care for your dog’s hair during allergy season. In particular, it’s necessary to opt for something that will be gentle on their skin - especially if they are itchy and irritated!
Dogs Can Develop Allergies At Any Time
Most dogs can experience seasonal allergies at any age. While springtime seems like the best bet for your dog’s first allergic reaction, grass pollen counts rise in fall too—meaning that this season can also cause problems for your pet.
The good news is that dog seasonal allergies do not get worse over time: once your dog has been diagnosed with this condition once or twice, subsequent seasons will present similar symptoms as before unless something changes.
Signs Can Appear Before Your Dog Turns a Year Old
You may notice signs before your dog turns a year old. So, monitor your pup carefully so that you'll be able to tell if there's a problem. If you see your dog scratching its ears or rubbing its face, this could be a sign of allergies. If your dog is sneezing or wheezing instead of breathing normally, these may all be allergic reactions.
The Three Main Types of Canine Allergy.
There are three main types of canine allergy.
Atopy, or Inhalant Allergies
The most common is atopy, which is an allergic reaction to inhaled allergens. Inhalant allergies can be caused by pollen, mold spores, dust mites and other airborne irritants.
Contact allergies are caused by direct contact with a substance that your dog is allergic to. Common culprits include flea bites and flea saliva or stings from bees and wasps; perfumes on clothing; house dust mites, or common household chemicals such as cleaners and pesticides.
Food allergies are rare in dogs but can happen—especially if they’re fed a single protein source for long periods of time.
You might be wondering about the types of food allergies dogs can have. It’s important to know that some dogs are allergic to food, including proteins and grains. Some dogs are allergic only to proteins, like chicken or beef. Doing a food trial before fully changing a dog's diet, or slowly integrating new food may be helpful.
Food allergies in pets can be difficult to diagnose because they change over time and may not present the same symptoms every time they eat something with an allergen in it. If you think your dog has a food allergy, it’s a good time to start a conversation with your vet.
What Is The Worst Season For Dog Allergies?
Pet allergies don't just happen in the spring, but also in the fall when the grass is being pollinated. In fact, there are many things that could be causing your dog's allergy symptoms and they may vary depending on the individual animal.
If you have a dog who is suddenly sneezing more than usual, then it may be time for an appointment with their veterinarian. The vet will ask about your pet’s medical history and do some tests to determine if he or she has allergies.
Signs of Allergies
If your dog has itchy skin, reddening and swelling around his eyes, or is experiencing watery eyes or a runny nose, you may think he has a cold. However, it may actually be an allergic response to environmental allergens. While it's normal for dogs to itch their paws when they're irritated, excessive scratching of other parts of the body may be an indication that there's something else going on. If your dog takes himself outside and sneezes repeatedly or starts coughing up phlegm from deep down in his chest, he may have allergies too.
Some dogs with allergies will also experience hives (small red bumps that appear as though they've been bitten) which can be caused by hay fever. Excessive licking around their nose, paws, or ears, inflammation behind their ears, or even diarrhea may be signs of an allergy.
Other symptoms to look for are hay fever, atopic dermatitis, skin infections, ear infections, irritated skin, bacterial infections of the respiratory system, and even hair loss. These can be signs of an acute allergic reaction.
Why Is My Dog Drooling More?
If your dog is one of the many who suffer from seasonal allergies, you may notice that it drools more than usual. This is because its mouth dries out as a result of the excess saliva production associated with his allergy symptoms.
As if it weren’t bad enough that your pup has an allergy, if he’s outside during these times, things can get worse because dew-covered grass can be very irritating to sensitive dog skin—especially when it gets into their eyes or noses (or both).
The best way to help reduce your pet's discomfort during these times is by taking steps such as keeping them indoors when possible or avoiding certain plants like ragweed that may cause additional irritation.
Diagnosing Allergies in Dogs
It's not always easy to diagnose a dog allergy. If you've got a dog that's allergic to something, there are a few tests you can take.
This is the most accurate way of diagnosing an allergy. A sample of your dog's blood will be drawn, and then it will be tested for antibodies that indicate an allergy has been triggered. If these antibodies are present in high enough amounts, this indicates an allergic reaction is present.
Intradermal skin tests
Similar to blood testing, skin testing involves taking some skin cells from your pet and testing them against various allergens to see if they trigger any sort of reaction on their skin, like redness.
This directly measures how much histamine gets released by each type of allergen when introduced into the body—this lets us know which ones cause problems with our pets!
Treating Your Pup's Allergies
There is no cure for dog allergies, but there are treatments available to help your pet. Here are a few examples of common dog allergy treatments.
If your dog has a seasonal allergy, he could benefit from allergy shots against allergens that trigger his symptoms. This is particularly true if he has been previously diagnosed with an allergic reaction to pollen or other allergens in the air.
Many dog foods reduce the risk of allergies by removing certain ingredients such as soy or corn. There are plenty of excellent natural dog foods and treats available that can help to reduce the likelihood of your pup developing a food allergy.
Medications and Topical Treatments
Bitch New York has a range of gentle treatments and dog shampoos to help alleviate symptoms such as itching and redness caused by seasonal allergies. That way, your furry friend won’t have any problems during seasonal changes.
Topical treatments can also be used to alleviate allergies in dogs, such as flea allergy dermatitis or other allergic dermatitis, secondary skin infections or irritated skin. Skin testing is important to diagnose and treat your dog's skin for these.
Apple cider vinegar, when diluted sufficiently with water, can be applied topically to your dog's paws to alleviate itching. After your dog's exposure to environmental allergens, this method may offer fast, soothing relief. Another natural remedy when your dogs experience itchy skin is a good soak with some epsom salt.
How Can A Vet Help?
Your vet can administer shots, recommend the right food for your dog, and prescribe some medications if your pup is seriously suffering.
They can test for allergies by sampling from inside the ear canal where they're most likely to find allergens like pollen and spores present in large quantities. They'll also examine cells under microscopes for signs of inflammation or other conditions that cause similar symptoms, such as parasites.
We love our pups, and it’s hard to see them teary-eyed and red when allergy season comes around. The good news is that there are plenty of things that you can do to help with a dog’s seasonal allergies. You could consider changing your dog's diet, applying some allergy-targeted products to offer them gentle relief, or even consult with your vet if your pup is feeling really bad.
Bitch New York has plenty of solutions available to help you and your dog make the most out of the spring and fall! These treatments are easy, will improve your dog's health, and will help your dog be happier overall when it gets relief from those symptoms!