Dog allergy are very common, but many pet owners don’t realize that their dogs can suffer from them too. In fact, allergies affect up to 15% of all dogs, so if your pet has symptoms like itchy skin, chewing or scratching excessively, excess hair loss, swollen paws , or any sign of a dog allergy , you should see your vet right away to rule out an allergy as the culprit and get treatment before it becomes a bigger problem. Here are dog allergies you should look out for.



Pets are adorable little guys, but they also carry a host of problems that can cause itchiness and discomfort. The biggest culprits? Fleas! Fleas can be small and hard to spot, but they’re easy to treat with over-the-counter remedies. If your dog is allergic to fleas, however, make sure you follow your vet’s advice—you could end up putting them at risk for life-threatening infections if you don’t take proper precautions. Keeping an eye out for these symptoms will help ensure your pet is healthy from head to tail.

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Make sure your dog allergy is not from beef. It is one of a few common food allergies in pets and symptoms range from vomiting, diarrhea, skin rash and hives. Cats are more likely to be allergic to beef than dogs are, so it might be wise to stay away from dishes made with ground beef if you have a dog in your household. Meatballs and burger patties are also things that should be avoided with pets who have a beef allergy since they could cause anaphylactic shock if ingested by an animal with that allergy.



Pets are less able to clean themselves than humans, so they end up with a lot of hair and dander (dead skin cells) stuck to their bodies. This causes them to absorb allergens that could potentially cause a dog allergy in your pet. Their hair, skin, and paws are where you should be looking for dander—and keep an eye out for symptoms like redness or irritation on your pet’s coat. If you notice that any part of your pet seems inflamed, scratchy, or itchy (particularly around areas like their stomach or neck), take them to a vet and find out if they’re experiencing an allergic reaction. Also pay attention to changes in your pet’s eating habits; cats and dogs can develop food allergies as well!



Some breeds of dogs, particularly those with droopy ears and flat faces, are prone to seasonal allergies. As a result, they’re more likely to be allergic to pollen. The easiest way to check? If your dog suffers from allergy-related symptoms in spring or summer (think watery eyes and sneezing), then there’s a pretty good chance that he’s allergic to grass and/or ragweed—the biggest offenders when it comes to pollen. If your dog is prone to allergies, it might help if you move him into an apartment or house with less outdoor air circulation during pollen season.


Contact Allergies in Dogs

If your pet is itching and scratching a lot, make sure to rule out contact allergies. Dogs can be allergic to certain fabrics, like wool or leather. Regular-use items, like collars and leashes, may also cause irritation. If you think contact allergies might be to blame for your pet’s rash, consider switching out their bedding or clothing. And if you’re still seeing symptoms even after these changes, bring your dog in for an exam so our veterinarians can tell you how best to proceed.


Flea Prevention Medication

If you do decide to use flea prevention medication, look for products that contain active ingredients that are safe for cats and dogs. One example is Revolution (selamectin), which may be applied topically on cats and dogs to prevent heartworm disease, fleas, ear mites, and sarcoptic mange. Although Revolution can’t cure existing fleas or their eggs on your pets, it does kill them over time; in fact, you should see results within 24 hours of application. While using a spot-on like Revolution will kill adult fleas before they lay eggs and larvae within seven days of application, applying monthly doses is important as well—especially if you live in an area where fleas are prevalent year-round.



Many pets, especially dogs, are allergic to fabrics and materials that touch their skin. Skin problems from wool, cotton and synthetics are common in both pets and people. If your pet suffers from itching or even allergies to fabrics that don’t bother you, consider alternatives such as fleece. Organic wool can be a great alternative for any animal who is susceptible to allergies caused by scents. Bedding made of organic bamboo is very soft and allows airflow while it naturally repels odor-causing bacteria. Remember: just because your fabric doesn’t bother you doesn’t mean it won’t bother your pet!


Seasonal Allergies

A dog  allergy to a seasonal trigger, such as pollen or grass, is fairly common in dogs. These allergic reactions are usually related to trees or weeds that are pollinating during spring and summer months. What’s causing your pet to act so weird? A trip to the vet may be in order if they’re sneezing, itching or scratching more than usual—there could be an allergy lurking that they need medication for. If you’re concerned about your dog allergy, ask your vet about over-the-counter options. They can help keep your pet calm and comfortable until you get them checked out at their next visit.



Research has shown that as many as 12 percent of cats and dogs could be allergic to wheat, which makes up grains like wheat, barley, rye and oat. Wheat allergies are more common in larger breeds, such as Labrador retrievers and German shepherds. They’re also common in Asian breeds, such as Siamese cats and chow chows. If your pet is allergic to wheat products, symptoms include vomiting or diarrhea. If you suspect that your dog allergy might be from a wheat allergy, then you should go through your dog’s food to make sure that it doesn’t contain any wheat-based ingredients. Make sure to read every label carefully so that you don’t accidentally feed your pet something harmful!



If your dog could be allergic to chicken, it’s likely to show up in their coat. Chicken and turkey are responsible for more cases of dog allergy than any other single ingredient, states Ordean Froeschle, DVM, president of Medicine & Motion, a veterinary referral center in Glen Burnie, Maryland.dogs with hair loss or skin infections that develop after eating these foods may have a food allergy. Don’t give up on poultry altogether: Try pure white-meat turkey instead of dark-meat chicken and avoid feeding your pet chicken skin and fat trimmings. Chicken bones should also be avoided because they can splinter and injure your pet’s digestive tract as well as their mouth if swallowed whole.


Mold Spores

Dogs that spend a lot of time outdoors or in humid, dark places—like a basement—are at greater risk for mold allergies. Mold spores are microscopic, meaning you can’t see them with your naked eye, but they release allergens that cause pet dander to become airborne. If your pet regularly comes into contact with mold and damp areas (or if you live in an old home), make sure to bring him to your vet. He might be allergic to mold!



Dog allergy can be to cow’s milk, so it’s important to avoid dairy products when feeding your pets. In addition, dogs are more likely than other animals to be allergic to yeast or wheat in their diet. Make sure that you don’t overfeed your dog and watch him carefully for any signs of an allergy: excessive itching or scratching, paw licking, redness or sores around his mouth, paws or face. Consult with a vet if your pet shows these symptoms—they may recommend special food for dogs who are allergic to yeast.


Shed Skin Cells

We all shed skin cells; it’s part of being human. Our pets also shed skin cells—but for them, it’s a whole lot more intense. If you have a pet with long hair, watch for signs that he or she is shedding an unusual amount of skin cells. It can mean your pet is allergic to something in its environment and should be examined by a veterinarian immediately. Watch for dogs who seem to rub their faces frequently, as well as cats who get rashes and sores around their faces and paws. Watch also for lethargy, weight loss or gain, vomiting or diarrhea—it could mean something else is wrong!



If you notice your pet scratching excessively, with red, watery eyes or other symptoms of an allergic reaction, consider whether she could be having a reaction to secondhand smoke. Some pets may be especially sensitive to cigarette smoke and will react at much lower levels than humans do. Cigarette smoke contains dozens of chemicals that can make a pet sick, including nicotine and carbon monoxide. If you’ve ever been around someone who smokes indoors, you know how overpowering it can be—it’s enough to send people into sneezing fits! This isn’t just unpleasant for humans; pets are also easily affected by secondhand smoke in its various forms.

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