Yes, it’s possible for dogs to have allergies, just like their human owners do! If you are fearful that your dog has allergies, there are several things that you need to know to take the best care of your pet.
Taking care of your dog’s allergies is essential because you want to do what you can to avoid a flare-up. This could be uncomfortable, upsetting, or even dangerous for your pet.
No pet owner likes to see their beloved animal upset, so getting to the bottom of your canine companion’s allergies will help ensure that you’re in the clear.
If you suspect that your dog has allergies, you likely have a lot of questions—and with good reason! Allergies can be quite complex, and figuring out your dog’s situation will help ensure they don’t accidentally experience an allergic reaction. Therefore, you have to be picky about what you expose your pet to, including the foods they eat.
We’ll begin with some background information and by sharing what an allergy is. Then, we’ll dive into how you can tell that your dog has an allergy. Afterward, we’ll share some common types of allergies.
And finally, we’ll get to what you want to know—what is the best diet for dogs with allergies?
So, What Is An Allergy?
You have heard of allergies, but do you know what an allergy is? If not, don’t worry! We’re here to explain everything you need to know about this topic. First, an allergy refers to a state of hypersensitivity or over-reactivity of your dog’s immune system to a particular substance. This substance will be referred to as an allergen.
Allergens come in different shapes and sizes, but they’re proteins from plants, animals, foods, or insects most of the time. Your dog has an initial exposure, which usually spans multiple occasions that could be for months or years. This sensitizes the dog’s immune system, and subsequent exposure to that allergen could lead to an overreaction.
While the immune system typically protects your pet, an immune system response could hurt the body with allergies. Think of it this way: when your dog has an allergic reaction, they’re having an unnecessary immune response to a foreign substance that is benign.
How Can I Tell If My Dog Has An Allergy?
Sometimes pet allergies are more obvious than others, so it’s good to know the signs and symptoms of your pet experiencing an allergic reaction.
Dog allergy symptoms can include hives and itching of the skin, also known as atopic dermatitis. This itching can either be localized in just one region or generalized all over the body.
Sometimes, an allergic reaction will even go far as to involve the respiratory system. When this happens, there’s coughing, sneezing, or even wheezing. A pet might even have runny discharge that comes out of their eyes or nostrils.
However, there are different types of allergic reactions, and sometimes, they impact the digestive system instead. This could result in diarrhea or vomiting for your pet.
Allergies are certainly not uncommon in dogs, so if you notice that your pet has any of the symptoms above, you might consider seeing a vet about allergies.
Allergies are common in dogs of any breed or background, so it’s important to keep in mind that any dog can experience this. In addition, allergies usually appear after the six months of age mark—most dogs will be over age one or two.
Types Of Allergies
When it comes to allergies, one size certainly does not fit all. There are different types of allergies. Consequently, this is where your dog’s diet could come into play. There are three main types of allergies: food allergies, skin allergies, and environmental allergens.
Let’s discuss food allergies first. It’s important to note that, while you think your pet might have a food allergy, all it could be is an intolerance to certain types of food.
In order for it to be classified as a true “food allergy,” your pet has to experience an immune response. This could include skin conditions, gastrointestinal symptoms, or even both (poor pup!).
In the most severe cases, your dog could experience anaphylaxis. If you fear this could be happening, get your dog to the vet right away.
When people say their dog has a food allergy, what they are really saying is that their pet has an intolerance to a certain type of food. This is completely valid, and you should select a complete, balanced diet that keeps this in mind and works with your dog’s sensitivities instead of against it.
Chicken, beef, and wheat are common food allergies for dogs.
However, it can be difficult to differentiate between real allergy and sensitivity, as they have symptoms in common. Your best bet is to get your vet’s opinion on whether it’s an allergy or sensitivity.
The second type of allergy your pet can experience is a skin allergy. These are often referred to as “allergic dermatitis.” This is the most common allergy that dogs experience, and there are three big causes for this to occur.
Consequently, your dog can be tempted to scratch, bite, or lick. This increases the chance that the dog will accidentally open up the wound. This could expose the skin to bacterial or yeast infections.
In other words, you might end up having to take a trip to the vet to get a skin allergic reaction treated if it gets infected. Skin testing or intradermal skin tests may help identify the allergen.
Allergens In Your Pet’s Environment
Environmental allergens mean that your dog is impacted by inhaled allergens present either in the house or outside. This could include pollen from trees, grass, weeds, molds, dust mites, dust. There’s a ton of environmental allergens that could impact your pup, which will depend on the greenery found in the area you reside in.
Typically, symptoms appear because your dog inhaled these allergens. Still, if your pet has direct skin-to-skin contact, like touching an allergen living in your carpets, that could also make an allergic reaction occur.
Environmental allergens also can be seasonal, but they don’t necessarily have to be.
What’s The Best Diet For Dogs With Allergies?
If your dog is allergic to a certain thing, it seems fairly simple to just stay away from it—but sometimes, ingredients are sneaky and can find their way into your pet’s food.
If your dog has a food allergy, it should stay on a fairly restricted diet. This should consist of food that is tried and true and has not led to a reaction in your dog. If you have questions about how your dog’s allergies can impact their diet, you should reach out to a vet who is familiar with both your pet’s diet and their allergies.
Unfortunately, if your dog has allergies to food, their diet must be strict. This means that treats from the store, flavored supplements or medications, and table scraps are a no-no.
Remember: While it can be hard to resist your dog’s begging, it’s better than having to deal with an unwell pup.
One suggestion for a dog with allergies is to get them food that’s catered to their specific needs. Kabo makes it easy to get fresh, delicious food for your dog delivered right to your doorstep. It’s a subscription service that provides your pet with their favorite meals. And the best part? You get to tell Kabo all about your pet so they match you with foods that will work with their body, not against it.
At Kabo, we believe in farm to dog—that your pet only gets the freshest food. We also believe in creating meals that work for your pet.