How to Recognize if Your Dog Has Allergies

allergies dogs

If you think your dog is more uncomfortable or anxious than usual, it may be prudent to check if your dog has allergies. Allergies in dogs can have different manifestations, and tend to vary from one dog to another. Here are ways on how you can spot them.

  1. Skin manifestations are the most common presentation of dog allergies. Uncontrollable itching and scratching, especially at the rump, are commonly seen in dogs that have allergies. Chewing or biting at different parts of the body is also common. A dog that is itchy will be seen constantly licking its paws and rubbing its belly on the floor. These behaviors tend to cause inflammation, becoming reddish, and may even result in formation of vesicles. As in humans, rashes and hives can also occur in dogs with allergies.

  1. Loss of hair is also commonly seen in dogs that have allergies. Frequent scratching can result in damage to the follicles of the hair, causing bald patches and fur breakage.

  1. Development of secondary infection is another sign of allergies. Recurrent biting and scratching can break the skin, causing sores, hot spots and open wounds, which typically start at the tail or back. When exposed to bacteria, these lesions can become infected, resulting in the formation of boils or abscesses. These infected lesions emit a characteristically foul smell.

  1. Allergies in dogs can also cause eye symptoms. Watery eyes, redness and swelling are usually seen, especially when the allergies are triggered by environmental allergens like dust or pollen. Approximately half of dogs that have atopy also experience eye infections, specifically conjunctivitis.

  1. Ear symptoms can also sometimes be seen in dogs that have allergies. Because of constant scratching, bacteria and yeast can build up in the dog’s ears, causing chronic ear infection.

  1. Dog allergies, especially allergies to food, can also cause gastrointestinal symptoms. Vomiting and diarrhea are commonly experienced. Aside from these, dogs that have allergies tend to lose their appetites.

  1. Allergies in dogs can also present as respiratory symptoms, such as coughing, sneezing, and production of nasal discharge. More severe symptoms, specifically difficulty of breathing and respiratory distress, can be manifestations of an acute allergic attack. Acute allergic attacks can be life-threatening, and thus, require immediate management by a competent veterinarian.

Typically, allergies in dogs begin to present from the first 6 months of life up to the third year.