Dog Allergies


  • Allergies in dogs can be triggered by numerous conditions and events, such as the changing seasons, snacks, or contact with certain outside elements. They can cause irritations that force a dog to return to the vet’s office time and time again for creams, ointments, pills and injections.
  • If your dog has a rash that becomes thick, crusty, and odorous, it might be a yeast infection. Like bacteria, yeast is normally found on the skin, but an allergy or immune deficiency can cause the yeast to grow out of control. Unfortunately, yeast infections are extremely common in dogs. As the fungal infection worsens, the rashes on your dog’s skin will thicken to form an elephant skin appearance, which is terribly itchy for dogs. The good news is once your veterinarian diagnoses your dog’s situation, s/he can be treated with a medicated shampoo. If the case is severe, your vet will probably prescribe an oral anti-fungal medication for several months.
  • Seasonal allergies most commonly manifest as rashes that make your dog’s fur sparse and scaly. If your pup suffers from itchy rashes, make sure s/he doesn’t have a fungal or bacterial infection. Your vet will most likely treat him with an anti-inflammatory drug. In most instances, this will block the allergic reaction your dog is experiencing.
  • Fleas can do more than make your dog itch. Many dogs are allergic to flea bites, especially those who already have a suppressed immune system.  There are many options on the market, ranging from collars to monthly topical treatments to oral medications.
  • Dogs can develop allergy symptoms due to hypersensitivity to one or more ingredients found in their diet, even if they’ve been eating the same food for years. Common food allergy symptoms in dogs can include biting at their limbs, scratching at their face, and ear infections. The allergen is usually a major protein or carbohydrate ingredient such as beef, chicken, pork, corn, wheat or soy. Minor ingredients, however, such as preservatives or dyes can also be potential allergens.
  • Most veterinarians will offer prescription diets comprised of limited ingredients, which can help alleviate any skin irritations.  There are also a wide variety of somewhat similar diets available in pet stores, namely those labeled “grain-free.”
  • Hypoallergenic treats are easily found at pet retailers. Another solution is to make your own treats by using a canned version of your dog’s food and shaping it into little nuggets or little bones and putting them in the freezer.
  • Just like humans, dogs can develop allergic reactions to pollen, grass, dander and household chemicals. Some of these elements are beyond your control, but frequently vacuuming and cleaning your home is a good course of action to minimize your dog’s exposure to airborne allergies. Regularly bathing your dog is also helpful. If your dog is still constantly itching from environmental irritants, you can ask your vet about prescribing Apoquel, a medication to control itching and inflammation in adults.
  • When it comes to symptoms associated with allergies, most times there isn’t a magic cure. Allergies are often chronic and require lifelong maintenance.