Signs My Dog Has Allergies

Dogs get allergies too, so we’re going to look at a few of the symptoms of allergies in dogs, how to tell if your dog has allergies, and what you can do about it.

Signs and symptoms of allergies in dogs

How can you tell if your dog has allergies?

If your dog has allergies, they may exhibit symptoms such as scratching, biting, or licking their skin excessively, red or inflamed skin, and chronic ear infections. They may also have digestive issues such as vomiting or diarrhea.

If you suspect your dog has allergies, it’s important to bring them to a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. The vet may recommend allergy testing and a change in diet or medication to help manage your dog’s symptoms. In the meantime, keeping your dog’s environment clean and free of potential allergens can help reduce their symptoms.

Signs of allergies in dogs include:

  • Itchy skin
  • Scratching
  • Redness
  • Hives
  • Skin rashes
  • Hair loss
  • Eye discharge or conjunctivitis (pink eye)
  • Ear infections
  • Gastrointestinal problems (food allergy)

What can I give my dog for allergies without going to the vet?

If your dog has mild allergy symptoms and you want to try treating them at home, there are a few things you can try. These include:

  • Keeping your dog’s environment clean: Allergens such as pollen, mold, and dust can trigger allergy symptoms in dogs. Regularly cleaning your dog’s bedding, toys, and living areas can help reduce their exposure to these allergens.
  • Switching to a hypoallergenic or limited-ingredient diet: In some cases, changing your dog’s diet can help alleviate allergy symptoms. Talk to your veterinarian about switching to a hypoallergenic or limited-ingredient diet to see if it helps.
  • Trying natural remedies: Some natural remedies, such as omega-3 fatty acid supplements, probiotics, and herbal remedies, can help reduce inflammation and improve overall immune function.

It’s important to note that these remedies may not be effective for all dogs, and they should not be used as a substitute for veterinary care. If your dog’s symptoms are severe or if they don’t improve with home treatment, it’s important to bring them to a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

How can I treat my dog’s allergies?

There are some steps you can take at home to help dogs with allergies:

1. Antihistamines

Antihistamines are the most commonly used medication for mild allergies in dogs. They work by blocking the action of histamine, which is released by mast cells and basophils during an allergic reaction. Histamine causes many of the symptoms associated with allergies, including itching and nasal discharge.

The most common antihistamines for dogs are diphenhydramine (Benadryl®) and cetirizine (Zyrtec®). Both drugs are available in chewable tablets or liquid form, and they’re sold as over-the-counter medications that you can give to your dog without a prescription.

They’re generally safe when used at recommended doses, although some dogs don’t respond well to these medications and may experience side effects such as drowsiness or vomiting.

2. Ice packs

An ice pack can be used as a soothing remedy for skin irritations caused by allergies. An ice pack will help reduce swelling, pain and itching while cooling the area down so that it doesn’t become inflamed further.

3. Aloe or Oatmeal Shampoo

Many people have had success treating their dogs’ skin allergies by using aloe vera or oatmeal shampoos. These products are available at most grocery stores and pharmacies.

These shampoos contain anti-inflammatory ingredients that will help soothe your dog’s skin and reduce itching. Aloe vera gel is another option for soothing skin irritation and reducing inflammation.

4. Omega-3 supplements

Omega-3s are essential fatty acids that may help reduce inflammation in dogs with allergies. If your vet recommends an omega-3 supplement for your dog, look for one that contains DHA and EPA — these are the two most important types of omega-3s and can be found in fish oil supplements.

Some experts recommend giving your dog a fish oil supplement or adding flaxseed oil to his diet. You can buy these supplements at any health food store or online.

You may need to give your dog the supplement for several weeks before noticing an improvement; however, it will be worth it if it means less scratching!

5. Raw meat-based diet

A raw meat-based diet has been shown to help reduce many allergy symptoms in dogs. The diet contains no processed foods, which may contain allergens that cause itching and scratching.

Some people believe that a dog’s immune system needs to be challenged by allergens in order to build up an immunity against them. However, there is little scientific evidence to support this idea.

A raw meat-based diet should only be used under the direction of your veterinarian because it is not nutritionally balanced for all stages of life and could be dangerous for puppies or pregnant dogs who are not eating properly due to malnutrition.

6. Elimination Diet

An elimination diet is a process of removing certain foods from your dog’s diet and then reintroducing them one at a time to determine if they are the cause of your dog’s symptoms.

If your dog develops an allergic reaction after eating any particular food, you’ll know which protein causes the issue. This information will help you determine which foods are safe for him and which ones should be avoided.

7. Probiotics

Probiotics are live microorganisms that aid in digestion and immune system health. They can also help reduce inflammation in dogs with allergies by reducing histamine levels and balancing bacteria within the gut. Many veterinarians recommend adding a probiotic supplement to treat allergies in dogs.

Studies have shown that probiotics may help treat diarrhea caused by allergy, as well as some gastrointestinal disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

8. Flea medication

The most common cause of allergies in dogs is fleas. Fleas are very small insects that feed on blood from dogs or cats. The saliva from fleas causes itching, which leads to biting and scratching at the skin which results in inflammation and infection of the skin. This is called flea allergy dermatitis (FAD).

Flea medication is the most important treatment for dogs with FAD. Your veterinarian will likely recommend a prescription flea medicine that can be applied to your pet’s skin once a month. This medication helps eliminate fleas and their eggs.

There are many products available for treating fleas on your pet. Some are oral medications while others require monthly applications to the skin. Oral medications usually control flea populations within 24 hours and last up to 3 months before needing re-treatment.

You should also treat all other pets in the household with a topical or oral product as well.

9. Preventive measures

To prevent your dog from being exposed to allergens, you should vacuum your home regularly, wash the bedding often, and keep all areas of your home clean and tidy.

If your dog has allergies or if he is prone to developing them, it’s important to keep him away from certain allergens that could trigger a reaction. For example, if pollen bothers him, stay indoors when pollen counts are high.

You may also want to consider installing air filters or dehumidifiers in your home during allergy season to help reduce dust levels and keep airborne allergens down.

What do vets prescribe for allergies?

If your dog has allergies, your veterinarian may prescribe a number of different treatments, depending on the specific type and severity of your dog’s allergies. Some common treatments for allergies in dogs include:

  • Antihistamines: These medications can help reduce itching and other allergy symptoms.
  • Corticosteroids: These drugs can help reduce swelling and inflammation associated with allergies.
  • Allergen-specific immunotherapy: This treatment involves giving your dog regular injections of allergens to help desensitize their immune system.
  • Shampoos and other topicals: Your vet may recommend medicated shampoos, sprays, or other topical treatments to help soothe your dog’s skin and reduce allergy symptoms.
  • Omega-3 fatty acid supplements: These supplements can help reduce inflammation and improve overall skin health.
  • Probiotics: Probiotics can help support a healthy digestive system and improve overall immune function.
  • Herbal remedies: Some herbs, such as chamomile and lavender, have anti-inflammatory and soothing properties that can help reduce allergy symptoms.
  • Diet changes: In some cases, switching your dog to a hypoallergenic or limited-ingredient diet can help alleviate allergy symptoms.

What is the best dog food for dogs with allergies?

You may need to try several different types of dog food before finding one that helps resolve the problem.

Raw food

Raw food is rich in enzymes, which can be beneficial for your dog’s digestive system and immune systems. There are many different types of raw diets, so you’ll need to research what’s best for your dog based on his needs and lifestyle.

If you’re new to raw feeding, it’s important that you do some research before starting your dog on this diet. You’ll want to make sure that your dog will get enough calories and nutrients without becoming overweight or obese.

Hypoallergenic dog food

If your dog has food allergies, it’s important to find a hypoallergenic dog food that contains only ingredients that don’t trigger his symptoms. You’ll need to do some research before choosing a brand of hypoallergenic dog food because there aren’t any regulations regarding the labeling and advertising of these products.

Here’s a list of the best hypoallergenic dog foods:

  1. Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach, High Protein Dry Dog Food
  2. Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Adult, Sensitive Stomach & Skin
  3. Hill’s Prescription Diet Derm Complete Environmental, Skin & Food Sensitivities Dry Dog Food, Veterinary Diet
  4. Hill’s Prescription Diet z/d Skin/Food Sensitivities Dry Dog Food, Veterinary Diet
  5. Blue Buffalo Basics Skin & Stomach Care, Natural Adult Dry Dog Food
  6. CANIDAE Pure Limited Ingredient Premium Adult Dry Dog Food
  7. Rachael Ray Nutrish Just 6 Limited Ingredient Diet Dry Dog Food
  8. Wild Earth Dog Food for Allergies, Vegan Dry Dog Food, High Protein Plant-Based Kibble
  9. NUTRO Limited Ingredient Diet Adult Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
  10. Wellness Simple Natural Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food

Should I take my dog to the vet for allergies?

Yes, if you suspect your dog has allergies, it’s important to bring them to a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

Allergies can be difficult to diagnose and treat, and a veterinarian will have the knowledge and experience to identify the specific cause of your dog’s allergies and recommend the best course of action.

In some cases, allergies can be managed with simple changes to your dog’s diet or environment, but in other cases, more aggressive treatment may be necessary.

A veterinarian will be able to recommend the best treatment options for your dog based on their specific needs.

Conclusion of allergies in dogs

Allergies in dogs can be caused by a variety of factors, including environmental allergens, such as pollen, mold, and dust, as well as certain foods. The most common symptoms of allergies in dogs include itching, red and inflamed skin, and recurrent ear infections. If left untreated, allergies can lead to more serious health problems, such as skin infections and hair loss.

To diagnose allergies in dogs, a veterinarian may conduct a physical examination, as well as skin and blood tests. Treatment for allergies in dogs may include medications, such as antihistamines and corticosteroids, as well as allergy shots, which can help to desensitize the dog to the allergens. In some cases, dietary changes may also be recommended.

It’s important to work closely with your veterinarian to develop a treatment plan for your dog’s allergies. With proper treatment, most dogs with allergies can live happy and healthy lives.


Hannah Elizabeth is an English animal behavior author, having written for several online publications. With a degree in Animal Behaviour and over a decade of practical animal husbandry experience, Hannah's articles cover everything from pet care to wildlife conservation. When she isn't creating content for blog posts, Hannah enjoys long walks with her Rottweiler cross Senna, reading fantasy novels and breeding aquarium shrimp.

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