Before considering the issue of what are the best treatments for dog allergies that works quickly, we must first determine the reasons behind this annoying issue. Dogs are no different than we are when it comes to allergies, and finding the exact culprit causing our pets discomfort can be a difficult task. It is estimated that half of all American dogs may be suffering from allergies and the number seems to be growing. In this article, I will be looking at the following items: 1. Types of Allergies, 2. Causes, 3. Symptoms, 4. Treatment and 5. Recommendations of a few of the best dog foods to treat allergies.
Types of Allergies … Is Your Dog Suffering From One of These?
Although there are a number of pesky allergens that are looking to cause discomfort to our pets, I wanted to focus my attention on three that seem to be the most dominant. One of these allergens, or a combination of all three, can be harmful and quite a nuisance to our dogs. Lets take a closer look at these three allergens.
- Food Allergies
- Flea Allergies
- Contact Dermatitis (Allergic and Irritant)
Causes … Some Things You May Not Know
So, where do all of these nasty irritants come from? To be fair, identifying the exact causes of where these allergens actually come from, is something most dog owners have little knowledge. In taking a look at the three most common allergens listed above, I will give you some specific details on where these allergens originated.
- Food Allergies – These allergens are contained within the dog food itself. Certain ingredients such as soybean, corn and/or wheat have long been associated as the culprit according to many dog owners. Others, including veternarians, believe that the protein associated with meat such as (chicken, lamb, beef, etc.) is the main perpetrator.
- Flea Allergies – Yes, those annoying pests! When our dogs are bitten by fleas, the saliva from the bite can actually irritate the skin causing pain.
- Contact Dermatitis – This can be a tough one to identify as it is a result of our dogs coming into direct contac with any number of items. Detergents, plants, chemicals, cleaning supplies, perfumes, etc. It usually is a result that occurs when your dog touches something that irritates the skin. The item causing this irritation may be harmless, but your dog’s immune system will kick in gear, causing the skin to become irritated.
Symptoms … What To Look For In Your Dog
Nobody spends more time with your pets than you do, so pay close attention to their behavior. Below are some signs and/or symptoms that may indicate that your pooch may be affected to one of the allergies mentioned above.
Food Allergy: (Symptoms)
- Skin irritation
- Excessive or an unusual amount of scratching
- A loss of fur
- Soft or loose bowels
Flea Allergy: (Symptoms)
- Skin Redness
- Excessive scratching
- Red spots on the skin
- Biting or nibbling in a particular area
Contact Dermatitis: (Symptoms)
- Skin Redness
- Skin Rash
- Red spots
Nasty Stuff! Many times the infected area will be located in areas including your dog’s nose, knees and underbelly. These symptoms should not be taken lightly, and as I mentioned before, finding a solution can be a difficult and tiresome task. Here is some advice that may be of great help.
Treatment … Getting To The Bottom Of It
Food Allergies (Treatment) – The treatment for this specific allergy can be a tricky one. Due to the fact that dog food contains a wide variety of ingredients, locating the one that is causing distress in our dogs can be complicated. Below are a number of solutions and treatment options to consider.
- Elimination Diet – This is done by eliminating the entire food that your dog is currently eating (including treats) and introducing a new food that your pet has never eaten before. Once our dog shows signs of improvement, ( two weeks to a month) we will then put our dog back on the original diet that was causing the allergy. Now comes the interesting part. If your dog now exhibits an allergic reaction which may take a few days to a few weeks, then it is a real possibility that your dog is indeed suffering from a food allergy. In a nutshell, this process will prove a couple of things: 1.) The fact that your pooch showed signs of improvement with the new food you introduced, should tell you that this specific recipe is being tolerated by your dog, and 2.) Your dog is indeed allergic to the food he or she has been consuming. Keep in mind that most dogs only become allergic to a food that they have been consuming over a long period of time. Changing recipes every three to four months is not a bad idea as long as it is something they can tolerate.
Flea Allergies (Treatment) – Treatment for this specific allergy can come in a number of forms, so choose the one that fits the needs of your dog. Keep in mind that the saliva of the flea is the substance that leads to the allergy, and not the bite itself. Here are the treatment options:
- Flea Comb – Purchase a flea comb and gently swipe through your dog’s fur, looking for fleas or flea feces that will look like small particles of dirt. Finding one or both may indicate a real possibility of this type of allergen.
- Topical Insecticides – Should be placed on the back below the neck area so your dog can’t lick it off
- Shampoos or a lotion to alleviate the scratching
Contact Dermatitis (Treatment) – Because there are two types of this irritant, you must first determine which of the two is affecting your pooch. Allergic contact dermatitis can be caused by a number of things such as soap, insecticides, shampoo, pollens, grasses, plastic, rubber and other items around the house. Irritant contact dermatitis may develop as a result of your dog coming into direct contact with such things as detergents, perfumes, plants, and solvents to name a few. Treatment options include:
Dog Food Recommendations … Fighting Food Alleregens
In a previous article, I looked at a few dog food brands that I would recommend to you if your dog is suffering from a food allergen. These brands are of a high quality and would provide some relief to your dog as well as providing a quality, healthy and nutritional diet. Click here to take a look at some of these brands.
I hope you have learned something from this article that will assist you in finding some relief to your pooch. None of us like to see our pets having discomfort and these nasty allergens can certainly become an unhealthy nuisance. Although I have mentioned a number of treatments that are associated with specific allergens, make sure to consult your own vet before applying any of these treatments. Working with your vet and starting a dialogue will help you in determining the best approach in getting your pooch healthy again. Is your dog showing signs of an allergy?
Click Here To Find The Best Foods Available To Help Your Dog Suffering From Food Allergies!