How to Care for Your Dog’s Allergies
3 June, 2013

Some dogs can develop allergies which are not dangerous, but can be uncomfortable for them.

Some dog breeds are more susceptible to allergies than others.  While we, humans, tend to experience upper respiratory symptoms when an allergy is triggered, dog allergies generally affect the skin, with intense itching being the first sign. Dogs with allergies often scratch continuously and are miserable, snappish, and generally unpleasant to be around.

Signs that your dog is allergic

The most common signs of allergies include raw skin where the dog has scratched, patches of hair missing, red skin, hives, coughing, sneezing, excessive chewing and licking of paws, watery eyes, vomiting, and diarrhea. While these symptoms may go away after a few days, you should monitor your dog’s behavior to see if the symptoms return. If they do, then you should take your dog to see a vet. Sometimes the cure can be as simple as changing the type of dog food, buying a flea collar or an antihistamine spray to rid your dog of his allergic condition.

Mood swings

When a dog is suffering from allergies, his or her mood might change.  Dogs with allergies can become irritable, lethargic, clingy, or angry. The best way to combat this problem is to learn how to care for your dog once you have isolated the cause of the allergies. This may mean keeping a journal of your dog’s activities and symptoms that you can show the vet, who will be able to recommend treatment.


If you notice that your dog has fleas or that they have been bitten by fleas, you should immediately bathe your dog using a shampoo that will kill fleas and their eggs. You may need to rid your home of fleas as well so that another infestation of fleas does not occur. Buy carpet spray or if the problem is too big, then you may have to call an exterminator. Once the fleas are gone, you should spray your dog every time he or she goes outside. This will prevent new attacks from occurring. If your dog has open bites or wounds from scratching, you will have to wait for them to heal before using a spray or shampoo on your dog.

Food allergies

Some dogs are allergic to different types of food.  If you have recently changed your dog food and your dog is itching or vomiting, he or she could be having an allergic reaction.  If this occurs, try switching back to the old food to make sure that your dog is not allergic.  Make sure to schedule an appointment with your vet that the cause is only an allergy and not an illness.

Groom your dog often

If you have a dog that is allergic to his own hair and/or dander, make sure to groom your dog often.  Make sure to brush your dog every day to remove excess hair and dander, and bathe your dog once a month. Your vet may prescribe an antihistamine if the allergies persist or even a cortisone shot.


If your dog has a sudden appearance of raised, circular, itchy looking scabs on his far or fur, he probably has hives.  Hives are easy to detect as your pup’s hair will stick out in little patches. Frequently, your dog’s eyelids will also swell.  Hives are often cause by insect bites. Hives usually respond well to an antihistamine such as Benadryl. Cortisone may be needed to control a severe case. As always, consult your veterinarian.

I hope that your dog does not develop an allergic condition.  However, if he or she does, do not despair.  Allergies are treatable, just uncomfortable for your pup.

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