Common allergies in dogs and puppies

Learn how to spot the signs of possible allergies in your dog.

Adult Husky, outside, in sand pit, enjoying some exercise

You want your dog to feel comfortable and happy. So it can be upsetting to see them itching, biting their skin or showing other signs of a potential allergy. 

Many things can cause allergies in dogs. These can range from environmental allergens such as pollen to flea saliva, and some dogs might even suffer allergic reactions to insect stings and certain household products. 

If your dog is showing signs of a possible allergy, it’s important to seek advice from a vet as soon as possible.  

They’ll be able to investigate for other causes or secondary problems – such as mites, and bacterial or fungal infections. 

The sooner you get help, the faster your dog can get treatment, and feel comfortable and happy again.  

Signs your dog may have an allergy

There are many signs that could indicate your dog has an allergy – from mild to severe. These are some of the most common: 

  • itchy, sore or broken skin (your dog may scratch or lick themselves more than usual) 

  • their ears may look red, sore or have black or yellow discharge (your dog may keep scratching them) 

  • fur loss in patches over their body 

  • red or sore skin between their toes (they may keep licking or biting their feet) 

  • swollen skin, especially around the muzzle and/or eyes 

  • hives (a raised rash) 

  • breathing difficulties (more commonly seen with severe allergic reactions or anaphylaxis which can be life threatening and requires immediate veterinary attention 

  • vomiting and/or diarrhoea (more commonly seen with severe allergic reactions or anaphylaxis which can be life threatening, and requires immediate veterinary attention) 

  • weight loss 

  • collapse. 

The above signs may not be associated with an allergy, and instead might be related to a different disease process. It’s always important to seek veterinary attention if your dog is showing any signs of being unwell.  

Contacting your vet

If your dog is showing signs of a possible allergy, you’ll need to get veterinary advice straight away.  

It may be helpful to make a note before your vet appointment of your dog’s recent health including their diet and activities, and where and when they started showing signs of a possible allergy. This will help ensure your vet has all the relevant information.  

From itchy dog to happy hound 

Should your vet diagnose your dog with an allergy, then there are steps you can take to ease the symptoms. These may include medication and managing the dog’s environment.  

With a vet-approved plan in place, your faithful friend should soon be feeling better. 

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