Just like humans, dogs can have allergies when their immune systems begin to recognize everyday substances, from food to pollen to grass, as dangerous allergens. Any dog can develop allergies at any time of their life. “Allergies are one of the most common problems presented at our vet hospital” says Melinda Miller, hospital director of Smith Ridge Veterinary Center, South Salem, NY. The environment is filled with common allergens that will be innocuous to most animals. But a dog with allergies may react with a variety of symptoms. Allergens may be ingested, inhaled or contact a dog’s skin. As the dog’s body struggles to get rid of the allergic substances, skin, respiratory and digestive issues may occur.
“My own approach to allergies begins with the premise that an allergy isn’t the root cause of the symptoms it manifests. It’s the symptom itself, which flares up when a dog’s immune system has become sensitized to an allergen. This is usually secondary to a buildup over time of toxicity that has affected the immune system. Genetics may be involved: a pet with a family history of allergies is definitely likelier to have them.” Martin Goldstein, DVM.
Here are the general symptoms of allergic dogs:
Chewing on feet
General itching and scratching
Red, flakey, crusty, scabbed skin
Runny, itchy eyes
Gunky, itchy ears
Recurring yeast and bacterial infections
Chewing the base of the tail
Diarrhea and general digestive upsets
If your dog is suffering with any of the above symptoms, pursuing a diagnosis is a worthwhile endeavor. Often this process is easier said than done. Even though allergies are a very common problem, a definitive diagnosis can be evasive. Consult with your vet regarding the types of testing available for determining allergies. Some of the more common allergens are:
Pollen from trees, grass and weeds
Flea and tick products
Pesticides and chemicals sprayed in yards
Rubber and plastics
There are steps you can take immediately to help your dog’s body deal with allergies. Getting your dog’s body detoxified would be the first step towards a healthier immune system. Pet Pantry Warehouse offers a wide range of quality foods with a simple ingredient profile that will help to build a stronger immune system. Our staff will take a complete look at everything your dog ingests – from food to treats to chews. Integrative veterinarians also recommend minimizing vaccines and pesticides to aid the detoxifying process.