Updated - Oct 15th, 2022
It’s allergy season again! Allergies are a common health condition for our furry friends, and just like humans, our pets are prone to experiencing more allergic symptoms as the seasons change. If you suspect that your dog is experiencing seasonal allergies, follow this guide for signs and symptoms to look out for, and learn how you can treat your dog’s allergic reactions.
Dog allergy symptoms
Much like humans, allergy-like symptoms can be connected to a variety of conditions. Determining whether those signs and symptoms stem from allergies can be complicated, but if you notice that your dog is experiencing any of the following, consider contacting a veterinarian to rule out the possibility of allergies.
- Runny nose
- Watery eyes
- Recurring ear infections
- Swelling or irritated skin
- Red, itchy skin
- Hair loss
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Diagnosing seasonal allergies in dogs
If you talk to your veterinarian about potential seasonal allergies in your dog, they will likely first want to ensure that it’s not a more serious condition causing your dog’s symptoms. Dogs can experience allergy-like symptoms from a number of health issues, including parasites like worms or ticks or dog influenza.
Once your vet rules out other conditions, they may suggest allergy testing to help determine the type of allergy that your pup is experiencing. To eliminate the possibility of food allergies, your vet may also suggest an elimination diet. This is a trial period that consists of feeding your dog one source of protein and carbohydrate at a time, for three months, and evaluating symptom improvement.
Treating Allergies in Dogs
Once the allergen is determined, the most effective treatment is avoiding that allergen. This may be simple with allergy triggers such as food or fleas, but can be a bit tricker if it’s an environmental allergen such as grass pollen or dust mites.
In addition to lifestyle changes, your veterinarian may prescribe your dog antihistamines or other allergy medication to resolve any histamine intolerances. Other medications may also be prescribed to treat your dog’s symptoms, such as ointments to apply to your dog’s skin or eye drops to provide relief for dry eyes. Your veterinarian might also suggest over-the-counter supplements, such as fish oil that contains good fatty acids that work to strengthen your dog’s immune system.