Does your dog have allergies? It is interesting how dogs experience many of the health issues that humans do, including allergies.
Dog allergies can include skin allergies, dog food allergies (particularly corn and soy), house dust and dust mites, ragweed, molds, pollens and others.
Common Signs and Symptoms of Dog Allergies
Common signs and symptoms of dog allergies include your dog licking her paws, scratching her body or pawing at her ears (due to inflammation). In severe cases, you dog may have oozing hot spots on her body. Allergies may be seasonable or your pet may suffer all year round, depending on the allergen.
How to Avoid Allergens
Avoiding allergens should be the first step in treating your dog's allergies. If you suspect your dog may have allergies, see your vet for proper diagnosis and treatment.
If you dog is allergic to dust mites, vets suggest you use a plastic cover over your dog's bed, use a waterproof liner to keep mites from getting in the bed, avoid letting your dog on upholstered furniture and avoid stuffed animals. Dogs with dust mite allergies do best in uncarpeted rooms. Be sure to vacuum very frequently.
If you dog has allergic reactions to pollens, keep him out of fields and tall grasses. Keep your lawn cut short and keep your dog indoors during days with high pollen counts.
How Are Allergies Treated in Dogs?
Typically, mild allergies are treated with soothing shampoos liked oatmeal shampoo, vitamins containing essential fatty acids to help stop itching and keep skin from getting dry. Hydrocortisone spray or shampoo may also help to relieve itching. Check with your vet for other recommendations.
Best Dog Breeds If YOU Have Allergies
If you suffer from dog allergies, the following dog breeds may be a good choice for you because they don't shed much, or have hair rather than fur: Terriers, Chinese Crested (hairless), Italian Greyhound, Maltese (has coat similar to human hair), Shih Tzu (has hair rather than fur), Poodle (little shedding). Other popular low-breeds are crosses with Poodles such as the Cockapoo and Labradoodle. Keep in mind that no dog is completely non-shedding, except perhaps hairless breeds!
Valerie Goettsch is web master of My Favorite Dog, a website featuring dozens of articles and information on where to find the best of everything for your dog, from flea meds to beds, training and designer dog clothes.