A dog scratching.

Itchy, watery eyes, red skin, or a symphony of sneezes could signal that your canine companion is battling allergies. Our team at Leon Valley Veterinary Hospital is here to help you get to the root cause of your pup’s itching and scratching. By working together, we can alleviate those uncomfortable symptoms of dog allergies. 

First, let’s talk about common allergens and their related symptoms. Then, we’ll cover three ways to curb that chronic discomfort and get your itchy dog back to his playful, happy-go-lucky self.

Common Allergens

When it comes to environmental allergens, common culprits include grasses and pollens; weeds; molds and fungi; and flea saliva (from flea bites). The top foods responsible for dog allergies include dairy products, certain meats (primarily beef, lamb, and chicken), eggs, soy, and gluten.

Allergy Symptoms

Dog allergies often manifest as skin conditions, but respiratory symptoms can also be present. Be on the lookout for the following signs: 

  • Sneezing; red or watery eyes; or nasal discharge
  • Respiratory congestion
  • Itchy, flaky skin, or other skin abnormalities
  • Bald patches
  • Chronic ear infections
  • Frequent head shaking
  • Scratching at one or both ears 
  • An odor coming from the ears
  • Excessive licking of the paws or anus

3 Ways to Curtail All That Itching

  1. Visit the Vet

Before embarking on any treatment plan, a diagnosis is in order. A thorough examination and, if necessary, blood work and allergy testing will point us in the right direction. Mild allergies or skin issues may be treated effectively with antihistamines, and if fleas are to blame, something as simple as a flea preventive could return your dog to good health. 

  1. Mitigate the Allergen in Your Dog’s Environment

Depending upon the outcome of your dog’s visit with the vet, there are steps you can take to optimize your dog’s health while limiting his exposure to a suspected allergen, including:

  • Use effective parasite prevention year round.
  • All dogs need high-quality, healthy diets, and therapeutic diets are available that are formulated especially for dogs with allergies.
  • Bathe your dog often and wipe off his coat using baby wipes after a walk. 
  • Wash his blankets frequently using a detergent that is free of dyes and fragrances, and replace his dog bed at least once a year.
  • Administer allergy serum or medication as prescribed by your veterinarian.
  • Use household cleaning products that are safe around pets.
  • Vacuum your home frequently and change your furnace filter as recommended.
  1. Be Diligent With Preventive Measures

Allergies aren’t something you treat once and cure. Your dog’s allergies will need ongoing care and management to keep him comfortable and healthy. It may take a little trial and error to find out exactly what’s making your dog itch, but by staying diligent with preventive measures and recommended treatments, your dog will feel better, look better, and enjoy an enhanced quality of life. 

Please contact us if your dog is displaying symptoms of allergies or if you have any questions for us. We are here to help!