Dogs, like humans are also susceptible to allergies. Seasonal allergies, food allergies, and insect allergies are as common on dogs than they are on humans.
So we really shouldn’t be all that surprised if your dog’s nose and lips suddenly start to swell up after a day at the park. Chances are that it got stung by a bee or wasp.
When the allergy is discovered, the body reacts by creating antibodies to attack the allergen, sometimes endangering the dog. So it is extremely important for all dog owners to be familiar of symptoms of an allergic reaction, particularly the more dangerous ones.
Common Symptoms of an Allergic Reaction
- Intense itching and scratching
- Skin rash, or hives
- Biting of the paws, or nails
- Excessive licking
- Excessive mucus, or saliva
- Inflammation of the ears, nose, mouth, or eyes
- Labored breathing, coughing, or wheezing
- Vomiting, diarrhea, or chronic gas
If any of these symptoms persist with you dog, you need to take action immediately and consult with a veterinarian. Retrace your steps (or your dog’s steps) and try to identify the trigger. If you’ve never seen these symptoms before, then you may be able to cut it down to as single food or environment.
Common Food Allergens
The following are some of the more common food allergens for dogs. However, this list is not exhaustive, as dogs can display allergies to nearly any ingredient, grain or protein.
- Lamb, beef, pork, chicken, fish
- Eggs and dairy
- Soy, corn and wheat
If you’re unable to pinpoint the exact allergen, then try an elimination diet. Feed the dog single ingredient foods, in order to identify which ingredient is causing the issue. If the dog doesn’t have an issue, change it up. Keep changing it until you’ve tested all the typical foods that your dog is normally fed. Once the dog has reaction, you’ll know what is causing the symptoms and eliminate the allergen from their diet.
Grain, particularly wheat has proven to be a major cause for concern in most dog diets. So much so, that many commercial food producers have monetized on this special diet need and started marketing a “Grain-Free” line of food. Some others have protein specific lines of food. In case your dog is allergic to fish, or chicken, you can feed them lamb.
Although difficult, caring for a dog with allergies has certainly become easier thanks to the marketplace. Dog formulated antihistamines are also an option for recurring allergies, or seasonal allergies. So when all else fails, medication is always an option.