Have you observed your dog scratching, losing fur, or even getting ear infections? Has anyone suggested these symptoms may be dog allergies?
Dogs get allergies, just like humans, but their allergy symptoms can be quite different from human allergy symptoms. As a result, many pet owners may miss the signs and symptoms of dog allergies.
But when we find out that our dog has allergies, what can we do about it?
With the right treatment program, you can make your dog so much more comfortable! Read on to learn how.
What are Dog Allergies?
Dog allergies come in 4 main forms:
- Flea allergic dermatitis (insect proteins from flea saliva).
- Food allergies (dairy, wheat, corn, etc).
- Environmental allergies (like pollen, mold, dust mites).
- Acute allergies (such as from a bee sting).
Where do allergies come from? The basic allergy mechanism is the same as in humans: the body gets a stimulus and instead of it seeming like a benign substance, it triggers an immune system response. To get a little more technical: the allergen’s proteins combine with antibodies and get attached to mast cells. The mast cells trigger histamines, powerful chemicals generated by the immune system.
Bottom line: in an allergic response, the immune system (which should protect the body) ends up attacking the body. That’s how you get all kinds of allergy symptoms.
Do Dogs Cough and Sneeze from Allergies?
Allergy symptoms in dogs usually look quite different from the ones in humans. Yes, they may get itchy eyes, a runny nose, and sneezing. But more commonly, dog allergy symptoms look like:
- Excessive scratching or licking
- Skin inflammation
- Hair falling out in clumps or patches
- Swelling around the eyes or ears
- Ear infections
- Changes in appetite
- Digestive distress like gas, vomiting, and/or diarrhea
- Unpleasant odors from the skin, ears, or eye discharge
Over time, dogs with allergies also have an increased likelihood of developing rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
How Do You Treat Dog Allergies
Successful allergy treatment for dogs depends upon the type of allergy and may require a protocol for success. Sometimes, the allergen can just be avoided, like in the case of food allergies. Switching to a hypoallergenic food can relieve many allergy symptoms. For flea allergic dermatitis, killing the fleas eliminates the reaction.
In the case of a severe acute allergic reaction, like swelling or difficulty breathing, seek emergency veterinary care.
For most allergies, such as environmental allergies, or food allergies which do not resolve by switching foods, you’ll need more help, often in the form of medicine. But there are also natural treatments for allergies, such as CBD for dog allergies (more about that later).
What are the Side Effects of Allergy Medicine for Dogs?
Sometimes medicine is used for dog allergies, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl), cetirizine (Zyrtec) or loratadine (Claritin). However, human over-the-counter (OTC) medications like these often contain decongestants, dyes, or other ingredients which may be harmful to dogs. So vets may use dog versions of these same allergy medications.
Allergy medications also have side effects, such as hyperactivity or lethargy/drowsiness, or digestive symptoms like diarrhea or vomiting.
Can You Treat Dog Allergy Symptoms Naturally?
Not only do natural remedies for dog allergies have fewer side effects, they can also be more effective. CBD for dog allergies can help restore homeostasis, a state of harmony in your beloved fur baby’s body.
Unlike medications, which simply suppress histamine reactions or otherwise interfere in the immune system response which causes allergies, CBD can help regulate immune system function.
What are the Side Effects of CBD for Dog Allergies?
CBD rarely has side effects for dogs. There’s some possibility of a dog being allergic to hemp products, but that is extremely rare. Dogs can also experience digestive distress, like diarrhea, with any dietary change, but with CBD that’s usually just a sign that you gave too much. Some dogs get lethargic with CBD products, but again, scaling back the dosage usually resolves drowsiness issues.
Which CBD Should You Use for Dog Allergies?
Regular CBD consumption can help regulate your dog’s allergies. Taking oral CBD oil works great! Or get dog CBD treats to use as training rewards and a supplement. NOTE: never use human CBD oil or supplements for your pet, as they may contain xylitol (a common sweetener) or other ingredients which may be harmful or toxic for dogs.
For immediate relief from irritated skin, our Oatmeal Anti-itch CBD Shampoo can help soothe allergic skin reactions.
These CBD treatments often work better than leading medicines.