Learning how to care for dogs with allergies is important. Having a thorough understanding of the allergens that trigger your pet's symptoms is the first step towards improving symptoms.
In this post, we will identify common allergens. We will also explore hypoallergenic grooming products and allergy-friendly dog treats, both designed to minimise your dog’s exposure to offending allergens.
We'll recommend how to best create an allergy-friendly home and manage allergic reactions with support from your local vet.
With these insights at hand, you'll be better equipped on how to care for dogs with allergies.
Table Of Contents:
- Identifying Common Allergens
- Hypoallergenic Grooming Products for Dogs
- Allergy-Friendly Dog Treats
- Creating an Allergy-Friendly Home Environment
- Managing Allergic Reactions in Dogs
- FAQs in Relation to Care for Dogs With Allergies
- Ian's Wrap
Identifying Common Allergens
Just like us humans, our furry friends can also suffer from allergies.
It's essential to understand what allergens your dog might be sensitive to so you can provide it with the best care possible.
In Australia, some of the most common allergens that affect dogs include:
- Food Allergy: Certain foods including beef, chicken, grains and seafood could potentially cause food allergies in some dogs leading them to have gastrointestinal problems or skin irritations.
- Flea Allergy: Flea allergy dermatitis is when a dog's immune system has an extreme reaction to flea bites and flea saliva. This should be managed with flea control methods.
- Pollen Allergy: Pollen is a common outdoor allergen for dogs. Dogs may experience itchy skin or respiratory symptoms if they're allergic to certain types of tree or grass pollen.
- Dust Mite Allergy: Dust mites are microscopic creatures that live in household dust. They feed on dead skin cells shed by people and pets and can trigger an immune response in some dogs. Indoor allergens such as dust mites can cause year-round issues for your pooch.
- Mould Spore Allergy: Mould spores present both indoors and outdoors and can lead to allergy symptoms in dogs when they inhale these tiny particles.
If you suspect your pet has developed an allergy but aren't sure what's causing it, consider consulting with a veterinary dermatologist.
A vet dermatologist can carry out tests to detect any allergens that may be affecting your pup, so you can make the needed adjustments at home to keep your dog comfortable.
Remember - every dog is unique; what causes an immune response in one might not bother another at all.
Hypoallergenic Grooming Products for Dogs
If your furry mate is suffering from allergies, switch to hypoallergenic grooming products. These are gentle on sensitive skin and help reduce allergic reactions.
Regular grooming products contain harsh chemicals, artificial fragrances and dyes that can trigger allergies in dogs.
At Zach's Pet Shop, we offer an array of top-notch hypoallergenic grooming items. Here are some top picks:
- Everyday 2in1 Natural Dog Wash - DoggieBalm: This dog wash combines shampoo and conditioner into one easy step. It's made with natural ingredients so is gentle on skin while leaving fur soft and shiny.
- Doggie Wipes - DoggieBalm: Perfect for quick clean-ups between baths or after walks, these wipes are unscented and alcohol-free. They are gentle enough to be used daily on skin, coat and paws.
- Grooming Wipes - Natural Dog Company: These high-quality wipes are alcohol-free, hypoallergenic and made from all-natural ingredients making them suitable for sensitive dogs. They contain aloe vera which can be soothing on itchy skin.
Oatmeal shampoos can also be very soothing for atopic dermatitis and other skin irritation that dogs tend to experience.
Allergy-Friendly Dog Treats
Dogs with food allergies deserve treats too! But finding suitable options can be tough.
For pups with allergies, single-protein treats are a great option. These treats contain fewer ingredients and only one protein source, making it easier to identify and avoid potential allergens.
At Zach's Pet Shop, we provide a selection of hypoallergenic dog snacks for those furry friends with food sensitivities:
- Kangaroo Liver - Freeze Dry Australia: These tasty treats have minimal ingredients with only one protein source - nutritious, lean kangaroo meat. They are free from cheap fillers which often cause allergic reactions in sensitive dogs.
- Chicken Hearts - Freeze Dry Australia: These popular treats are freeze-dried to retain maximum nutrients and flavour. They only contain 100% raw chicken hearts, making them hypoallergenic and suitable for dogs on single-protein diets.
- Green Lip Mussels - Freeze Dry Australia: With only one protein source and no cheap fillers, these hypoallergenic treats are tasty and perfect to use as training treats.
When introducing new foods to your pet's diet, do so gradually over several days to avoid upsetting their stomach.
Monitor for signs of any unfavourable responses, such as skin rashes or digestion problems. And always consult with a vet before making significant changes to your dog's diet.
Creating an Allergy-Friendly Home Environment
Reduce your dog's contact with allergens at home using these practical steps:
- Regular Cleaning: Keep your home clean, especially in areas where your dog spends most of its time. Dust furniture and vacuum carpets and rugs regularly.
- Washing Items: Regularly wash bedding and toys in hypoallergenic detergent. This can help remove pollen and dust.
- Air Purifiers: Invest in an air purifier to remove pollen, dust mites and other potential airborne allergens.
- Limit Outdoor Time: The outdoors can harbour environmental allergens like grass pollens or mould spores. If possible, try limiting outdoor activities during peak pollen seasons or after rain when mould spores may be high.
Making these changes might seem overwhelming initially, but every small step contributes towards providing relief for your pup.
Managing Allergic Reactions in Dogs
If your dog is suffering from allergic reactions, the first step is to book a visit with your local vet for advice specific to your dog's needs.
A vet may recommend the following allergy management approaches:
- Allergy Testing: Your vet may conduct a skin test or blood test to identify offending allergens.
- Medication: Your vet may recommend medication such as antihistamines or corticosteroids to relieve allergy symptoms. This could be in the form of allergy shots or tablets. Never give your dog any medication without speaking to your vet first.
- Diet Changes: If food allergens are suspected, you may need to switch your dog onto a hypoallergenic or single-protein diet which eliminates common triggers (such as grains or specific proteins).
- Avoiding Environmental Allergens: Avoid known environmental triggers whenever possible. This may involve regularly cleaning your house, washing bedding, minimising exposure to the outdoors for seasonal allergies, or flea control.
Always consult with a trusted veterinarian before making any major changes to your dog's care routine.
FAQs in Relation to Care for Dogs With Allergies
What are the Symptoms of Allergies in Dogs?
Common allergy symptoms dogs experience include itchiness, rash, excessive licking or scratching, redness, ear infections, and respiratory issues. If your dog is suffering a severe allergic reaction, contact your local vet.
How Can I Figure Out What My Dog is Allergic To?
Seek advice from a local vet that has treated dogs with allergies before. They will likely put your dog on an elimination diet, to identify food allergies. If this does not work, they may conduct allergy testing to identify contact allergies.
What are the Most Common Dog Food Allergies?
The most common dog food allergens include chicken, beef, grains, dairy, eggs and gluten.
Learning how to care for dogs with allergies requires a multi-faceted approach, including identifying common allergens, creating an allergy-friendly home environment to prevent reactions, and consulting with your veterinarian to manage allergic reactions when they occur.
Keep your dog comfortable and healthy with proper care, and enjoy a long, happy life together!
With an impressive track record of nearly 15 years, Ian has been supplying high-quality pet products to Australians, earning their trust and loyalty.