Dog allergies aren't something that you hear a lot about, but if you're a dog owner, it's important to know whether or not food allergies are a potential problem for your dog. Having this information can help you take proper care of your canine friend.
Can dogs be allergic to foods?
Yes, dogs can experience food allergies, just like people. However, the symptoms of food allergies in dogs aren't quite the same as the symptoms of food allergies in people. As a result, dog owners often don't realize when their dogs are experiencing this problem.
What are the symptoms of food allergies in dogs?
Different dogs will have different reactions. Some of the most common reactions include:
- Itching. In the midst of an allergic reaction, your dog's face, feet, ears, forelegs or anus may become very itchy. While this is happening, you may notice that your dog obsessively scratches or licks the affected areas.
- Ear infections. Some dogs will get frequent ear infections as a result of their food allergies.
- Puffy or red skin. Your dog may get puffy or red skin as a result of his or her allergies. Depending on how much fur your dog has and where the puffiness and redness is located on your dog's body, this may be hard to spot.
- Hair loss. If you've been feeding your dog foods that he or she is allergic to, you may notice your pet losing fur in patches.
In addition to the milder allergic reactions listed above, your dog can also have a severe reaction. A dog that is severely allergic to a food may experience difficulty breathing or abnormal heart beat. A dog in the midst of a severe allergic reaction may even collapse. If this happens, call a local animal hospital like South Hills Animal Hospital immediately to seek advice.
Is there anything you can do to make your dog more comfortable when he or she is having a mild allergic reaction?
Giving your dog antihistamine for a mild allergic reaction should make him or her more comfortable. To ensure that you know what to do when your dog has an allergic reaction, speak with your dog's veterinarian to find out how much antihistamine is an appropriate dose. The amount of antihistamine your dog can have will be based on your dog's weight and the severity of your dog's allergy.
If you suspect that your dog has food allergies but are not sure, what should you do?
If you believe that your dog may have food allergies, make an appointment with your dog's veterinarian today. He or she can test your dog and diagnose the condition.