How can I help my dog's allergies?

The truth may surprise you. 

Pet allergies are caused by an overreaction of the immune system to a particular substance, called an allergen. The allergen could be anything from flea saliva to grass pollen. When a dog comes into contact with an allergen, their immune system produces antibodies to fight off the perceived threat. These antibodies then release chemicals, such as histamine, which cause the symptoms of an allergic reaction.

There are a number of things you can do to help your dog if they suffer from allergies:

  • Try to identify the allergen and avoid exposure to it where possible
  • Talk to your vet about suitable antihistamines or other medication
  • Consider allergy testing and immunotherapy (desensitisation) if your dog's allergies are severe
  • Keep your dog's skin clean and free of irritants
  • Provide a healthy diet to support your dog's immune system
  • Make sure your dog has regular access to a clean, fresh water supply

Dog allergies can be caused by many different things, so it's important to get professional help in order to determine the best course of treatment. Depending on the severity of the allergies, treatment can range from simple changes in diet or environment to medication or even shots. No matter what the cause of your dog's allergies, there are steps you can take to help ease his symptoms and provide him with relief.

Types of allergies in dogs

Allergies are misguided reactions by immune systems that cause irritability in humans and animals. Some dogs suffer from allergic reactions. Skin allergies, food allergies, and environmental allergies all pose problems to a dog.



There are many different things that can cause allergies in pets, just as there are in people. Dog allergies can be caused by food, pollen, dust, dander, and even certain medications. In some cases, the exact cause of the allergies may never be determined.

Food allergies

Food allergies in animals occur when the immune system to overreacts to a protein found in food. These allergies are not caused by food intolerance, which is more common.

Types of Food Allergies

Dogs can be allergic to any number of ingredients, including wheat, corn, soy, chicken, beef, and dairy. If you think your dog has a food allergy, it's important to work with your vet to narrow down the list of potential allergens and find a diet that will work for your pet.

Skin allergies

Skin allergy or allergic dermatitis are the common allergic reactions in dogs. In cats, skin allergies include flea allergy dermatitis, which occurs when fleas irritate the skin. Flea allergy dermatitis is the most common skin allergy in dogs. Dog skin allergies can also be caused by food, inhalants, and contact allergies.

Environmental allergies

Another common cause of allergies in dogs is environmental factors such as pollen, dust, and dander. If your dog is allergic to these things, you'll need to take steps to reduce his exposure to them. This can mean anything from keeping him inside during pollen season to using air purifiers or special shampoos and conditioners.

Acute allergic reactions

Dogs may also experience shock from an acute allergic reaction. This could be deadly without proper treatment. Bee stings and vaccination reactions may be the reason some dogs have an anaphylactic reaction to certain medications or products. However, an allergic reaction to a drug can occur rarely in cats.

In some cases, an allergic reaction can be caused by medications or other chemicals. If your dog is taking any medication, it's important to talk to your vet about the possibility of allergic reactions. Some dogs may also be allergic to things like flea collars or tick preventive medication. If you think your dog's allergies might be caused by a chemical, it's important to stop using the product and talk to your vet right away.

What can I give my dog for allergies?

There is no cure for allergies, but there are many ways to manage them and relieve your dog's symptoms. The best way to treat allergies is to avoid exposure to the allergen where possible.

If you can't avoid exposure, there are a number of medications that can help to relieve your dog's symptoms. Antihistamines are often effective in relieving the itchiness associated with allergies. Your vet may also prescribe corticosteroids or other immunosuppressive drugs for more severe cases. Allergy shots (immunotherapy) may also be an option for some dogs.

Non-medical Treatments

In addition to medication, there are a number of things you can do at home to relieve your dog's allergies. Giving your dog a bath with a mild, hypoallergenic shampoo can help to remove allergens from the skin and coat. You can also try using a humidifier in your home to reduce dryness and itchy skin. It's important to avoid using harsh shampoos or chemicals on your dog's skin, as these can further irritate the skin and make the allergies worse.

Should I Give My Dog Medication?

In some cases, medication may be necessary to control your dog's allergies. Antihistamines can be helpful for mild allergy symptoms, but they may not be effective for more severe reactions. If antihistamines don't work, your vet may recommend corticosteroids or other immunosuppressive drugs. These oral medications can be effective, but they can have side effects, so it's important to talk to your vet about the risks and benefits before starting any medication.


Allergy shots are another option for treating allergies in dogs. Shots contain small amounts of the substances your dog is allergic to, and they help desensitize your dog to the allergens over time. Shots are generally only recommended for dogs with severe allergies that haven't responded to other treatment methods.

Symptoms of allergies in dogs

The most common signs of an allergic reaction in dogs are itchy skin, redness and swelling of the skin, rashes, hair loss, and excessive licking or chewing. If your dog is displaying any of these symptoms, it's important to take him to the vet for a diagnosis. Allergies can be uncomfortable for your dog, and they can also lead to secondary infections if the skin is broken from excessive licking or scratching.

What are the symptoms of food allergy in dogs?

Food allergy occurs when your dog is exposed to certain ingredients in food. Food allergies can cause a variety of symptoms in dogs, including:



-Runny nose

-Watery eyes





If your has food allergies, the first step is to work with your vet to identify the offending ingredients. Once you know what your dog is allergic to, you can switch him to a hypoallergenic diet that doesn't contain any of the allergens. There are a number of commercially available hypoallergenic diets, or your vet may recommend a homemade diet.

What are symptoms of seasonal allergies?

Seasonal allergies, also called atopy, are a type of allergy that occurs when your dog is exposed to certain environmental allergens, such as pollen, dust mites, or mold spores. Seasonal allergies can cause a variety of dog allergy symptoms, including:



-Runny nose

-Watery eyes



If your dog is experiencing any of these symptoms, it's important to talk to your vet right away. With proper treatment, most affected dogs with seasonal allergies can live happy and healthy lives.

What Are the Symptoms of Environmental Allergies?

Environmental allergies, also called contact allergies, are a type of allergy that occurs when your dog comes into contact with certain substances, such as chemicals, laundry detergent, or shampoo. Environmental allergies can cause a variety of symptoms in dogs, including:





-Bald spots

-Excessive licking or chewing




If your dog is experiencing any of these symptoms, it's important to take him to the vet right away.

Is there an allergy test for dogs?

Yes, there are allergy tests for dogs. Allergy testing can be done by a vet, and it usually involves taking a blood sample from your dog. The blood sample is then sent to a laboratory for analysis.

Allergy testing can be helpful in determining the cause of your dog's allergies, but it's important to remember that the test is not always accurate. In some cases, an affected dog may test positive for an allergy even if he does not have the allergy. Allergy testing is usually only recommended for dogs with severe allergies that haven't responded to other treatment methods.

How long does allergy season last for dogs?

Allergies are common in dogs and cats, and can be seasonal or year-round. Seasonal allergies are especially frequent during the winter season when trees produce more pollen.

Keep in mind that seasonal allergies can progress from season to non-seasonal. Furthermore, if a pet has allergy-related problems during one season, this does not rule out lesser ones during other seasons. Looking at the precise time of year when your pet's allergies occur can be a helpful way to start narrowing down the potential causes.

Tree pollen allergies are most relevant in the spring season. And these allergies can be quite intense, as tree pollen can be flying everywhere! Grass and weed pollen are “warm weather” allergens, as these plants pollinate in the warmer months including early fall. Environmental allergens can be strictly seasonal, or may be a year round allergen, depending on where you live. 

What about probiotics?

Probiotics are live microorganisms that are similar to the beneficial microorganisms found in the gut. Probiotics are often called "good" or "helpful" bacteria because they help keep the gut healthy.

There is some evidence that probiotics may help reduce the symptoms of allergies in dogs. Probiotics can be given to dogs in a variety of ways, including food, supplements, and treats. If you're considering giving your dog probiotics, it's important to talk to your vet first.


If you believe your dog is suffering from allergies, please take him or her to the veterinarian for a proper diagnosis. There are many different types of allergies in dogs, and the only way to find out what is causing your pup’s symptoms is through a medical examination. Once your veterinarian has determined the cause of your dog’s allergies, they will be able to prescribe an appropriate course of treatment. In the meantime, there are some things you can do at home to help make your dog more comfortable. Giving your pet probiotics may provide relief from certain allergy symptoms, and keeping them away from known allergens can also help. Thanks for reading!




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