Is your pup scratching themself more than usual? Are their eyes watery?
Those may be signs your dog has allergies. Just like us, dogs can suffer from allergies.
They display allergic symptoms when their immune systems identify certain substances or allergens as a threat. The body responds by going a little haywire. And no matter what you do to treat the symptoms, If they keep coming in contact with allergens, the irritation continues.
Most of the time, you’ll find these allergens are common and can be found everywhere, in your kitchen or backyard. Although they may be safe to other animals, a dog may react differently. They may have a severe allergic reaction to these allergens.
There are different ways allergens can affect your pooch. They can irritate your pup when coming to contact with your dog’s skin, inhaled or consumed. As your dog copes with these allergens, that’s when you notice a range of respiratory, digestive or skin symptoms.
Here are a few more signs your dog has allergies.
Signs Your Dog Has Allergies
Below you’ll find a few tell-tale signs your dog has allergies caused by food or environmental allergens.
Discoloration in Nail Beds
Does your dog appear to have brown, red, or bronze nail beds? Nail discoloration can be noticed especially well in dogs with white nails.
You may observe that your dog’s nail base is quite red. This means that your pup’s immune system is inflamed in response to allergens. It can also mean that they’ve injured their paw, or that they have a thyroid disorder.
Normally, dogs should have white nails, with a pink quick. Also, notice whether your dog seems to itch or licks their nails often.
Frequent Ear Infections
If your furry friend has chronic ear infections, around 2 or 3 times per year, it’s a good sign that they have food allergies. Although ear infections can be caused by ear mites and yeast infections, constantly recurring ear infections throughout the year means that they’re allergic to a certain type of food. It can also mean that they’ve been in the water too much, causing swimmer’s ear.
How does an ear infection look like? Well, you’ll notice smelly ear with a brownish build-up. You’ll also notice your pup shaking their head a lot or constantly scratching their ear.
Lackluster Coat and Itchy Skin
According to Dr. Adam Patterson, clinical assistant professor and Chief of Dermatology at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences Small Animal Clinic,
“Food allergies in dogs present themselves quite differently than food allergies in humans. For instance, a person who is allergic to shellfish may experience throat swelling and possibly a critical or fatal reaction, but in dogs, the allergy is expressed through the skin and seen most often as itch.”
Is your dog losing hair in patches? A dull coat and constant itching are among the signs your dog has allergies. They may be suffering from environmental or food allergies.
If you check their underbelly or skin, it may be pink, dry, or red. Baths, conditioners, or other medications won’t help.
However, shampoo residue on your dog’s skin can also cause these symptoms. It’ll help if you use a milder shampoo and make sure to rinse thoroughly. All-natural shampoos, such as ones that contain oatmeal, coconut oils, or apple cider vinegar is best for your dog’s skin.
Another culprit that may be causing these symptoms to appear are fleas, which can also cause irritated skin.
If your dog suffers from pollen allergy, you can decrease the chances of him being exposed to pollen by wiping down his body with a damp cloth once he enters the house.
When your pup has watery eyes, they may have food or environmental allergies.
Are they excessively scratching their eyes? You may notice some discharge, staining, or irritation around their eyes. Make sure that it isn’t caused by any eye trauma first!
This is easy to spot on your dog, especially if they have a white coat. Their feet, skin, or lips may appear bronze, pink, and inflamed. If it isn’t caused by food allergies, it may mean that they have a yeast infection or sunburn.
Here are a few other signs your dog has allergies:
- Itchy back or tail
- Swollen paws
- Constant licking
What Are Dogs Most Commonly Allergic To?
If you spot some signs your dog has allergies, any of the following common allergens may be the culprit:
- Mold spores
- Dust and dust mites
- Cigarette smoke
- Rubber and plastic materials
- Cleaning products
- Prescription drugs
- Fleas and flea-control products
- Tree, grass and weed pollens
The most common food ingredients that cause allergies include chicken, beef, pork, wheat, corn, or soy. Notice how almost all meat products can cause allergies?
How Vegan Dog Food Can Help
Many veterinarians recommend a vegan diet for dogs afflicted with allergies.
Yes, dogs can be vegan. Previously, we’ve discussed how dogs are omnivores and can thrive on a plant-based diet in Vegan Dogs: Environmentally-Friendly, Happy, and Healthy. Vegan dog food, like Ketunpet, is perfect for those who want to put their dog on a wholesome, complete, and balanced vegan or vegetarian diet.
It’s also a great solution for dogs suffering from allergies. Did you know that after fleas, food allergies are a leading cause of skin allergies?
Most of the time, dogs with food allergies are allergic to proteins, which stems from animal-based ingredients of the diet. Broken down into molecules, the proteins are misidentified by the immune system as a potential threat. Most commonly, it’s due to ingesting meat protein, like chicken, beef, or lamb.
Simply transition your dog to a vegetarian or vegan diet which gets rid of all meat products to help alleviate suffering from food allergies. The great news is that vegan dog food helps cure and prevent other medical problems, including kidney stones and liver disease. It also doesn’t promote animal cruelty and leaves a lower carbon footprint—awesome for the environment!
Over To You
Seeing your best bud afflicted with allergies is hard. Watching them endlessly scratch and itch till their fur falls off and leaves a bald spot is irritating. Imagine how annoying it is for them!
Diagnosing your pup with food allergies is extremely straightforward. However, there are a bunch of other problems that exhibit the same symptoms. There is a possibility that your dog may be suffering from problems other than allergies.
Make sure you identify and rule out all other problems before going on to diagnose for food allergies. Some problems that cause similar symptoms as food allergies include flea bite allergies, intestinal parasite hyersensitivities, atopy, yeast or bacterial infections, and sarcoptic mange. Once you’ve ruled all of these out, then you can let your dog undergo a food trial to determine what type of food causes their allergies.
Whether you’re feeding your dog vegan kibble or homemade dog food, make sure that they’re getting the nutrients they need. Consult with their vet to ensure a balanced diet.