Caring for Dogs with Allergies
Some dog breeds are more susceptible to allergies than others. This may be because of small nasal passages, allergic reactions to flea bites, irritable stomachs that make digesting food difficult, or they may be allergic to their own hair and dander. Dogs that have allergies include the following breeds: Bishon Frise, terrier, retrievers, beagles, setters, and boxers. All dogs have the potential to be allergic to something, however.
The most common signs of allergies include raw skin where the dog has scratched, patches of hair missing, red skin, hives, coughing, sneezing, excessive chewing and licking of paws, watery eyes, vomiting, and diarrhea. While these symptoms may go away after a few days, you should monitor your dog’s behavior to see if the symptoms return. If they do, then you should take your dog to see a vet. Sometimes changing the type of dog food or buying a flea collar or spray is enough to help eliminate your dog’s allergy problems.
When a dog is suffering from allergies, their mood may change. They may become irritable, lethargic, clingy, or angry. Discipline will not work when the dog is having allergy issues. The best way to combat this problem is to learn how to care for your dog once you have isolated the cause of the allergies. This may mean keeping a journal of your dog’s activities and symptoms that you can show the vet, who will be able to recommend treatment.
Some smaller breeds may have breathing issues as they age, there is little that can be done except to keep their sleeping area clean, vacuum often, and consider buying a hepa filter that will trap dust, particles, and other air pollutants that are in the air. While it is important that all dogs get their exercise, when it is cold outside, keep small breeds indoors and play with them. This will keep them from getting head colds, which could make breathing even worse.
If you notice that your dog has fleas or that they have been bitten by fleas, you should bathe your dog using a shampoo that will kill fleas and their eggs. You may need to rid your home of fleas as well so that reinfestation does not occur. Buy carpet spray or if the problem is too big, then you may have to call an exterminator. Once the fleas are gone, you should spray your dog every time the dog goes outside. This will prevent new attacks from occurring. If the dog has open bites or wounds from scratching, you will have to wait for them to heal before using a spray or shampoo on your dog.
Vomiting can occur if your dog is allergic to the food it receives. You should first visit the vet to see if the problem isn’t internal. They may recommend a new food for the dog. This should stop the vomiting and diarrhea.
Dogs that are allergic to their own hair and dander have the worst allergies of all because there is little that can be done. You should make sure your dog is groomed regularly, brush your dog everyday to remove excess hair and dander, and bathe your dog once a month. Your vet may prescribe an anti-histamine if the allergies persist.