Dogs With Allergies?

Unlike in the olden days, today we recognize that the body can experience an allergic reaction to just about anything, including foods, drugs, and chemicals.  In dogs, allergies are affected in the skin and the gastrointestinal system.  Frequently dog allergies are mistaken for signs of other, often more common conditions.  Itchy skin, and especially itchy ears, it is commonly attributed to parasites, while food poisoning from scavenging is often erroneously thought to be the cause of either vomiting or diarrhea. In dogs most allergies are caused by allergens and the environment, only 15% is actually caused by food.  The most common cause is the house dust mite and, somewhat poetically, human dander.  Yes, humans can make a dog sick. Dogs with white coats are especially prone to an allergic reaction to the chemicals injected by fleas when they bite, a single bite can lead to the dog’s whole body flaring up.  Of course, fungal spores can also precipitate an allergic response. Just like in humans where allergies tend to run in the family, the same applies to dogs.  Ancient breeds like the Shar-Pei and the Japanese Akita are more susceptible to skin allergies whereas the Golden Retrievers and Westies are susceptible to gastrointestinal allergies.

Reduce the risk of allergy

Flea control should be very high on the list of measures to reduce the risk and severity of an allergic skin reaction, as well as routine shampooing.  The Terrier’s rough coat, for example, is adept at capturing two causes of allergy, namely the mold spores and pollens, but washing can remove them.  Fatty acids found in fish oil or linseed oil added to the daily diet is beneficial in reducing the allergic response.  Any dog that suffers from chronic allergies skin or gastrointestinal should be fed a unique, change diet, such as fish and potato for at least six weeks, to determine whether food is a complicating factor.