Dog allergy symptoms can be caused by a variety of different factors – on this page we will start with how humans can be allergic to dogs (and the symptoms that they might experience) and also the symptoms that a dog might exhibit if he or she experiences an allergic reaction.
Human allergies to Dogs
It is actually quite common for humans to be allergic to certain breeds (bear in mind that over forty percent of families in the United States own a dog).
Studies have shown that in every home in the United States there are some signs of dander even when a pet has not actually lived. Dander are the dead skin cells that fall off your pet. Some people get confused and believe that it is the shedding of hair that causes the allergy symptoms but it is the dander, saliva and urine that causes the problems.
When a person is experiencing an allergic reaction they might sneeze, start itching, cough, wheeze, have a runny nose and runny itchy red eyes.
It is also possible that if a dog licks your arm or face that your body reacts negatively to the saliva – this might cause more extreme symptoms including hives or a skin rash. People that already have an existing health condition like Asthma are more vulnerable to developing a reaction.
What causes allergies to dogs?
As previously mentioned it is not the fur or hair that causes the signs and symptoms of an allergy it is the dead skin cells (dander), saliva and urine that causes the problems. In fact it does not actually matter if your dog has short hair or long hair as this is a misconception – either type can cause negative symptoms as it is not the shedded hair that causes the problem but the dander (flakes of dead skin cells).
Dog allergy symptoms are actually caused by the human body and immune system trying to eliminate the cause by attacking it as if it was a foreign body like a parasite, bacteria or virus. And the symptoms of sneezing, watery eyes, itching etc is a human’s way of trying to get rid of the allergen.
How are allergies to dogs in humans tested?
The normal testing procedure for a person suspected of experiencing dog allergy symptoms is through a RAST test (a skin test referred to as a Radioallergosorbent test).
However, tests for allergies to dogs is not always conclusive and your GP may request that to determine whether it is your dog that is causing the allergic reaction (rather than something that your pooch has carried in from outside) is for you and your dog to spend some time apart. This will help your Doctor to conclusively determine whether it is your dog causing the problems or something else.
Treatment for Dog Allergy Symptoms in humans
The most common treatment for dog allergies is through the antihistamines and decongestants. Most of these treatments you can get from your local pharmacist.
It is always a good idea to reduce the chances of developing an allergy to dogs by making sure that your home is dander free (this is a difficult task but it can be achieved if you vacuum everywhere and wash and clean all areas). Normal vacuum cleaners will not collect all of the allergens so you should purchase one that has a HEPA filter.
Try and keep your pets out of your bedroom – this is the place where you spend most of your time so will reduce the chances of you developing an allergic reaction.
Dog allergy symptoms – what symptoms do dogs show with experiencing an allergic reaction?
The symptoms of allergies in dogs can include…
1. Constant and recurrent ear infections. Smelly ears are a sign of an allergy.
2. Your dog might have excessive hair loss that affect specific areas on your dog’s body.
3. Look out for hot spots on your dog’s body as this is another sign of an allergic reaction.
4. Your dog’s skin may appear dry, flaky and itchy.
5. Your dog’s coat might be in bad condition.
6. You might notice signs on your dog’s body where he or she has been constantly licking and biting.
7. Stomach problems are another symptom of an allergy.
8. Your pooch might paw lick or lick excessively.
9. Vomiting and diarrhea is another symptom.
10. Excessive scratching and itchy runny eyes can be a sign of n allergic reaction.
What causes allergies in dogs?
There are many causes of dog allergy symptoms including food, mold, grass, cleaning materials, cigarette smoke, dust (dust mites), medication, fleas, dander (dead skin cells), feathers and perfumes. The list goes on…
Can dog food cause an allergy in my dog?
The answer to this is yes but some foods are more likely to cause an allergic reaction including corn, wheat, soy, dairy and some meats.
Dogs with food allergies will normally experience bouts of diarrhea, vomiting, breathing and skin problems. To diagnose whether your dog has an allergy to a certain substance the vet will normally undertake a thorough physical examination, blood tests, skin tests and probably a food elimination diet (this will help to determine which dog food (ingredients) are causing the symptoms.
To prevent dog allergy symptoms (depending on the cause) make sure that you wash your pooch on a regular basis (as this will get rid of any external factors that might be causing the issues i.e. mold, grass and pollen etc.
If your dog is allergic to certain foods then you can feed your pooch a hydrolyzed protein diet or a prescription diet based on your vets recommendations. If dust or fleas are the problem make sure that your home is dust free and speak to your vet about the best flea control products.
1. A Guide to skin allergies in dogs: Discover the causes, symptoms and treatment for common skin allergies in dogs including a guide to homeopathic home remedies.
2. A Guide to Dog Food Allergies: Discover the causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment for food allergies in dogs.
Dog Health Problems Online > Allergies