Allergies are not an obstacle that only humans go through. Many puppies of all sizes and breeds suffer from allergies every year, varying on type and degree of severity. It can be frustrating as a puppy parent to see your fur-baby constantly scratching or licking their skin—and unfortunately, these symptoms rarely ever go away on their own.
So how can you detect an allergic reaction in your furry family member? And what can you do to help them? Let’s take a look at some common puppy allergies and how you can help relieve your fur-baby’s symptoms.
Common Allergies in Puppies
Whether it’s dust mites or food, puppies can experience allergies from anything they come into contact with. Atopy and food are the main allergies found in puppies and adult dogs—and as such, this will be the main focus of this blog post.
Atopy refers to environmental allergies that can cause a reaction in your pup’s skin. For instance, you may notice your puppy licking or chewing their skin more often during springtime than any other season. This is because your puppy’s body releases large amounts of histamine in response to the high concentrations of pollen that occur during this season.
Your furry friend can also be allergic to certain ingredients in their food, especially if in excessive amounts. A high-protein, wheat or corn diet, for example, may cause allergic symptoms (and other health problems!) in your pup. It’s important to notify your puppy’s vet if you think their food is causing their allergies.
How to Spot Allergic Reactions
Puppies, like all dogs, primarily exhibit allergy symptoms through their skin. While it can be difficult to differentiate between a regular scratch behind the ear and an allergic reaction, there are clear signs that separate the two.
If your puppy has allergies, they will lick, scratch chew, and/or bite their skin until it becomes reddened and infected—these are called “hotspots.” The itching and scratching will also start seasonally, and may fluctuate in severity afterwards.
Food allergies can also cause your pup’s skin problems and may show up as itchy ears or backs. Your fur-baby may also vomit, have chronic diarrhea and feel under the weather after eating their food.
Treatments and Prevention
It’s sad to see our furry babies go through those pesky allergies like we do, but fortunately, there are many helpful methods and tips to stop and prevent these symptoms from ever happening!
- Clean and protect healing “hotspots.” If your puppy has a “hotspot” on their skin, you can definitely clean the wound with a mild antiseptic spray. You can also place a pet cone around their heads to prevent them from continuing to lick and bite at the wound.
- Wipe your puppy after walks. Puppy or dog grooming wipes are quick and easy way to remove pollen, dust and other allergens from your pup’s skin, especially after you’ve just taken a walk and don’t have time to bathe them. A variety of hypoallergenic puppy wipes are available online and in stores.
- Use hypoallergenic products. To alleviate your fur-baby’s skin problems, you can use a good hypoallergenic shampoo that will wash away any dander or allergens from their fur and treat/prevent allergies from occuring. If your pup has food allergies, there are many hypoallergenic dog foods for sale. You should, however, work with your vet to make sure your puppy’s food is truly hypoallergenic or look at the ingredients yourself.
- Decide on medical treatments. Consult your puppy’s vet on the best options for allergy medications. With your vet’s advice, you can decide on whether to provide your pup with antihistamines, medicated sprays, or even allergy shots. Your vet can also give your puppy an allergy test to determine what is the cause of your furry baby’s allergies.
There are a lot of outside factors that can create a health problem for your little puppy, which can cause them to become sad and physically ill. It’s best to know the causes of your puppy’s allergies and to talk to your vet before deciding on any medications or treatments. Once you find the best way to treat your pup’s symptoms, your furry friend will be much happier and healthier!
To learn more about your puppy’s physical health, read our other blog: Signs That Your Dog Is Not Getting Enough Exercise.