Dog Allergies at Home: 10 Common Things That Could Be Hurting Your Pet
Dog allergies are more common than many owners realize. Humans are all too aware of the effects allergies can have on us. What we often forget is that our pets are also susceptible to those same reactions. The causes may vary, but they can still have an adverse effect on your dog’s health and comfort. The following list discusses 10 allergens that are found in our homes.
- Flea & Flea Medication Allergy
No one wants fleas on their pet, but some dogs have a particularly difficult time with these annoying little parasites. Some canines experience extreme discomfort from flea saliva left behind by bites. They may itch far more than the number of fleas on their body would warrant.
Some dogs have an Allergy to flea medication, which can complicate things if your pet develops a flea problem. Carefully monitor your pet when giving them a preventative treatment for the first time.
- Pollen Allergy
Pollen can make us sneeze and sniffle, and it can also cause a reaction in our dogs. To reduce the effects, keep your dog away from pollen-producing plants. Wash your pup’s feet before bringing him or her in the house and bathe regularly to reduce exposure.
- Bleach Allergy
There are several chemicals used in common cleaning products which can be harmful to dogs. We asked the professionals at Connect Cleaners and they said the most common which causes irritation is bleach. This common chemical contains sodium hypochlorite which can irritate your pet’s skin and paws. Keep this in mind when using bleach on any surface your dog may come in contact with, like the floor. Natural alternatives are available to keep your furry friend safe.
- Mold Allergy
Mold may be present in your home, and you may not know it. Some types, like black mold, can be extremely hazardous and lead to serious illness or even death in pets. Mold grows in humid environments, like bathrooms. It can also appear on window sills, in grout, and on shower curtains. Keep high-risk areas well-ventilated and clean to prevent mold growth.
- Fertilizer & Herbicide Allergy
Dogs love to run outdoors, and many homeowners like to keep a nice lawn. Be mindful of the landscaping products you use around your home. Fertilizers and herbicides can cause allergic reactions, especially on the skin, paws, and nose. Some products may be toxic to dogs and could cause damage to internal organs. A Journal of the National Cancer Institute study published in 1991 found that these allergens can increase your dog’s risk of developing lymphoma.
- Dye & Fragrance Allergy
Much like people, dogs can also have a bad reaction to fragrances and dyes used in many common household products. These are often found in laundry detergent and cleaners. If your dog starts itching more than usual, and no fleas are present, it could be a fragrance or dye allergy.
- Dairy Allergy
Some canines are lactose intolerant or have a dairy allergy. These are two different conditions. Intolerance means that they have difficulty digesting lactose. The symptoms are focused on the digestive system and include diarrhea, flatulence, and vomiting. If your pet has a dairy allergy, then they may experience skin irritation and itchiness.
- Egg Allergy
Dogs can be allergic to egg yolks. When this happens, the body overacts and aggressively attacks the perceived threat. This usually appears as itchy and inflamed skin, flatulence, wheezing, paw biting, bald patches, vomiting, and ear infections. In rare cases, the dog may experience anaphylactic shock.
- Soy Allergy
Many people swear by the health benefits of switching to soy. That may work for humans, but it has a different effect on dogs. A soy allergy can manifest as itching, diarrhea, vomiting, obsessive licking, and skin infection. Studies have also found that ingesting soy can lead to other health issues in dogs, like growth and reproductive problems and thyroid or liver disease.
- Meat & Poultry Allergy
It may sound strange, but dogs can have food allergies to things like meat and poultry. Some dogs have trouble eating beef, lamb, and chicken. Intolerance can develop if the dog eats the same food for years. It can be a challenge to deal with since these ingredients are often found in commercially-made dog food and treats. Your vet may be able to recommend an alternative if your pet has an allergy to any of these common foods.
What Do I Do If My Dog Has An Allergic Reaction?
Watching your pet have an allergic reaction can be very scary. We often feel helpless because our dogs cannot tell us exactly what happened. The first step is to identify that your pet is experiencing problems and assess the severity of the reaction.
If your dog is having a mild reaction with non-life threatening symptoms, then you may not have to rush to the vet right away. Monitor your pet in case his or her condition worsens. Try to determine what caused the reaction and remove it from your dog (if possible) and his or her environment. If the symptoms do not go away within one to two weeks, see a vet.
If your dog experiences severe or potentially life threatening symptoms, contact a vet immediately. Serious symptoms may include difficulty breathing, swollen muzzle or eyes, and rapid vomiting and diarrhea.
5 Easy Dog Allergy Tips That Will Help Your Pet
Once you identify an allergy in your dog, you can adjust your routine to prevent contact. The following tips offer easy ways to reduce the chances of an allergic reaction.
- Wipe off paws after going on walks or spending time outdoors
- Introduce an itch-suppressing supplement like omega-3 or biotin
- Use hypoallergenic dog shampoo with evening primrose oil or aloe
- Go for walks when the pollen count is lower and avoid tall grasses
- Monitor pets when switching to new foods, pet products, or cleaners
- Feed your dog a limited-ingredient diet
Dogs are family to their owners. That’s why we want the best for them. By being observant and responding quickly, we can keep our canines healthy and happy.