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If you’ve ever suffered from any allergies yourself, you’ll know how annoying they can be. While some are easier to treat than others, the most challenging part of any allergy is determining what you’re having an allergic reaction to. This often means using the process of elimination to determine what the cause of the reaction is and it can be quite a lengthy process.
It’s a lot easier to figure out what the problem is in a human because we can explain our symptoms and use our own powers of deduction to find out what it is we’re reacting to. Imagine how much of a challenge it is to determine what is causing the reaction in a dog, based only on the physical symptoms that have formed as a result of the allergy.
Some reactions are worse than others and certain symptoms are easier to diagnose than others. This often means that we can mistake an allergic reaction as something else and leave it untreated, or use the incorrect method of treatment for some time before finding out what it is we’re dealing with. This is why it’s always important to take your dog to the vet as soon as you notice that there’s something wrong and figure out what’s causing the reaction and how to treat it correctly as soon as possible. This is the best way to identify the source of the reaction and a suitable method of treatment before the issue becomes a more serious threat to your pet’s health.
It’s true that you cannot really prepare yourself for a dog with allergies before actually acquiring one. There’s simply no way of determining whether your dog will have allergies or not and what it is they’ll be allergic to. However, monitoring your dog’s health and taking note of changes in their behavior, eating habits or excessive scratching, licking and biting, is the best way to treat the issue before it becomes something more serious.
If you’d like to find out more about how to treat allergies in dogs or what dog’s can actually be allergic to, then I’d recommend giving this article a read! It may help shed some light on the subject and ultimately allow you to live a happier and healthier life.
What Are Dogs Allergic To?
Much like humans, dogs can basically be allergic to almost anything. The list is quite long, which makes diagnosing an allergy a much more challenging process than most would think. Some of the more common allergies in dogs are very similar to the allergies that are usually experienced by humans. Here’s a short list to help give you a better idea of what to look out for:
- Mold spores.
- Cigarette smoke.
- Dust and dust mites.
- Certain Fabrics.
- Plastic or rubber based materials.
- Cleaning products.
- Fleas, ticks and other parasites.
- A variety of food ingredients or the food itself.
- Grass, flower, plant and tree pollen.
It’s important to note that these allergies in dogs can develop at any time during their life. Just because they aren’t born with a specific allergy, or don’t have them at the time you get the dog, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t still susceptible to developing them at a later stage of their life.
The same applies to humans, as we can develop and even outgrow certain allergies at any time – so can your pet.
It’s also important to note that allergies in dogs can affect any type or breed. However, some of the breeds that are more commonly affected by or susceptible to the development of allergies are Terriers, Retrievers, Setters, Bulldogs, Pugs and Boston Terriers in specific. So if you happen to have one of these breeds, it’s important to keep your eyes open for any signs of a possible reaction at some point in the future.
What Are The Symptoms Of Allergies In Dogs?
These will vary from dog to dog and from allergy to allergy. Different allergies will cause different reactions in your dog and each should be taken seriously because they could be an indication of something more serious. Here, I’ll provide a short list of some of the more common reactions that occur in dogs:
- Constant licking.
- Increased scratching.
- Runny eyes.
- Itchy, red or scabbed skin.
- Ear infections.
- Paw chewing, swollen paws.
- Itchy back or base of tail.
Should you notice that your pet is suffering from any of these things, it’s important to take them seriously. While they may not necessarily be the symptoms of an allergic reaction – it’s better to treat them as though they were, before they get out of hand and develop into something more serious.
Is Benadryl Safe For Dogs? Can You Give Your Dog Benadryl For Itching?
Benadryl, otherwise known as diphenhydramine, is a common over-the-counter antihistamine that is usually prescribed to humans as a means of treating environmental allergic reactions. It works by blocking the H-1 receptors on smooth muscle tissue and in the blood vessels and easing your body’s reaction to the allergens as they pass through your system.
It is safe to take for both humans and dogs, so long as it is taken in the correct dosage – but I’ll get to that in a moment. It’s a very effective drug and can help to ease a variety of allergic reactions in humans (usually allergies that affect the nose) as well as helping to treat insomnia. This is because the medication acts as a mild sedative too and can induce drowsiness after being consumed.
This is something to be noted if you plan on taking the medication during the day, but again, I’ll get into that in the next section. I’d like to reiterate that Benadryl is safe for dogs and can help to alleviate the symptoms of environmental allergies in dogs, insect bites and stings as well as aiding the treatment of motion sickness and helping to calm a hyperactive pooch.
How Much Benadryl Is Safe For Your Dog?
The recommended dosage of Benadryl is 1mg per pound of body weight – this applies to both humans and our canine friends. The standard amount contained in a regular Benadryl tablet is 25mg. Therefore, if your dog weighs close to or just under 25 pounds, you can give them 1 tablet of diphenhydramine 2-3 times a day. However, I would always recommend consulting a veterinarian before giving your dog any form of pharmaceutical medication as giving them the wrong medication or the incorrect dose could make them really sick.
Also make sure that the medication you’re giving them only contains diphenhydramine as certain brands have a mixture of different medications which could have a negative effect on your dog. It’s always better to be safe rather than sorry.
Other Treatments For Allergies In Dogs
If you’re like me, then long and complicated medical terms and chemical names often tend to confuse and discourage you. Don’t worry – this is a normal reaction as most of the chemicals we encounter are worth avoiding anyway – so you’ve probably just developed a knee-jerk aversion to them. But does this leave you with any other options for treating dog allergies? Thankfully, the answer to this is; yes there are. With the increasing demand for healthy and holistic products in almost every sector, and the growing awareness regarding the use of harmful and often toxic chemicals has become a more central issue than in the past.
That being said, there are a variety of different all-natural and purely holistic allergy treatments that you can give your dog without fear of overdosing them or developing an immunity. Firstly, it’s important to feed your dog a healthy diet. If you’re only able to afford buying them dry or canned food, try supplementing that diet with healthy fresh food that you can make at home. It’s also important to avoid wheat, corn, soy and grains as they’re a common source of allergies in dogs.
With regards to treating an allergic reaction, the most important step is to identify what type of allergy you are dealing with in the first place. This will help to narrow down the methods of treatment that you have available and how serious the problem actually is.
For skin related reactions, using oils that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids can help to reduce inflammation, dryness and itchiness on the surface of the skin. These can be found in oils such as olive oil and fish oil and can be administered orally in either pill form or added to your pets food.
For environmental allergies such as flower pollen or pollen in general, I would recommend giving your dog a spoonful of honey a day or including honey in a home-baked DIY Recipe. This can help to build up a dog’s immunity towards the allergy as well as reducing the effect of the reaction. Quercetin is also a fantastic natural supplement that works as a potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antihistamine. However, it’s important to determine what the appropriate dosage is for your pet before giving it to them, as too much could make them ill. Ultimately though, it’s a lot safer than most conventional antihistamines and doesn’t come with any additional side-effects (so long as you stick to the correct dosage).
— Canine Owners (@CanineOwners) February 11, 2017
Allergies in dogs can strike at any time and at any age – there’s really no way of preventing them from occurring or knowing when they’ll happen. However, being prepared to treat them is something we can do and keeping an eye out for their symptoms is the best way to do so.
In my opinion, it’s always best to consult a veterinarian when dealing with an allergic reaction in your pet as there are a variety of complications that can manifest themselves if the reaction is left untreated or treated incorrectly. While this may be a costly experience, your pet’s health is important – a healthy pet is a happy pet.
However, once you’ve managed to ascertain what the root cause of the allergy is, you can save yourself quite a lot of money by utilizing a quick and effective treatments such as Benadryl or by trying to treat it with natural and holistic products. The choice is yours – just be sure to know what it is you’re treating, before you start using medication or various healing methods.