A dog scratching may be doing more than just relieving itchy spots. In fact, the dog may be experiencing an allergic reaction. A dog suffering from an allergic reaction may show a variety of signs including increased scratching, red, inflamed skin, itchy eyes and ears, sneezing, vomiting or diarrhea.
Allergies affect dogs in three main ways – inhalation of allergens, ingestion of allergens and contact with allergens.
Inhalant allergies that affect dogs are dust, pollen, perfumes, dander, mold, and other common human allergens. A dog that suffers from an inhalant allergy scratches aggressively and often. The dog will also bite at particular spots on its body in an attempt to relieve the discomfort caused by irritated skin.
Constant scratching and biting due to inhalant allergies can lead to hot spots and red, scaly skin.
If your dog continues to exhibit signs of inhalant allergies, it may need a veterinarian’s attention. A veterinarian can provide the dog with proper allergy injections or other medications. At-home treatments include cleaning the dog bed each week and vacuuming the home consistently, along with a hypoallergenic bath can also help the dog.
Ingested allergies are also called food allergies. Dogs that suffer from ingested allergies often react to beef, chicken, pork, corn or wheat in dog food. A dog coughing, itching, or scratching can all be symptoms of ingested allergies.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says on their website, “Dogs with a food allergy will commonly have itchy skin, breathing difficulties or gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea and vomiting, and an elimination diet will most probably be used to determine what food he is allergic to.”
Dogs with ingested allergies may need to switch to an all-natural, high protein diet. This food will not have terms like chicken-by-product in the ingredients. Instead, the ingredients list will contain items like salmon, fish oil, broccoli, etc.
Contact allergies can seemingly develop overnight. Contact allergies are often household cleaners, fabrics, rubber or plastics. The contact with the material may result in redness of skin, blisters, and bumps.
To help your dog recover from this allergy, identify what is causing the allergic reaction and make sure your dog no longer comes in contact with it. Then, use a cortisone based bath to soothe your dog’s skin.
If your dog suffers from any of these allergies, visit a veterinarian for expert advice and professional medications. Allergies, for dogs just as for humans, can cause a lot of suffering unless treated.