Allergies in Dogs: Symptoms and Tips

We hear a lot about humans suffering from allergies. They may be seasonal and weather-related, or they may be food related. Either way, allergies can make life pretty miserable especially when it’s hard to find relief. Did you know that dogs can also suffer from allergies? It’s true and sadly they aren’t able to tell us what’s going on, so it falls upon us to figure it out and determine the best course of action to take on their behalf. We’d like to discuss the various types of allergies that can affect dogs, symptoms to watch for and tips for bringing relief if your dog does suffer from allergies.


Before we dive into the symptoms and tips it’s important to know the different types of allergies that a dog might experience.

  1. Flea allergy dermatitis- an allergic reaction to fleabites.
  2. Food allergies- sensitivities to their food or specific ingredients in their food.
  3. Environmental allergens- dust, pollen, and mold can cause itchy skin.

Each of these types of allergies can cause skin irritation that has the potential to grow into a secondary infection requiring treatment.

Food Allergies

Food allergies do happen to dogs but fortunately, they are not as common as they are in people. Perhaps a better way to describe this would be a food sensitivity rather than a food allergy. These tend to become a problem gradually and can present a variety of symptoms such as:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Itchiness
  • Unhealthy looking coat
  • Chronic infections in their ears or on their paws

TIP: If you suspect that your dog has a food sensitivity, it’s best to consult with your vet and determine a course of action. Your vet will likely have you do an elimination diet to help pinpoint the cause.

Flea Allergies

Thankfully, flea allergies tend to be seasonal and not something that will affect your dog day in and day out. You may notice your dog scratching more or you may even notice fleas on their coat.

TIP: Consult your vet about their recommended flea treatment and administer accordingly.

Environmental Allergens

Environmental allergens such as dust, pollen, and mold can cause sneezing and itching in dogs. Again, these are likely to be more seasonal in nature and not something that will affect your dog consistently.

TIP: Consult your vet on treatment options for these types of allergens. Your vet may advise that if your dog doesn’t seem terribly uncomfortable, the best option may be to let it run its course since the duration will likely be short.


As always, with anything that may be affecting your pet, always consult with your Vet regarding the best course of treatment. Meanwhile, here is a list of symptoms that may indicate an allergic reaction in your dog:

  • Itchiness
  • Hives
  • Swelling of face, ears, lips, eyelids, and earflaps
  • Red, inflamed skin
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Sneezing
  • Itchy ears or chronic ear infections
  • Itchy runny eyes
  • Constant licking

If you happen to notice your dog exhibiting any of these symptoms on a regular basis, make an appointment to see your vet. It may take a while to resolve, but your pet’s overall health and well-being, not to mention comfort, will be well worth the effort.

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