How To Tell If Your Dog Has Allergies

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Unsure if your dog has allergies? You aren’t alone. More dogs than you realize have undiagnosed allergies. According to industry statistics, about one in ten dogs suffers from some type of allergy.

The types of allergies from which dogs can suffer is the same as people:

  • Inhalant or seasonal allergies (pollen, dust, etc.),
  • Skin allergies (wool, grass, etc.) or
  • Food (beef, grain, etc.).

So, if you suspect your dog has allergies just how do you find the offending item?

How To Tell If Your Dog Has Allergies

The most conclusive way to determine exactly what makes your pup itch, bite and scratch herself silly is to make an appointment with an animal allergist.

Conduct a Google search and locate a board certified animal allergist or dog allergist in your area. Once you have located a well-respected animal allergist, make an appointment. Upon examination of your fur baby, a skin allergy test will most likely be suggested. These are tests humans also have to determine what we are allergic to and just how much it really bothers us. In this case, the doctor lightly sedate your dog and then shave a portion of skin on her back and apply small injections of allergens…. 64 to be precise. Following a brief rest time, the doctor examines the injection sites and creates a listing of the most irritated injections. From this point, the path you will follow will be tailored specifically for your dog. This could be a limited ingredient food diet, weekly injections of custom-mixed antigens or ensuring his environment is as dust/pollen free as possible. Or perhaps some combination of all of the above.

You can start off with a food challenge instead

Okay, so if money is tight and you are not convinced your furry kid needs her own allergist, visit your current veterinarian for advice. Your vet will most likely recommend you begin a food challenge.

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Food challenges are simply feeding your dog limited ingredients and noting the symptoms your dog has after being fed that particular food. This can be a lengthy process, 12 weeks or so depending on the number of ingredients you are testing.  During the week you are feeding the chosen item, such as eggs or chicken, take note of your dog’s condition. Did the itching/biting increase or diminish? Keep meticulous notes and collaborate with your vet along the way for optimal results.

Be careful to monitor your dog and not allow him to eat any additional ingredients…no table scraps, treats or flavored anything—vitamins,  toothpaste, medications or toys. No cheating! Sound difficult? Well, not really. You just have to be diligent your pooch is only eating what you are testing.

Do what you are able to ensure your pup thrives and lives her best life possible!

Cindy Dunston Quirk is the Chief Dog Lover at Scout & Zoe’s Natural Antler Dog Chews. Scout & Zoe’s chews are allergy-free and a green, organic, renewable resource created only from 100% naturally shed elk antlers.

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