DDogs are not off the hook from allergies. Just like humans, canine allergic responses can range from itchy to severe and dangerous.
Food allergies in dogs can start at any age, even if your furry pal has been eating the same food for months. Allergies are the immune system’s response whenever your dog’s body goes haywire as a reaction to a trigger. Sometimes, no matter how you treat your pup’s allergies, if your pet gets exposed to allergens, problems still continue.
Unsure if your dog is suffering from allergies? Here are telltale signs from a Dubai pet food company that will help you determine whether your pup has an allergic reaction.
1. Watery eyes
Is your dog scratching his eyes often or have excess tear production? If your pup does this often, it may cause staining and irritation around the eyes.
Before you try any treatment for your dog’s eyes, make sure to rule out eye trauma first. Once you’re certain that it’s not the case, follow these tips:
- Dab your pup’s eyes gently with warm water using a clean washcloth. Perform this at least once a day to keep his eyes and the area around it clean.
- Make chamomile tea then let it cool. Squeeze out excess water out of the tea bag and use it to dab your dog’s eyes gently. This will help soothe irritation.
- If your dog’s eye problems still persist, consult your vet to ask for eye medication suitable for his condition.
2. Chronic ear infection
Ear infections are normal in dogs. However, if your dog needs more than 2-3 treatments per year, this may be a sign of a food allergy. While ear mites and yeast infections can be common causes, a persisting ear infection throughout the year is another story.
If you notice stinky, black or brown build-up around your dog’s ears and frequent cleaning do little to treat the problem, try a food elimination diet. Think of what food your dog may have eaten that caused this allergic reaction and eliminate it. If your dog continues to shake his head or scratch at the irritated ear despite your efforts, consult your vet.
Hives are itchy red bumps that appear 6-24 hours after your canine pal consumed the food he’s allergic to. If your pet has short hair, this makes it easier to see if he has hives. Otherwise, if your dog is furry, you may have to stroke his skin to feel for hives.
A dog who’s suffering from itchy skin and hives will experience these two side effects:
- Scratching, licking, and biting of the affected areas which can lead to broken skin
- Harsh scratching leading to hair loss
If hives are your dog’s reaction to vaccination, your vet may give him a shot of Benadryl 10-15 minutes before the immunization. Consult your vet if you’re positive that food caused your dog’s rashes.
4. Discoloured fur around the lips
Bronzing around the lips is most noticeable in dog breeds with white coats. If you’ve noticed your dog’s lips are pink and inflamed, this can be an indication of yeast colonization. This condition often gets triggered by a food allergy.
To discourage yeast colonization around your dog’s mouth, try these tips:
- Use a 50/50 mix of organic apple cider vinegar and purified water to wipe the affected area.
- Add one-half to one-fourth teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in your dog’s food or water to reduce acidity and hinder yeast colonization.
Change your dog’s diet
The four symptoms above can be an indication of a neglected allergy. Consider switching from low-quality kibble to high-quality wet dog food. Good quality pet food has a lesser amount of additives, artificial components, and grains, which can trigger allergic reactions.
When switching your dog’s diet, make sure to talk to your vet first. It’s wise to consult a professional to ensure that your canine’s condition is indeed due to food allergy. Your vet may give your dog an antihistamine or a skin scream first to help ease the symptoms while he tries to figure out a long-term plan.
Once your vet gives the go signal for a diet change, remember to switch food gradually until your dog can accept his new food easily.
Farah Al-Khojai is the Managing Partner of Pet’s Delight. A passionate entrepreneur, Farah holds a Bsc in Government from the London School of Economics. She is always on the lookout for new opportunities to develop and grow the pet and equestrian retail and wholesale market in the UAE and beyond, and is proud to be at the helm of the first and the largest pet care provider in the market representing world-class brands including Orijen, Applaws, Hunter, Savic, Flamingo, Ruffwear and Rogz.