Your Dog and Allergies

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We all know the symptoms: sneezing, runny nose, watery and itchy eyes.  Our own allergies are affected every year by pollen, dust in the air and even grass.  But did you know your dog can be affected by these same allergens?

Just like in humans, a dog’s body builds up antibodies to protect against various allergens. When a dog is then exposed to a particular allergen the body goes into overdrive trying to get rid of the allergy.  That’s why we (and our pets) get watery eyes and sneeze. Our body is trying to get rid of the allergen.  So how will you know if your pet has allergies?

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Look for red, watery eyes, excessive scratching, chewing of paws or face rubbing. These can all be signs of allergies.  It’s important, if you believe your dog has allergies, to talk to your vet and to also figure out what your dog is allergic to.  Some dogs are allergic to grass while others are allergic to the saliva from fleas.  Talk about a double whammy! Your poor pet doesn’t just itchy because the flea bit him, but because he might be allergic to it!

Shampooing can often help with the itching.  Rinsing off a dog’s paws and legs after he’s been outside can also help because it gets rid of offending pollens.  Finally, feeding your dog a premium dog food with fatty acids can help to protect his skin and coat and keep them healthy even during allergy season.