Around 10% of dogs have allergies, with certain breeds being more prone to them, such as the Bichon Frise and Labrador Retrievers. Allergies come in the form of itchy skin from fleas or shampoos, intolerances to foods and seasonal problems. There’s a risk of any breed having an allergic reaction, but it’s worth bearing in mind that if you decide on a breed that has a high chance of allergies then they may require a little more time and effort to keep them happy and healthy.
Feeding An Allergic Dog
Getting a puppy or a rescue dog can present lots of situations you hadn’t considered, such as food allergies. Feeding your new furry companion seems like a simple task until they start being sick or having diarrhea, but symptoms can also present as sore skin and ear infections. The most common food allergies in dogs are beef, dairy and wheat. Food allergies in dogs only make up 10% of all allergies, but the effects can be serious and need to be acted on quickly. For pups having problems you should give them the best puppy food for a high quality diet that is specific for allergies and gradually reintroduce foods to see what is causing the problem.
Grooming Sensitive Skin
Some breeds are more prone to having sensitive skin and allergies that lead to itchiness and irritation. The Bichon Frise is known for this and will lick and scratch their skin until it is red-raw and their fur turns brown from their saliva. Worst case scenario is skin blistering and the risk of anaphylactic shock, which requires immediate veterinary attention. Bichons need a lot of grooming when it comes to keeping their coat in good condition as they don’t shed, so baths and trims are necessary. Unfortunately, many shampoos will set off a skin reaction, even sensitive and hypoallergenic ones, so washing with just water can be the best option. Many groomers will also spritz your pooch with perfume to make them smell nice, but this can have the same bad effects, so be sure to tell your groomer not to use anything that could pose a problem.
Dealing With Seasonal Allergies
Just like humans, dogs can experience allergies when the season changes and there’s more pollen in the air. Dogs can be allergic to all sorts of things in their environment, such as grass, pollens and environmental pollutants, many of which spike at certain times of the year. One of the most common symptoms of seasonal allergies is the dog biting or scratching themselves in an attempt to relieve their irritation. Depending on the allergen, bathing or brushing your dog can help to remove the allergen from their fur and soothe their skin at the same time. If you suspect your pet has seasonal allergies you should take them to your vet for testing and they can offer antihistamines to help relieve symptoms.
Bringing a puppy or a dog into your home is a long-term commitment and it’s your responsibility to care for them, so this may include a little extra attention when it comes to allergies. Whatever the allergy your dog has, once you know what it is you can start to avoid the allergen or treat it for a happier dog. A happy dog will give you their best and you won’t get a better companion.