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Is Your Dog Allergic?

Constant scratching, coughing or wheezing or eye discharge may be a sign that your family friend has an allergy.

Yup, believe it or not your dog can have allergies just like you can. It isn’t anywhere near as common as it is with humans but it happens to roughly 20% of dogs.

There are 4 major classifications of canine allergies – Atopic Dermatitis, flea allergy, inhalant allergy and food allergy.

Atopic Dermatitis is a hypersensitivity in a dog’s immune system to common allergens like molds and dust mites. This affliction is non contagious and is can happen in both domestic canines and humans alike.

If your dog scratches, chews or licks itself constantly especially the paws, legs and abdomen it may be a sign of Atopic Dermatitis.

Another sign of Atopic Dermatitis is when your dog’s saliva causes a red to brown stain. If left untreated the skin on your dogs stomach will change colors from pink to a bright red and then to black.

Flea allergy is the most common canine allergy. The dog’s aren’t allergic to the fleas themselves but to their saliva. A skin test can determine if this is the problem for your dog.

It can be easily treated with pills and shampoos. Your vet can tell what would work best for your dog.

Inhalant allergy is caused by the same things that bother humans as far as allergies go. Things like pollen from trees and flowers, grasses and dust can all cause your dog discomfort.

Unlike humans, dogs shows their inhalant allergy symptoms not through sneezing and coughing but through scratching, biting, chewing and licking constantly.

Lastly we have food allergy. Just like it sounds it is when your dog is allergic to certain types of foods.

Food allergy symptoms are hard to distinguish without a vet doing tests due to the fact they mimic the symptoms of the other types of allergies as well.

Some symptoms of food allergies that mimic illness are vomiting, diarrhea, wheezing and even changes in behavior. Always be safe and consult your vet.

As you can see dogs have many of the same issues we do and they need us to help them. Be sure you mention any symptoms or odd behavior to your vet and be sure to take your friend in for checkups when the vet says.

All the issues above can be addressed through medicine and diet once diagnosed and the earlier the better for your 4 legged friend.

Jaie Miller is the webmaster and contributing author for She is also an avid dog lover with a passion for researching and writing about animals.

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