Does Fido have allergies?

Making Tails Wag Better

by Deb D’Andrea

Just like people, our beloved pets can have allergies to many things, from food to environmental surroundings. They can be allergic to pollen, mold, dust mites, flea-bites and even carpet fibers and plastics. Allergies can start from birth or develop over time, with the most common type of allergy being atopy or an allergy to airborne particles.

For example, if your dog chews their feet, causing the fur between the toes to turn burgundy, there’s a high probability they have an allergy to grass pollen; the very same pollen that many people are allergic to (like my Dad). Other common allergy symptoms are they have itchy ears and face; they lick their sides, belly, elbows and groin causing discoloration of their fur; and they lick their feet and/or chew their pads. Some extreme allergic reactions include hair loss, blisters on the belly, feet or muzzle along with intense scratching, sometimes seen when they are allergic to carpets, cleaners or plastics.

Food allergies are seen in dogs about 10-15% of the time and are sometimes in combination with allergies to pollen, dust and other allergens. With food allergies, you see itching of the face, feet, trunk and limbs; along with yeast-related ear problems. Skin infections sometimes will reoccur even after a round of antibiotics. Food allergies can be difficult to determine, with a variety of paths to take to determine what they are allergic to.More extreme allergic reactions include hives, facial swelling and anaphylaxis, a rare, life-threatening, immediate allergic reaction to something ingested (i.e., household chemicals) or injected (i.e., insect bites or stings). When Tiki was a puppy she decided the best thing ever was to chase the ground bees into their home. They started stinging her and she wanted in the house, so in she went, into the bathroom and I started removing all the stingers and bees. It was scary and her face swelled up almost three times its normal size. Fortunately, she didn’t have an anaphylactic reaction, and I had no-dye Benadryl handy that she was able to ingest to help ease her reaction to the bee stings.

So if you see some of these symptoms, think about what your dog is around, think about if it is seasonal when you see these symptoms, and start to determine what they may be allergic to. They will thank you!

Until next time. Deb D’Andrea, founder of 4TheLuvOfDogz, provides mobile Canine Massage, PawQuatics, Canine Agility and Petz Nanny Services. Her homemade dog treats are sold at local stores, and K9Birthday Cakes are available directly from her. Deb pet sits for dogs, cats, birds, fish, horses, etc. Contact Deb at 720-675-7078 or

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