Like humans, dogs can suffer from allergies related to dust, seasonal pollen, and other inhalants, which can result in coughing and sneezing or watery eyes, but these allergies usually do not develop into something like a dog version of asthma or hay fever from respiratory infections. What dog allergies usually affect is their skin, so if you notice your dog scratching a lot, but you can't find any sign of fleas, then your dog might be reacting to an allergy.
Other common symptoms of allergy in dogs are frequent chewing and biting, especially in the areas of the stomach, the inside of hind legs, the tail and paws. Hives and rashes might also appear. If your dog vomits or has diarrhea, it might be because of an allergy to a particular food. The most common food allergens for some dogs are beef, corn, dairy products and soybeans, but in the case of vomiting and diarrhea, you might choose to consult with a vet or allergist just to be sure that it isn't anything more serious. Skin allergies, however, are easier to treat, and you yourself can afford your dog some relief as long as you're willing to treat your dog to some almost pediatric care. This is what you need to do:
- Give your dog a cool (but not cold) bath. Fill the tub with water and allow your dog to soak in it for fifteen minutes every day. Shampoo its fur with aloe vera or run some oatmeal through a blender and sprinkle it into the water to help soothe your dog's itchy skin. If you want, you can also ask your vet about sprays and shampoos that you might use on your dog to alleviate the allergy.
- Take care of airborne allergens by cleaning up your home. Vacuum the carpet and dust your furniture, and wash your dog's bedding at least once a week. You can kill dust mites that can be found inside your home by using a spray bottle to lightly mist the inside of your house with a weak tea solution. If your dog enjoys stretching out in your sofa or bed, you might consider using hypoallergenic pillows and other related products. You should also keep your dog indoors if what it reacts against is pollen, especially during the seasons of spring and late summer.
- There are medications which you can also give your dog for your dog's comfort. Allergies in dogs trigger their body's production of histamine, which causes severe itching. You can counter this by giving your dog antihistamines like Benadryl. If your dog has sores on it paws which it constantly licks or chews, you might also consider giving its paws an Epsom salt soak to encourage quick relief and healing of the infected areas. Adding fatty acid supplements to your dog's food will also help give your dog the proper nutrients to keep your dog's skin and fur healthy.
Taking care of your pet is your responsibility as the owner, so be sure to do it right. You might also wish to take your dog to the vet to conduct allergy tests, especially if what your dog seems to be reacting to is its food.