Allergies in Dogs

If you’ve ever had to deal with allergies, you know they aren’t much fun. Did you know that dogs can also suffer from allergies? Here, a Bel Air, MD vet talks about Fido’s allergic reactions.

Common Allergens

Fido can develop allergies at any point in his life, and can become allergic to a wide variety of substances. Some common ones are plants, trees, leaves, dust, pollen, mold, and insect bites. Some dogs are allergic to strong fumes, such as cigarette smoke, while others react to specific materials, or even ingredients in their food, treats, or shampoo. Ask your vet for more information.


Symptoms of allergies can vary a bit, depending on the type and severity of the allergies. Some common ones include sneezing; wheezing; red, runny eyes; snoring; and flatulence. Allergies can make your canine buddy quite itchy. Fido may lick or bite himself, or rub against things (including you) to scratch that problem area. Allergies often cause skin problems, such as hot spots, flakiness, crustiness, and redness. They can also be the culprit behind stubborn ear infections. Sometimes, allergies can cause vomiting, diarrhea, trembling, lethargy, swelling, and other serious issues. They can even be deadly, though fortunately this is rare. Call your vet immediately if your four-legged pal has any of these symptoms.


Your vet will need to run some tests and find out exactly what Fido is allergic to. If food allergies are suspected, this may mean putting your canine buddy on a bland, restricted diet for a while, then reintroducing things one by one. Once the allergen has been identified, you’ll be able to discuss specific treatment options. These can range from medication to specific diet and care regimens.

Home Care

There are some things you can do to keep your pup comfortable. Vacuuming and dusting regularly, and changing your air filters frequently, will reduce the amount of airborne allergens in your home. You’ll also want to wash Fido’s bedding. Use hot water and unscented detergent, and your hottest dryer cycle. Wiping your canine pal’s paws and belly down after he’s been outside can also help. Last but not least, use an app to monitor pollen counts. Limit your furry friend’s outdoor time when levels are high.

Do you know or suspect that your dog has allergies? Please contact us, your Bel Air, MD pet hospital, anytime. We are here to help!

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