Dog Allergies

What to Do If Your Dog Has an Allergic Reaction

Allergic reactions in dogs are quite common and many times the animal will end up in the emergency room if the reaction is severe. In this article, we will explore what to do if your dog has an allergic reaction. 

Causes of Canine Allergic Reactions

A lot of things can cause an allergic reaction in a dog. 

  • Bug bites and stings such as those from a spider, ant, bee, or wasp.
  • Vaccinations
  • Foods 
  • Chemical exposure such as from a fabric softener or new soap.

In many cases, a dog can sustain an allergic reaction and you never know what the cause of the reaction even is. It remains a mystery. However, if the reaction becomes an ongoing problem, then you’ll need to work closely with your veterinarian or canine allergy specialists to determine what is causing the dog’s discomfort so you can avoid exposure. 

Symptoms of an Allergic Reaction in a Dog

Most allergic reactions are fairly mild in a dog, but some can become severe. The most common area to notice a reaction is around the dog’s muzzle or eyes. They also might start to feel itchy and begin scratching or licking various parts of their body. Swelling or hives can occur. In some cases, the dog might start to lose its coat as a reaction to the skin irritant or bug bites. 

If your dog exhibits the following seek medical treatment immediately:

  • Rapid breathing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Paralysis
  • Extreme agitation
  • Seizure

What to do if Your Dog Has an Allergic Reaction?

The first thing that you should do if you suspect your dog is suffering from an allergic reaction is to call your veterinarian. In some cases, a veterinarian might advise you to give your dog an antihistamine to relieve symptoms.

Generic antihistamines are widely available over the counter, but you should always consult with your veterinarian to confirm safety and dosage. On occasion, the veterinarian might have you bring Fido into the office for an injection of antihistamines if the pooch is especially itchy, swollen, or uncomfortable.

Common Dog Allergy FAQs

Are allergies common in dogs?

Yes, allergies are quite common in dogs. They typically occur when a pup is six months old or older. 

Do dogs inherit allergies? 

In some cases, dogs do inherit allergies, especially allergies to certain plants or pollen appear to often be an inherited trait.

What are some common allergens? 

Dogs are often allergic to the following:

  • Proteins from animal, plant, or insect origin
  • Chemical molecules
  • Pollen
  • Mold spores
  • Shed skin cells.
  • Flea saliva
  • Certain medications 
  • Foods

Do allergies immediately show up in a dog?

Allergies are contracted either via an inhalant, skin contact or ingestion through food. Some dogs have hypersensitivity and will react very quickly to an allergen, but others have a delayed type of reaction. Most dogs will have respiratory symptoms such as sneezing or coughing, dermatitis, swelling, itching, drooling, and on occasion vomiting/nausea.

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