When pollen gets in the air, there’s no telling what it will do. Spring and fall are particularly rough for allergy sufferers, as new flowers are blooming, or ragweed pollen is being blown up in the air. Between watery eyes, sneezing, or even getting rashes, allergies are simply the worst. When you sneeze for the hundredth time, do you see your dog sneezing with you? Can dogs get allergies too?
While we get watery eyes and sneezing attacks, dogs often showcase their seasonal allergies by scratching. Their skin may be reacting to pollen, trees or grass or it may be something in their environment. This means anything they may come in contact with, from your dogs’ new shampoo to an allergic reaction from plants or fleas. Some animals are even allergic to flea saliva! Other symptoms of dog allergies are: excessive licking, rubbing body parts against the walls or furniture, chronic ear infections, breathing issues, or excessive shedding.
Dogs typically have a reaction classified as a food intolerance, not a food allergy. In fact, true food allergies in dogs aren’t as common as one might think. Food allergies often emerge through an immune reaction. That can be anything from skin conditions like itchiness, redness,and hives, ear or foot infections, or vomiting and diarrhea.
As far as a dog’s food intolerances go, these can happen gradually or immediately, and usually happen when a dog is introduced to a new dog food (many commercial dog foods have wheat, eggs or milk in the ingredients which are common allergies animals react to), or “human” food on the table that doesn’t agree with them. Most foods that dogs eat are not life-threatening, but some are indeed toxic and should be avoided at all costs.
Veterinarians suggest doing allergy testing by eliminating different foods from their diet to find the culprit. Sometimes, however, it’s not so black-and-white. An elimination diet could consist of shrinking their diet down to one source of protein to find the issue.
Acute Allergic Reactions
Scarily enough, dogs can have severe reactions to certain allergens. This means, if your dog is allergic to bee stings or a vaccine, their bodies could undergo anaphylactic shock. Seek an emergency vet if this does happen as your dog will need immediate treatment.
Other Reasons Dogs Sneeze
Interestingly, dogs sneeze for a variety of reasons beyond allergies. Yes, they can sneeze if dust is in the air, but sneezing is also a type of communication. When a dog is play fighting, for instance, they may have a bit of a sneezing fit in mid-play session. Sneezing is a sign that it’s lighthearted and fun and the play fighting shouldn’t be taken seriously.
Whether your dog is reacting from pollen or changes in their diet, dogs do in fact have allergies just like us. Consult your veterinarian if your dog needs additional help in getting through those seasonal scratching fits.