Allergies are a disease in which the immune system (the body’s protection system) reacts abnormally to substances such as fleas, pollen's, mold spores, mites, and certain foods. Allergies are an over-reaction of the dog’s immune system; specific white blood cells such as eosinophils also play a role in development of allergies. Antibodies are specialized cells of the immune system that protect the body from foreign invaders, such as viruses and bacteria. But sometimes these protective cells misrecognize harmless substances like dust, mold, or pollen as dangerous, and attack. The heightened response to these substances, called allergens, results in the allergy symptoms your dog suffers.
Dogs can develop allergies to anything, just like their owners. To develop the allergy, the dog must have been exposed to it in the past; this primes, or sensitizes, the body’s immune system to overreact. There are quite a few different types in dogs. Skin allergies, food allergies, and environmental allergens all pose challenges for dogs and their owners, and to make things more complicated, the symptoms of all these different types of allergies can overlap.
Signs of allergies:
3. Red inflamed skin
6. Itchy Ears
7. Runny eyes
8. Constant licking
The four main types of dog allergies are:
Environmental - (Also called atopy), might be from pollen (grass, weed, tree, or flower pollen), dust, or mold.
Food - Comparable to humans, dogs can also be allergic to their food. In fact, food allergies and allergies to food additives are relatively common in dogs.
Flea - Flea allergies are ones which most dogs will face at some point in their life. If your pup is currently suffering from irritation due to flea bites, look into natural ways to ease the itch, such as coconut oil for dogs
Contact - Contact allergy is the least common type of allergy in dogs. It results from direct contact to allergens, such as pyrethrin’s found in flea collars, pesticides used on the lawn, grasses, materials such as wool or synthetics used in carpets or bedding, etc. Contact allergies can develop to practically anything and at any age.
The list of possible (but not limited to) allergens might be:
1. Grains: corn, wheat, rice
2. Proteins: chicken, beef, eggs, pork, rabbit, fish, lamb
3. Root vegetables: potatoes, carrot, sweet potatoes, yams
4. Legumes: peanuts, lentils, peas, beans, soy
Dairy: milk, yogurt, cheese
Allergies cannot be cured and avoiding the allergy source is the only way to control the symptoms.
Some ways to reduce allergies:
1. Reduce the flea populations on and around the dog.
2. Reduce the potential for food allergies by improving the quality of the food.
3. Enhance the immune system with high-quality food and nutritional supplements.
4. Don’t challenge the immune system excessively for example– with any vaccines that are less than absolutely necessary.
5. Use natural anti-inflammatory herbs and supplements.
6. Consider acupuncture or homeopathy for chronic and/or severe cases (NOTE: I’ve often been disappointed when using these two in combination for treating allergies).
7. Reduce environmental causes – airborne smoke and dust particles.
8. Hypoallergenic Dog Shampoo; Bathe your dog in a gentle medicated shampoo or oatmeal shampoo
9. Fish oil in their food
10. 50/50 apple cider vinegar and water spray
11. Omega3 fatty acids
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