What to give a dog for itching allergies

What to give a dog for itching allergies

There are numerous reasons your dog might be itching, but the two most common ailments are pests and allergies. Regardless of the reason, seek veterinary attention correct when you notice your dog itching. Don’t give any medications prior to your vet’s examination and instruction. Although the treatment might be quick and simple, the final thing you desire is to make a serious decision that causes its own adverse reaction. Whereas fleas and ticks are best treated with prevention (which can be purchased in a variety of forms), food allergies are treated with limited-ingredient foods to eradicate the offending ingredient. Environmental allergies are tougher to treat, but can be easily managed with diligence and expert advice from your veterinarian.

At the finish of the day, keeping your dog clean and limiting his exposure to exterior allergens is essential in keeping your dog’s itchy skin at bay.

Even if your dog’s condition has gotten extreme, there’s nothing a little tender loving care and veterinary treatment can’t repair. Soon enough, you’ll discover your dog back to normal.

Contributor Bio

Katie Finlay

Katie Finlay is a pet trainer who lives in Southern California. She has been working with dogs and their owners both in person and through her online content for over six years.

INDICATIONS

Control of pruritus (itching) associated with allergic dermatitis and control of atopic dermatitis in dogs at least 12 months of age.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

Do not use APOQUEL in dogs less than 12 months of age or those with serious infections.

APOQUEL may increase the chances of developing serious infections, and may cause existing parasitic skin infestations or pre-existing cancers to get worse. APOQUEL has not been tested in dogs receiving some medications including some commonly used to treat skin conditions such as corticosteroids and cyclosporine. Do not use in breeding, pregnant, or lactating dogs. Most common side effects are vomiting and diarrhea. APOQUEL has been used safely with numerous common medications including parasiticides, antibiotics and vaccines.

For more information, please see the full Prescribing Information.

References: 1.

Data on file, Zoetis Services LLC. 2. Data on file, Zoetis Services LLC.

Picture this: Your dog is constantly itching, scratching, and biting fur, and you can’t figure out why. Maybe you’ve tried everything from changing grooming routines to special shampoos, to medications. But own you tried changing your dog’s diet?

Food is one culprit behind allergic reactions in dogs that owners often overlook.

What to give a dog for itching allergies

In fact, there are dog food allergies and dog food intolerances. Just love us, canines can suffer from either or both. And food allergies in dogs can cause not only digestive problems love vomiting and diarrhea, but also skin issues, and even behavioral problems. If you or your vet suspect your pup may own be having an adverse reaction to certain foods, and you’re wondering what it every means, you’re in the correct place.

We talked to Dr. Justin Shmalberg, a DVM and NomNomNow’s own veterinary nutritionist, to collect what you need to know. We’ll cover the following:


Dog Food Allergies vs. Dog Food Intolerances

Dog food allergy treatment boils below to one underlying principle: identify foods your dog is allergic to and avoid feeding those.

«What most people ponder of as a dog food allergy is more appropriately called an cutaneous adverse food reaction, or CAFR,» says Dr.

Justin Shmalberg, a DVM and NomNomNow’s own veterinary nutritionist. «It basically means there’s some association between a food and a certain group of symptoms—usually skin problems or gastrointestinal problems.»

In a true dog food allergy, according to Shmalberg, the culprit is often a food protein that triggers an adverse immune response, which then causes cells in the body to release histamines, or compounds that lead to itching and numerous other allergic signs.

A dog food intolerance, on the other hand, doesn’t involve an immune response—but the signs of dog food intolerance can glance beautiful similar to the signs of a food allergy.

One example is a lactose intolerance, which happens when a dog’s body just doesn’t process lactose in milk products well, leading to gastrointestinal problems (often diarrhea).

Both allergies and intolerances drop under that category of CAFRs, or, in more general terms, adverse food reactions. So, how prevalent are adverse food reactions in dogs? One research review published in BMC Veterinary Research examined just that. The findings propose that, of dogs seeing vets for any diagnosis, 1 to 2 percent own food intolerances or allergies; among dogs with skin diseases, the number jumps up a bit, to about 6 percent. For dogs with itching and allergies, even more—about one in five—show signs of adverse food reactions.

Still, true allergies, in which the immune system is attacking a food protein, are definitely less common than food intolerances.

The takeaway, says Shmalberg, is this: «If your dog is otherwise normal, even if he’s scratching a lot, a food allergy is unlikely. That said, diet can certainly frolic a role in helping to manage skin conditions and diseases, regardless of whether or not your dog has a food allergy.» We’ll discuss more about how you can tell the difference below.

Back to top


Fleas and Ticks

Once you notice your dog itching, check for fleas and ticks first. These blood-dependent pests use dogs as hosts every the time, and can latch on anywhere. Ticks can go unnoticed for some time until they become fully engorged and large enough for you to spot and remove. Hold in mind these irritating insects can and do carry a variety of dangerous diseases, so it’s significant to check for them during tick season and any time your dog enters a potentially infested area (anywhere exterior, mind you).

Fleas are less dangerous but just as uncomfortable.

Infestations of this helpful can cause severe itching and skin reactions, sometimes requiring veterinary care. Certain dogs can own allergic reactions to flea bites that cause extremely painful boiling spots, hair loss, swelling, and even infection. Spotting them is sometimes easier than ticks if you check regularly, but in long-coated and dark-colored dogs you might need some additional assist. Brush through your dog’s jacket with a clean flea comb to be certain if you’re dealing with a flea occupation.

Flea dirt can be spotted on your dog or in his most common resting areas such as beds and crates. If you give your dog a bath and notice a reddish brown color in the water, fleas are almost always the cause.

Checking your dog for fleas and ticks is not just a benefit to him, but it can also benefit you and your family. Fleas especially can migrate hosts and infest your whole home. As much as you don’t desire your dog to be itchy, you don’t desire you or your family feeling the same effects. It can also be a excellent thought to check yourself or your children for fleas or ticks after an outdoor excursion for your own health, but also to avoid them spreading to your pup too.

Preventing Pests

The best treatment for fleas and ticks is prevention.

Because these pests can be so uncomfortable–and dangerous–it’s recommended that flea and tick preventatives are used as frequently as your vet recommends. Keeping these pests away is much easier than trying to clear up an infestation that already exists, and it’ll hold you and your dog more comfortable in the endless run. Be certain to check with your vet to make certain any medicated shampoos and preventatives are the correct dosage and are safe for him to get as well. There are numerous options available when choosing pest prevention–topical medication, flea and tick collars, sprays, as well as long-lasting shampoos.

And if you do discover fleas and ticks on your pup, call your vet immediately for treatment recommendations and be certain to wash your dog’s bedding, as well.


Most Common Dog Food Allergens

Wondering what is in dog food that causes allergies? «Meat, dairy, and eggs are often thought to be the most common dog food allergens,» says Shmalberg. «Yet generally, it’s the protein part of those foods that tend to be problematic, rather than, tell, the meat itself.» Hold in mind, veggies can contain protein, so they’re not automatically safe.

That same review BMC Veterinary Research identified some of the most frequently reported dog food allergens involved in adverse food reactions.

What to give a dog for itching allergies

Here’s a glance, from most-reported to least-reported.

Top Dog Food Allergens (source: BMC Veterinary Research)

Dog Food Allergen Percentage of Dogs With Reported Reaction
Beef 34%
Dairy Products 17%
Chicken 15%
Wheat 13%
Soy 6%
Lamb 5%
Corn 4%
Egg 4%
Pork 2%
Fish 2%
Rice 2%

Shmalberg calls out two significant caveats to hold in mind here.

  • The more common a food is, the more likely the allergy. «For an allergy to a food to develop, a dog needs to be exposed to that food,» says Shmalberg.

    «That may explain why the proteins most commonly found in dog food, love beef and chicken, drop higher on the list.»

  • Where there’s one allergy, there may be more. It’s estimated that more than a third of dogs with one food allergy are allergic to at least one additional food.
  • Look out for gelatin. Supplemental oils often come in gelatin capsules, and that gelatin can trigger allergies in some dogs.
  • Newer research is needed. Numerous of the studies out there, and those sourced in this review, are older, when dog foods were being made and processed differently than they are today. Allergies tend to change over time along with foods, and as new studies emerge, we may see diverse allergens rising to the top of the list.
  • Starches are safer.

    What to give a dog for itching allergies

    Pure carbohydrates, aka starches, are beautiful low in or free of protein, which means dogs generally aren’t allergic to them. There are exceptions: while potato starch is probably safe, whole potatoes might cause an allergy because they contain proteins. Same goes for higher-protein grains love corn and wheat. But overall, grain allergies are much less common than meat allergies.

  • No two foods are exactly the same. There’s not a excellent deal of evidence to propose that a dog who has a reaction to one food it is going to react to a similar food.

    That is, a dog allergic to chicken won’t necessarily be allergic to turkey.

  • Watch for additives. Chemicals, preservatives, colorants, and flavorants aren’t likely to cause a true allergy, but they could trigger an adverse reaction or intolerance symptoms.
  • Peanut allergies are rare in dogs. And if they do happen, they typically aren’t of the severity reported in some humans. Excellent news if your pup is one of the numerous who love a PB treat!
  • With fats, purity matters. Pure fats, love a pure fish oil, are free of protein and shouldn’t trigger a response. But traces of protein can sneak into oils and fats during processing, and in a highly allergic dog, cause issues.

  • Food labels don’t always tell the whole tale. Some non-fresh kibble and canned foods own tested positive for proteins even when they’re not listed on the label.

More facts about dog food allergens that are helpful to know:

  1. Starches are safer. Pure carbohydrates, aka starches, are beautiful low in or free of protein, which means dogs generally aren’t allergic to them. There are exceptions: while potato starch is probably safe, whole potatoes might cause an allergy because they contain proteins.

    Same goes for higher-protein grains love corn and wheat.

    What to give a dog for itching allergies

    But overall, grain allergies are much less common than meat allergies.

  2. Peanut allergies are rare in dogs. And if they do happen, they typically aren’t of the severity reported in some humans. Excellent news if your pup is one of the numerous who love a PB treat!
  3. No two foods are exactly the same. There’s not a excellent deal of evidence to propose that a dog who has a reaction to one food it is going to react to a similar food. That is, a dog allergic to chicken won’t necessarily be allergic to turkey.
  4. Where there’s one allergy, there may be more.

    It’s estimated that more than a third of dogs with one food allergy are allergic to at least one additional food.

  5. With fats, purity matters. Pure fats, love a pure fish oil, are free of protein and shouldn’t trigger a response. But traces of protein can sneak into oils and fats during processing, and in a highly allergic dog, cause issues.
  6. Look out for gelatin. Supplemental oils often come in gelatin capsules, and that gelatin can trigger allergies in some dogs.
  7. Watch for additives. Chemicals, preservatives, colorants, and flavorants aren’t likely to cause a true allergy, but they could trigger an adverse reaction or intolerance symptoms.
  8. Food labels don’t always tell the whole tale.

    Some non-fresh kibble and canned foods own tested positive for proteins even when they’re not listed on the label.

Back to top

More facts about dog food allergens that are helpful to know:

  1. Starches are safer. Pure carbohydrates, aka starches, are beautiful low in or free of protein, which means dogs generally aren’t allergic to them. There are exceptions: while potato starch is probably safe, whole potatoes might cause an allergy because they contain proteins. Same goes for higher-protein grains love corn and wheat. But overall, grain allergies are much less common than meat allergies.
  2. Peanut allergies are rare in dogs.

    And if they do happen, they typically aren’t of the severity reported in some humans.

    What to give a dog for itching allergies

    Excellent news if your pup is one of the numerous who love a PB treat!

  3. No two foods are exactly the same. There’s not a excellent deal of evidence to propose that a dog who has a reaction to one food it is going to react to a similar food. That is, a dog allergic to chicken won’t necessarily be allergic to turkey.
  4. Where there’s one allergy, there may be more. It’s estimated that more than a third of dogs with one food allergy are allergic to at least one additional food.

  5. With fats, purity matters. Pure fats, love a pure fish oil, are free of protein and shouldn’t trigger a response. But traces of protein can sneak into oils and fats during processing, and in a highly allergic dog, cause issues.
  6. Look out for gelatin. Supplemental oils often come in gelatin capsules, and that gelatin can trigger allergies in some dogs.
  7. Watch for additives. Chemicals, preservatives, colorants, and flavorants aren’t likely to cause a true allergy, but they could trigger an adverse reaction or intolerance symptoms.
  8. Food labels don’t always tell the whole tale.

    Some non-fresh kibble and canned foods own tested positive for proteins even when they’re not listed on the label.

Back to top


Food Allergies

Just love people, dogs can be allergic to just about anything. If you don’t discover any fleas or ticks and your dog still has itchy skin, you might be dealing with an allergy of some sort. Before you start any treatment, it’s best to check with your vet to law out what your dog might be allergic to.

What to give a dog for itching allergies

Food allergies, however, are one of the rarer allergies among dogs.

Finding the Culprit

Food allergies, while rare, do happen and elimination foods can prove necessary to discover out what ingredient(s) your dog is allergic to. You can work with your vet to do novel or hydrolyzed protein food trials to assess for food allergies and to make certain you avoid the trigger protein but also that your dog is being served proper nutrition. Over the counter limited ingredient foods may not own the quality control to avoid cross-contamination of ingredients, so you and your vet may desire to select a limited antigen therapeutic food that is consistent with the needs of your furry companion.


Environmental Allergies

If your dog is still itching, but he doesn’t own fleas or a food allergy, he may own some environmental allergies to things love pollen or dander.

A nutrition change may not do much in the way of relief, but your veterinarian may recommend a therapeutic food to improve your dog’s skin health. And your vet will own the best suggestions when confronting environmental allergens.

Depending on the severity of your dog’s itchiness, treatment can range from minor to extensive, going beyond just one method. Simple oral medication might be ideal during the worst parts of the year, along with regular grooming. Desensitization «allergy injections» may assist a percentage of dogs.

Of course, steroid injections and stronger medications are suggested if your dog’s itching persists. Regardless of the cause, you’ll desire to seek your vet’s assessment before taking matters into your own hands.

Protecting Your Pooch

Eliminating the source of environmental allergies can be extremely hard, but not impossible. Dogs need to go exterior and exercise, though, so keeping them away from pollen completely just isn’t practical. For dogs with itchy skin, wiping below or washing their feet and underbelly after going exterior to do their trade is a grand way to reduce irritation. If your dog has been out playing every day, consider giving him an entire, full-body bath.

There are numerous shampoos, conditioners, and even medicated wipes that are designed specifically to remove pollen and reduce the irritation it brings. Hold in mind, however, that too numerous baths can backfire, causing your dog to own dry, itchy skin that needs its own relief.


RELATED VIDEO: