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Does my dog have allergies?

Article by: Jessica Long

We unfortunately all at some point in life have dealt with allergies...well guess what? Our pups are not exempt! Just like humans, dogs deal with both environmental allergies as well as food allergies.

Environmental allergies (pollen, fleas, etc.) account for 90 percent of allergies we see in dogs, but 10 percent of allergies come from their diet, so we must figure out what is causing these pesky problems.

Common food allergies in dogs are proteins found in wheat, soy, chicken, lamb, beef, dairy and eggs. Food allergies in dogs may exhibit themselves in a variety of ways, but two of the most common signs we notice are itchy skin and digestive upset.

Allergies cause an overreaction in our pup’s immune system and while the immune system is attacking the allergen it creates an inflammatory response causing great itch to our dog’s skin. Common areas that are affected are paws, groin, face, abdomen and ears. Hot spots or wounds may also develop from the repetitive licking or chewing on the skin.

“But my dogs had that food before, and it has never caused an issue!” Don’t eliminate the possibility of an allergy being present just because your dog has had a certain food before and not reacted, believe it or not allergies can develop in dogs anywhere from 6 months to 3 years of life.

So how do we figure out what may be causing that pesky itch or GI upset in our pup?

The best way to narrow down what may be causing these symptoms is process of elimination. Process of elimination takes a lot of patience from the owner but in the end will be completely worth it in preserving the health of our furry friend.

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