Ask the Vet: Dog Allergies - Michigan Humane Society

Ask the Vet: Dog Allergies

“My dog has allergies that are pretty bad right now. Other than allergy pills, what can I do to help him feel better?”

A visit to your veterinarian is recommended to determine what may be the cause of the allergies, and to help rule-out other medical concerns.

If your dog seems itchy and/or develops skin or ear infections during the warmer months, he could have environmental allergies to grasses, pollen and other things outside. If allergy pills (antihistamines) alone don’t provide relief, your veterinarian can prescribe other medications that may be more effective. Other things you can do include bathing to wash allergens off his coat, and limiting his contact time outdoors. Some dogs will tolerate wearing a t-shirt while outside, which can help decrease contact with allergens. Washing his feet after he has been outside can be helpful.

Flea control is important. All it takes is the bite of one flea to cause a reaction in some pets. Your veterinarian can recommend an effective flea control product. If your dog’s allergies seem to continue year round, it is important to talk to your veterinarian about the potential for food allergies. A dog can develop an allergy to food at any time, even if it is a product he has been eating for years. A strict diet trial with a prescription food is needed to help rule-out a food allergy.

Allergies can be frustrating, are usually life-long and it can be difficult to determine the underlying cause. A combination of therapies is often needed to keep an allergic animal comfortable. It is important to speak with your veterinarian who can develop a plan specific to your dog’s needs.

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