A significant number of dogs suffer from an allergy to one thing or another, which can range from relatively minor to having a quite pronounced effect upon your dog. Getting to the bottom of what triggers your dog’s allergies can go a long way towards helping you to resolve the problem, and may mean that you can keep your dog clear of their potential triggers, and help them to avoid allergenic flare-ups.
In this article, we will look at ten of the most common allergenic triggers that can affect dogs, some of which you probably already know about, but some that you might not have considered! Read on to learn more.
Pollen is one of the most common canine allergenic triggers, and probably the hardest one to limit exposure to! If your dog appears to suffer from seasonal allergies and displays symptoms that are rather like hay fever, your dog may be allergic to pollen or grass. You are rather limited in terms of what you can do to minimise the effects that pollen has on your dog, but keeping the house free of plants, giving an antihistamine when their allergies are playing up, and wiping them off with a damp cloth when they have been out walking can help.
Wheat is probably the most common grain used as a bulking agent or filler in dog food, and most dogs can happily eat wheat with no problems. However, some dogs are intolerant of it, just like some people can be, and as wheat fillers are not an essential element of dog food, changing to a wheat-free product may well help your dog.
Corn is another common pet food grain, and one that is less likely to pose an allergenic trigger for most dogs. However, for dogs that do prove to be allergic to corn, finding the right food for them can be challenging, as corn oils and other by-products are often used in dog food, as well as the grain itself. Choosing a special grain-free food, or one that is designed to help with dietary sensitivities can help with this.
It might seem odd to think that dogs can be allergic to meat, but it does happen! For the vast majority of dogs with such an allergy, they will most likely be allergic to only one meat product, such as beef, lamb or chicken, and be fine with other meats. Fish allergies can also present in dogs, and so finding a dog food that does not use whichever ingredient proves to be a trigger for your dog can help to resolve the problem.
Mould comes in a great many different formats, and is caused by a fungal colony that may develop somewhere you can see it, but in some cases, cannot be easily spotted. Just like many people, dogs can be allergic to the mould spores themselves, and this can have repercussions for their respiratory health and affect the upper respiratory tract. If you find that your dog has an allergy to mould, doing what you can to limit their exposure to it is important.
Dust is another widely spread substance that is present in the home and in the air, and which can irritate the respiratory system of dogs that are sensitive to it. Keeping your house clean and dust-free, and vacuuming regularly can help to keep dust in the air to a minimum, and installing an air purifier with a HEPA filter can help to keep the air clear as well.
Some dogs can be allergic to feathers, which they may come into contact with either with birds outside of the home, or if you keep pet birds as well. Another source of this allergenic trigger is of course down and feather duvets and pillows, and if you are running out of ideas when it comes to working out what is triggering your dog’s allergic reactions, this may be worthy of consideration.
Eggs are highly nutritious sources of protein, which are often incorporated into canine diets and that have many potential positive benefits for dogs. However, some dogs can be allergic to them, and this may, in some cases, come accompanied by an allergy to feathers. If your dog is allergic to eggs, it should not be too hard to find a diet for them that does not contain eggs or any other chicken products.
Household chemicals and cleaners should be kept out of the reach of your dog at all times, but dogs can still be affected by allergies to them when you are cleaning the house! Household cleaners and chemicals can be the cause of a reasonably wide range of allergies in the dog, and this may mean that you have to change your product range to account for this.
Finally, shampoo. Just as people can come up with sensitivities to things like soaps, face creams and other body care products, so too may your dog appear to be allergic to a certain shampoo, or type of shampoo. Stick to products that are pH balanced, gentle, and designed for use with dogs that have sensitivities.