Environmental Allergies In Dogs. How They Cause Itchy Skin and what you should be doing.

Environmental allergies in dogs/pets. Another big one for me to cover in this skin journey we are all on. Thank you for joining the ride and I hope you’re finding all this useful!

The world of skin is so diverse, there truly are so many reasons your dog can be itchy and this is just another one.

So let us go over the What, How and Then what to do about your dog’s potential environmental allergies.

Environmental allergies in dogs

The What!



What are environmental allergies in dogs? Well they are just that an allergy to ones environment.

Humans get them too and we often refer to them as hayfever.

Dogs generally develop allergies in their first year of life. However, it is important to note they can develop an environmental allergy at any time.

I know how annoying!! I’m there with you and I wish it was different but life is life. You and your dog have my empathy.

Dog’s display different symptoms of environmental allergies compared with humans. Often becoming itchy, rashy, suffering ear infections and even scratching themselves raw!

Don’t worry there is hope, if you’re suspecting environmental allergies in your dog. We can get to the bottom of this and either manage or fix it!!

Golden Retriever

So What Are The Types Of Environmental Allergies My Dog Can Get?

So what are the different types of environmental allergens?

Well, there are a lot!
I will give you some examples of environmental allergies:


Trees – Yep all the individual types too.
Grasses – there are many varieties of grasses too.
Weeds – all of them too
Dust Mites – The microscopic mite that lives in your house no matter how clean you are.
Yeast – Grows on a dogs skin.
Human Dander – Yep your dog can be allergic to you!
Cats – and the cat too!
Fleas – The best way to avoid this, is to prevent it by using good flea protection!

Need I go on, please also bear in mind your dog can have multiple allergies. More often than not, they are allergic to many environmental allergens.

Dalmatian hug



The How

How does my dog develop an environmental allergy?

Well Environmental allergies in dogs are basically an allergic reaction or hypersensitivity.

Often developed in the first year of a dog’s life as they go through all four seasons for the first time.

An allergic reaction occurs when the immune system overreacts to a harmless substance known as an allergen. The immune system protects the body from infections, viruses and diseases.

An allergic reaction occurs when cells in the immune system interpret a foreign substance or allergen as harmful. The immune system overreacts to these allergens and produces histamine, which is a chemical that causes allergy symptoms.

And that is how an allergy is formed!

Dog

What to do about it.

Surprise! again! Talk to your vet!

There are many options for environmental allergies ranging from steroid treatment to the gold standard methods. All of these can be discussed with your vet.

What is considered gold standard treatment for environmental allergies in dogs?

Intradermal skin testing followed by Immunotherapy.
This is also used in human medicine.

This is also the only known treatment for environmental allergies.

All other methods are just suppressing/masking the symptoms of the allergies. Not fixing the cause.

What is intradermal skin testing?

Intradermal skin testing is a method to help determine whether an individual is allergic to a specific allergen. The test involves injections of small amounts of a range of suspected allergens.

The injections are placed under the surface of the skin. While the animal is sedated.

What is Immunotherapy?

Immunotherapy is also known as desensitization or an allergy vaccination.

It works by gradually exposing the bodies immune system to different levels of the confirmed allergen. This is done through a series of injections given to the dog subcutaneously.

This is all done in the hope to permanently reduce or stop the immune systems response to the allergen/s.

Results vary sometimes animals are cured completely, and other times it only reduces the severity of the allergic reactions. A small percentage of animal won’t respond at all to immunotherapy.

But as I said earlier it is the only chance at a cure we currently have available for environmental allergies. So it is defiantly worth a go. In my experience results are often good.

If immunotherapy is not an option as I said earlier there are many drug options for suppressing the symptoms of environmental allergies in dogs. So don’t panic talk with your vet about all the options.

In Conclusion.

Environmental allergies in dogs are basically an allergic reaction or hypersensitivity.

Often developed in the first year of life, but can happen later in a dog’s life stage too.

An allergic reaction occurs when cells in the immune system interpret a foreign substance or allergen as harmful. The immune system overreacts to these allergens and produces histamine.

Intradermal skin testing followed by Immunotherapy is considered the only and gold standard treatment for environmental allergies in dogs.

If you suspect environmental allergies in your dog talk to you vet asap about your options.

As always thanks for reading.

Make sure to check out my other skin related posts :

My Pets Itchy skin:
https://furfunme.com/fur-fun-with-pets/dog-is-itchy-all-the-time/

Food Allergies in dogs:
https://furfunme.com/fur-fun-with-pets/food-allergy-trial/

How do you treat environmental allergies in dogs?

Intradermal skin testing followed by Immunotherapy is considered the only and gold standard treatment for environmental allergies in dogs.

How can I help my dog with allergies?

If you suspect environmental allergies in your dog talk to you vet asap about your options.

What are the environmental allergies?

Trees – Yep all the individual types too.
Grasses – there are many varieties of grasses too.
Weeds – all of them too
Dust Mites – The microscopic mite that lives in your house no matter how clean you are.
Yeast – Grows on a dogs skin.
Human Dander – Yep your dog can be allergic to you!
Cats – and the cat too!
Fleas – The best way to avoid this, is to prevent it by using good flea protection!

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I try to do a skin post once a week until I feel I have fully covered skin issues in dogs the way I would like.

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