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Dog Allergies


by Ciara Black

About 40% of dogs suffer from allergies everyday. It could be a change in your dog’s environment, a new type of dog food or something a little more difficult to determine. Most allergies are very minor, however, you should always take your dog to the veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.

There are five known types of dog allergies:

  1. Inhalant allergies
  2. Flea allergies
  3. Food allergies
  4. Bacteria allergies
  5. Contact allergies

Dog allergies can be respiratory, as in humans, but are usually more common on the
skin. About 20% of dog’s itching and scratching comes from an allergy.
It is important to properly diagnose and treat your dog’s allergy, as he cannot do it
himself. Be sure to monitor your dog’s change in behavior or any symptoms of a
possible allergy.

Not sure what to look for when it comes to allergies? The most common symptom is
excessive itching and biting of the fur. Other symptoms may include:

  • Irritated, red rashes under the fur. If your dog is itching in one area in particular, check that area for a rash.
  • Ear infections. These are very common in food allergies. 90% of ear infections occur on the outer ear of your dog. Some signs of an ear infection are itching, a yellow to brown coloured discharge or head shaking.
  • Bumps or sores on the skin; also known as “hot spots”. A hot spot is a localized area of skin inflammation and infection. These can be caused by biting, licking or scratching of the skin. Common areas for hot spots are on the paws or right above the tail.
  • Watery eyes and nose. Your dog’s nose and eyes are naturally moist and may water for no reason. It is important to note if your dog has excessive eye discharge or mucous along with any other allergy symptoms to properly diagnose.
  • Shedding or flakey skin. This is very common with bacterial and contact allergies. These allergies deal primarily with the dog’s skin. Excessive biting or scratching of the skin may cause flakey, shedding rashes, much like dandruff.

Always watch for the many different symptoms to help identify your dog’s allergy and treat it immediately.

Ciara is a lover of all things dog, especially small ones! She owns a Chihuahua-Pomeranian
cross named Bijou– her little ball of energy always keeps her busy. A few years back
Bijou got very sick with an ear infection, and ever since she has been interested in all
areas of dog health. Check out Dog Allergies Resource to learn more about the types of dog allergies, their symptoms and treatments.


About Author

Devoted pet owner and now, devoted pet editor, Judi worked in traditional offices, keeping the books and the day-to-day operations organized. Taking her dog to work every day for over a decade never seemed odd. Neither did having an office cat. She knows what it's like to train a new puppy and she's experienced the heartache of losing beloved companions. Retired, she currently lives with her spoiled dog and four chickens (who are, interestingly enough, also spoiled).


  1. Both my dog and cat suffer from allergies. I have not found vets particularly helpful in this matter but I would be curious to know if anyone else has? My dog seems to have skin allergies that I haven’t been able to help. My cat has food allergies and it has been a lot of trial and error to find what she can eat.

  2. marieljackson on

    Hi Ciara… Thanks for sharing this blog. I am really interested with this since I am very fond of dogs. At least I am now aware of the possible allergies my pet may have.

  3. We have not found vets helpful on this issue either—steroid shots seem to be what they usually recommend—treating the symptom rather than the problem itself. We believe that allergies that manifest in a dog’s skin usually start inside—many dogs today have “toxin overload” from preservatives and artificial flavorings and colorings in their foods. A regular dog cleanse/detox can help with this, as can switching to a better quality food with fewer questionable ingredients.

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