Allergies, every dog owners nightmare

Allergies, every dog owners nightmare

Over the last few years there has been a huge rise in allergies in pets but mostly the rise has been seen in our canine companions. It's not entirely understood how dogs get allergies but there are some fairly obvious reasons which we will look at in this blog. 

Allergies are Atopic dermatitis, a negative or over reaction by your dogs immune system defence cells. Atopic dogs also have a dysfunction of their skin barrier. Having a dog with a skin barrier dysfunction means they loose water rather quickly. 

Some dogs can suffer many different allergies, whilst some just suffer from the one or two allergies. The best thing we can do for our dogs with allergies is improve the immune system. By doing this you won't just improve allegies but you will also improve the overall health of your dog. 

There are three ways to define allergies 

* Inhalant allergies: Pollens, mould, fungus spores and storage mites. 

Contact allergies: Grasses, animal dander, dust mites, different materials, pesticides and pollen. 

Dietry allergies: meat and fish protiens, grains, gluten etc. 

By looking at the three ways to define allergies its easy to look at one way we can say there is a concrete explanation for dog allergies and that is commercial dog food. Commercial dog food has come a long way since it first made an appearance onto the market in the mid 1800's which actually started out by using animal by products (the waste that was not fit for human consumption) and by products from the baking industry. Times have moved on since then but we are still using ingredients that are not fit for human consumption and ingredients that dogs would not eat given a choice. Dog food is filled with 'fillers' and artificial preservatives such as BHA (Butylated hydroxyanisole) and BHT (Butylated hydroxytoluene) which are added to dog foods to preserve the shelf life, which will have a huge impact on your dogs immune system. 

There are obviously other factors that could be causing allergies in dogs like breed disposition, some breeds of dogs are at greater risk of contracting allergies than others , like bull breeds and gundog breeds. It is unknown why but reports show a higher percentage of these breeds suffer with allergies than other's

What to look out for? 

Allergy symptoms can vary but common symptoms consist of constant scratching, face rubbing, runny eyes, runny nose, nasal congestion, recurrent ear infections, coughing, sneezing, red itchy skin,hot spots, dry flaky skin, rashes and hair loss. 

Symptoms can also indicate what type of allergy your dealing with, i.e contact, inhalant or dietry allerges. for instance food allergies could show as paw licking, hot spots, hair loss, ear infections and in bad cases vomiting and diarrhoea. 

what can you do? 

As discussed above you can start by improving your dogs immune system. This can be done by adding things into their foods like bone broth, salmon oils and nutrient loaded veggies. Getting the right amount of exercise and sleep will also greatly improve their immune system. It's so important to keep all bowls, beds and walking equiment clean too! Bacteria and other nasties can build up in your dogs bowls and beds and cause a weakening to your dogs immune system. 



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