How to Identify and Treat Your Dog’s Allergies
Australia has one of the highest rates of allergic disorders in the developed world. In fact, almost 1 in 5 (19.6 percent) people have at least one allergy, according to figures collated by the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy. From hay fever to peanut hypersensitivity and everything in between, chances are there are at least a few people in your life who suffer from some type of allergy.
It might surprise you to learn that we humans aren’t the only ones with allergies. About 10 percent of dogs also suffer from seasonal allergies, and experts predict that this number is set to increase in the years ahead. Thankfully, there are a number of things you can do as a conscientious pet owner to reduce these risks.
As we mentioned in a previous blog, Chemdry Express is very excited to be attending Perth Pet Expo 2017, which takes place November 4-5 at the Robinson Pavilion, Claremont Showground. In celebration, we’re sharing some of our best insights on how pet owners can better manage dog allergies and keep their furry companion feeling fit and healthy.
How Can You Tell if Your Dog Has an Allergy?
Dog allergies develop when your dog’s immune system starts to register ordinarily benign substances as dangerous matter. This can trigger an extreme reaction when your pet comes into contact with certain allergens, which - if left untreated - may affect your dog’s health and wellbeing. While all dogs can potentially develop an allergy, some breeds are genetically predisposed to allergic reactions. Pugs, bulldogs, terriers, boxers, dalmatians and retrievers are considered to be high risk in terms of dog allergies.
As with humans, the first step in treating your dog’s allergies is centred around identifying what the allergy actually is. Dog allergies most commonly affect the face, ears and paws and can generally be classified into one of four categories:
- Atopy: a genetic tendency to produce an exaggerated immune reaction to environmental allergens.
- Flea: flea allergy dermatitis. This is one of the most common types of dog allergies.
- Food: allergy triggered by diet. Some of the most common allergens include dairy, beef, wheat, chicken, pork, rabbit, fish, soy and more.
- Contact: allergic contact dermatitis. This type of allergy occurs when your dog’s skin comes into contact with irritants in the environment.
Symptoms can vary depending on the dog, and the type and severity of the allergy. Some of the most common symptoms include:
- Itchy, red skin
- Runny eyes
- Incessant licking
- Itchy near the base of the tail
Do note that this is not an exhaustive list. If you suspect your pet may have an allergy, we highly recommend taking your dog to a veterinarian for a professional diagnosis.
Managing Your Dog’s Allergies
After identifying the allergy, the next step is to consider what you can do to make things easier for your dog. This isn’t necessarily an expensive process, but it does need a bit of forethought and requires you to be mindful of how your actions might affect your dog.
Eliminate Dust By Cleaning Carpet and Upholstery
Even well kept homes can hide a surprising amount of dirt and dust, which is a very common trigger for many dog allergies. With this in mind, one of the most important things you can do to keep your furry friend happy and healthy is to regularly vacuum your home using a vacuum cleaner equipped with a HEPA filter.
To further reduce the risk of an allergic reaction, you may want to consider having your carpets professionally cleaned. As Perth’s carpet dry cleaning specialists, we’re proud to offer an industry leading service that is proven to remove allergens such as dust and dirt, break down stains and keep your carpets looking beautiful. Best of all, our specially formulated solutions are carefully engineered to be safe for use around pets, so you can rest assured your dog will enjoy our services as much as you will!
Regularly Bathe Your Dog
Good hygiene is a key part of keeping ourselves healthy, and the same rings true when it comes to our pets. Weekly bathing serves to remove allergens and potentially harmful bacteria while having the added bonus of moisturising your dog’s skin - particularly important if your dog has been scratching itself a lot recently.
If your dog doesn’t like taking baths, it may be due to the scent of the shampoo. Shop around for other products, keep an eye out for low fragrance options and do some experimenting to see what your dog does and doesn’t like. Remember to discuss options with your vet, as the wrong choice of shampoo could result in dried out skin.
Keep Feet Clean
Given that your dog’s feet are the most common points of contact with the ground, it should come as little surprise that their paws can carry all sorts of allergens. Be sure to always wipe your dog’s paws off with a damp cloth after going for a walk to remove dust, dirt, bacteria and foreign chemicals, and reduce the risk of triggering an allergy.
Close Your Doors and Windows
While using a professional carpet cleaning service in Perth can remove allergens from your home, you can reduce initial exposure by simply keeping your doors and windows closed. This prevents pollen, ragweed and other plant-based allergens from entering your home and can help keep your dog feeling healthy.
Invest In Allergy Treatments
Just like humans, dogs can also get medical treatments that prevent or reduce the severity of some forms of allergies. Injections and under the tongue medication are the two most popular types of treatment; be sure to talk to your vet to find out which option is best for your dog’s needs.
If you’re thinking about using a Perth carpet dry cleaning service to remove dog allergens from your home, we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch with the Chemdry Express team today to find out more about your options.
We’re counting down the days to Perth Pet Expo 2017, and we can’t wait to see you there!