How to Help Your Itchy, Sneezy Dog

Think it's just you sneezing?

Nope - dogs have allergies too! They're just like us: they can inhale, ingest or have skin allergies. The most common allergens are grass, trees, cigarette smoke, perfumes, foods and fleas. How do you know if your dog is allergic to something?

Watch for these common symptoms:

  • Itchy, runny or red eyes.
  • Increased scratching. Red skin can indicate too much scratching as well. When focus is on the ears, it could mean an ear infection
  • Sneezing.
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea.
  • Constant licking or chewing at paws.

And here's how to prevent allergies:

  • Fleas: Use a flea medicine or collar regularly to help prevent a flea breakout.
  • Foods: Read all ingredients prior to trying new foods or treats.
  • Give baths regularly. Dogs can get “build up” on their fur. You like clean hair, don't you?
  • For red or itchy skin, try giving your dog an oatmeal bath. It'll help soothe irritated skin.
  • Clean food and water bowls regularly. They can grow bacteria, especially if water bowls are left in the hot sun for long hours. Plus, they need fresh water too!

If your dog has any of the above symptoms and not improving, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. After a physical examination, she may be able to determine the allergy source. Once diagnosed, it's best to remove the allergen (if possible) away from the dog. In some cases, antihistamines, such as Benadryl, can be given.

But always ask your vet before administering any medication. Just to be safe!

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