Canine allergies: recognising and treating the symptoms
Just like us humans, dogs also frequently suffer from allergies. These can be triggered by quite different causes, causing highly unpleasant conditions for your furry friend!
In this article, we explain which allergies are particularly common in dogs, the symptoms by which they make themselves visible, and how they can be treated.
What is an allergy?
An allergy is an excessive reaction on the part of the body. The organism treats a substance, which is actually completely harmless, and with which it comes into contact, as a threat. The immune systems attempts to fight the apparent danger and an allergic reaction results.
The three most common allergies in dogs
Dogs can suffer from a range of allergies. The most common are flea allergies, followed by atopical dermatitis. In third place comes food allergies, in which our four-legged friends experience an allergic reaction to particular substances in their food.
Fleas are enough of a burden in their own right. No matter what, they cause unpleasant itching in dogs and, for this reason alone, they should be treated thoroughly. However, it all gets even worse if your four-legged friend suffers from an additional allergy to fleas.
Flea allergies are the single most common allergy in dogs. They are caused by protein compounds in the flea’s saliva, and can theoretically occur in any animal that suffers from a flea infection.
Symptoms of a flea allergy
A flea allergy can become apparent due to a wide range of highly different symptoms. However, the most typical is particularly intense itching, which is often restricted to the rear half of the body. Sometimes, there may also be reddening of the skin and purulent information, known as hotspots.
Atopical dermatitis is an allergic reaction that takes the form of a skin condition. It is caused by the skin coming into contact with a wide range of environmental substances.
Some of the most common allergens that trigger atopical dermatitis include house dust mites and flower or grass pollen. As pollen only is only present on a seasonal basis, the associated skin condition also does not occur all year round.
Symptoms of atopical dermatitis
Reddening of the skin and intense itching are also the primary symptoms of atopical dermatitis. These may occur all over the body and cause the dog to lick, scratch and bite itself frequently. These behaviours actually make the problem worse, causing dandruff and hair loss.
A food allergy occurs when the dog reacts to a particular ingredient in its food. These allergens are mainly animal proteins.Common allergens include beef and dairy products. In addition, cereals (particularly wheat) are common triggers of food-borne allergies in dogs.
Symptoms of food allergies
Food allergies are also expressed as skin problems such as itching and rashes. Additionally, your dog may experience ear infections, while digestive complaints are another frequent consequence of food allergies.
Treatment of canine allergies
The best way to deal with allergic complaints in your dog is, naturally, to avoid contact with the relevant allergen.
For example, in the case of a food allergy, this may be possible via a change of diet (possibly by systematically eliminating certain foodstuffs). In the case of a flea allergy, you can do this by strenuously ensuring that your furry friend is not affected by fleas.
If your four-legged friend suffers from atopical dermatitis, however, it all looks quite different as there is, of course, no way to avoid contact with pollen completely.
In this case, however, it is possible to carry out what is referred to as desensitisation. This treatment method repeatedly exposes the dog to the allergen, gradually increasing the dosage each time.
With a little luck, the body of the dog will gradually get used to the allergen, so that the complaint does not reoccur (or at least, occurs in a less intense form). The probability of success for desensitisation is around 70%.
Our feeding recommendations in the case of a food allergy
If your furry friend suffers from a food allergy, you cannot avoid adjusting its diet. It is essential to feed your dog a diet that excludes the protein that is responsible for the allergy.
Instead of undertaking time-consuming experiments via an exclusionary diet, we recommend that you immediately switch to a dog food with a range of ingredients with virtually no potential to cause allergies.
For example, our dog food with insect proteins falls into this category. We use black soldier fly larvae to produce this. Unlike beef, these larvae have so far virtually never been used as a feedstuff, with allergic reactions being practically impossible as a result.
Moreover, insect protein features an impressive, complex structure of amino acids and contains all the amino acids that are essential for dogs, is highly digestible, and is perfect for your dog’s nutritional needs.
This represents the optimum way for your dog to meet its protein requirements, with exceptional digestibility, and while causing complaints triggered by food allergies to disappear.
Try it for yourself and see how impressive it is. Alongside our two dry dog food varieties with insect protein (Natural Feast and Farm Feast), our Wet Food Favourites menu will soon be available in a hypoallergenic variant with insect protein.
Food supplements to support your dog’s diet
Apart from the actual dog food, specific food supplements can also help to reduce allergic symptoms. We recommend that you use Bellfor Kidney Strength and Immune. Both products are formulated exclusively with natural ingredients and are entirely free from artificial additives.
Bellfor Kidney Strength
The role of the kidneys is to filter harmful impurities from the blood, and these impurities are then excreted via the urine. If the kidneys are overburdened, however, they are unable to complete their task adequately.
Bellfor Kidney Strength helps to encourage the detoxification process in the kidneys, thereby preventing the build-up of toxins in the body of your dog.
Constant contact with an allergen represents a major burden for your dog’s body. Over the longer term, this can weaken its immune system, which then results in a greater occurrence of disease.
With Bellfor Immune, you can naturally strengthen your furry friend’s defences, thanks to ingredients such as insect protein, sea buckthorn, and propolis.