Dog Allergies Basics

by Ciara Black

While in humans allergies most commonly manifest with respiratory symptoms, dogs with allergies are most likely to suffer from skin issues.

Sierra scratches her ears

If your dog is itching and scratching, an allergy is one of the prime suspects.

It is important to properly diagnose and treat your dogʼs allergy, as he cannot do it himself. 

Be sure to monitor your dogʼs change in behavior or any symptoms of a possible allergy.

The most common types of allergies in dogs are
  • Flea allergies
  • Atopy (sometimes called inhalant allergy)
  • Food allergies

About 40% of dogs suffer from allergies every day. 

It could be a change in your dogʼs 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.

Not sure what to look for when it comes to allergies? 

Without a doubt, the most common symptom of an allergy is excessive itching and biting of the fur.

However, there are other things to keep an eye out for. Other symptoms may include:
  • 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 excessive biting, licking or scratching of the skin. Common areas for hot spots are on the paws or right above the tail.
  • 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 colored discharge or head shaking.
  • Irritated, red rashes under the fur. If your dog is itching in one area, in particular, check that area for a rash. The area is usually flaky, red and slightly swollen. Often times a rash can pop up within the first few hours in contact with the allergen.
  • Watery eyes and nose. Your dogʼs 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 determine whether or not it is an allergy.

Related articles:
Why Is My Dog So Itchy? Top 5 Causes Of Itching In Dogs
Dog Allergies: Common, Commonly Misdiagnosed, or Both?
Food Allergies in Dogs


  1. Ugh, our poor Felux has allergies *to everything* and it was a real chore to find them all and minimize their impact through anti-inflammatory supplements. I would urge people to look past the conventional vet care treatment for allergies of steroid treatments and consider a holistic approach. It's worked far better for our house than the drugs!

  2. I agree that holistic is always better where feasible. Steroids certainly help the dog feel better but have serious side effects.

    What supplements are you using?

  3. Hi Y'all,

    Like Kol, I am allergic to everything and takes just about everything to control them...which includes twice daily loratidine and specially formulated allergy shots from a human allergy lab (perscription). Shots are sometimes weekly, but during low allergy periods, monthly. Special diet, benadryl gel or spray also help.

    I see a couple of vets and yes holistic is one. And the Humans have a good friend who is a holistic vet and helped design some of the treatment, even though it is not true holistic, we experimented 'til we found what works best...and best ain't always good. :(

  4. Hi Hawk, sorry the allergies are bothering you so. Dogs and humans are suffering from them more and more.

    I think that when choosing a treatment it's always best to consider what either modality has to offer (conventional or alternative) and see which ones (alone or in combination) bring best results.

  5. Ear Infections in Dogs is big problem for our pets. Jilly, a 5 year old female mix breed is troubled with ear infection. An xray of the ear along with physical exam has performed. Afetr recovery, Jilly has no pain in ear. Ear Infections in Dogs

  6. Is Your Itchy DOG [Allergy] SAD ?

    Flea / Food = No
    Enviro = Yes !

    Research indicates that ..

    85% of our constant Paw Chewing, Itchy, Skin & Ear Issue DOGs are Allergic to the Same Pollens, Dust Mites & Molds that We Suffer From.

    Pet Parent Testimonials say that Doggy GOO builds Tolerance to 10 Pollens, 2 Dust Mites & 3 Molds via a Tasty Treat ..


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