Dogs are generally pretty healthy animals with great immune systems. However, it’s not at all uncommon for these immune systems to overreact to certain stimuli, causing allergies. If your dog has allergy symptoms, you may feel frustrated because it’s difficult to find the root of the problem. To help you pinpoint the issue, here are the four most common causes of canine allergies.

1. Fleas

Many dogs are allergic to fleas – more specifically, flea saliva. If your dog is allergic to fleas, you will probably notice a rash on her skin. She will probably scratch this rash often, either by rubbing against the ground, using her paws, or biting the area. Sometimes the excessive scratching will cause the rash to scab over or bleed. If your dog has this allergy, you will need to be even more vigilant about flea prevention and removal. Comb her fur several times a day with a flea comb, use a topical or oral flea medication, and bathe her regularly. You may also need to treat your home for fleas, especially if the infestation is severe.

2. Food

Just like humans, many dog have food allergies, and the symptoms can be troublesome. He will usually experience gastrointestinal issues such as vomiting or diarrhea along with other symptoms such as a skin rash, itchy or red eyes, swollen or red ears, coughing, or sneezing. It can be difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of a food allergy, but there are a few things you can try. First, ask your vet for an allergy test. He may be able to test your pet’s saliva to find the food allergy. If your dog has been eating the same food regularly for years, try switching brands. Some food allergies are caused by a lack of variety in the diet. By the same token, if you recently changed pet food, the new food may be the culprit. If your dog eats a wide variety of foods, you may need to try an elimination diet to find the source.

3. Pollen

Pollen is also a common allergy trigger for dogs. Your pup may be allergic to a variety of different types of plants, including grasses, weeds, houseplants, garden plants, trees, or bushes. It can be difficult to find the specific cause of these allergies, but the good news is that the allergy is likely only seasonal since most plants aren’t in bloom year-round.

4. Medication

If your dog regularly takes prescription medication, it’s possible that she has developed an allergy to it. If you believe this may be the cause of your pet’s allergies, call your vet for advice before stopping or switching medications.  He or she can go over your pet’s symptoms, possibly perform an saliva test or recommend ways to find the triggers, and then advise treatment options. For many pets, a daily medication like Apoquel is enough to stop allergy symptoms and allow them to lead a normal, healthy life. Apoquel is used to treat atopic dermatitis, which is a skin disease caused by allergies. This is one of the most common allergy symptoms in canines, so the medication could provide significant relief for your best friend.




Lannie, writer for Allivet. Allivet provides affordable pet supplies and pet medications, all of which can be purchased online at Allivet