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Dogs have allergies, too

When most people talk about allergies and dogs, they mean allergies to dogs. However, dogs can suffer from allergies, too. In dogs, most allergies result in itching and ear problems. Dogs do not usually suffer from wheezing and asthma attacks from their allergies.

Allergies are really just the bodies normal reaction to a foreign substance taken to extremes. Instead of attacking viruses and bacteria, the body attacks pollens and the proteins in bites from fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and similar creatures. Before reacting to a substance, the body has to be exposed to it several times. For that reason, flea bites top the scale when it comes to substances that cause allergies. It is estimated that about 40 percent of dogs have an allergic reaction to flea bites. Fortunately for most dogs, there are now very good flea control products to keep fleas in check.

Other common allergies are to grass and dust. Some breeds of dogs are more prone to allergies than others. If a dog’s parents had allergies, the dog is more likely to have them, as well. This is one reason that knowing the medical history of both the breed of dog you are interested in and the specific parents of the puppy you want is so important.

It is essential to work with your veterinarian to treat allergies. While steroids were used in the past, and may still be necessary in severe cases, there are other medications that work in less severe cases. Keeping fleas under control is absolutely essential as that will aggravate any other allergies. Diet is very important. A good diet that does not contain anything the dog is allergic to can help the body deal with the stress of seasonal pollens and other allergy causing substances. A bad diet not only stresses the body and makes it less able to cope with problems, the food may contain fillers the dog is allergic to. Your veterinarian can recommend a diet to fit your dog’s situation.

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