Here, in the following piece of article, I am going to share the most common types of allergies found in canines. But before that, you must know to be aware of “why your pet scratching his body continuously?” or has developed the symptoms i.e. itching, swelling on the face, paws, or skin, coughing, runny nose, etc.

A dog may be allergic to anything, yes I mean anything may cause allergies in dogs. The allergens (things that cause allergies) could be his toys, fleas (saliva), molds, dust, grass/pollen, food, etc. Allergy could also be an inherited gift for your pet as Eczema (atopic dermatitis).


What Causes Allergies in Canines?

Allergy is a counter-response of a body’s defense system (the immune system) against a foreign substance.

Sometimes, a dog’s immune system misjudges the foreign substance as an invader and assumes that it could cause harm to the body. Hence, releases cytokines and histamines that alert the body causing itching, swelling (inflammation) on the skin by increasing the blood flow, discomfort, irritations, coughing, diarrhea, watery eyes, redness on the skin, and in eyes, sore throat, etc.

List of Common Dog Allergies

Food Allergy

It is the most common type of allergy found in dogs. Mainly dogs become allergic to certain types of protein found in dairy products, beef, chicken, mutton, pork, turkey, and grains.

Commonly, pets below one-year-old don’t show this type of allergy symptoms. However, food allergies may start showing signs and symptoms in young and old dogs.

You may like to read:   What to feed a dog with a food allergy?

Symptoms of Food Allergy in Dogs

The most common food allergy symptoms are;

Digestive system disorders

  • Gas
  • GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease)
  • Bloating
  • Flatulence
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting & Nausea
  • Heartburn
  • Dry mouth
  • Ulcers in the esophagus, stomach, small or large intestines
  • Loss of appetite (short-term anorexia)
  • Abdominal cramps and pain

Skin Disorders

Below is the list of common skin allergy symptoms in dogs;

  • Rashes
  • Inflammation or swelling on the face, paws, skin, or the other parts of the body
  • Hives
  • Redness in eyes, skin, and on other body organs
  • Itching and irritation


Food allergy may also cause the following symptoms (in rare cases);

  • Runny nose
  • Watery eyes
  • Persistent coughing
  • Sore throat

Only a veterinarian may (better) diagnose this type of allergy in pets. For diagnosing purposes, the vet may prescribe a hypoallergenic diet to your dog for 04 to 08 weeks. This is known as an Elimination diet technique to find the main culprit behind protein (food) allergy.

In the elimination diet method, your pet is not allowed to eat food other than a hypoallergenic diet (for at least one month). If the allergy symptoms go away in that period, then you could add regular food to your pet’s diet (step by step). You can add a specific (single type of) food (for a week or two) to your pet’s diet and see whether it aids in returning the symptoms or not. If not try another and see if the symptoms reoccur.

That’s the elimination diet technique to figure out the food allergy root cause. Simply remove that certain type of food and all other dog foods that contain ingredients from that source.

Environmental Allergy

It’s another most common type of allergy in canines. Honestly, the environment is a broad term and it includes each and everything your pet interacts with all day long.

It could be smoke, toys, water, soil, dust, grass, clothes, & other living or non-living materials.

How to identify Environmental allergy in pets?

It’s always hard to figure out what is causing allergies in dogs? However, there are some ways to diagnose this kinda allergy by placing an eye on its signs or symptoms.

Below are the most common signs and symptoms of environmental allergy in dogs;

  • Swelling or inflammation on the skin, paws, and face of the dogs
  • Redness & rashes on the skin
  • Severe itching, irritations, and discomfort
  • Coughing
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Certain abdominal or digestive system disorders
  • Lethargy
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Hives

Most of the symptoms of environmental allergy in dogs are the same as food allergies. Only a veterinarian may diagnose this type of allergic reaction in pets.

Medicines like Benadryl, Prednisolone, Dexamethasone, Hydrocortisone, are used for the treatment of environmental allergy in dogs. A vet may decide whether to prescribe corticosteroids, immunosuppressants, antihistamines, or biological medicines (Cytopoint: generic ‘Lokivetmab’).

Atopic Dermatitis

The is the most chronic and life-threatening type of allergy in dogs. Usually, doesn’t show symptoms in young puppies or below 12 months of age. However, it causes severe allergic reactions in the body that are sometimes untreatable and pets don’t get relief by using antihistamines (like Benadryl, Zyrtec, etc).

For this type of inherited allergy Vets usually prescribe immunosuppressant drugs like Apoquel (Oclacitinib maleate) that are available in tablet form and three different strengths, i.e. 3.6mg, 5.4mg, and 16mg. Steroids like prednisolone can also work for this but are not recommended for long-term use. Nowadays, biological medicines like Cytopoint (Lokivetmab) also give good results for atopic dermatitis (eczema) treatment.

Common signs of atopic dermatitis in dogs

This type of allergy commonly affects the skin and may cause the following reactions;

  • Severe itching all over the body
  • Licking paws and ears
  • Red, swollen (inflamed), and irritating skin
  • Hives
  • Scabies

Only a veterinarian may diagnose this type of allergy in dogs. Consult with a vet for more information. The reason behind atopic dermatitis (eczema) in dogs is under-research. Some veterinarians believe that specific genes are responsible for this and yielded that it’s an inherited disease that will remain with the pets for the rest of their lives.

Seasonal Allergy

This common type of allergy only shows its symptoms in certain seasons, i.e. winter, summer, or spring season. Dogs could be sensitive to specific allergens that are become available only in certain weather. For example, in the spring season, pollen allergy is common in dogs.

Most common signs and symptoms of Seasonal allergy in dogs

Below is the list of some common seasonal allergy symptoms;

  • Runny nose
  • Red or watery eyes
  • Itching or irritation
  • Scabies
  • Redness on the skin and other parts of the body
  • Inflammation or swelling
  • Coughing
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Sore throat
  • Fever

Antihistamine drugs like Benadryl (diphenhydramine) work great for this kinda allergy in dogs. The recommended dose is 1mg for 1lb dog by weight. Consult your pet’s physician before giving any kinds of medicines to your furry pale.

Flea or Insect bite allergies

In some types of dog breeds, insects i.e. flea, molds, ticks, etc are present on their skin and remain hidden in the pet’s long hair.

Commonly, they don’t harm dogs except by drinking a few drops of blood from your dog’s body.

Some dogs are sensitive to these insects (fleas, molds, ticks, and others) saliva. During drinking the blood, these small insects insert their saliva (in a very short amount) into the dog’s system. This causes insect allergies in dogs and the symptoms for this kinda allergy are the following;

  • Redness or swelling on the skin
  • Itching or irritations on the skin, ears, paws, etc
  • Hives
  • Licking paws, ears, and skin all the time

Consult with a veterinarian if you observe the above signs and symptoms of allergies in dogs. The vet may suggest corticosteroids for your pet. Also hydrocortisone cream can work better for inflammation or swelling.

As said before, we don’t recommend or suggest any kinds of medicines for dogs, cats, or other small animals. This article is just for information purposes. You should always consult with a veterinarian before taking any medicines for your pet.

Home remedies for Allergies in Dogs

Some natural remedies are available to treat all kinds of allergies in canines. You can try Apple cider vinegar, yogurt, honey, etc to provide temporary relief from itching, irritations, inflammation, etc. But all these home remedies provide short-term relief. After that, all you must need is a vet appointment for permanent relief.

Also, you can’t diagnose the type of allergy on your own. A veterinarian will take some blood tests to ensure allergic reactions.

Doctor Xeeshan

Doctor Xeeshan

I am Doctor Xeeshan, located in Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan. In this blog, I am providing authentic information about dog breeds, diseases, medications, etc.


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