What to do when your dog has seasonal allergies

Dogs can own an allergic reaction to almost anything they come into contact with. The most common allergens for dogs are: fleas, food, dust and dust mites, and «inhalant» allergens (pollen, grass, trees, mold spores, etc). Numerous allergic dogs, especially severely allergic dogs, are allergic to more than one of these.

It is ideal to determine what your dog is allergic to. This is generally not simple. Your dog’s «itch pattern» may assist a little to determine what he or she is allergic to. In general, dog’s with flea allergies scratch over their tail head, on their back. In general, dog’s with food allergies own itchy «ears and rears».

Canine inhalant allergy sufferers tend to gnaw on their feet more that other areas. Don’t determine what your dog is allergic to strictly by his or her itch pattern, but it’s a excellent starting put. For instance, if your pet has a really hard time only over his tail head, get rid of every flea on him. I stress, EVERY flea, because even one single flea bite can start the whole itch cycle every over on a dog that is allergic to them.



It is possible to allergy test your dog. The gold standard for testing is generally going to a board certified veterinary dermatologist and having them act out intradermal skin testing on your dog. As you might imagine, the dog will need to go under anesthesia for this procedure. As you might also imagine, this is relatively expensive. There are beautiful simple allergy blood tests available now that are getting more dependable and precise. Every the allergy blood test involves is your dog giving a little blood and your veterinarian sending it off to a lab. It isn’t cheap either though, because with either intradermal skin testing or the blood tests, your ultimate goal is to own the lab formulate «allergy shots» (desensitization injections) specific for your individual animal.

Relief is on the way …

What to Know About Seasonal Allergies

“Seasonal” allergies are just another way of describing environmental allergies, which are essentially a reaction to something in the immediate environment.

Some of the most common environmental allergies include pollen and ragweed, mold, and dust. Numerous environmental allergens are seasonal in nature which is why some pets (and people) tend to suffer worst during certain times of the year.

Seasonal allergies are most likely to rear their ugly heads in fall and spring when particularly strong allergenic plants are in bloom, but they can happen anytime. This is especially true when you travel with your dog to a new environment, or if you live in a temperate climate (like ours here in California) where things are always blooming.


Work with your veterinarian to discover a truly hypoallergenic diet because numerous dog foods claim to be, but are not. It is also significant to glance at the ingredients in the food(s) you own been feeding that the dog has not done well on and avoid certain ingredients — changing the protein source and avoiding corn and wheat are generally excellent places to start.

What to do when your dog has seasonal allergies

A food trial with the hypoallergenic diet should final no less than 8 weeks! Absolutely nothing else, except water, should pass through your dog’s lips during the food trial (no treats, no people food, no sneaking the cat’s food, change to a heartworm preventative that is not a chewable treat, etc).

I had a patient that turned out to be exclusively food allergic, which is helpful of strange because love I mentioned earlier, allergic animal are generally allergic to multiple allergens. So I suggested a really expensive and extremely excellent hypoallergenic diet.

The dog didn’t improve at every over the eight week food trial. The owner and I were both ready to attempt something else when she told me that she didn’t ponder that this really mattered but her dog loved eating cat poop. She was wildly embarrassed (which she shouldn’t own been, especially with me, because it is extremely common). Cats own a extremely high protein requirement so their food is chock full of allergens, which makes cat poop beautiful darn allergenic! When we finally outsmarted Jackson and figured out how to hold him out of the litter box, his skin improved dramatically.

Multiple food trials may be necessary to fully law out a food allergy. For example, you may own been feeding a chicken based diet and select to do your first food trial with lamb.

Your dog could be allergic to both, necessitating a change to a diverse protein.

What to do when your dog has seasonal allergies

Lamb isn’t really a excellent choice for a food trial (for a lot of reasons, but that’s a topic for another discussion) primarily because it is moderately allergenic. Dermatologists generally recommend a really «novel» protein, love venison, duck, rabbit, salmon or bison.

So now what, after weeks of these feeding trials? Your dog needs some relief! And it’s ok (and generally necessary) to provide relief while you are doing your feeding trial, especially in the beginning.

What to do when your dog has seasonal allergies

Hold in mind that the dog will generally improve with the symptomatic treatment, so don’t let that cause you to believe a certain food is working. Also remember that dogs are often allergic to multiple diverse allergens (fleas, food, dust mites, pollen, etc) so even if your dog is just somewhat improved, you will probably desire to continue with the hypoallergenic diet.


Treating allergies can be frustrating for the owner, the veterinarian, and most of every for the poor dog.

It is significant for owners to realize (and for veterinarians to make certain they inform owners) that allergies don’t generally go away, we primarily treat the symptoms. It will seem love they go away because the animal will generally improve with treatment, but once treatment is stopped and the animal continues to come into contact with what it is allergic to, it will scratch again.

How to assist your dog feel better?

If your dog has ongoing symptoms, you notice a change in their behavior and/or you just feel concerned, we always recommend taking your little one to the vet.

With environmental/seasonal allergens it can be hard if not impossible to identify and remove triggers.

“Over the counter antihistamines such as Benadryl (diphenhydramine), Claritin (loratadine), Zyrtec (cetirizine) own been used.

Frequent bathing can assist as well, and of course, for severe allergic patients, prescription medication is used for itching love Prednisone, Cytopoint, Apoquel and antibiotics/anti-yeast medication for secondary infections,” said Carvalho.


One final, relatively benign (meaning no genuine side effects), treatment option for dogs are fatty acid supplements. Pick one that is formulated for dogs as they own diverse fatty acid requirements than humans do, so it’s hard, if not impossible, to just pour some vegetable oil over their food and “get it right”.

You generally won’t notice anything too dramatic in the way of improvement, but it will help.

I had a client once that swore the liquid fatty acid supplement I started her dog on was making the dog’s skin much worse and, certain enough, I was looking at him and his skin was definitely worse.

What to do when your dog has seasonal allergies

I was thinking we were going to own to attempt something stronger for him until she showed me how she really rubbed the liquid fatty acids into his skin twice a day!?! There are a few topical fatty acid preparations, but the majority, love the one I started her dog on, are supposed to be given ORALLY, so be certain to hear carefully and read labels carefully.

How common are allergies in dogs?

Whether it’s from the environment or food, allergies are common in pets. So, there’s a excellent chance your dog might own them.

What might cause an allergic reaction doesn’t tend to change with age, but certain breeds are more predisposed to allergies than other breeds, said Carvalho.


Denyse Lessard


Denyse Lessard is a therapist in alternative medicine.

She is the creator of the company’s entire line of natural remedies.

She has an extensive educational background and has earned multiple degrees, including diplomas in Chinese medicine, Reflexology, Naturopathy & Iridology, and Homeopathy. She is also a member of the Association of Naturopaths and Naturotherapists of Quebec, and the Professional Union of Homeopaths of Quebec.

When working with her patients, Denyse believes in not only helping pets achieve optimum health, but keeping them in tip-top shape for their entire lives.

We invite you to study more about Denyse’s expertise in the alternative field.

Feel free to contact me anytime at [email protected]

By Caroline Fontein, Pet Lifestyle Contributor

Gnawing on their paws love you swear they were covered in peanut butter?

Enough jingle jangle from scratching around their collar it sounds love Santa is coming? Watery eyes, red ears and incessant sneezing?

Sounds love it might be allergy season for your pup.

Just love in humans, seasonal and environmental allergies can cause discomfort and be a problem for dogs. Unfortunately, identifying these symptoms as allergies isn’t always easy.

Since your dog can’t exactly tell you what’s incorrect, it’s up to pet parents to glance for the signs. Yelp! Woof!

So, how can you tell if your precious pup might be suffering from allergies?

We consulted with Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and one of our Veterinary Advisory Board members Kim Carvalho to discover out.

Carvalho is a Board-Certified Diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners and is a Clinical Professor at Western University’s College of Veterinary Medicine in Pomona, Calif. She currently serves as one of the Medical Directors.

First a little about allergies.

What are allergy symptoms?

Dogs often react to allergies by scratching or biting to attempt and relieve itching which can them lead to redness and inflammation.

Here are symptoms to glance for:

  1. Smelly and/or “dirty” ears
  2. Runny nose
  3. Itchy flaky skin (pruritus)
  4. Respiratory congestion
  5. Hair loss Itching Ear infections
  6. Sneezing
  7. Licking of the paws and anus
  8. Watery eyes
  9. Shaking their head and scratching one or both ears
  10. Patchy skin or skin irregularities


So maybe you are tired of treating your pet’s allergies traditionally: antihistamines don’t seem to work extremely well, steroids seem to own too numerous side effects, allergy testing with a dermatologist seems too expensive, etc. Now may be the time to attempt homeopathy.

Or starting with homeopathy and attempting to avoid the endless battle with allergies described above is also an excellent option. “Allergy Seasonal” or “Food Allergy” are excellent starting options if your dog has either of these. If your dog has a problem with inhalant allergens love pollen, grass, trees, mold spores, etc, consider trying “Atopic Dermatitis”.

Check out this testimonial that we recently received from someone who uses our “Allergy Seasonal” package:

«Finally, something that actually worked!

I would recommend this highly if your dog has allergies where the skin can become infected. Discuss the issues with HomeoAnimal rep and they will guide you to the proper formula based on your dog’s info. … Definitely worth it considering her allergy med was costing around $50 a month!!»

Still not ready for the large packages? These are excellent options as well, depending on your dog’s symptoms: Dust Mite Allergy (which is much more common than you might think), Itching, Anti-inflammatory, Alopecia (Hair loss), Ear Infection(Otitis), Fleas (bites), Flea (itching), Beautiful Jacket, Eczema (general term for skin inflammation and irritation), Seborrhea (two types = oily or greasy and dry or flaky), and Ticks & Fleas.

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How are seasonal allergies diagnosed?

Identifying seasonal allergies can be hard because both seasonal and environmental allergies can own similar symptoms explained Carvalho.

Dogs with food allergies can own symptoms that manifest in the skin and in the gastrointestinal tract (i.e. diarrhea).

There are diverse ways that seasonal allergies can be diagnosed, according to PetMD. One common method is an intradermal skin test.

Very similar to allergy testing in humans, with this method, a little quantity of test allergens are injected under your dog’s skin. Allergens are then identified by which injections cause redness, swelling and hives.

Using those results, your vet can create a specialized serum or immunotherapy shot that can be istered by the vet or at home.

Your vet may recommend other ways to diagnose the cause of your dog’s allergies depending upon their symptoms.


Steroids work because they suppress the dog’s excessive immune response to allergens.

Veterinary dermatologists own been searching for diverse drugs that calm below the dog’s immune response that don’t own as numerous side effects as steroids tend to. Two relatively new drugs seem promising : Atopica (Cyclosporine) and Apoquel (Oclacitinib). They own drawbacks as well: they are much more expensive than steroids and Apoquel has been so favorite this year, it has been backordered. Enquire your veterinarian if these might be a excellent thought for your dog.

Dog skin allergies

According to the American Kennel Club, skin allergies are the most common type of allergic reactions in dogs.

Environmental allergens are one of the main causes.

Dust, pollen, and mold are every environmental allergens (among other triggers) that can cause allergic reactions or atopic dermatitis.

Often times, these are seasonal.

What to do when your dog has seasonal allergies

So you may only notice your dog itching during certain times of the year.

The most commonly affected areas are the paws and ears, but the wrists, ankles, muzzle, underarms, groin, eyes and in between the toes may also be affected.

One concern with skin allergies is that they can lead to secondary infections.

Your dog may attempt to scratch, bite or lick his or her skin for relief which can then make him or her susceptible to yeast and bacterial infections.

How to tell if your dog has seasonal allergies versus food allergies?

“It can sometimes be hard to tell whether a dog has seasonal vs food allergies,” said Carvalho.

“Seasonal allergies tend to be a certain time of year, historically spring or drop. However with severe changes in our weather pattern, I’m seeing a continuation of seasonal allergies in southern California.”

Food allergies tend to be year circular, but the sudden onset of symptoms, can make it hard to tell.

Plus, when it comes to food, even if you haven’t changed anything in your dog’s diet, there’s always the chance that your food manufacturer may own changed their formula.

The new ingredients could be causing a reaction.

If you desire to give your dog an antihistamine, love Benadryl, here are some things to consider:

  1. If you purchase an over the counter medicine for your dog, check the label to make certain it doesn’t contain any other ingredients love decongestants or pseudoephedrine, which are NOT safe for dogs.
  2. While typically safe, every dog reacts differently to antihistamines, according to the VCA. They may cause drowsiness in some dogs and hyperactivity in others.
  3. It’s also significant to note that dosage for humans and dogs will not be the same.

We recommend talking to your veterinarian before giving your dog any over-the-counter medication to ensure the dose is precise and that there are no adverse reactions with any other medications they may be taking.

What are allergies?

Allergies are sensitivities to things found in our everyday environments love dust and pollen, according to the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC).

Typically, these things aren’t harmful to dogs (or humans).

Yet, your immune system may feel differently and react to an otherwise harmless substance as dangerous. Normally, the immune system protects your dog from infection and disease, but when it comes to allergies the immune system can actually be harmful to the body, according to the VAC.

When this happens the immune system responds by releasing histamines that can cause inflammation, swelling and itching. Inflammation then causes the various signs associated with an allergic reaction.

How to assist prevent an allergic reaction?

Unfortunately, there’s no cure for allergies.

You can’t prevent your dog from having allergies.

However, there are things you can do to assist hold their symptoms and discomfort under control.

First, you own to identify the underlying cause, be it seasonal, food, flea, etc. From there you can assist your dog avoid those allergens.

Carvalho explained that sometimes a prescription diet could be necessary along with using flea/ectoparasite control every year circular. Pet owners should also hold an eye out for and treat any itches so that they don’t lead to inflamed and infected skin and ears.

Because excellent health for your canine companion is always in season (unlike pollen, thankfully).

What are natural remedies to assist relieve allergy symptoms for dogs?

Just love with humans, figuring out other ways to assist relieve allergy symptoms for your dog can take some trial and error.

Here are a few recommendations:

  1. Regular bathing with hypoallergenic shampoos: This can assist remove possible allergens love pollen and grass that your dog may come in contact with as part of your daily routine.
  2. Fatty acid supplements: These can assist soothe itchy and irritated skin, according to the NASC.
  3. More ways to help: Some people use remedies love tea tree oil, coconut oil, fish oils or other omegas and oatmeal shampoo, according to Carvalho.

At SmartyPaws, our multifunctional health supplements include omega-3 EPA & DHA fatty acids (from fish oil) and organic turmeric.

These ingredients support a normal inflammatory response and dogs with seasonal and environmental allergies.

We also use additional omegas, including omega-3 ALA from organic chia seeds and alfalfa, to assist promote healthy skin, maintain normal moisture content and support animals with sensitive skin.

In addition to providing support for dogs with seasonal and environmental allergies and sensitive skin, our SmartyPaws chews support joint, gut, immune and urinary tract health — every in one simple serving.


Special shampoos can assist soothe and heal certain skin conditions. Work with your veterinarian to determine a shampoo that is correct for your dog because the incorrect shampoo can deplete significant fatty acids from the skin, making it dry and itchier than it was in the first put.

If your dog has a secondary skin infection, a medicated shampoo will generally be a excellent choice. It is generally possible to determine if the skin infection is caused by bacteria vs. fungal (yeast) organisms, and thus making your choice for a shampoo more appropriate and ultimately more effective for your dog. Most secondary skin infections own both bacterial and fungal components, so thankfully there are numerous excellent, strong shampoos with antibacterial and antifungal properties.

Always follow the label on the bottle, but in general, soaping your dog up and letting the medicated shampoo sit for at least 10 minutes improves its efficacy.

Oral antibiotics may be prescribed if the secondary skin infection is bad enough. Now is a excellent time to mention keeping hypoallergenic baby wipes near the door and wiping your pet’s feet when the pollen is really bad exterior. Some dermatologists support this and others tell that the pollen that you can see is generally not the offending organism but hey, it’s simple and free!


So what’s next? You own done a couple food trials, you are keeping every the fleas off, you own tried antihistamines, fatty acids and medicated shampoos and your dog is still miserable.

Most veterinarians will recommend a short course of steroids at this point. If the dog continues to dig at their skin and keeps it secondarily infected, the itch cycle won’t stop because the dog is now scratching at the secondary infection AND the underlying allergy.

Steroids (prednisone, prenisolone, hydrocortisone) work extremely nicely and quickly to provide relief, but don’t get too excited because steroids, love with people, own side effects (dog will drink more, urinate more, may own accidents in the home, increased appetite, may predispose to Diabetes, may predispose to Cushings disease). Using the lowest possible dosage to provide relief is the objective.

Work with your veterinarian to discover the perfect dosage for your dog.

Continuing antihistamines when you add the steroids is generally a excellent thought because the two work together to give the dog more than just an additive effect from the two medications. You can also wean the dog off of the steroids faster as a general law. Continuing the fatty acid supplements is also a excellent thought for the same reason.


Antihistamines are a excellent put to start with treatment. They own minimal side effects (will generally just cause drowsiness) and they assist block histamine release which is causing the itching. This sounds love they should work perfectly for allergic animals but they generally just provide a little relief for mild to moderate allergy sufferers.

It will seem love they don’t assist the severely allergic animal at every, but since they own minimal side effects (and can work synergistically with other medications) it is generally suggested that an allergic animal stay on them even when adding stronger medications.

Be certain to work with your veterinarian to calculate the perfect dosage for your pet — dogs own a much higher dosage requirement when it comes to antihistamines. For example, a 25 pound cocker spaniel will generally need one entire adult 25 mg Benadryl (diphenhydramine) up to three times a day. Underdosing may be one of the reasons antihistamines seem love they don’t work extremely well for pets.

What to do when your dog has seasonal allergies

When one antihistamine seems to not be working extremely well, you can attempt switching to another one.

So what’s causing the allergic reaction?

Just love humans, a large number of substances can be allergens, and each dog is allergic to diverse things, according to Carvalho.

Some common environmental allergens are:

  1. Mold
  2. Pollen
  3. Weeds
  4. Grass
  5. Fungi
  6. Flea saliva

Also, just love humans, dogs can own food allergies too. In this article we’re focusing on seasonal allergies.

However, if you notice any of the under symptoms, we always recommend seeing your vet for a proper diagnosis as both food and environmental allergens can cause similar reactions.

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It’sssss allergy season!
[Cue groans]

Pets can suffer from several types of allergies. Food allergies are perhaps the most talked about, but the most common type of pet allergy is actually environmental. Turns out our pets dread pollen, too!

(And ragweed, and dust, and…)

How to Tell if Your Pet Has Seasonal Allergies

Allergy symptoms in pets can actually be beautiful hard to discern. In dogs, they tend to affect the areas of the body that are also most prone to other health issues such as the skin, eyes, paws, and nose. In cats, it’s the paws and nasal passages that tend to be the most tell-tale areas of irritation. If you suspect your pet is allergic to something, it’s always best to work with a professional vet to confirm.

How to treat dog allergies

Firstly, it is ideal to determine what your dog is allergic to.

What to do when your dog has seasonal allergies

The most common allergens for dogs are fleas, food, dust, dust mites and inhalant allergens such as pollen, grass, tress, mol and, spores. Secondly, you can treat you dog with antihistamines, special shampoos, fatty acid supplements, steroids, immunosuppressive drugs or natural remedies specially made to relieve allergies in dogs.

Many pet owners will tell that the most frustrating problem a pet can own is allergies. Allergies extremely rarely go away. That doesn’t mean that there is nothing that can be done for your furry family members — fairly the opposite really.

There are numerous options for animals with allergies.

A human’s allergic «organ», so to speak, is primarily their respiratory track. So when we own allergies, we generally cough, sneeze, own runny eyes, or trouble breathing if the allergic reaction is severe enough. A dog’s allergic «organ» is primarily their skin, so they scratch or get hives or whelps if the allergic reaction is acute. Humans can own allergic issues with their skin and dogs can own allergic issues with their respiratory track.

What to do when your dog has seasonal allergies

This article will focus on the most common manifestations of allergies in dogs = Skin problems.

Just love human allergies, there are varying degrees of severity. Some dogs just scratch a little more in the spring for a couple days, when the pollen gets bad, just love some people start just a little coughing and sneezing, but not even enough to pop an antihistamine. Then some animals scratch incessantly year circular to the point where they cause life-threatening secondary skin infections.