How do I know if My Dog has Allergies?

Just like us, dogs can suffer from different kinds of allergies. Below we have listed the type of allergies that they can have, symptoms, and treatments. 

Types of Allergies in Dogs

Food Allergies

Food allergies in dogs can start at any age. They can even present themselves if your dog has been eating the same food for months or years.

  • Symptoms: Itchy skin, hives, vomiting, diarrhea, swollen face (lips, eyelids, ear flaps), chronic ear, paw infections, itchy paws, sneezing, and hot spots.
  • Treatment: 
    • Allergy Test: If your vet thinks your dog has a food allergy, an allergy test may be suggested.
    • Elimination Diet: The best way to figure out a food allergy is by process of elimination. A dog is given one protein and one carbohydrate for a certain amount of time, so you can see easier, what's causing his reaction. This should be guided by your vet or nutritionist. 
    • Medicine: Your vet may prescribe an antihistamine or a skin cream to help ease your doggies symptoms, while you both figure out a long-term plan.
  • Most common allergens: beef, dairy, chicken

It's important to remember that there's a difference between food sensitivity and food allergies. An allergy triggers an immediate reaction (an immune response), food sensitivity doesn't. Your doggie may have food sensitivity if he has a gradual reaction to his food. It's always recommended to check with your veterinary, to make sure what your fur-baby has. 

Environmental Allergies

In most cases, environmental allergies are seasonal, so you may only notice your doggie having this kind of allergy during certain times of the year.

  • Symptoms: watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing, respiratory congestion, itchy skin, ear infections, itchy ears, smelly ears, licking the paws, licking the anus, and patchy skin/skin irregularities
  • Treatment: 
    • Testing: there are lab and skin tests that can help the vet understand what kind of allergies your doggie has. 
    • Bathing: Bathing your dog regularly with hypoallergenic shampoos can be helpful. This helps remove possible allergens that your dog may have gotten in contact with. 
    • Supplements: fish oil or fatty acids such as omega-3 or omega-6 oil help reduce itchiness and improve overall skin health. Coconut oil has also been shown to suppress allergic reactions while also helping the dog have healthier skin. Of course, as always, consult with your vet on what's best for your dog. 
    • Medication: if suggested by your vet, your dog can receive allergen injections that slowly increase in dose over time. 
  • Most common allergens: pollen, grass, weeds, mold, fungi, flea saliva

Acute Allergies

This can be one of the most alarming of all the allergies. Dogs can go into anaphylactic shock if they have a severe reaction to something. 

  • Symptoms: anaphylactic shock, swelling of the face, throat, lips, eyelids, or earflaps, 
  • Treatment: the doggie would have to immediately be taken to the vet to be treated
  • Most common allergens: bee sting, vaccine reactions

While anaphylactic reactions are rare in dogs, it's always good to keep an eye on your dog whenever they get a vaccine, new medicine, or new food. 


No matter the allergy, if your dog has ongoing symptoms or you notice a change in their behavior, we recommend taking your fur-baby to the vet.

Dog Allergy Symptoms and Treatment

Types of dog allergies

Older Post Newer Post