Dog and Allergies – Do Dogs Have Allergies?



Do Dogs Have Allergies? The answer to this simple question is YES. Dog and Allergies are the same as for humans. Dogs can have different types of allergies which can affect their health and maybe lifestyle.

You must’ve heard someone tells you that their dog has allergies. Or you heard your veterinarian suggested that allergies one of the problems your dog could have. Or maybe you suspect that your dog has allergies. If you never did, this is a great opportunity to read about it to be able to help your dog.

Allergies in dogs are not quite as simple as you might think. For starters, there are different types of allergies such as food allergy that may be the reason behind your dog’s symptoms.

An allergy is a hypersensitivity of the body’s immune system to an allergen (a substance) which in theory can be anything we smell or eat.

Types of Allergies in Dogs

As we mentioned, allergies in dogs are the same as in us, a reaction of the immune system to a foreign substance. Now, because there are so many potential substances or allergen that can affect our dogs, there are different types of allergies they cause.

These allergies are Food allergies, Skin allergies and environmental allergies. The problem with allergies is with the symptoms, different types with different symptoms.


Skin Allergy

Dog and allergies can be found in all living beings and here we will talk about one of the most common types of allergies dogs could have. Do dogs have allergies? Yes, and skin allergy which also is known as allergic dermatitis, is the most common type of these allergies in dogs. Mainly Skin allergies caused by Flea, Food or Environmental allergens.

Food allergies can cause skin problem such as itchy skin. If your dog is allergic to some food you will notice it scratching behind its ears and paws, it can also cause problems with your dog’s gastrointestinal system.

Environmental allergens such as pollen, dust, etc… can cause dermatitis (atopic dermatitis) due to the allergic reaction to the allergens. Mostly, they are seasonal and you will notice the dog scratching and having this problem during certain periods of the year.

Also, here is same as in Food allergies, you will notice your dog in certain times of the year starting to scratch behind its ears, paws and some other areas such as groin, eyes, wrists, etc.

Lastly, Flea allergy dermatitis which is due to fleabites. Yes, there are some dogs that allergic to these tiny annoying bugs! they can cause such a problem which make the dog so itchy in the areas of the bites. The skin could be inflamed, reddish and scabbed.

Skin allergy can be problematic because they are risky to cause secondary infection to the skin, with all these scratches and bites more organisms will be attacking your dog body.


Food Allergy

According to American Kennel Club Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Jerry Klein, food allergies are not common in dogs as people think.

As American Kennel Club wrote: “True food allergies result in an immune response, which can range in symptoms from skin conditions ( hives, facial swelling, itchiness), gastrointestinal signs (vomiting and/or diarrhoea) or a combination of both.” That means food allergy is not that common and the symptoms have a wide range depends on the affected part of the body.

If you visit Wikipedia and read about food allergy which they call it ” Gut-induced allergies”, you will read that food allergies are common health concerns among people. But what does that mean? Is it a controversial matter between experts?

No, it is not! what Wikipedia trying to say, is that people having concerns with dogs having an allergic reaction to food more than they should. However, it is a fact that so many dogs having such an allergic reaction.

But as they wrote: ” They may be induced by an allergic reaction to the preservatives or artificial colouring used in commercial dog foods.” So basically, we created those allergens to our dogs!

But to make it clear, so many people mix things up! Because there is a huge difference between an allergic reaction to something and food sensitivity or also known as food intolerance. Food intolerance doesn’t involve the dog’s immune system and its response to this food.

What happens is just a slow gradual reaction to a certain ingredient inside the food which is offending the body and causing these problems, it can be beef, eggs, milk or chicken.

Mostly the symptoms are related to the gastrointestinal system like vomiting and diarrhoea, and it can involve other symptoms such as ear and food infections.


Acute Allergic Reaction

Dog and Allergies are the same as Human and Allergies. For humans in most diseases, anything acute means bad! very very bad! which is not that different for dogs. An acute allergic reaction is an alarming condition and it might lead to something called “anaphylactic shock and it can be fatal if not treated immediately.

So what do you think? Do Dogs Have Allergies? Of course, it can be deadly too!

But what are the causes of acute allergic reaction in dogs? Dogs enjoy playing outside and they like to discover and try things. They are just playful and they can’t stop that!

Imagine your dog found a nest for Bees! Bee stings can cause this allergic reaction and it can be deadly. Vaccines also can be the cause of such a problem.

Vaccines are really important for dogs but sadly some ingredients are harmful to dogs and they can cause allergy reaction the acute type!


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As we can see there are so many types of allergies which could cause problems for our dogs! the question here is not, Do Dogs Have Allergies? The question is why as a dog owner would you need to know all this?

Dog and Allergies is not a topic to read it here and then forget it! it is something to remember and even do more research about it to prevent worse problems that could happen to your dog! Remember your dog is your family.

Respiratory-induced allergies

According to Wikipedia: “Atopy is synonymous with (inhalant allergy). It manifests as a condition called atopic dermatitis, which is characterized by itching, biting, hair loss and face rubbing.” Other symptoms could be noticed too.

Symptoms of Allergies

There is a wide range of symptoms of allergies in dogs. It can start with simple itching to a severe one like anaphylactic shock. The following are symptoms that could be a sign of allergic reactions.

  1. Diarrhoea.
  2. Vomiting.
  3. Swelling of the face, ears, lips, eyelids, or earflaps.
  4. Itchy, runny eyes.
  5. Itchy ears.
  6. Body Itchiness.
  7. Red, inflamed skin.
  8. Sneezing

Diagnoses of Allergies in Dogs

The relation between Dog and Allergies is as complicated as it is with us, Humans. It is complicated to diagnose and undergone allergy testing.

Your Vet may choose to do is starting by ruling out any other COMMON conditions that could be the cause, WHY? simply because so many diseases share the same symptoms we mentioned above.

After they are 100% sure it is not another diseases and the condition might be caused by an allergic reaction, they will start by running some allergy testing trying to find the allergen that causes this problem. However, you need to know it is not always come with positive results, your vet or any vet may not be able to determine the causing allergen.

As for food allergies, it is often in practice to use the elimination diet tactic! it is kinda a trial consists of feeding a dog one source of protein and carbohydrate for around 12 weeks.

Flea allergy is typically the easiest allergy type to diagnose. It is usually diagnosed by identifying fleas and its bites on your dog’s body. Your vet will prescribe a product to kill fleas before they bite.

Treatment of Allergies in Dogs


The best treatment as I always write and say to everyone out there is prevention. How?

If we know the cause we can simply avoid it! Once your vet finds the allergen you need to keep this allergen away from your dog, sometimes it is difficult but it is good to try to avoid it as much as you can.

If your dog has fleas, then the best thing to do is to kill them as soon as possible and that will prevent further damage and problems. Whereas the best way to treat a food allergy or food intolerance is a change in diet and pick the best alternative for your dog.

Besides, Changing lifestyle might be necessary, your veterinarian may also prescribe a medication for your dog that will help control the symptoms associated with the allergic reaction, such as itching and any secondary skin infections that might have developed as a result of the irritant.

As for the severe allergic reaction, your best choice is to get him to an emergency veterinary hospital as quickly as possible.


Dogs the same as any living being, they are vulnerable to face problems and be sick from different causes. Yes, dogs have allergies, they are annoying problems for them as they are for us.

Dog and allergies, it is not only a word we say or something we read about it, but it is also a condition we need to know every detail about. Why? to protect our dogs from problems and complication could be happening simply because WE DIDN’T KNOW!

Dog and allergies can be the topic you should read about to be able to make a fast decision if your dog has an acute allergic reaction! How could you even know that your dog having this fatal condition if you never read about it? right?


So finally, I hope you found this article useful and informative. Let me know your answer, what do you think about allergies? Do Dogs Have Allergies? and What do you think you can do to protect your dog from allergies?

If you have any other question or different opinion about allergies in dogs leave a comment below. Also, write down how many types you scratched yourself while reading this article?!

Today’s Quote: “Did you ever walk into a room and forget why you walked in? I think that is how dogs spend their lives.” — Sue Murphy

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4 years ago

Very informative read about allergies in dogs! You must be a dog expert! I was searching for this topic for my dog and I learnt quite a lot of interesting dog information from you especially about allergies, thanks!

4 years ago

I know dogs have allergies. When I was growing up we had two dogs of different breeds and both of them had skin allergies to fleas. fleas were the worse as they got a free ride from our dogs into the house.

The current dog I have did have an allergic reaction to the food that we bought. I believe that it was an old batch and when we got another batch she was back to normal.

Great article! I love reading up on caring for pets. They make the world go round.

4 years ago

I have always wondered if they have allergies and how that can affect their lifestyle and life in general. After reading your post I know more and now I can protect dogs from allergies or at least I can try to.

Very informative and well thought out. It is important to take care of our pet’s health and keep them happy they are our family!

Look forward to more from you.

Shane Fegan
Shane Fegan
4 years ago

Thank you, Doctor, for this well-constructed information on dog allergies and what to look out for?

There are many similarities with humans and other animals in regards to diseases and allergies and how they come about. Prevention is critical before we can focus too much on fixing down the track, which is always considerably harder.

I believe environmental allergies in dogs is a massive issue, given many live outsides and not always indoors, not to say that they cannot be impacted by internal allergies if they are indoor dogs as well. Giving our pets industrial things also affect their health like Vaccines, they are important but they can be bad with dangerous materials inside them.

4 years ago

I loved your article! My dog has recently developed an allergy where the whites of his eyes get red, then green discharge comes out which it might be an infection or different disease. My vet said it was probably an allergy. She did give antibiotic ointment for the eye because of the green discharge.

But she recommended starting with Benadryl if he seems to need it and see if it helps. It went away and now has come back as fall is approaching. I didn’t believe her that it was an allergy. I guess I’m starting to believe it. Your article does help me to see that allergies are possible in dogs.

Thank you for the information.

4 years ago


Dogs have allergies for sure, that´s something I knew, but I learned some new things from your post I didn’t know about. First of all, I didn’t know dogs can have an anaphylactic shock! I’ve had that a couple of times myself due to a severe peanut allergy. I need to keep an adrenaline injection in my bag just in case.

Is it the same with dogs who have severe allergies? Do the owners of these dogs also need to keep an adrenaline injection for their dog? Are dogs treated with adrenaline like humans, if they get an anaphylactic shock?

Do you know if dogs can have Asthma?

I also didn’t know skin allergy is the most common allergy in dogs. My brother´s dog has atopic dermatitis, poor fellow. He needs to eat some sort of special dog food and even needs to take allergy medication. Skin allergy is typical in his breed.

I guess living with humans has exposed dogs to serious problems like allergies. The modern lifestyle exposes humans to allergies, and our dog friends are living this lifestyle with us, so they have become prone to allergies too.

Thank you for a great dog post, I enjoyed it!

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
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