It's not hard to tell when a dog has allergies. Their symptoms tend to be the same as the ones you would experience: sneezing, itchy and red eyes, itchy skin, and a runny nose. Allergies in dogs are quite common, and they are not usually a reason to be too concerned. You should, however, take your dog to see the vet. Here's what a veterinarian can do for a pup with allergies.
Administer Eye Drops
Although various allergy symptoms can be bothersome to dogs, itchy and irritated eyes tend to be some of the most bothersome of symptoms. If a dog itches their eyes too much, it could cause an injury to the eye. Plus, the fluid running down from the eyes tends to stain the hair in this area and look bad. To keep allergy-related eye symptoms under control, most vets will administer eye drops. They may give a basic saline drop designed to simply rinse allergens from the eyes, and also an antihistamine drop to bring the swelling and irritation down. The vet can show you how to administer these drops at home, too.
Prescribe Antihistamine Medications
Depending on the severity and nature of your dog's allergies, the vet may also prescribe an oral antihistamine for your dog to take. Antihistamines work by preventing the action of histamine, a protein that is released when the immune system encounters an allergen. It is histamine that causes the allergy symptoms like sneezing and itching, so inhibiting the action of histamine reduces allergy symptoms. Usually, you will need to give your dog the antihistamine once or twice a day. It's usually a small pill that you can add to their food or hide in a treat.
Recommend Allergy-Friendly Food
Owners often assume their dogs are suffering from seasonal allergies to pollen. But sometimes, the allergies are actually caused or made worse by the food your dog is eating. If your vet suspects this may come into play, then they will typically recommend an allergy-friendly food. These foods have limited ingredients — ones that are not known to cause allergies in many dogs. They are therefore a good choice for any dog who is showing allergy symptoms. Sometimes, after switching to an allergy-friendly food, a dog's allergy symptoms will go away and your vet will have you discontinue other medications.
If you suspect your dog has allergies, head to the vet. There's so much they can do for dogs like yours.