Allergies cause a lot of inconvenience to us humans, and sometimes can even be fatal.
Fortunately for us, though, we can instantly communicate this discomfort so we can get the proper treatment for our specific allergy condition.
Dogs, on the other hand, not so much.
Physical symptoms of an allergic reaction are not necessarily easy to spot on dogs because of their fur, for one, but also because they can’t necessarily voice out their discomfort when they feel it.
So unless their owner is paying very close attention to them all day long, they might miss the telltale signs of allergy.
As a pet owner, you should be cognizant of your dog’s health condition.
You shouldn’t have to wait for a serious symptom before you pay attention to them.
In fact, the earlier you find out if your dog is allergic to anything, the better it is for them, because you would be able to control their environment better for their protection.
That is also why it’s important to get pet insurance, to help you ease the medical costs of your pet.
Yes, some pet insurance cover allergy testing for dogs. Click here for our recommended pet care plan.
Does My Dog Have Allergies?
Just like us humans, dogs are also susceptible to different types of allergies.
Here are some of the more common ones you should know about.
Food allergies on dogs are typically food intolerance that trigger certain reactions on them, as opposed to an immune response.
Just the same, however, it will inevitably present with one or more symptoms, including gastrointestinal discomfort, itchiness, redness of skin, or in some cases, even hair or fur shedding.
Food sensitivities may come from many possible options, including chicken, beef, milk, or soy.
Determining the exact food item may be tricky, especially if you only serve processed dog food.
Unless you personally prepare their food with fresh ingredients yourself, it will be difficult to determine their allergen based on the process of elimination.
You can, however, get your dog tested for allergies with the help of your veterinarian.
There are methods they can use to find out which specific ingredient is causing the discomfort to your pet.
Skin allergies can be equally uncomfortable as food allergies on dogs.
In some cases, in fact, skin allergies are direct results from food allergies.
Apart from that, it can also be caused by allergens present in the environment, as well as fleas.
Otherwise known as allergic dermatitis, this skin condition can severely impact your dog’s quality of life if not properly addressed as soon as possible.
Skin allergies from food sensitivities, for example, could result in dry, flaky skin, making it very itchy for your dog.
If you notice your constantly scratching, it might be worth taking a look at their condition better with an allergy test.
Meanwhile, flea allergy involves the unwelcome, parasitic flea.
Dogs are not allergic to the parasite itself, technically speaking, but rather, flea saliva.
Itchiness, redness of skin, and scabbing resulting from all that scratching, are also signs of this type of allergy.
As you can see, it’s very similar to skin allergies presented from food allergies.
The main difference, however, is that with a flea allergy, you can actually look for evidence of flea bites.
Sometimes, you can even find the fleas themselves.
This, of course, is another problem altogether because you don’t want your dog carrying fleas on them at any point in time.
It’s important to seek help from your veterinarian so you can get rid of the fleas on your dog, and, consequently, resolve their allergies as well.
Other Irritants and Allergens
Some dogs are sensitive to allergens like pollen, dust, and mold.
If your dog presents symptoms more often than normal during certain seasons, then there’s a good chance it’s because of a seasonal trigger.
Watch out for their behavior during this time, particularly if they seem itchy a lot more than they typically are.
The most common areas affected by atopic allergies are their paws and ears, although sometimes it could also lead to redness in or puffiness around the eyes.
Allergies may seem like a simple health dilemma to have, but actually, it can get rather dangerous for your dog as well, sometimes even fatal.
Anaphylactic shocks may be rare in dogs, but they are not impossible to occur.
Allergies can also cause secondary infections, which may lead to more serious health issues for your pet.
Dog Allergy Tests
There are different ways to determine whether or not your dog has any particular allergies.
The most common among them would be the skin test.
Otherwise known as an intradermal test, this involves injecting your pet with about 60 different allergens.
A patch of fur would have to be shaved off first, though, so that it would be easier to see if there would be any reaction from any of the injected allergens.
Usually, a red spot or hive would appear on the injection site, upon which it means they tested positive for an allergen.
With that many allergens to be tested, however, it may be necessary for your dog to be sedated during the process to avoid further discomfort.
While the skin test is invasive, it is also the simplest and very efficient in terms of getting you the results fast.
The other way to test your dog for allergies is by way of a blood test.
Here, the vet will extract a blood sample for your dog, which would then be run under a machine to identify positive allergen markers.
The accuracy of results would depend on the efficiency of the analysis, however, but at least your dog won’t have to be injected with several dozens of allergens to find out which one they’re allergic to.
Canine Allergy Test Costs and Coverage
These tests can go anywhere from $300 to $350, depending on what you get and where you get it from.
They’re not cheap by any measure, but they should be well worth the cost, especially if it means ensuring your pet’s good health.
There are available pet policies that do offer additional coverage for preventative screenings. Click here for our recommended pet care plan.
Talk to your pet insurance provider to clarify the availability of these options.
Be informed of the choices you have so you can make a well-informed decision about your dog’s health.