Achoo! Tips on helping your dog beat allergies

McCLATCHY TRIBUNEMay 13, 2013 

As allergy seasons heats up for humans, many dog owners might not realize that their four-legged friend can suffer from allergies as well.

Common allergens that affect dogs are things they inhale (molds, dust mites, pollens) or the type of food they're eating, and skin irritants, among others.

Here are the common signs of allergy in dogs, according to the American Kennel Club:

• Itching

• Red, inflamed skin

• Dry skin

• Loss of fur

• Irritated eyes

• Licking of paws

Treatment:

• Take a trip to your veterinarian to find the best treatment plan for your dog. He or she may prescribe cortisones, antihistamines or medicated shampoos.

• Try food testing. Many times, the allergic reaction is coming from something in your dog's food. Put your dog on an "elimination diet" -- feed him just one protein type at a time so you can see which one causes a reaction.

• Your veterinarian may also recommend Omega-3 fatty acid supplements, especially in the form of fish oils.

• If your dog is suffering from skin allergies, you can use aloe vera on the skin irritation to provide relief.

For more information on safety around dogs, visit the AKC at www.akcdoglovers.com.

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