The dog grows from a puppy to a young dog, so a lot can happen! Your dog's behavior can change completely during puberty, his stature slowly takes on the shape of an adult dog, the food is changed, ...
As the dog slowly gets older, you notice some changes that you usually question at the beginning, but gradually you realize that it has everything to do with the adolescent dog's puberty.
Because it is precisely in this phase that some important processes take place in the body of your beloved four-legged friend. Not only can common pubertal changes occur now, but allergies can also begin at this age.
But even when your dog is older, allergies can still develop, so you should pay attention to the symptoms and act quickly.
What kind of allergies can a dog experience?
There are three classic types of allergies in dogs, and some dogs are affected. These include feed allergy, environmental allergy and flea saliva allergy.
In the case of a feed allergy, the dog cannot process certain components of the feed and therefore has an allergic reaction to its feed. Environmental allergies include, for example, the mite allergy, which affects either the house dust mite or the food mite. A flea saliva allergy is, as the name suggests, triggered by the saliva of fleas and can be triggered even if the dog is not affected by a flea infestation. This is because the saliva of the fleas easily gets into the dog's fur and can be transmitted even when playing with other dogs.
The typical symptom of an allergy is itching. This is expressed through excessive scratching and licking of the paws. Some dogs are also more prone to ear infections when they have allergic reactions.
If you experience these symptoms, see a veterinarian to be on the safe side. If there is no allergy behind it, fleas or mites could also have triggered the itching in the animal. However, these are easy to fight and your darling will soon get better.
Sometimes itching is not directly assumed to be an allergy. However, if the dog scratches itself over a long period of time, red spots may appear on the dog's skin or hair loss in the affected areas.
Action should now be taken to ensure that the itchy and mostly open areas of the skin do not become inflamed and spread.
Treatment of the allergy is often only possible to a limited extent and it is advisable to avoid the allergen first by changing the environment. But this is often very difficult.
In the case of a feed allergy, a process of elimination can be used. Here the dog is repeatedly fed a different food to see which components the dog is allergic to. It is best to contact a veterinarian who can come up with a plan for exclusion feeding. If this diet can be used to find out which component of the feed is problematic, omitting these components can defeat the allergy.
In the case of an environmental allergy, the whole thing looks a bit more difficult, because here it must first be determined which allergens your dog is reacting to in the first place. These can be grasses in nature or dust mites in the home. An allergy test can provide information on which environmental factors your dog is allergic to, but these tests are unfortunately very expensive and often not accurate. Nevertheless, it can be helpful to see in which direction the allergy is going. For example, an allergy to mites could be detected. Now you would have to find out for yourself what kind of mites could be the trigger. This can be easily determined by changing the feed from dry to wet feed, because feed mites can only survive in dry feed. If this change does not bring relief of symptoms, a house dust mite allergy is the most likely alternative. Here you can design the apartment in such a way that the mite population is reduced, but unfortunately this is also very difficult to achieve 100%.
As an alternative to changing the environment, medication can also be administered to relieve itching and thus give the dog a comfortable life.
Immunotherapy can also help; the dog is regularly given an injection to immunize it against the allergens. Unfortunately, this variant is also very expensive and there is no guarantee that the therapy will work.
If your dog has an allergy, you should definitely seek professional advice from a veterinarian or even a specialist. They can give you great advice and you will definitely find a solution!