How common are allergies in dogs?

They are pretty common. I'd say almost every dog on this planet is affected, whether it's environmental allergies or food allergies, and even fleas. That's why it's important to keep them protected.

Dr. Mark McDaniel
Newport Harbor Animal Hospital

How do allergies impact the health and wellbeing of my dog?

Allergies can affect these dogs all day, every day, if not controlled. Allergies can consist of itching, shaking the head, even like people coughing, sneezing, eye boogers, and the list goes on and on. Even vomiting and diarrhea if it's a food allergy. So it's really important to address these problems with your veterinarian because our pets are our family, and we want them to be as healthy and happy as possible.

Can I diagnose my dog's allergies at home?

Even though sometimes it can be obvious that your dog has allergies, it's definitely best to consult with your veterinarian because, as I said, there are many causes for it, and the treatments or the recommendations can vary, and there are just so many out there now. I would bring them on in. We love pups and cats here, so I would leave it to us.

How will a veterinarian diagnose allergies in my dog?

That list can be extensive, but it depends on the allergy. If it's food, sometimes you have to switch to a special diet. If it's the environment, that's tough because a lot of things could cause it, but there are many blood tests you can do. For the most part, I'd say sometimes we don't really figure out what our dogs are allergic to, and we just control the flareups, but there's a lot we can do. Definitely come to us, and we'll help out.

How are dog allergies treated using anti-inflammatory therapy?

Sometimes allergies can get really out of hand. Let's say it starts off with itching, then they keep itching, and they make their skin really unhealthy. They start to have little lesions, and they can even bleed and be in pain. That's where it goes into the medical treatment for allergies. Pain control is big because these dogs and cats can have trauma, but there are a lot of different options, whether it's something easy like a topical treatment or sometimes they need a little more help, such as systemic treatment, like pain medications. It really varies.

How is shampoo therapy used for dogs' allergies?

I love shampoo therapy. Some dogs don't love the bath, but it's one of the best things you can do to really soothe and clean their skin, whether it's bacteria, yeast, or a combination of both. It also helps relieve the itching and replenishes a nice healthy coat and skin.

What is hyposensitization or desensitization therapy for dog allergies?

That's a cool question. Sometimes we use that in people as well. It's a further investigation into what makes them itchy in the environment. We do a little test, get some results, and formulate a plan to help them be treated for what they're allergic to, whether it's in the environment or not. Like I keep saying, there's so much we can do. That's why it's best to come and see your veterinarian here at Newport Harbor Animal Hospital, and we can meet and discuss allergies.

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (949) 612-2756, you can email us, or you can reach out on social media. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can.