4 Common Types of Allergies Dogs Have (and How to Treat Them!)

scratching dog from allergies

There are common human allergies that we’ve all encountered—from pollen to dairy, allergies are just as diverse as we are! Dogs can actually suffer from allergies too, and responsible dog owners are able to discover them as they get to know their pups. Here are four types of allergies that may need more attention than your loving scratch!

dog allergies

1. Inhalant Allergy

Although it can be cute to say “Bless you!” every time your pup sneezes, he may actually be doing that because of allergies. Also known as atopy, allergens for inhalant allergies can include tree pollen, grass, weed, mold, mildew, and dust mites. Nasal passages become inflamed, causing your dog to sneeze and possibly have a runny nose. If this is the case, crate your dog or put him in a small space, and observe him closely. Take him to a veterinarian if it seems like he’s struggling to breathe or if his temperature is between 101-102 degrees.

2. Insect Bite Allergy

There are pups whose bodies react negatively to insect bites or stings. One insect that causes the most itchy pain is the flea; more specifically, the flea saliva. If you see your dog biting and scratching himself in addition to removing his own fur, it’s definitely time for strict flea control! Terminate the fleas and talk to your veterinarian about additional relief your poor pup will need just in case it happens again.

sick dog with allergies

3. Contact Allergy

It is the least common of allergic reactions that dogs have. Keep an eye out for skin irritation and where your dog seems to scratch the most. A number of things can be the culprit—pesticides on the lawn, materials in the carpeting and/or bedding, flea collars, or even your favorite wool coat your pup may snuggle with on a daily basis. Try removing each potential allergen one by one to determine what’s causing your pooch the discomfort!

4. Food Allergy

Dogs can be allergic to any type of food, just like humans! Chicken, dairy, or even gluten can be the reason why your pup is having digestive issues and general distress such as itching. The best way to treat a food allergy is to put your dog on an elimination diet. Identify everything that your dog eats, then start subtracting different foods one by one. Complete digestion takes eight to twelve weeks, so be consistent in what you’re not feeding your dog. If you’re still having trouble afterwards, talk to your veterinarian for further steps.


Sources: Vetstreet, Dr. Foster Smith, VCA Hospitals

Written by Caroline Park 

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