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!
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.
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.
Written by Caroline Park
It’s one of the cutest things when your dog nudges you with his nose, and you’ve probably booped your pup’s muzzle more times than you can count. But there’s much more to a dog’s nose than you think, and it’s not used just for smelling! Here are ten things you may have never known about dog noses, so you can better understand your best friend.
1. Dog noses are wet for a reason.
If you’ve ever wondered why your dog’s nose is usually wet, it’s due to glands inside that produce lubrication. This moisture helps to capture scents and hold onto them, just like glue!
2. Dogs have superhero smelling powers.
If you thought your ability to smell tacos from a mile away was unparalleled, get ready to be wowed. Dogs can smell 10,000 to 100,000 times better than the average human! Alexandra Horowitz, a “dog-cognition” researcher at Barnard College, shared this interesting example: If we are able to detect a teaspoon of sugar in our morning coffee, a dog is able to detect that same teaspoon of sugar in a million gallons of water.
3. Dogs have multi-functional nostrils.
When we inhale and exhale through our noses, air travels through the same passageway. When it comes to dogs, their nostrils can work independently from each other. A fold of tissue just inside their nostrils separates the odor into two different paths—one for olfaction, which breaks down the odor to tell the dog every single detail about that scent, and one respiratory, for breathing.
4. Dogs don’t exhale through their nostrils.
If you peer closely at your dog’s nose, you’ll see that there are slits on either side. That’s where the air comes out whenever your dog exhales!
5. Dogs learn a lot through pee-sniffing.
When you’re taking a walk with your pup and he’s taking forever to sniff out different spots, let him take his time! Dogs leave each other messages through their urine, and your dog can find out the latest news by investigating it. We’re sure he’ll also have his own opinion on a thing or two to leave behind.
6. Dogs can actually smell your fear.
In humans, fear and nervousness are accommodated by changes in heart rate and and blood flow that push chemicals to the skin’s surface. Through these chemicals, dogs can literally smell your different emotions, so don’t even attempt to fake even a smile with your furry friends.
7. Dogs notice all the skin that we shed daily.
Don’t be grossed out, but humans actually shed 50 million skin cells every minute. Though we can’t physically see these microscopic “snowflakes” coming from our bodies, dogs are able to smell every single one. That’s why they have such a knack for tracking down people who go missing during disasters and such.
8. You can identify dogs by their nose prints.
Humans have fingerprints; dogs have nose prints. Every pup’s is unique, and it’s commonly used as a way to identify pups. Dog trainers and breeders who want to be bonded and insured are now required to record nose prints.
9. A dry nose doesn’t mean that your dog is sick.
A common myth among dog owners is that a dry nose means illness. This isn’t always true, and it’s normal for dogs’ noses to fluctuate between wet and dry. What you should look out for is any discoloration, non-clear discharge, or cracks and flakiness.
10. Dogs sniff to get to know each other.
The nose is the best tool a dog has to get an idea of who his new friends are. All that butt sniffing that you’ve witnessed among pooches is normal, and you should encourage your dog to investigate his heart away. Think of a dog’s scent down there as his online dating profile; smell will tell other pups all about him, even the food he may have had that day!
By now you’ve most likely read about the canine influenza that swept across the Midwest. Some sources claim that the outbreak is over, but other news outlets are reporting that the potentially deadly disease is now hitting major cities in the southern United States. Please share this story so dog owners everywhere know to be on the lookout!
A handful of dogs have died and nearly 2,000 have been sickened with canine influenza in the Chicago area alone. Now Houston and Atlanta are reporting that dogs in their region have developed the virus. Help prevent your favorite snuggle buddies from contracting the virus with this information.
Dog flu is nothing new, but scientists are saying this year’s strain is particularly malicious. Symptoms include a fever, cough, runny nose, lethargy, and loss of appetite. Some dogs can develop more serious symptoms and even succumb to the illness, but about 80 percent of dogs infected will only have a mild form.
“This is a disease that will be very manageable and very preventable,” said Paul Schifano, veterinarian and owner of Petropolis in Chesterfield, Missouri. “The whole approach is to avoid something that has happened in Chicago.”
The strain is highly contagious and can be spread by coming into direct contact with respiratory emissions. People who have touched sick dogs can spread the virus to other dogs. Healthy dogs may become infected by coming into contact with contaminated food/water dishes, toys, beds, etc. All of these things should be thoroughly washed, and a person should make sure to wash hands and change clothes before touching a healthy dog or their things if they believe they have been in contact with a sick dog.
Veterinarians can test dogs for the flu and can administer a vaccine to help prevent them from catching it. In severe cases, lack of treatment can lead to pneumonia and death. However, vets aren’t positive that the vaccine, designed to fight the H3N2 strain, will work on the H3N8 strain.
“We don’t know if the vaccine we are using is going to be protective or if it’s not going to work at all,” said David Roberts, a veterinarian at Manchester West Veterinary Hospital.
If your dog shows symptoms of flu, contact your veterinarian and make sure your dog gets plenty of fluids and rest in a comfortable place. Humans and cats are not known to contract the virus, but a sick dog must be kept away from other dogs to prevent transmission.
“It’s really no different if you’re talking about dogs or toddlers, if you think they’re sick, don’t bring them to daycare,” said Keith Poulsen of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Veterinary Medicine.
If your dog shows symptoms of flu, contact your veterinarian and make sure your dog gets plenty of fluids and rests in a comfortable place. Humans and cats are not known to contract the virus, but a sick dog must be kept away from other dogs to prevent transmission.
May 20, 2015from Life with Dogs