Managing Your Dog’s Allergies

Managing Your Dog’s Allergies

Spring is right around the corner! The days are getting longer and the weather is getting warmer! More good weather, more sunshine, and… more allergens. 

Just like us humans, dogs can have seasonal allergies during spring and fall. While you may be starting to take your seasonal allergy medication, have you considered your pet’s allergies? As the pollen begins to blow, they may experience some symptoms as well. 

Common Allergies for Dogs 

Dogs can be allergic to tree, grass, and weed pollens, molds, mildew, and mites just like us humans! These can manifest in seasonal itchiness and may require seasonal treatment which we will discuss in a minute (Allergies in Dogs). Time spent outside during blooming seasons like the springtime upon us can result in increased symptoms. 


When it comes to food, dogs can be allergic to just about any ingredient – most commonly, beef, dairy, chicken, and wheat! Luckily, there are many different protein sources safe for pups. If your dog does not have known food allergies, it is worth noting there is no benefit to avoiding common food allergens. 

Recognizing and Prevently Dog Allergies

It is important to know the signs of pet allergies and know how to seek diagnosis. Generally, dogs’ allergies begin in youth from the age of six months to three years. Dogs can develop allergies to the food they are most exposed to, though, and at any time according to Chicken Allergy in Dogs: Everything You Need to Know. 

Because of this, it is a good idea to maintain a consistent diet with simple ingredients. This way, if an allergy arises, there are other protein/food alternatives. Even uncommon dog foods can be allergens for our four-legged friends, so it is always best to avoid feeding any table scraps or “human food.” 


Diagnosis is an important step for identifying your pet’s allergy because “symptoms of allergies can look very similar regardless of what your dog is allergic to (whether it’s food, pollen, perfume, or anything else)” according to Chicken Allergy in Dogs: Everything You Need to Know. Your vet can provide great direction, and even do a blood or skin test to be certain. 

When it comes to environmental allergies, common side effects include excess itching, scratching, biting, and licking. Your pet’s ears and eyes can provide indication, according to 13 Signs Your Dog Has Pollen Allergies. Like us humans, your doctor may conduct a skin test. 

Know Your Treatment Options 

Once allergens are identified, it is, of course, a good idea to limit exposure. This is not always possible, though. You might be interested to learn that treatment for pups doesn’t look all too different from people. 

Antihistamines and corticosteroids are anti-inflammatory therapy treatments. These work quickly by blocking the allergic reaction. An allergy injection can be of option if there is a particular antigen identified by allergen testing. 

“Approximately 50% of treated dogs see significant improvement in their clinical signs, while approximately 25% more will see a decrease in the amount or frequency or of corticosteroid usage” according to Allergies in Dogs. For anecdotal evidence, check out the below story on the success of allergy shot treatments. 

Shampoo therapy can provide relief to itchy and inflamed skin with usage of a hypoallergenic shampoo. This also helps remove allergens stuck in the coat of your pet. It is a great idea to consistently brush and maintain your pet’s hair to reduce their interaction with dander and pollen. 

Lastly, nutritional therapy can provide benefit through ingredients that reduce inflammation and improve skin health. 

A Pet Allergy Anecdote

Meet Piper: 

Piper is my mother’s beloved second (and four-legged) daughter. Like a lot of us, Piper has pretty bad seasonal allergies. Interestingly, “[golden]doodles are prone to developing skin irritation and skin allergies” according to Goldendoodle Preventative Care - Everything You Need To Know!

My mom has tried several different treatments to provide Piper with some relief, and luckily, she found a treatment that works for her. 

Historically, Piper took Apoquel pills. Apoquel works by blocking allergic itch and is not a steroid, antihistamine, or cyclosporine. Apoquel is a very popular medication for treating dogs’ allergies – for more information, check out If Your Dog’s Itching Like Crazy, Ask for Apoquel

Apoquel helped, but my mom decided to try out Cytopoint injections. Cytopoint helped Piper a lot – this 4 to 8 week injection that treats dermatitis (skin irritation). This non-drug treatment contains engineered antibodies that target and neutralize the protein that causes itchiness (Cytopoint: UW Veterinary Care). 

For my mom and Piper, Cytopoint felt the most effective and cost advantageous. It can be pretty obvious when the injection wears off to assess whether or not to get another dose. My mom personally felt like she could better monitor Piper’s allergies. 

Of course, this is just what worked for one furry friend. And, like us humans, each pet has their own unique needs! As spring has sprung, it might be time to talk to your vet about your pet’s allergies. Make sure you keep your floof and your shared space clean to best prevent environmental allergen exposure. Ultimately, sometimes it takes some trial and error and medical advice to get through the sneezy seasons. 

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