Dog Training and Dog Care advice from UK Professionals

Dog Allergy Symptoms

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An allergy is an unexpected reaction to an allergen or antigen. Any substance in the environment can act as an allergen though dogs mostly react to:

Plant pollens - Grasses, trees, flowers, and shrubs
Moulds (microscopic plant-like organisms) - Fungi, dead trees, mushrooms, leaves, soil
Food ingredients – Proteins sources such as Beef, Lamb or Chicken
Preservatives – Found in commercial dog food and human grade food
Dyes – Found in food, toys and clothing
Medicines and vaccinations (chemical allergies)
House dust mites
Fleas – the dog is allergic to the flea saliva

Allergens may be inhaled or ingested or even absorbed through the skin and paws.


Symptoms may include scratching, rubbing the face, chewing on the paws or the body and excessive licking. The dog is restless, paces and whines. If the dog has reacted to a substance in the food it may vomit and/or develop diarrhoea. Any form of allergen may cause skin problems, poor coat condition and ear inflammations.

Skin may become greasy and have a strong odour. The more the dog scratches the greater the risk of infection. The owner may notice excessive hair loss and bald patches appearing. The dog will groom itself constantly. The areas most affected are the rear legs and abdomen. Signs to look out for are wet areas on the dog and saliva stained areas.

The dog may also scratch frantically at its ears. The ears become red and inflamed often leading to a deeper infection. The ears may smell unpleasant and produce a waxy like substance.

Food allergy symptoms may also include the above and flatulence and head shaking. If dogs have gastrointestinal upsets as well as skin problems it usually indicates a food allergy.

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Diagnosing Allergies in Dogs
Dog Allergy Symptoms
Dog Food Allergies
Treating Allergies in Dogs

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