dog allergies can be diffiult to cure

Dog Allergy Diagnosis Can Be Expensive

Trying to diagnose a dog allergy can be a bit like looking for a needle in a haystack if you try to diagnose the cause yourself. Up until recently the only other option was to take your dog to the vet for a test in order to diagnose the cause of the allergy.

This can be very expensive and is not guaranteed as I discovered when I took my pet to the vet for a swab test. Being an optimist I expected a diagnosis and a cure. Unfortunately I received neither of these when the vet told me the test was negative and to add insult to injury promptly charged me £160! Well I didn’t know whether to be pleased or disappointed thinking at least the test was negative although the pessimistic side of me seemed to be taking over with me thinking the test was a waste of money!

What Is A Dog Allergy?

A dog allergy is the result of the body’s immune system reacting to foreign substances it sees as a threat. A dog allergy can be broken down into three distinct types:

  • Skin
  • Food
  • Severe Reactions

Skin Allergies

Dog suffering from skin allergy

This type of dog allergy is probably the most common and therefore you have probably seen it before in your own dog or in a neighbour’s. Dogs can suffer skin allergies caused by fleas, food, or the environment.


One of the most irritating allergies (and you’ll be acutely aware of this if you have experienced it ) is caused by the reaction to a flea bite. If like me you experience an itch that drives you crazy where the flea has bitten you and the red lump that turns into a scab because you’ve scratched it so much then you’ll have a clear idea of the suffering your poor best friend has to put up with if bitten by these horrible pests!


Fleas can bite your dog and provoke an allergic reaction anywhere. One of the fleas’ favorite places is the base of your dog’s tail so if your dog is scratching in that area it’s a pretty good indicator that he has fleas.

A food allergy is bad news for you and your dog. If your dog is unfortunate enough to have an allergic reaction to the food he eats he is likely to experience a range of symptoms from itchy paws and ears to sickness and diarrhea.

Pollen, dust, and mold are the cause of most airborne allergic reactions. Like people some dogs can experience a strong allergic reaction to pollen at times of the year when the pollen count is high. They can of course experience an allergic reaction to the other two allergens at any time.

A typical reaction to these allergens is skin rashes or dermatitis which if your dog scratches too much can expose his body to other infections that may need treatment from your vet.

These skin rashes can be found on any part of your dog’s body.

Food Allergies

Dogs can experience an allergic reaction to a food with symptoms like skin conditions and sickness and diarrhea. Like humans they can also experience the much more serious anaphylactic shock.

Dogs over time can also develop food intolerances to certain ingredients in their food whether this is from well-known brands including hypoallergenic or homemade.

Food intolerances can be difficult to trace and then eliminate from your dog’s diet and the symptoms are much the same as for other allergic reactions e.g. sickness, diarrhea, skin dermatitis, lackluster coat and ear and foot infections that are very difficult to eradicate.

Dogs can develop food intolerance to a variety of ingredients such as chicken, beef, fish, eggs, wheat, and of course many dogs are lactose intolerant so it’s probably best to avoid giving your dog milk or cheese just in case.

Severe Reactions

Any Dog allergy can be severe and if so can prove fatal as is the case with anaphylactic shock. Severe reactions can result from bee stings, snake bites, drugs or vaccines, and even food.

These chances of your dog experiencing anaphylactic shock are slim and most extreme reactions will not result in this and instead can be effectively treated by your vet using antihistamines.

Once again the symptoms here are akin to humans with swelling of the face, eyes, throat and lips.

Dog Allergy – The Signs

Here are the signs to look for:

  • Diarrhea
  • Ear infections
  • Hives
  • Itchiness
  • Itchy ears
  • Itchy, runny eyes
  • Inflamed skin
  • Licking constantly
  • Sneezing
  • Swelling anywhere on the face
  • Vomiting

Diagnosing A Dog Allergy

From personal experience and the experience of other dog owners, I’ve spoken to allergy testing can be complicated and costly. The average cost of a vet’s allergy test without any guarantee of success is around £160. In the past the only action you could take was to go to your vet. Nowadays you can easily administer an allergy test from EasyDNA yourself for a fraction of the price you would pay at the vets.

The EasyDNA Dog Allergy Test is wide-ranging covering 150 different allergens. Find out more about the EasyDNA Dog Allergy Test.

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