Does My Dog Have Seasonal or Food Allergies?

March 15, 2021 5 min read

image of Dog with allergies licking his paw

Allergies are tough. From itchy eyes to sneezing, allergies aren’t fun for anyone including our pets. With every year passing, we can expect our pet’s allergies to act up at least once a year and for them to be extremely uncomfortable.

If your dog is showing itchy skin, inflammation, hair loss, there is a high chance that they're experiencing a reaction from environmental factors. If the symptoms are around all year, might be food-related.

Two of the most common allergies in our pups are seasonal or food-related.

Allergies: What Are They?

Allergies are what occurs when there is a bodily reaction to certain substances called allergens. Our dogs have a strong immune system that can usually fight off any unwanted guests, but their immune system reacts in a negative way when encountering a substance they are allergic to.

When they come in contact with the same allergen multiple times, cells release histamines what causes the allergic reactions we see in the pups. that include sneezing, coughing, inflammation, and skin rashes.

Unlike hoomans, dogs can actually get their allergies through ingesting, inhaling, and even absorbing through their skins and paws. Allergies are actually quite common — around 10% have allergies and certain breeds are more susceptible to them including Bulldogs, Pugs, Retrievers, Setters, and Terriers.

Seasonal Allergies

Seasonal allergies are different in each dog. They can range from small signs that you might overlook to severe signs that your pup is in discomfort. Common triggers for seasonal allergic reactions can include exposure to pollen, fibers, dust mites, and mold spores.

Seasonal Allergies Symptoms:

  • Ear Infections
  • Scooting
  • Shedding
  • Inflamed/ infected skin
  • Paw Licking
  • Respiratory Issues

Inflamed skin is one of the most common signs that your pup is experiencing a reaction of some sort of environmental factor. If left without attention, your dog may end up continuously scratching until they can potentially require antibiotics to treat the infection.

Paw licking and scooting occurs when chemical histamines produced from allergens are pushed out to their externalities.

Shedding and itchiness tend to go hand in hand. If your dog is itching to the point of shedding, it is time to take them to the vet.

Food Allergies

Food allergy symptoms are usually similar to those of seasonal allergies. Food allergies however may also include diarrhea, vomiting, and increased bowel movements in a day.  Unlike their human counterparts, our pets are most likely to experience skin issues before GI symptoms.

Food allergy symptoms include:

  • Lesions
  • Recurring ear infections
  • Scabs
  • Itchiness
  • Hotspots
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Food allergies are very common for pups, especially if they are on a processed diet. When identifying food allergies, be sure to differentiate whether your pup has a food allergy vs. a food intolerance.

Food intolerance does not involve the immune system. Food allergies tend to be more consistent in symptoms while intolerances will be sudden for example food poisoning tends to lead to digestive issues and an upset stomach.

Treating Allergies

Allergies can be uncomfortable for our little furry friends to go through. If your pet’s allergies get to a point of concern, you’ll most likely take them to a vet. Going to the vet may seem like a good idea — your pup isn’t feeling well. Cali Raw is all for vet checkups but we recommend a holistic veterinarian. Traditional vets may not be as well versed in raw and natural health.

A traditional vet will most likely prescribe medication. The goal of medication however is to suppress your dog’s immune system, leaving bacteria, cancer cells, and viruses to grow without bounds. This won't fix your dog's allergies but only hide the symptoms.

Traditional allergy medicine for dogs like apoquel is very dangerous and not recommended.

How To Treat Seasonal Allergies In My Dog

For seasonal allergies, there is one ingredient that is not only beneficial but also effective — colostrum. Colostrum is PRP rich (a proline-rich polypeptide) and it has been supported by research to help allergy symptoms and even eliminating them by altering the immune responses’ response to allergens.

Colostrum is naturally found in the mother’s milk — helping newborns develop their immune system and digestive tracts. Colostrum and specifically PRP work to inhibit immune cells that are causing the allergic reaction and develop immune cells that are anti-inflammatory and reduce histamines that trigger the allergic reactions.

While we may think only naturally occurring colostrum may be the only option for treating these seasonal allergies but colostrum from bovine or antibodies that are built-in cows are already built against fleas and pollen that usually cause allergies in our dogs.

Another pro — colostrum can also work against environmental allergies in addition to seasonal ones!

Be sure to add this peptide to help your dog fight against seasonal and environmentally enduced allergies.

How To Treat My Dog's Food Allergies

First things first: identify whether the allergy is seasonal or food-related.

Next, it is time to eliminate. Put your pup on a strict diet with one type of food for at least 8 weeks. The best food to feed during this time is a limited ingredient, natural dog food like Cali Raw or any other raw formula. Doing this will allow you to see if it's actually a certain ingredient that's causing a reaction or possible fillers in your dog's wet/dry food. 

During this time, you should avoid feeding treats especially processed treats. If you still want to feed your dog some snacks stick to a single ingredient treat, like safe fruits that are also in your dog's meal or similar protein snacks. You can check out our sister store, Crafted Treats! 

Monitor whether or not they show the symptoms of food allergies and move on to the next food. When it comes down to it, it’s all up to us to be responsible owners and identify what makes our dogs have an allergic reaction, and avoid feeding our dogs them.

Best Food Dog Food For Allergies

Food is one of the main bridges between allergies and good health. With the right food, our dogs can live long and healthy lives with minimal issues. When looking for the right food to feed your little furry friend, make sure that they are formulated for their specific life stage, and follow AAFCO guidelines. When choosing foods, it is important that they are complete and balanced, with not only well-sourced protein, but also contain fruits, vegetables, and essential for growth.

Most food allergies in dogs are caused by processed proteins and ingredients. By feeding fresh, we are able to give our dogs what they are naturally meant to eat.