A cute small dog on a couch licking its paw because of dog allergies

Signs Your Dog is Having an Allergic Reaction

Worried your dog might be having an allergic reaction?

From itchy ears to red, puffy eyes, dogs and humans alike can both suffer from allergy symptoms. In fact, it’s estimated that 20% of dogs will develop allergies over their lifetime. That’s no small number!

Fortunately, dog allergies are highly treatable.

Knowing what signs to look for can help pet owners act fast (and even prevent) future allergic reactions from ruining your dog’s day. Westmonte Animal Clinic is here with 7 warning signs that your dog is experiencing an allergic reaction.


What is an Allergic Reaction?

Allergic reactions in dogs occur when their body interacts with something that triggers the immune system to overreact.

For example, a dog who rolls in ragweed and gets an itchy belly.

Allergic reactions can range from mild to severe. But as The American Kennel Club points out, some allergic reactions can be dangerous. If left untreated, dogs have the potential to go into canine anaphylactic shock and undergo respiratory or cardiac failure.

A cute dog outside in a field on a sunny day


Everyday Things that can Trigger an Allergic Reaction

Of course, it’s impossible to predict when and where a medical emergency will occur.

However, when it comes to allergies, Florida has a uniquely warm and humid environment.

So, Altamonte Springs and pet parents in Central Florida should pay attention to common irritants found in our area that can cause an allergic reaction in their dog. For instance, mango pollen contains urushiol, which is the same oily mixture found in poison ivy and oak.

Likewise, Floridian pooches will likely sniff around St. Augustine grass, bluejack oak, and spotted water hemlock, and be at heightened risk of tick, flea, horsefly, and spider bites.

Other everyday things that have the potential to induce an allergic reaction in our furry friends include:

  • Food ingredients (such as specific animal proteins)
  • Prescription drugs
  • Insect stings
  • Grasses
  • Tree pollen
  • Mold
  • Dust mites
  • Chemicals (such as cleaning products, shampoo, and perfume)

In Central Florida, the environment is particularly filled with pollen, grasses, and airborne mold. All of which can cause allergies that can be uncomfortable, costly, and leave your pup vulnerable to further infections.


What are the Signs of an Allergic Reaction in Dogs?


That was a long list.

But don’t panic.

In the case of an allergic reaction, veterinarians like the team here at Westmonte Animal Clinic are on standby. The faster you understand what’s happening, the more quickly we can get your dog the medical assistance he/she needs.

Be on the lookout for the following 7 signs a dog is having an allergic reaction:


1. Red and Inflamed Skin

Skin that looks red is an indicator that something is wrong. It could also be flaky from scratching and covered in bald patches. Run your hands along a dog’s body to feel for hives, bumps, welts, and rashes.


2. Swelling

Secondly, do you see swelling? Allergens often cause a dog’s eyes, muzzle, and paws to swell rapidly. PetMD explains this is serious because pets can have trouble breathing, seeing, and walking.


3. Excessive Licking or Skin Chewing

Another sign your dog could be having an allergic reaction is too much licking. Imagine getting stung by a bee.

Hurts, right?

Well, a dog thinks so too! Dogs will often lick and chew at the site of pain or discomfort. Check for any discoloration, wounds, and odor. If paw licking doesn’t stop after a few minutes, it may be a sign your dog stepped in an allergic reaction-triggering substance.

A small dog scratching itself behind the ear


4. Itchiness

Hey, speaking of dog feet…what’s up with all that itching?

An itch that just won’t go away isn’t normal. And while this symptom is not life-threatening by itself, tilting of the head and rubbing against furniture could mean an allergic reaction is taking place.


5. Diarrhea

In addition, runny poops are common with severe allergic reactions. Canine Journal shares that diarrhea can be an allergic response to something your dog ate, with the most common allergen ingredients being beef, chicken, egg, and dairy.


6. Vomiting

Also watch for another gastrointestinal sign that something is off: vomiting. An upset tummy could be due to allergy-inducing foods or ingesting plant pollens, grasses, or chemicals.


7. Sneezing

Lastly, listen for the sound of dog sneezes. In Central Florida, dust, pollen, and mold spores can irritate a dog’s sinuses. If sneezing is accompanied with a runny nose and eye discharge, it might be an allergic reaction.


When to Talk to a Veterinarian

Witnessing your dog have an allergic reaction can be confusing – we know!

After all, many of the signs listed above could also be symptoms of a different condition. That’s why we recommend reaching out to your local veterinarian for a full diagnostic evaluation.

If you’re located in the Altamonte Springs or the Greater Orlando area and believe your dog is suffering from allergies, give us a call today. We are accepting new clients and can give your furry friend a wellness exam to get a better understanding of their overall health and offer solutions to keep your dog’s allergies at bay and under control.