An allergy in dog can be defined as an overreaction of its immune system to an environmental trigger. Like humans, dogs can develop an allergy to anything. For example, a dog that has not been exposed to fleas could suffer from a reaction upon its first contact. Certain dog allergies are often inherited and more common in certain breeds. Let us take a look at dog breeds with most allergies.
1. West Highland Terrier
Westies suffer from epidermal dysplasia which is characterized by darkened, itchy skin. The skin appears dry and but greasy. White colored West Highland Terriers are also known to show greater tendency towards inhaled allergens like pollen, dust and mold. When the pollen count is high, you might find your dog biting and scratching, sneezing or even having watery eyes. Many Westies tend to rub their faces with their paws and/or bite their front feet. Some tend to develop rashes on their bellies. The West Highland terrier is also prone to household allergens. So do not think that he will be safe at home. Home Care includes keeping fleas and ticks at bay. Also use an air purifier and dust and vacuum thoroughly. Keep your pet’s coat and environment clean. HEPA filters (High Efficiency Particulate Air) Filters can help to some extent.
It is said that white dogs have more skin problems than those with other coat colors. Owning a Dal means having to put up with many skin and coat problems. Much of the pinking that occurs in Dalmatians is due to allergic reaction. As a Dalmatian owner, you might find that skin allergies peak in spring when new grass grows. Always check your Dal’s paws and make sure you wash them after coming indoors. Dalmatians are also allergic to mold, pollen, and dander. You might see the signs on your dog’s muzzle, belly and lips in the form of small red bumps. Home care includes limiting your pet’s exposure to the allergen. Some Dalmatians may suffer atopic dermatitis symptoms all year round.
Like other dog breeds, Boxers can be allergic to anything in their environment including food, flea bites, pollen, household cleaner and even pollen. Typical signs of allergies include swollen itchy, skin, diarrhea, breathing issues and even vomiting. Flea allergy dermatitis is the most common type of allergy in Boxer dogs. It is common for a Boxer with this allergy to itch for almost a week. Reduce the symptoms by bathing your dog weekly with vet approved products. Also treat the environment for fleas. Some boxers are also prone to food allergies including wheat, chemical preservatives, eggs, milk, corn, beef etc. Food allergies of this type can cause the dog to shake its ears or scratch and paw them constantly. It can sometimes be very time consuming to find out what your pet is allergic to. You may have to feed your pet only one starch and one protein per day, adding a new ingredient every day. If symptoms return, you’d know what your pet is allergic to.
4. Golden Retrievers
Golden Retrievers are one of the many dog breeds with most allergies. Food and skin allergies are common in Goldens; you might also find them suffering from ‘hotspots’. Some allergies can also be due to inhaled allergens like pollen, dander etc. If you find your Golden with itchy skin, then you need to either switch its food or change something in the environment. A medicated shampoo can sometimes help. Flea saliva allergy is also a common issue in Golden Retrievers. In such cases, you need to administer flea baths at home and also ensure that fleas do not harm your pet again. Food allergies can be solved by making a switch once you find out what ingredient your Golden is allergic to. Most skin and food allergies in dogs can be prevented but sometimes it becomes a lifelong, time consuming and expensive process. This is one of the main reasons why you must buy your pet from reputed breeders. Golden Retrievers are genetically predisposed to atopic dermatitis as well.
5. English Setter
English Setters are genetically predisposed to food allergies. 80% of food allergic pets respond to dog food allergy treatment that includes trial diet. Some of these dogs also have poor thyroid function. Topical decontamination along with supplementation of Omega essential fatty acids and natural diet can help. You can also try digestive enzymes, topically applied herbs like aloe vera or chamomile infusion, and also feed supplements containing MSM.
6. Irish Setter
The Irish Setter actually belongs to that category of dog breeds which tend to trigger allergic reaction in humans. Additionally, the breed is itself prone to flea allergy dermatitis and heritable celiac like disease. Interdigital dermatitis is also common in this breed. If this occurs, you might see lesions on your pet’s paws characterized by constant chewing, licking etc. Sometimes steroids, laser treatment or surgery may be the only alternative to deal with severe inter-digital dermatitis.
7. Lhasa Apso
Some Lhasas are allergic to corn, corn oil or beef that is found in many dog food brands. Food allergies often manifest in the form of severe scratching. If your Lhasa Apso does not have ticks or fleas (or other parasites), then s/he could be allergic to food. Changing the diet can show results in a few weeks. Lhasas also have greater genetic predisposition to atopy versus other breeds.
8. Miniature Schnauzer
Properly feeding your Mini Schnauzer can prevent many health issues, especially food intolerances and allergies. Diagnosis of food allergy in Mini can include a 2-3 week food trial including home cooked meals. Like many other breeds, the Mini Schnauzer could encounter five types of allergies including food allergy, inhalant allergy, contact allergy, bacterial allergy and flea allergy.
9. Shar Pei
Shar Peis are unique dogs that come with a host of genetic predisposition to food allergies. Additionally, they tend to have low thyroid function. Many Shar Peis are also diagnosed with immune deficiencies which manifest as skin issues. Other genetic predispositions in this breed include skin problems caused by atopic dermatitis, pyoderma and demodicosis.
10. Powderpuff and Hairless Chinese Crested
Both the Powderpuff and hairless varieties of Chinese Crested dog breed are prone to severe skin allergies. These dogs have a tendency to sunburn and also suffer from skin issues like acne and blackheads which are unheard of in dogs. Pet guardians must keep an eye out for skin rashes and irritation. The Powderpuff variety needs to be bathed regularly but not as frequently as the Hairless variety. Use a moisturizer and sunscreen lotion to keep your Crested safe and healthy. Also feed it a high quality diet.
Allergies that are a result of genetic predisposition can manifest in the first three to four years of your pet’s life. Apart from the dog breeds mentioned above, breeds like German Shepherd, Cocker Spaniel, English Bulldog, Labrador Retrievers, Belgian Tervurens, and several terrier and toy breeds are also prone to atopic dermatitis and food allergies.