Benefits Of Dog Allergy Testing

Updated: September 19, 2022

You may be familiar with dog allergy testing, while others might not have heard of it. An allergy test for dogs is helpful when your dog is itching, snoring, or scratching and you don't know why. It could be an allergy. But how do you know that your dog's itchy skin is already a sign of allergies?

Just like us, our dogs can be allergic to a lot of things. For us, as pet parents, it shouldn't be a guessing game forever. In this article, you will learn the different benefits of testing your dogs for allergies and how you can manage allergies in your furbaby that can help them be more comfortable.

"Together with allergy tests for dogs, dog allergies can be managed in many efficient ways."

Types of Dog Allergies

Dog allergens can be categorized into groups:

  • Contact allergy. This includes grasses, weeds, plants, dust mites, and molds that may cause an allergic reaction to your dog when they get in contact with it.
  • Flea allergies. These allergens include flea and tick bites.
  • Food allergies. This includes different kinds of protein and dog food ingredients that your dog could be allergic to like chicken, corn, wheat, etc.
  • Inhalant allergy (Atopy). These are allergens that are inhaled like dust and pollens. This form of allergy is seasonal and may only affect your dog during certain times of the year.

Signs of allergies can include, but are not limited to: 

  • Itchy skin 
  • Dry skin 
  • Swelling of the face, eyelids, ears, lips 
  • Ear infections 
  • Yeast infections 
  • Red, inflamed skin 
  • Constant licking, biting or chewing of itchy 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Runny eyes 
  • Runny nose 
  • Sneezing 

According to Animal Med Center unlike most of us who react to allergens most typically with nasal symptoms and/or hives, our furbabies respond with skin and/or gastrointestinal problems. This is because there are a higher proportion of mast cells, which release histamines and other vasoactive substances in the face of an allergic reaction, in the skin of dogs.

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Different Kinds of Dog Allergy Testing

There are hundreds of allergens present in the environment that might affect our dogs. Some allergens can be easily avoided, some are difficult like dust and mold spores as they can hardly be seen. Less common allergens that your dog may also be exposed to regularly are cigarette smoke, trees, and weed pollens. Since there are a number of allergens in the everyday environment, it can be difficult to determine what is causing an allergic reaction in your dog. This is where allergy tests for dogs come in.

Dog allergy testing is the excellent diagnostic tool and the superior path to treatment for furbabies that are suffering from moderate and severe allergies. There are several different testing methods available.

The two most common procedures for allergy testing in dogs are intradermal skin testing and blood (serum) testing.

  • Intradermal skin testing. This involves injecting small quantities of allergens into your dog's skin and is usually done under general anesthesia or sedation, following comprehensive supervision. If skin appears to be swelling after an allergen has been injected, it means that there was a positive response. If there is no swelling, it means that your dog is not allergic to that allergen. Intradermal skin testing can help your veterinarian identify which allergens trigger your dog's itchy skin.

According to VCA Hospitals, intradermal skin testing has long been recognized as the 'gold standard' in finding out the cause of allergies, and is only carried out by veterinary dermatologists.

  • Blood allergy testing. Also known as RAST testing or radioaallergosorbent, this dog allergy testing method involves taking a blood sample from your furbaby. The blood sample is then submitted for analysis and searched for allergen-specific antibodies. If antibodies are found with a specific allergen, it means that there was a positive result. 

According to the UW Veterinary Care, these dog allergy tests are tests to determine allergies to weeds, trees, grass pollens, dust, spores, and fleas as these are the most common causes of allergies in dogs. But these dog allergy tests are also to test the more uncommon allergens like allergies to cats or other animals, insects, and even humans. Allergy tests for food are best done with a controlled diet for your furbaby for several months and have your furbaby’s diet reactions be discussed by your vet.

The Benefits of An Allergy Test For Dogs

Dog allergy testing can benefit you and your furbaby in more ways than one. It can be a sigh of relief knowing what exactly causes your dog's allergies.  

  • It helps you create a prevention plan. Knowing the exact allergens that trigger your dog's allergies will help you come up with ways of how to possibly avoid it. If your dog is allergic to dust and certain pollens, you can avoid it by lessening the time of your furbaby spends outside. A prevention plan will also help you anticipate different allergy risks in social settings like when you and your dog go for a walk.
  • It helps you create a safer environment. Allergy testing in dogs can help you allergy-proof your dog's environment. Allergy testing for dogs also helps you steer clear of certain foods in their diet that may act as allergens.

Managing Dog Allergies

As pet parents, the most important thing to know is how to manage your dog's allergies. Together with dog allergy testing, dog allergies can be managed in many efficient ways.

Provide allergy-fighting supplements. There are a lot of allergy-fighting supplements in the market but only a few are from trusted brands and of high-quality. You can provide your dog with Pet Parents® Allergy SoftSupps® that has anti-inflammatory properties. These supplements also contain essential oils like Omega-3, fatty acids, and fish oil that help decrease your dog's inflammation and lessens the itchiness and pain. It also has Colostrum that enhances the immune response.

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Wipe away environmental irritants. To help avoid the effects of allergies on your dog, you can wipe them down daily with Pet WiPees™ Dog All Purpose + Allergy wipes. These dog wipes act as supplements for the skin, wiping away environmental irritants while creating a healthy, protective barrier on the skin. Made with ingredients like sunflower seed oil, Vitamin E, and topical antioxidants, these dog wipes help strengthen their first line of defense against the environment, their skin.

Build a healthy coat with Pet Parents® Skin and Coat SoftSupps®These supplements contain Omega-3 & a pure form of fish oil that is rich in EPA & DHA, which are essential fatty acids that support healthy coat & may help support normal moisture content of skin in your furbaby.

Note: These supplements are not treatments for allergies. They are only meant to support the body to fight off allergies and the symptoms that come with them.

Give high-quality dog food. Providing your dog with high-quality dog food can help him get all the nutrients his body needs, especially with the body's natural ways of fighting off allergens. You can also opt to give your dog Pet Parents® Multivitamin SoftSupps® can provide your furbaby with beneficial ingredients that help promote powerful daily health support. Adding them into the healthy and balanced diet of your dog - especially the ones coping up with seasonal allergies – can be helpful.

Stay away from the triggers. As mentioned above, if you already know what allergens your dog is sensitive to, it is best that you do all that you can to keep them away from what triggers their allergies. Prevention is the best way to minimize your pup's itching.

Dog allergy testing is indeed beneficial, not only for your furbaby but also for you. What better way to prevent allergies than knowing what triggers them. Help bark goodbye to dog allergies for good! These products and efforts can help to relieve your pet's discomfort, helping to promote a happier and healthier life.

"These supplements also contain essential oils like Omega-3, fatty acids, and fish oil that help decrease your dog's inflammation and lessens the itchiness and pain."