dog itching but no fleasMy Dog Is Itching But No Fleas

Have you ever thought, my dog is itching but no fleas. If your dog has an allergy you probably have. Just as people can have allergies, dog can have allergies too.

My sister-in-law’s dog, a Scottish Terrier, has atopy allergies. She will lick and chew at her paws due to the itching from the allergies. She now receives medication to help relieve the symptoms.

If you suspect that your dog has allergies, see your veterinarian to get some relief for your dog. The veterinarian will be able to put together a treatment plan for your dog according to the allergies your dog has.


Causes of Allergies

Various substances in the environment can cause allergies in dogs such as pollen, mold spores, mites, dander, feathers, and cigarette smoke.

Dogs may also be allergic to flea and tick products, perfumes, cleaning products, fabrics, insecticidal shampoos, rubber, plastic materials, and foods.


Signs of Allergies

Symptoms of allergies can be different depending on the allergy. Symptoms may include

  • itching
  • scratching
  • licking
  • chewing
  • red and irritated skin
  • red and irritated ears
  • hair loss
  • increased bowel movements
  • soft stools

bulldogMain Types of Allergies

Atopy Allergy

This is the most common type of allergy for a dog and is caused by something in the environment that the dog is in. This could be something like pollen or ragweed that can cause an allergic reaction in your dog.

The most common areas to see this type of allergy is the face, ears, paws, and skin. Your dog may lick their paws or chew on them to relieve the itching or they may rub their face or ears. These seasonal allergies can develop into year round allergies as your dog ages.

You can wipe your dog’s paws with a soft cloth after going outside. Use a hypoallergenic shampoo or medicated shampoo.Omega-3s and biotin can improve the coat and help suppress itching.


Flea Allergy

An allergy to fleas is actually a flea saliva sensitivity and is common in dogs. Most people think dogs itch from fleas biting, but it is the flea saliva causes the itching.

Prevention is the key to keeping fleas away from your dog. I use a topical product on my dog, Freckles, each month. It works great and we never have fleas.


Food Allergy

A small percent of dogs have allergic reactions to certain foods. Symptoms can include itching, inflamed ears, coughing, sneezing, irritated eyes, skin infections, increased bowel movements, and soft stools.

If you suspect your dog has a food allergy, make an appointment with your veterinarian. They will give your dog an exam and run some allergy tests if necessary. Your veterinarian can make a treatment plan if allergies are detected.


Contact Dermatitis

Contact dermatitis is a less common allergy that is caused by carpets, cleaners, or plastic. Symptoms include intense scratching, red bumps or blisters, and hair loss.


Severe Allergic Reactions

Severe allergic reactions can cause symptoms to appear within 20 minutes of exposure to the allergen. If your dog has a severe allergy see your veterinarian who may prescribe a epi-pen.


golden retrieverBreeds Susceptible to Allergies

Some breeds are more susceptible to allergies than others due to genetic allergies that are passed down through generations.

Some of these dog breeds are Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, Terriers, Boxers, Bulldogs, Dalmatians, Beagles, and Irish Setters.

A good breeder will have their dogs tested for allergen genes. They will only breed dogs that don’t carry the gene to help eliminate the allergen from the breed. Beware, because not all breeders will do this. Ask lots of questions.


Allergy Treatments

Treatment plans can be different depending on your dog and the allergies they are suffering from. Treatment may include medications and removing the allergen if possible.

Steroids are used on a short term basis to relieve itching. A safer option is an antihistamine but they may make your dog sleepy.

Biotin can help dogs suffering from dry, itchy allergic skin when supplemented daily. It is safe for your dog and has no side effects. You can give it to your dog as a supplement.

Immunotherapy can be used on dogs with allergies. Allergy shots are given regularly containing tiny amounts of the substance your dog is allergic to. If your dog responds well, your dog will need shots the rest of it’s life most likely.

For airborne allergies, change filters for ac/heater filters, vacuum carpet and floors, and wash your dog’s bedding often.

Use hypoallergenic dog shampoos and conditioners to bathe your dog. Rinse your dog thoroughly with water.

Flea control products should be used regularly to prevent fleas from invading your dog’s coat and your home.


Fortunately, most dogs don’t have allergies. But if your dog does, getting your dog on a treatment plan will help relieve the symptoms. Getting treatment early on will be beneficial for your dog as the allergies will worsen with age.

Are you thinking, my dog is itching but no fleas? Leave a comment below or share a story about your dog. The information on this website is not intended to replace the advice of your own veterinarian, dog trainer, or dog behavioral specialist.

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