Did you know that dogs licking paws is usually a symptom of allergies? If you own a dog that is licking his paws continuously, chances are your dog has allergies. Owning a dog with allergies can be quite frustrating for you and very uncomfortable for your dog. As they scratch, bite, lick and destroy their coats and skin completely. Hot spots begin to appear, their coats begin to fall out and they chew their bodies to the point of scabs, sores and a down right total mess! It is usually not a pretty site but in most cases can be managed without medication and long term steroid shots that can have a negative impact on your dog.
I have the pleasure of owning a Labrador Retriever with terrible allergies. If he eats a food that triggers an allergic reaction, chewing feet becomes his new pass time. Thank goodness my other lab is allergy free! There seems to be more dogs today then ever, that develop allergies. The first step I would recommend for any owner that has a dog in this condition is a quick trip to the vet for a steroid shot and antibiotics to temporarily stop the itching and heal any raw spots that have developed. This will buy you some time temporarily, to regroup and begin to look for a solution, while making your dog a lot more comfortable while you are doing so. Please know, I am not a advocate of steroid shots for dogs, by any means. But in this case, my main concern would be getting your dog to immediately stop chewing himself/herself raw and stopping any infection from progressing.
Fleas are a huge allergy factor in dogs. If you haven’t already, go to the nearest pet shop and buy a flea comb. They are cheap, usually around a dollar, and comb through your dog checking for to see if any fleas or flea feces are in the comb. You will know if you find flea feces as it is little dark specks that bleed red when you get it wet on a paper towel. There is more information on how to erradicate fleas in your home and on your dog here.
The second largest allergy factor in my opinion is a food allergy. This allergy can be corrected in most cases without longtime medication or a life of vet visit after vet visit for you and your dog. My oldest lab Slate, has terrible food allergies and after a long hard journey, I have been able to manage it without the use of any medication.
First off, there is no test that can accurately test a dog for food allergies. I’m am writing an entire article on food allergies in this site. If you are interested, please look for that article under allergies, food allergies.
The third allergy that affects dogs is an environmental allergy. This allergy is the hardest to manage in my opinion, unless you can find exactly what item or items in your dogs environment is causing the reaction and remove that out of your dogs environment. An example would be…. anything new brought into your home before your dog started showing allergy symptoms that could possible have triggered an allergic reaction.
The good news is, there are accurate tests your vet can administer to pinpoint what environmental factors are causing your dog to react. The bad news is if it is pollen, etc. you may be looking at long term allergy shots from the vet if nothing else works. There is also a very good possibility that certain supplements, etc. can greatly improve and manage your dog’s reaction to the point of not needing expensive vet visits. Please check this site under allergies, allergy supplements, for more information on what is available and how they can help you manage your dogs environmental allergies.
I hope this information helps make your life and your dogs life a lot better so you both can back to the important things in life like playing fetch! Thanks for reading!