Ditch The Itch – Environmental Allergies and Your Puggle

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Environmental allergies, also known as environmental hypersensitivity, are allergic reactions to everyday irritants and are typical occur in Puggles. Ordinary, everyday irritants include pollen, dust mites, molds, and pet dander. The condition is more common in dogs than cats and typically begins occurring in Puggles between ages 1 and 3. Substances trigger allergies that the immune system perceives as foreign. The immune system then releases immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies. These antibodies bind to mast cells, causing inflammation. In addition, mast cells can release histamine, which constricts the blood vessels and causes symptoms such as itching and sneezing. Environmental allergies typically occur more frequently in Puggles with a history of ear infections, yeast infections, and allergies to other pets. Puggles' immune systems may also be allergic to certain substances, including proteins, carbohydrates, and preservatives. Unfortunately, environmental allergies can cause your Puggle to experience uncomfortable symptoms, such as itching, scratching, and sneezing. These symptoms are typically worse during the Puggles' peak allergy season, between April and October. These environmental allergies can be challenging to diagnose. For example, if you're sensitive to pollen, you will have symptoms when pollen counts are high and when pollen counts are low. Is your dog showing possible signs of an environmental allergy? For example, does your Puggle scratch, chew, and lick at one location on their body? Are you unsure if your Puggle has allergies, but do you think you need help? While environmental allergies are common in Puggles, it does not mean they should go unchecked. Instead, guarantee a comfortable quality of life for your Puggle and monitor their allergies. Keep reading to learn more about environmental allergies, how they affect Puggles, and what you can do to support your dog and bring relief.

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Puggle Environmental Allergies Explained

A Puggle with environmental allergies usually has a history of mild reactions. These may not include regular coughing, sneezing, or itchy eyes, but in more severe cases, small, itchy welts may appear, especially around the nose, ears, and chin. In extreme cases, itching and scratching may cause hair loss. A Puggles' reaction to environmental allergens can be mild, moderate, or severe. The severity of the response can be influenced by many factors, such as the dog's age, the time of year, exposure to different environmental allergens, and the dog's diet. Allergies can also be triggered by seasonal changes, such as pollens, molds, or dust mites. Stress or anxiety can also trigger allergies. For example, a Puggle with environmental allergies is sometimes allergic to food, which can trigger the same symptoms. Environmental allergies can cause various symptoms, including scratching, sneezing, rashes, crying, and itching. Some dogs with environmental allergies have several symptoms, while others have only one. When environmental allergies are diagnosed, your Puggle may receive medication to help control the symptoms. You may also receive a recommended lifestyle change for your Puggle, such as changing the pet's environment, using less irritating cleaning products, and keeping the home cleaner. A Puggle is not prone to food allergies, but they sometimes develop food allergies like other breeds. Allergic reactions in a Puggle like this can range from mild to severe, and the most common food allergies for a Puggle include beef, dairy, chicken, and wheat. Environmental allergies are diagnosed by blood tests and by allergy skin tests. Skin tests involve placing a small amount of the allergen on the skin of the Puggle. If the Puggle reacts to the allergen, the symptoms will appear within 15 to 30 minutes. Then, the skin test is repeated in the same spot, and if the symptoms reappear, the test is positive. If your Puggle has allergies, there are many things you can do to ease the symptoms. Whenever your dog is outside, make sure your dog is wearing proper flea & tick preventives. These preventives keep fleas, ticks, and other parasites away from your dog, thereby preventing your dog from bringing these pests into your home.

Causes of Environmental Allergies in Puggles

Some environmental allergies are seasonal, occurring mainly in warmer weather and dry, dusty climates. Others happen in all environments.  Environmental allergies caused by pollen are most common in the spring when trees and other plants bloom. However, mold is a common allergen from late summer to spring, especially in dry climates. The allergens are microscopic particles of dust, mold, or dander that are carried by the wind. And they cause an allergic reaction. Not only are environmental allergens found in the great outdoors, but they may also be present in some cleaning products, building materials, and certain fabrics. A Puggle can develop allergies to grass, cats, certain plants, pollen, fleas, and mites. Most dogs with allergies will develop symptoms as puppies, but skin allergies may also occur later in life. It is just as common for Puggles with allergies to worsen over time as the responsible pet parent will take measures to control the allergen (especially when it causes dry skin for the dog). Although a Puggle is not as prone to food allergies, some dogs may develop allergies to food, which may be associated with heredity. Allergies to foods may include beef, dairy, eggs, wheat, corn, soy, yeast, corn gluten, chicken, beef, lamb, and pork. Fleas, ticks, and mites are parasites that feed off your dog's blood. These pests can cause severe allergic reactions in dogs. Fleas are tiny, difficult-to-spot insects that, once on your dog, flea will feed of your dog's blood and cause intense itching. If your pup has fleas, it's almost guaranteed they won't go away independently. Cute puggle outside

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How Environmental Allergies Can Affect Your Puggle

Allergic reactions in a Puggle are not uncommon. These allergies can be seasonal, brought on by pollen, or caused by contact with other allergy-causing substances, such as dust mites, molds, and pet dander. Allergies are triggered when the immune system perceives a substance as an "allergen" – an invader or allergen. As a result, the immune system releases chemicals, including histamine, which can cause itching, chewing, and scratching. When dogs are exposed to their allergen, they may experience symptoms for 1–2 weeks. The severity of the allergy reaction is also linked to how long the exposure continues. A dog's skin has about a thousand sebaceous glands, which produce oil to keep your dog's skin water-resistant. However, when a dog has allergies, some of these receptors may become hypersensitive and react consistently to something the dog comes in contact with.  Sebaceous glands are activated by the canine's environment, such as pollen, dust, mold, and mildew. In addition, some dogs have allergies to flea saliva, which is carried in the dog's fur and can trigger a reaction. Fleas can carry allergens on their skin. The allergens are a reaction to the dog's immune system, not fleas themselves. Allergies in dogs can also cause scratching and hair loss. In addition, a dog with allergies may have hot spots, which are open sores in the dog's skin. Other conditions that can trigger allergies in dogs are rawhide, plants containing pollen, and yeast.  Allergy symptoms in dogs can be present in several different forms. The most common forms include gastrointestinal, skin, and respiratory issues. Gastrointestinal problems, such as vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation, are some common symptoms. Skin issues may be extremely itchy and result in hair loss and scabbing. Other skin conditions may include a dry, flaky, scaly appearance, hives, and hot spots. Respiratory issues include coughing, sneezing, and wheezing. As you can see, your Puggle can experience several types of allergies throughout its life. Although a Puggle can develop allergies at any time, they commonly develop allergies during their puppy years. Cute puggle outside

The Life of a Puggle With Environmental Allergies

The immune system is the body's defense against infection. Usually, the immune system is finely tuned to detect and destroy foreign invaders such as bacteria, viruses, and parasites. When the immune system is wrongly triggered by harmless substances like pollen, pet dander, or dust mites, allergy symptoms develop. Allergy shots (immunotherapy) might be the best way to control allergies, especially for a Puggle who experiences allergies year-round as they are extremely effective. After a course of shots, most Puggles have no symptoms from the allergen. Another way to alleviate your Puggle's discomfort is to diagnose the allergy in your Puggle by conducting an elimination diet. The elimination diet is a limited diet that eliminates foods that contain the allergens and then slowly reintroduces foods that contain the allergen. This elimination diet allows you to determine which foods are causing the allergic reaction. Suppose your Puggle has environmental allergies that are going unchecked and undiagnosed. In that case, their life can be very uncomfortable, and there is a chance the skin sores caused by the environmental allergy could get infected if not monitored. On the other hand, if your Puggle has allergies and you are keeping an eye on their reactions, washing them often, providing steroids when necessary, and immunotherapy if it's consistent, then they should be able to live a comfortable life by your side! Dogs hate being itchy. They scratch themselves, chew themselves, and bite themselves. They scratch so hard they can cause hair loss, ulcers, and even infections. Before treating your dog's allergies, you should identify what is causing the problem and then try to minimize your dog's exposure to that allergen. Keep your dog's environment clean. If you need to, wash the dog's bedding frequently and vacuum regularly, and clean the dog's food and water bowls if they're still showing signs of environmental allergies. Remove all potential allergens from your dog's environment. Removing allergens might include removing carpet and rugs, cleaning bedding, and vacuuming the house. If your dog has allergies to pollen, use air-conditioning, open windows, or use fans to reduce pollen in the house, and use bathing and grooming to remove allergens from the dog's fur.  All of these steps combined can help to quell your Puggle's environmental allergies and guarantee comfort throughout their days. 

Signs Your Puggle Might Have Environmental Allergies

Allergic reactions in a Puggle can come with an array of symptoms. Skin-related ones result from Atopy. Atopy is caused by inflammation of the skin due to your dog itching consistently because of allergens. Additionally, a dog with allergies might experience hair loss. If a dog's allergies are severe, the dog might stop eating. If a dog with untreated allergies begins to vomit, have diarrhea, or suffer from abdominal pain, these symptoms could indicate a more severe condition. As a Puggle becomes uncomfortable from the symptoms, he may try to relieve them by excessive licking, biting, and even chewing. Unfortunately, when a Puggle participates in these methods to help soothe their discomfort, it can lead to open wounds and hair loss around the area reacting to the allergen. And, if you leave these wounds unattended to they could become infected. Another potential sign of environmental allergies are respiratory symptoms, such as coughing, sneezing, vomiting, and wheezing. Some dogs with allergic symptoms may also experience behavior changes such as excessive barking and house soiling. Fleas, ticks, and mites are parasites that feed off your dog's blood. These pests can cause severe allergic reactions in dogs. Fleas are tiny, difficult-to-spot insects that, once on your dog, flea will feed of your dog's blood and cause intense itching. If your pup has fleas, it's almost guaranteed they won't go away independently. Some dogs have allergies to pollen, mold, or dust. These allergic reactions are also often caused by dust mites, microscopic insects that live and feed off your dog's dead skin cells. So seeing dust mites in your house is a telltale sign of an allergic dog.

How To Care for and Treat Your Puggle for Environmental Allergies

Environmental allergies are common in dogs, especially in breeds that shed their coat frequently. For example, puggles shed their coat regularly, so they're more prone to environmental allergies. While it is difficult to diagnose and treat environmental allergies, it is possible. You can identify allergies through a thorough physical exam and a skin test. An allergy test can determine what specific substances affect your dog. In addition, you can opt for a skin test, blood test, or a combination of both. There are also measures you can take at home to help prevent environmental allergies. First, make sure your Puggles always have access to fresh, clean water. Make sure to bathe your Puggle frequently with a canine shampoo, preferably one that contains oatmeal. Next, brush your dog's coat at least once a week, and avoid grooming tools with rubber or plastic bristles. Dogs with environmental allergies react to these bristles. Keep your dog away from grass and weeds that may contain pollen, as well as dusty and smoky areas. Finally, whenever your dog is outside, make sure your dog is wearing proper flea & tick preventives. These preventives keep fleas, ticks, and other parasites away from your dog, thereby preventing your dog from bringing these pests into your home.

How To Help Your Puggle Live a Fulfilling Life With Environmental Allergies

Most dogs will have at least one skin problem at some point in their lives. Allergies in dogs are usually a result of environmental triggers, and these allergies can cause itchiness, redness, and scratching in the dog's skin. With your Puggle, scratching can lead to open wounds, infections, and hair loss. You can treat environmental allergies in dogs with antihistamines and steroid drugs. These drugs may improve your dog's skin, but they will not cure the underlying cause of the allergy. Remedial baths, topical medications, and moisturizing creams can also help soothe your dog's skin. If it is impossible to keep the allergens out of the dog's environment, consider moving your dog to a new home. If a dog's allergies go untreated, the skin can become red, inflamed, and irritated and could lead to infection.  It is always worth trying out a few options before investing in expensive solutions. One option could be to feed your dog a hypoallergenic diet that does not contain any of the ingredients that trigger an allergic reaction in the body.  You can also find ways to decrease your dog's exposure to environmental allergens, such as limiting your dog's outdoor activities. As discussed, environmental allergens can also affect the skin, causing your dog to itch, scratch, and bite at his skin. Following the tips in this article (like remembering to wash your dog's bedding regularly) should help your dog remain comfortable throughout its lifetime.  

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