Most people think of the Yorkshire Terrier as hypoallergenic dogs.
However, the dog which might be good for human allergy sufferers might also suffer from his own allergies.
Included in the types of allergies your little friend can have are:
- Food allergies
- Skin and contact allergies
- Inhaled allergies
Allergies may be year-round or come and go with age or the seasons.
The more you know about the types of allergic reactions, the sooner your Yorkie can feel better.
With a little bit of detective work, you can pinpoint the source of the distress and eliminate it.
Common sources of food allergies that can be in the food your dog is eating includes:
In addition to these, chemicals and preservatives should be specially looked at as triggers for food allergies.
Skin and contact allergies
These can be caused by common cleaning products, as well as fragrances, detergents, carpeting and carpet cleaners.
Shampoos and grooming aids that are used on dogs might even contain something that your dog is sensitive to and that triggers a reaction.
These are what we think of as seasonal allergies.
They are inhaled and might involve pollen as well as weeds and grasses.
Environmental in nature, they can also include smoke, dust and dust mites and mold.
Contaminated air and bad air quality can also cause distress in the allergic dog.
What are some of the typical allergy symptoms?
The dog that is allergic will show certain symptoms according to the trigger.
Each dog is unique, so different dogs that are allergic to the same substance might show different symptoms.
Here are some typical signs of allergy. To learn more about each symptom and what might cause them.
- Dry skin and skin issues, including rash, hot spots, itching, and hives
- Digestive issues
- Recurring infections in the ear
- Breathing difficulties, coughing and wheezing
- Eye irritation and bloodshot eyes
- Scratching, licking and chewing on the skin due to itching
The reaction will be the result of the type of allergy; for example, a food allergy might cause vomiting or an upset stomach.
Breathing issues can be brought on by contact or inhaled allergens.
Steps to take
- Eliminate the triggers of the allergy or reduce it if possible.
- Treat the immediate symptoms, such as itching. Although not a cure, treating the immediate symptom will make your Yorkie feel better.
- Once the trigger has been located, keep an eye out for other things that could bring on a new allergy. Keep up the care and grooming as well.
Eliminating food allergies
According to the Yorkie Information Center, some of the signs of a food allergy are:
“Signs: Most often, food allergies will cause skin reactions (itching, rashes, sores, hot spots, etc.).
Note that this may only be apparent on the paws which are easily accessible for a dog to lick at, and/or stomach distress including bloating, flatulence, diarrhea, and/or vomiting.”
Triggers include synthetic preservatives used because they are less expensive than natural preservatives.
Artificial flavoring and coloring and such chemicals as FD&C Blue No. 2 AND FD&C Red No. 40 might be added to make the food more appealing in color.
Grain, soy, wheat or corn might cause a reaction. Rice can even be the culprit in some cases.
Switching food to a natural product might be the answer. It can take 8 to 12 weeks before the improvement is significant.
Eliminating contact allergies
You might want to assess the following:
- carpets and flooring – your dog could be allergic to the fibers or texture of your carpeting. If it is wall-to-wall, you can put down pieces of linoleum in some areas or a blanket that has been washed in a scent-free detergent. Encourage him to sleep in his dog bed instead of the carpet.
- products for cleaning – products such as carpet cleaning powders should be eliminated.
- dog bedding and covers – should be laundered in “free and clear” detergents instead of those with perfume and heavy scents.
- toys should be of high quality; cheap ones can cause a reaction to the dyes or chemicals used in mass-produced manufacturing.
Plastic bowls might contain chemicals that cause a reaction, such as gradual loss of nose color or itching of the face.
They should be changed to ceramic or stainless steel.
Eliminating inhaled allergies
Although Mother Nature is the culprit here, you can help reduce the allergies that are found in the home. According to the AKC,
“Atopic allergies account for the biggest share of allergies in dogs. These are reactions to allergens such as house dust and dust mites, pollens, fungi, and molds.”
Some steps to take include:
- Vacuuming the entire house
- Clean the air with a HEPA filter
- Dust with a damp cloth
- Cover mattresses with allergy-proof protection
- Wash your Yorkie toys and bedding in hot water to kill dust mites
- Remove shoes when entering the house
- After allergens are cleared, keep windows closed
- Wipe your dog down when he comes back inside during the high pollen seasons. Walk him after a rainfall, when pollen counts are lower.
Your vet can test your furry friend for allergies if you are still not sure of the cause.
A discussion with your vet might be needed in order to obtain more tips on treating the symptoms.
You want your Yorkie to be free from allergies by finding the causes and then eliminating them.