dog laying on floor

Have you ever suspected that your dog has allergies, but you’re unsure because their symptoms don’t include red, itchy irritated skin? 

Skin irritation is common and more well-known by pet parents as a symptom of allergies in dogs, but the symptoms don’t stop there. Allergies in dogs can manifest in many different ways depending on your unique dog and the type of allergy they are experiencing, like: 

🐾 An environmental allergy

🐾 A food allergy

🐾 A flea bite allergy 

Pinpointing dog allergy symptoms can be a tricky task. There are some signs you can look for while exploring the possibility of your dog having an allergy issue. 

Here are five surprising symptoms that could point to your dog having an allergy:  

  • Vomiting and diarrhea. 

Yup, AKA “the tummy troubles.” GI upset might not be the first thing you associate with an allergy, but it happens! GI symptoms are more commonly found with food allergies. If an issue persists, you can speak with your veterinarian about changing your dog’s diet to see if there is an improvement.

  • Hives. 

Red itchy skin is not the only way allergies show up in dogs. Just like humans, hives can pop up and pay your dog a visit during an allergic reaction. The hives may still cause your dog to itch, so try a cold compress to relieve the itching if it occurs. Hives can also be tricky to spot since they may hide under your dog’s fur. 

If your dog is itching or in discomfort, but you don’t notice hives immediately, check their belly to be sure. Call your veterinarian if hives appear to figure out the next steps. 

  • Swelling. 

If your dog suddenly looks like a scene out of Hitch, it’s time to call your vet… 

The most common places for swelling to occur in dogs when an allergen is present are the ears, lips, nose, eyes, and anywhere on the face. The swelling can spread depending on how severe the allergy is, so this might be an emergency. If sudden swelling in your dog occurs, call your veterinarian to ask if it’s an emergency care situation.

  • Chronic ear infections. 

You’ve been to the vet. You’ve tried all the medications. But your dog’s ear infection just keeps. coming. back. Sometimes ear infections are a one-off occurrence, but an ear infection your dog can’t shake could mean something more– like an allergy. 

If this is the case for your dog, discuss the potential of allergies with your veterinarian and devise a plan of action. Are there things in your pet’s environment or diet that you can start eliminating one by one to narrow down a culprit? Figuring it out might be a long road, but it’ll be worth it for your dog’s relief. 

  • Runny nose and eyes. 

Yup, just like humans, dogs can get those allergy season sniffles! Runny nose, itchy eyes… if you’ve ever had allergies yourself, you know how irritating this symptom can be. Don’t forget to check for drippy noses and excessive tear stains under your dog’s eyes, especially as the seasons change. There are different medications your veterinarian can suggest if allergies are suspected, including once-a-month allergy shot options. 

Remember that your dog may experience multiple symptoms, so keep a diary log to track each day, what they may have come in contact with or eaten, and share it with your veterinarian. Allergies in dogs are pesky but not impossible to get relief from. As a dedicated pet parent, we know you’ll work toward and find a solution. In the meantime, we’re here to chat and support you! Join us in our FREE Facebook community, The DOGTV Pack, where dog lovers come together to support one another. 

Key Takeaways: 

  • Skin irritation is a commonly known allergy symptom in dogs, but there are others you may be unaware of. 
  • There are different types of allergens dogs can react to: Environmental, food, flea bite. 
  • Five surprising symptoms could point to an allergy in your dog– GI upset (in form of vomiting and diarrhea), hives, swelling, chronic ear infections, and runny nose and/or eyes. 
  • Keep track of these symptoms and consult with your veterinarian to determine if they are allergy related.