Can Allergies Affect Dog Behavior? Everything You Need To Know About Dogs and Allergies


Allergies can be really annoying, and while humans can easily just drink antihistamines, it’s not the same for dogs. This is to answer the question, “can allergies affect dog behavior?”


Woman sneezing


When spring comes around, people aren’t just surrounded by flowers, they’re also surrounded by pollen that can trigger allergies. While humans can easily remedy this, it’s not as easy for our furry friends. 

Some of us even find dog sneezes amusing because of how frequently they sneeze, but the question is, can allergies affect dog behavior? Allergies can be pretty annoying if you’re sneezing up a storm and your eyes water from all the pollen in your system.


So, many of us are easily annoyed when we’re sneezing so much, but how about dogs that are plagued with itchy skin and watery eyes? 

One of the ways allergies can affect our dogs is that you’ll notice them howl more. But is there a proper way to determine a change in behavior or when they’re having a bad allergy attack?

We understand that dogs may not be able to verbally communicate their annoyance, but here’s a way you can check if your dog’s allergies are affecting their behavior.


How do you help your dogs deal with their allergies? Read on to know how to identify when your dog has bad allergies and how you can help them soothe their itchy skin.


Can Allergies Affect Dog Behaviors?


Brown and white dog


Allergies can be annoying. Whether it’s the type that gets you sneezing or the type that comes with hives, we all know how a bad allergy can cause your behavior to shift to a negative one.

But this begs the question, “can allergies affect dog behavior?” The short answer to this is yes. How can we tell? Well, researchers have put together studies on how dog behavior is affected when they have allergies, and how to identify them. 


Signs Your Dog Is Experiencing Seasonal Allergies

Black dog


Now that we know that allergies can affect your dog’s behavior, we have to know how to recognize when your dog is experiencing seasonal allergies. Here are ways to determine if your dog is experiencing seasonal allergies:

  1. Excessive licking of paws and anus: While it’s normal for dogs to lick their paws or their butts, you can tell a dog is experiencing allergies when they’re constantly cleaning their paws or butt during short periods of time.

  2. Skin irregularities or patchy skin: Normally, patchy skin would be indicative of scabies, but if you notice redness on their skin, you might want to check if they’re exhibiting other symptoms of an allergic reaction. 

  3. Uncharacteristic stinky ears: Dog ears don’t normally smell bad, but this depends on the breed. However, if they smell dirty despite just bathing, your dog may be experiencing allergies.

  4. Sneezing: For some reason, dog sneezes are adorable but we can’t imagine your dog is very comfortable with them. If your dog is sneezing frequently, you might want to check if they’ve been rolling around in pollen.

  5. Watery eyes: Humans and dogs alike experience excessive watering in the eyes, and we understand that this can be irritating. Try to check if your dog looks like he’s been crying or if it’s just hay fever.

These are just some ways you can determine if your dog is experiencing seasonal allergies. However, if you notice that they seem more irritable, or even noisier because of these symptoms, then you can expect that they’re undergoing allergies. 


Observed Behavior of Dogs With Seasonal Allergies


White dog


Studies have shown that dogs that experience severe skin allergies are more likely to exhibit bad behavior compared to dogs that don’t have health problems. Here is a list of common changes in behaviors that are exhibited by dogs with skin allergies:

  1. Feces eating: There are lots of reasons behind why dogs would do this, but this behavior is commonly attributed to dogs with severe allergies.


  2. Begging for food: While begging isn’t always considered to be a bad thing, excessive begging is a behavior that isn’t desirable.


  3. Attention-seeking: Dogs are considered clingy creatures, but if your fur friend is too clingy and is constantly looking for attention, you might want to check if they have signs of dog allergies.


  4. Excitability: Another behavior that is considered normal but not desirable is when your dog is too excitable. This behavior can be affected by their health, which is why you should observe your pups.


  5. Excessive grooming: Grooming is normal behavior, but if your dog is excessively licking his paws and anus, that is a sign of severe allergies and you should look into it to ensure your dog doesn’t need treatment.


Important Key Takeaways 

Now that we know the different signs and symptoms of seasonal allergies in dogs, we hope it answers the question of “can allergies affect dog behavior?” We understand that your dog can exhibit changes of behavior without allergies, but it would be good to check on them.

Allergies can be very annoying, which is why you should consider this factor before punishing your dog for having changed behavior. While some of these can be treated by giving them antihistamine, you may want to consult with a veterinarian.

This is especially true if your dog is showing signs of skin allergies.

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