accessibility ACCESSIBILITY

Can Pets Have Allergies?

Memphis pet owners - Have you wondered, "Can pets have allergies?"  Yes!

Does your pet itch all the time? Have you noticed a foul odor on skin or in ears, balding spots or skin/hair discoloration? Is your dog scratching certain areas or lick paws obsessively?

Occasional itching in pets is common – especially with dogs. Frequent, recurring itching may be a sign of skin disease or pet allergies and can cause your pet hair loss or skin damage. Plus, it can be an annoyance to you, even keeping you up at night! If not addressed at onset, you may have a hard time battling this skin issue and it can be harder to treat and control pet allergies.

Common Pet Allergies & Pet Skin Diseases:

  • Flea allergy
  • Food allergy
  • Contact allergy or contact dermatitis
  • Atopic dermatitis 

Our Memphis veterinarians will have to examine your pet to make a skin diagnosis and then can develop a treatment plan for potential pet allergies.


Flea bite hypersensitivity causes severe pet itching. One or two flea bites can cause pruritis (itchy skin) with the hind end affected most often. Fleas and flea feces that contain your pet’s blood are not always visible to your eye. Memphis Animal Clinic recommends year-round flea prevention and, if needed, medicated flea baths to limit fleas on your pet and stop their itch.

Food Allergies in Pets

A food trial might be recommended to determine if your pet has food allergies. A referral to a veterinary dermatologist might be recommended. Pets will be fed a diet with one protein and one carbohydrate for up to 8 weeks. No other foods or treats are allowed. If symptoms disappear, food allergies are likely to blame.

Contact Dermatitis

Allergic contact dermatitis is rare but occurs when a pet’s skin overreacts to molecules in the environment such as nickel, rubber, wool, dyes and chemicals.

Atopic Dermatitis

Quite common is atopic dermatitis, a chronic inflammatory skin disease brought on by environmental allergens such as grass, mold, pollen or cigarette smoke.

Talk to your veterinarian about skin and blood tests for dermatitis.  A referral to a veterinary dermatologist might be recommended. In a skin test, a small level of allergens is injected under your pet’s skin to test for reactions. In a blood test, your pet’s blood will be analyzed for which allergens specific to your pet’s environment could be causing the reaction.


Pet Allergy & Itch Treatment

Once the pet allergens have been identified, we can develop a program to eliminate the source of the allergy in your pet’s environment and treat the skin.

Common options for pet allergies and itch relief can include:

  • Antihistamines
  • Anti-itch shampoo and conditioners such
  • Anti-fungal shampoo
  • Cyclosporine therapy
  • Essential fatty acids (such as Omega 3)
  • Hypoallergenic diets
  • Immunotherapy
  • Oral steroids in low doses to treat sporadic outbreaks
  • Topical steroid sprays

Contact Memphis Animal Clinic today to discuss your pet’s allergy and itch issues and how we can provide relief.

*** May Only - Purchase any Duoxo skin care shampoo & spray/mousse and receive a FREE KetoTriz ear cleaner!

Want to take a quick 6-question quiz to learn more about your dog’s itching AND help military, police and service dogs?

Each time the quiz is taken, Zoetis will make a donation to K-9 Courage™ Program.  K-9 Courage provides healthcare assistance to retired military and active police dogs as well as active service dogs that assist veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress. Once admitted into the program, each dog receives a $300 credit every year for the rest of its life to help cover veterinary expenses like wellness and emergency visits, vaccines, prescription medications, food and treats.

Take the Itch Instinct Quiz



View More