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Does Your Dog Suffer From Allergies  
By Rebecca Prescott 

Dogs can get allergies for a variety of reasons, but there are a few culprits that lead to a state of a weakened immune system. Once a dog has a weakened immune system, he may start having allergic reactions to things that would not normally bother a healthy, strong dog. And he may develop a serious autoimmune problem like inflammatory bowel disease or hyperthyroidism.

According to Richard Pitcairn, these things may lead to a dog developing a weakened immune system:

* combination injections used a lot
* excessive use of cortisone drugs
* commercial dog food diets

The latter is an interesting point, as even in miler cases of allergy, dogs may be allergic to some of the commercial foods we feed them. He suggests switching to a special healing diet, made from food you prepare yourself, for about 2 or 3 months. If after this time there is no improvement, then it is safe to safe that food is not causing the allergy. Dr Pitcairn's recommended allergy diet includes grains like brown rice, bone meal, meat, and vitamins.

Once the dog has been on this diet for a few months, you can start introducing foods that he used to eat, gradually. It's best to introduce the foods one at a time, so you have a chance to see whether a reaction occurs after he eats it. Once a food, or ingredient has been identified, the option exists to find a good quality dog food that doesn't contain those ingredients. There exist special foods that are formulated for dogs with skin conditions, and these might be more suitable.

Foods are not the only substances that can trigger an allergy however. Your dog may be allergic to:

* chlorine or other household chemical agents
* cleaning chemicals, either in your house or yard
* gases released from chemicals in our furniture or buildings
* synthetic carpets
* plastic food bowls
* some types of grass or plants
* regular dog care products like heartworm or flea products
* flea bites

The symptoms of a dog suffering from an allergy could be one or more of the following:

* itchy skin
* skin eruptions (especially at the base of the tail and on the lower part of his back)
* inflamed ears
* too much licking of the front feet
* problems in the digestive tract including gas, gurgling of the stomach, loose stools or diarrhea
* inflammation of the toes
* his rear end is irritated
* licking and dragging his rear end on the floor

References: Dr Pitcairn, Complete Guide To Natural Health For Dogs And Cats.
About the Author: If you're interested in feeding your dog a natural diet, learn about dogs and carbohydrates here. Rebecca presents dog tips and articles here.