Boxers Allergies & Skin Allergy Guide
Category_Dog Knowledge

Boxers Allergies & Skin Allergy Guide

by Andrew Ehlert

Friendly, playful, and all-around sweet, Boxers are a popular dog breed for any family. With a lifespan of around 11 years, dog owners should know about the possible Boxers allergies and skin allergies that this breed faces. Knowing how to address each one will give your dog the best, happiest life.

Skin: Your Boxer’s Weak Spot

The Boxers’ major weak point for allergies is their skin. Skin allergies can cause irritation and itchiness, but also possible skin rash and infection. Skin allergies, when left untreated, can cause ear infections, hair loss, and puffy/watery eyes.

Check their skin for allergic reactions when you notice that your Boxer is scratching, chewing, or licking at their skin or a particular spot. These could come in several forms, such as bumps, rashes, dull skin or fur, and possible wounds from scratching or chewing too much.

Other signs of allergens could come in the form of sneezing, watery eyes, rubbing their paws on their face, and unpleasant odors from the skin or fur. When in doubt if your dog is suffering from an allergic reaction, make sure to check their skin and face for irritation.

For internal signs of food allergies, if your Boxer has:

  • An upset stomach
  • Poor bowel movements (such as constipation or diarrhea)
  • External skin irritations
  • Rashes that don’t seem to have a direct cause
  • A lethargic personality

Seeing these telltale signs of different reactions is the first step in helping your Boxer.

Common Skin Allergy Issues For Boxers

These types of allergens directly affect the skin of your Boxer and come from many sources. Out of these sources, the most common are:

  • Pollens
  • House dust
  • Molds
  • External parasites, such as ticks, mites, and fleas

When these types of allergens are around your dog, they will only affect the skin. If an upset stomach and other internal symptoms occur for external allergens, the situation is in a critical condition.

Skin Allergen Treatments

It can be hard to stop a hotspot or rash for skin allergies once it’s begun. As soon as you find a skin-related reaction, help your pup through their symptoms until the reaction has healed and is over.

Buy hypoallergenic dog shampoo and bathe your Boxer. You can also include oatmeal or aloe into bathtime to help the irritation of your pup’s skin. If this helps your Boxer, try bathing once or twice a day to reduce symptoms.

Once clean, apply topical creams (either over-the-counter or prescription) to your dog’s rashes and irritated skin. If you are unsure what is best for your Boxer, check with your vet.

If fleas and ticks are the problems, buy and use treatments for the parasite. You can find these are most stores that have dog sections or check out a pet store. Once the infestation has cleared, bathe your dog using hypoallergenic shampoo.

If prescribed by your veterinarian, steroids may also help your Boxer. Only use the prescription for the exact infection and allergic reaction that is for the current issue, and use it to its complete entirety.

When possible, adapt your walking routine to avoid areas that could potentially have allergens. This could include exchanging parks for sidewalks and hikes in forest areas for walks around streets.

Food Allergies

Internal symptoms of allergies are often caused by the diet of your Boxer. It may be hard to pinpoint the exact problem. Here are some tips to help narrow down the possible cause of a food-related allergen:

  • Keep track of changes in diet, such as treats and kibble.
  • When feeding non-dog food (such as peanut butter or meat), try small trial samples for any reaction before giving large quantities.
  • Try to keep diet changes to a minimum. If you have to change brands or types of kibble, check with your vet or move to a similar option.
  • Make small food changes for a few weeks and watch for allergic reactions. Give your Boxer their normal dog food with a bit of the new brand, then increase to the new brand once you know the dog food is safe for your pup.

Occasionally, your Boxer may also eat something without you knowing. When this happens and an allergic reaction occurs, it may be difficult to find the source. Watch your dog after this happens and see if they eat anything outside or out of their usual range. Food allergies for dogs are incredibly common and is commonly caused because of low-quality filler used in commercial dog food.

Food Allergy Treatments For Boxers

When addressing food allergens, there are steps to take to help both reduce symptoms and find the possible cause of the reaction.

To help your Boxer with or find out if they have any food allergens, follow these steps:

  1. Stop all treats, current kibble, non-dog foods, and fresh foods. If you don’t know what’s causing your dog’s reaction, it’s best to halt all options until it’s diagnosed what the main issue is.
  2. Begin a food trial. Food trials should last for a minimum of eight weeks of a pure and new diet. This new diet should consist of protein and carbs that are without any additional foods. Some examples are fish and potato, rabbit and peas, venison and potato. You can always check with a veterinarian for the best practices when doing a food trial for your specific Boxer. During the food trial, make sure that your dog doesn’t get any snacks, treats, or anything off the diet plan.
  3. During the food trial, watch your dog’s behavior and conditions. If they improve, it’s a good sign that they are suffering from a food allergy. The entire diet plan should run about eight weeks, possibly more or less depending on your vet’s recommendations.
  4. After eight weeks, some dog parents may not move back to their original food. However, to find the allergies, it’s suggested that you reintroduce foods to find the allergy. Follow your vet’s order during this time about not causing too much damage to your pup.
  5. Once you know the exact allergen, remove it from your dog’s diet. Find other kibble or dog food that excludes any food item that causes irritation and discomfort.

If you still aren’t sure after a food trial, you can always contact your veterinarian for blood tests and patch tests for more accurate results.

When to Contact the Veterinarian

If the problem persists after all options and treatments fail, contact your vet for an appointment. However, if you are ever unsure of how to move forward while handling your dog's allergies, you should contact them as well. Veterinarians are a major resource when dealing with your dog’s health.

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