Dogs are picking up allergies because humans are pampering them

cute dogs on a colourful background
You might want to think twice before pampering your four-legged friend (Picture: Getty)

Be it with toys, snacks, treats or cuddles – we all like to spoil our dogs every so often.

However, new research has found that pampered pooches are more likely to suffer with allergies – which can cause health problems.

Research by experts in veterinary disease suggest that up to 20% of the UK’s eight million dogs suffer from allergies and that their conditions are being triggered by their comfortable lifestyles.

The research found that an increased amount of time spent indoors, sitting on sofas and eating human food is causing our four-legged friends to suffer from allergies.

Experts have also warned that Labradors — which were 2019’s most popular dog breed — are particularly susceptible to these allergies, as well as Yorkshire terriers. Dr Dan O’Neill, a senior lecturer in companion animal epidemiology for the Royal Veterinary College, says that allergies are responsible for some of the most commonly reported conditions, including skin irritation and problems with ears and eyes. His research suggests that 2.56 million of Britain’s dogs suffer from inflammation and that around 1.6 million of those cases are linked to an allergic reaction.

INTERESTING FACT ABOUT YOUR PET: Forty-five percent of pet owners say they occasionally (or frequently) buy presents for their animals.

It’s believed that if a dog grows up in a clean house, then their immune system isn’t challenged enough – which can lead to overly sensitive immune responses down the line.

Dr Dan O’Neill also suggests that environmental factors could cause allergens, such as exposure to ‘the dead bodies of dust mites’ found in pillows and quilts used by dogs. He told The Times: ‘The more they live with humans, the more the dogs are exposed to allergens.

‘A lot of domestic dogs are working breeds. They are bred to be outside and in kennels, but now we have them living inside.

‘While that may be good for the dog — it’s warm — it is an environment more likely to trigger allergies.’

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