What does the Dog Allergy test check for?
The Dog Allergy test although called an allergy test is not a traditional allergy test. This test is designed to identify your dog’s intolerances and sensitivities to food and environmental allergens by analysing the proteins found in their mouth. This type of testing is recognized by many as a very useful method to measure your pet’s sensitivities and can be part of a holistic approach to helping improve your dog's health and lifestyle.
How is this test performed?
The Dog Allergy test determines a dog's intolerances and sensitivities by extracting the protein from the sample provided and measuring the protein's reaction to more than 110 different allergens. Inside the test kit you will find a saliva collection device which you need in order to painlessly collect the required sample. The kit also includes a set of easy-to-follow instructions to help you properly collect the sample and send it back to us for testing.
Why is my dog sensitive to a particular allergen but not their direct subsets?
This is a particularly popular question and it is important that anyone taking the test for their pet is aware of how the test works. For example, a dog may be sensitive to chicken eggs but not the actual chicken meat. Or else the dog might be sensitive to fish meal but not any type of seafood.
This reason for this is because each allergen on the list is unique and the pet might react to one but not the other. For example, there is a difference between the proteins in a chicken and chicken egg. In the case of fish meal this usually includes fish trimmings from lower quality fish such as Pollock but not Tuna or Salmon. There may also be some chemicals in the food the dog may be reacting too.
How can reactions and intolerances be treated?
Reactions can be managed by avoiding the allergens which trigger them. For example, if your pet has a sensitivity to a particular food item then eliminating this from their diet will help eliminate the negative impact. It is also possible to manage them through the use of medication or medicated shampoos – however, many times such treatments only mask a problem without finding the root cause. Also since more than one allergen may be causing reactions in your dog this may require more than action to eliminate all discomfort and reactions. We strongly advocate involving your vet in all decisions regarding what actions to take.
Do different dog breeds suffer from different allergies?
Yes, different dog breeds may be more susceptible to specific allergies.
The following are some breeds that are sensitive to issues with food and/or airborne allergies: Maltese terrier, Pekingese, German Shepherd, Bull Terriers, Bichon Frise, English Cocker Spaniel, Brussels Griffon, American Hairless Terrier, Bohemian Terrier, Shih Tzu, Lhasa Apso, American Pit Bull Terrier, Wire-Haired Fox Terrier, Chinese Crested/Powderpuff, Poodle, Irish Setter, English Bulldog, Pugs.
Are you interested to find out the breeds making up your dog? Take our Dog Breed DNA Test
What are the most common symptoms that are commonly exhibited in dogs with an intolerance or sensitivity?
- Itchy, red, moist or scabbed skin
- Increased scratching
- Itchy, runny eyes
- Itchy ears and ear infections
- Constant licking
Click on the next link if you want to know more about the dog allergies and symptoms
What are the most typical allergens?
- Mold spores
- Dust and house dust mites
- Insecticidal shampoo
- Rubber and plastic
How old should my dog be before I test?
The Dog Allergy test can identify sensitivities at any age. However, puppies tend to experience quick changes in their physiology and the sensitivities they have under 6 months of age may completely change as they grow. It is therefore suggested that the dog being tested is over 6 months of age in order to identify specific allergens that may affect them as they grow older.
Can the dog eat before I collect the sample?
No, the dog being tested should not be fed before the sample is collected as this may negatively affect the test results. We therefore recommend that the sample is collected first thing in the morning before they eat. In case this is not possible, we suggest that you wait for the longest possible period between meals before collecting the sample.
Can my dog be on medication when I collect the sample?
Your dog must not be on any antihistamines, Apoquel®, Cytopoint®, Benadryl® or other steroid-based medications for a minimum of one week and up to 2 weeks before taking the sample. Antibiotics such as Clavaseptin do not affect the test results.
Why is the red dot not appearing on the collection device?
If you collected the sample as we instructed but you cannot see the red dot on the collection device you can try to push through the liquid you collected in the extra collection tube. If you see that some of it comes through, there should be enough there for us to be able to get you an accurate test result.
I am having a difficult time collecting a sample from my small dog
The collection device we provide you with can be quite challenging for smaller dogs. This means that you might not get the sample on the first attempt and you should keep trying. Please make sure to check if any liquid comes through when you put the dog’s sample in the collection tube. Giving your dog water to drink can increase your chances of collecting the sample.
Please note that if you have a small dog you should have selected the option to have a kit sent for a smaller dog upon ordering.