Why is my Dog Breaking out in Hives?

If you’re a dog owner, then you’ve probably come to the point where you’ve asked yourself: “ Why is my dog breaking out in hives?” Before I get into the nitty-gritty of hives and dogs, let’s talk in general terms about where these hives are coming from. I’m assuming that when your dog first started getting them, you didn’t know that they could be a sign of a bigger problem.

It’s a common myth that dogs break out in hives because they have fleas, but the fact is hives and other allergic reactions are caused by a dog’s immune system. This can be triggered by food allergies, environmental allergies or previous infection.

Is your dog breaking out in hives?

It’s not uncommon for dogs to experience allergic reactions. Dogs can be allergic to almost anything, from food to fleas to pollen, so it’s best to rule out all the possibilities.

There are a few common causes of hives in dogs:

Food allergies:

Food allergies are easy to identify because they will always occur after eating a specific food. If you’re not sure which food is causing the reaction, eliminate each of the top 8 allergens (chicken, beef, pork, dairy products, fish, eggs, soy and wheat) one at a time until you find the culprit.

Flea allergy dermatitis (FAD):

This is caused by an allergic reaction to the saliva of fleas. A dog with FAD will typically have skin irritation around its neck where it has been bitten by fleas more often than other areas of its body.


Atopy is an immune system disorder that results in an allergic response to environmental factors such as pollen or dust mites. Atopy usually begins during puppyhood and usually doesn’t cause any problems until your dog reaches adulthood when there is often an increase.


Infections like mange mites can also cause hives in dogs if they’re left untreated for too long so make sure yours gets regular vet visits so they can identify any potential problems.


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