When your dog has hives on the skin, this is simply an allergic reaction caused by the overproduction of antibodies. This reaction causes a swelling of blood cells and surrounding tissue, and can be caused by numerous sources either absorbed or inhaled in the body. Identifying the source of the reaction is a good way to protect him from similar outbreaks.
Whether your dog is stung by an insect, has eaten something he is allergic to, or simply inhaled in some particles, the hives will appear as small circular red bumps that are raised from the skin. You may notice that your dogs fur seems raised in some areas, feeling under the fur you will be able to identify the hives very quickly. The hives on dogs usually is not painful, they are extremely itchy though. That itchiness can cause the dog to scratch and bite to the point that they break the skin, and in some cases can cause a sever skin infection. The most frustrating part for dog owners is once you locate the hives, trying to identify the cause can truly be a daunting task. The hives can come from a number of sources like insect bites, vaccinations, medicine, shampoos, chemicals used to treat the lawn and many new types of pet food on the market. You really need to pay especially close attention to any new routines or products your dog is consuming, and try to locate the source to eliminate it happening again.
The hives on dogs appear extremely suddenly, so being able to identify something your dog has done different only means you need to trace back one day at the most. If you are unable to find the source, you can still make your dog as comfortable as possible until the hives disappear. One of the best treatments for hives on dogs is a nice cold bath. The cold water helps reduce the need to itch and reduces the swelling of the infected area. Another benefit of the bath is that if the infection was caused by chemicals on the lawn or something his skin came in contact with, the bath will wash away all traces of the allergen. Be careful to not use shampoo during the bath as many times that can be the actual cause of the hives. A simple cold bath will do the trick.
Try to monitor your dogs food intake to see if anything he consumed caused the allergic reaction. Keep him on a simple water and dry food diet for a day to see if his condition improves. If you put him back on the new dog food he has been eating and the reaction comes back, you should contact your veterinarian and see if they can recommend a food that will help. Hives on dogs are uncomfortable and can lead to further complications, identifying the source of the infection is a simple remedy that will give your dog the less likelihood of having to experience that pain again.