By Ian Randall For Mailonline
Published: 11:33 BST, 15 September 2020 | Updated: 11:38 BST, 15 September 2020
Spending increasing amounts of time indoors, sitting on sofas and eating human food is causing our pampered pooches to suffer from allergies.
A UK veterinarian has said that allergies are behind many modern canine complaints — including problems with the ears and eyes, as well as skin irritation.
Symptoms can be as obvious as scratching to as obscure as repeated paw licking.
A total of 2.56 million dogs in Britain suffer from inflammation, with his research suggesting that 1.6 million of these cases can be linked to an allergic reaction.
In total, it is estimated that there are around 8–9 million of man's best friends living with families across the UK.
Labradors — which were 2019's most popular dog breed — are particularly susceptible to allergies, as are Yorkshire terriers, the expert has warned.
It is thought that growing up in clean houses doesn't challenge the canine immune system enough — leading to overly sensitive immune responses later in life.
Spending increasing amounts of time indoors, sitting on sofas and eating human food is causing our pampered pets to suffer allergies. Labradors, pictures, are particularly susceptible
'The more they live with humans, the more the dogs are exposed to allergens,' said companion animal epidemiologist Dan O'Neill of the Royal Veterinary College, London, told the Times.
'A lot of domestic dogs are working breeds. They are bred to be outside and in kennels, but now we have them living inside,' he added.
'While that may be good for the dog — it's warm — it is an environment more likely to trigger allergies.'
According to Dr O'Neill, while there is little evidence at present to suggest that the incidence of allergies is rising among dogs, risk factors for such have increased.
Although allergies can be passed on from one generation of dogs to the next, they can also be triggered by environmental factors — such as being exposed to pillows and quilts which contain 'the