Allergic diseases have great impact on the quality of life of both people and domestic animals. They are increasing in prevalence in both animals and humans, possibly due to the changed lifestyle conditions and the decreased exposure to beneficial microorganisms. Dogs, in particular, suffer from environmental skin allergies and develop a clinical presentation which is very similar to the one of children with eczema. Thus, dogs are a very useful species to improve our understanding on the mechanisms involved in people’s allergies and a natural model to study eczema. Animal models are frequently used to elucidate mechanisms of disease and to control for confounding factors which are present in studies with patients with spontaneously occurring disease and to test new therapies that can be beneficial in both species. It has been found that drugs useful in one species can also have benefits in other species highlighting the importance of a comprehensive understanding of diseases across species and the value of comparative studies. The purpose of the current article is to review allergic diseases across species and to focus on how these diseases compare to the counterpart in people.
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