Dog with Allergies?
Do you suspect (or already know) your dog has allergies? Is your dog’s scratching, licking, chewing, or rubbing driving you (and him/her) crazy? Are you asking “What can I give my dog for allergies?”, “How can I help my dog with allergies?” or “What natural remedies are there for dog allergies?”
I was in the same place, asking the same questions because I too have a dog with allergies. While Patches is not allergy free, his maintenance plan brings him significant relief and he is now happy and healthy. What works for one dog may not work for another which is why each dog needs their own customized maintenance plan. Even if you know exactly what your dog is allergic to, take a minute to look at the information below and see if there is something you haven’t tried.
Before I share with you what I discovered researching solutions for my own dog with allergies, let me ask you: What happens if you keep doing what you are doing now for your pet? The same thing, right?
Allergies what they are and types:
An allergy is a hypersensitive reaction to a food, inhalant or contact to a particular substance, causing itchy/red skin, panting, restlessness, and skin that may be hot to the touch.
Environmental Allergies the list is long, but here are a few:
- Fleas, mites, animal dander, and feathers. Flea allergies can occur even when flea and tick prevention are used. Most flea and tick products do not deter the flea from biting, but kill it after it has bitten the animal. It is the flea saliva that causes an allergic reaction, much like when a mosquito bites us.
- Fabrics, plastic, cleaning products. Many cleaning products have perfume and dyes that may cause a problem for your dog.
- Pollen from grass, weeds, and trees. Pollen can also cause runny eyes and nose. In addition to other respiratory issues like sneezing and coughing. You may notice that your dog has allergy symptoms during certain seasons. Check the pollen count in your area, this may help uncover your dog’s allergen.
Both environmental and food allergies can cause the typical allergic reaction such as scratching, licking, and chewing. Food allergies can also cause gastrointestinal issues such as vomiting or diarrhea and your dog will normally experience them year round. With the lengthy list of ingredients in dog food and treats, it is difficult to determine a food or additive allergy. Also to note, just because a dog food or treat is labeled Salmon or Beef, that does not mean that it is poultry free.
Animal proteins (the most common are beef, dairy, wheat, egg, chicken, lamb, soy, pork, rabbit, and fish. Most dogs are usually allergic to more than one thing.
Common Symptoms of Allergies
Identify the common symptoms of pet allergies. Food and environmental allergies tend to have the same symptoms so it can be difficult uncovering the allergen.
- Ears may appear waxy, have discharge, redness or odor.
- Face, muzzle, chin, and areas around the eyes are red/deep pink with hair loss.
- Skin/Coat may appear reddened, crusts/scales, odor with secondary infections. Coat may have bald spots or brown discoloration where licking has occurred.
- Paws may appear inflamed, red, or have brown discoloration where licking has occurred.
With the areas above your pet may scratch, lick, or rub areas with paws or against furniture or carpet.
The Vet vs The Internet
ALWAYS work with your veterinarian. Your vet has the knowledge and resources to diagnose the problem your dog is experiencing. If it is truly an allergy or a different issue. Your veterinarian can perform tests to determine environmental allergies. Unfortunately, there is no test for food allergies. An elimination diet is still the recommended approach.
The internet is good, but it is not always accurate. Just take a look at all the home remedies I tried from the internet and not one worked: apple cider vinegar rinses, oatmeal shampoos, conditioners for his super dry skin, chamomile tea applied on his hot spots, coconut oil internal and external. Precious time and money invested and unfortunately wasted.
What You Can Do
These allergies aren’t going to magically go away, so let’s get your dog relief.
- Wipe down your dog to get pollen off his coat. This is important as your pet will carry the pollen to other areas of the house and his bedding. Potentially inhaling, ingesting or pushing the pollen into the coat closer to the skin during grooming. A damp paper towel works well.
- Baths – Give your dog a bath routinely. The frequency will depend on your specific dog and symptoms. This may mean daily, once or more a week, or even once monthly. Your vet (not the receptionist or vet tech – don’t get me wrong these people are very important and helpful, but I have found my vet recommends baths more frequently to control allergies). I use and recommend a medicated shampoo from your vet.
- Clean ears – Clean your dog’s ears often. The frequency of ear cleaning will depend on your dog’s symptoms. There are natural cleaners that are gentle enough to use every day. Use one that does not contain alcohol as that may sting irritated ears. I recommend and use pawTree’s Ear Wash & Dry. It contains a soothing mix of chamomile, yucca, clove oil and calendula to both control odor and itching and soothe raw, red and greasy ears naturally.
- Wash or wipe paws to remove grass, mud or other debris. This is also a small but important step as paws are the most common spot dogs chew. In addition, irritants and allergens under the nails can create secondary infections when your pet scratches other itchy areas.
- Use a natural topical spray on the skin. At the first sign of irritation use a topical spray to calm the skin and get healing started. I use and highly recommend pawTree’s Skin Support Spray. It has a soothing natural ingredients so it provides immediate relief for itchy or irritated skin. It is so gentle it can be used up to 4 times a day. *Seriously, if you do nothing else in this article, use this spray. Click here to see the results with Patches.
- Wash your hands to remove potential triggers like food, oils, lotions, makeup, etc. I know, so simple, right? But, you might notice the areas that you stroke your dog are the same areas that are irritated.
- Give Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids in a ratio of 10:1. Did you know that most dog’s diet has a ratio of only 1:40 Omega-3 to Omega-6 (one Omega-3 fatty acid to 40 Omega-6 fatty acids). Omega-3 fatty acids are in either fresh wild caught fish or in different types of seaweeds. Omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory. Omega-6 fatty acids are in vegetable oil, sunflower oil, and safflower oil – oils that are common in most dog food diets. Omega-6 fatty acids are pro-inflammatory. Salmon oil is extremely important to the overall condition of your dog’s immune system and their skin. But, not all salmon oil is the same and “wild caught” Alaskan Salmon Oil is the best quality for your dog. Why should it be “wild caught”? Wild Caught Alaskan Salmon has been feeding naturally, does not contain PCBs, is stress free, and from Alaska – a state with highly sustainable fishery practices and an environmentally clean waters. Whereas farm-raised salmon is fed fish meal, may be fed antibiotics, and are kept in fisheries that stresses the fish producing a low quality oil. I recommend and use Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil from pawTree.
- Use separate grooming tools for your allergy dog. I know this sounds simple and easy, but here again in multiple dog households it is easy to grab another dog’s brush using it on your allergy dog (ok, yes I admit it – I have) transferring pollen, bacteria, and who knows what else to the allergy dog.
- Vitamins and Supplements. Your dog’s immune system may be compromised from allergies, therefore, additional vitamins will be needed. Also add in natural supplements that contain herbs to help cool and calm the skin. I use and highly recommend pawTree’s Superfood Seasoning for the extra vitamins and minerals; and pawTree’s Allergy Support Plus supplements to help the body’s normal ability to combat skin-related issues associated with food and seasonal allergies.
- Wash dog blankets, bedding, and fabric toys. Yes, you do but with what type of detergent and conditioner? Is it natural? I use and recommend Shaklee’s Fresh Laundry detergent. It is hypoallergenic, contains no phosphates or nitrates, no dyes and is fragrance free.
- Boredom and Stress. Yes, I know, easier said than done. However, notice your dog’s behavior. Are they bored or stressed. Either way, find time to play some inside games, nosework, or walking. These help with both mental and physical exercise. They may also help divert attention from the allergy issue for both of you.
I hope you found value in this article, if so please leave a comment.
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