Summer is in full swing…and for many of us, that means allergies attack!
Allergies aren’t just for humans; our furry friends can suffer from them as well. In fact, the most common types of dog allergies are the same as ours: environmental, contact and food allergies.
As many know, allergies are not something you can completely get rid of. While it’s possible to grow out of them, many times, the best thing you can do is limit exposure to the allergen and find ways to provide relief.
Thankfully, there are several natural remedies for dog allergies that you can start doing right away to help your best furiend feel better!
How To Know Your Dog Has Allergies
Just like humans, dogs can be allergic to various things, including pollen, dust and certain foods. While not all allergies are severe, some can cause more serious reactions. So, what should you look for to know if your dog is having an allergic reaction?
Some of the most common symptoms of an allergic reaction in dogs are:
- Red, watery eyes
- Runny nose
- More than usual hair loss
- Hot spots
In more severe situations, you may even notice:
- Weight loss
- Abdominal pain
- Trouble breathing
While many times allergies for dogs are nothing more than bothersome skin irritations, they can sometimes develop into more severe situations. If you notice more severe symptoms for longer than 24 hours, you should have a veterinarian look at your dog.
Even if you notice less severe symptoms, if your dog is clearly agitated, it’s always a good idea to have a vet look at them. In addition to speaking with a vet and getting their recommendations, here are five natural remedies for dog allergies that you can do at home.
1) Diet Adjustment
Dogs can be allergic to a variety of things, from pollen and grass to certain ingredients in their food. If your dog is constantly scratching and seems to be in discomfort, it may be time to take a closer look at their diet.
Dogs can be allergic to many different foods. 34% of the dogs in a recent study of canine food allergies were allergic to beef, 17% were allergic to dairy products, and 13% were allergic to wheat. The less common sources of food allergies were soy (6%), lamb (5%), corn (4%), egg (4%), pork (2%), fish (2%), rice (2%).
If you suspect your dog might have a food allergy, many veterinarians recommend an elimination diet. This means you eliminate certain foods your dog is more likely to be allergic to until their reactions subside.
For example, if your dog’s food currently has beef as its primary source of protein, you may want to try chicken or salmon. As you eliminate different things from their diet, you should start to notice their symptoms fade once you’ve found something that agrees with them.
One key benefit of Vital Essentials’ ultra-limited ingredient panel is that it makes elimination diets much, much easier for pet parents. Vital Essentials food, snacks and treats do not contain wheat, soy, corn, egg, dairy products, rice, peas or any grain. We also exclude artificial preservatives and dyes.
That means if your dog still has food allergies while eating exclusively Vital Essentials, you can be certain it’s the actual protein they are allergic to (such as beef) and not some other “mystery ingredient.”
That’s crucial information for pet parents to know! It can be hard to pinpoint the culprit allergen if you’re feeding your pup a food that contains a long, long list of filler ingredients.
Supplements can also be beneficial in helping alleviate your dog’s allergies naturally. One option is to give your dog omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce inflammation.
Omega-3s can be found in dog food, treats and snacks that contain fresh fish. Vital Essentials Salmon Mini Nibs, Salmon Dog Treats and Freeze-Dried Salmon Skins are all excellent sources of naturally occurring omega-3s.
Probiotics are also a good option for dogs with allergies, as they can help to improve gut health.
Green tripe is an excellent “superfood” supplement for dogs, naturally rich in probiotics and digestive enzymes. Make sure you look for frozen or freeze-dried tripe; canning or other forms of high-heat processing will break down those good probiotics that are the main reason to feed your dog tripe in the first place!
Finally, another supplement to consider is turmeric, which has anti-inflammatory properties. You can add turmeric to your dog’s food or give them a turmeric supplement designed for dogs.
3) Increased Maintenance During Allergy Season
It’s simply not practical to keep your dog inside during allergy season as they need their exercise and to be able to do their business. This means that in addition to other natural remedies for dog allergies you may be using, it’s important to also increase your maintenance during peak allergy season.
If your dog is allergic to pollen or other outdoor allergens, a helpful thing you can do is wipe their paws when they come inside — whether it’s from a quick trip outside in your backyard or after one of their daily walks. This will help remove any pollen or other irritants they may have picked up outside.
Another good idea is to get an air purifier, which can help remove any dust, dander or allergens from the air. You may not have control over the allergens that exist outside your home, but you can have more control over the ones inside. You may also want to bathe your dog a little more frequently during allergy season to help remove any pollen or other irritants from their fur.
Generally, helping maintain their physical hygiene during allergy season and doing what you can to remove allergens from your home can make a big difference.
4) Special Shampoos
There are a number of special shampoos that can help to relieve your dog’s allergies. Look for shampoos that contain ingredients like aloe vera, colloidal oatmeal, coconut oil or chamomile. These ingredients can help to soothe your dog’s skin and provide relief from itchiness.
You definitely don’t want to overdo it when it comes to using shampoo, however. Bathing your dog too often using shampoo each time can actually strip their fur of natural oils, which can lead to dry skin. If you do use a special shampoo, make sure to follow the directions carefully.
It’s important to note that shampoos simply provide relief for allergy symptoms like itchy skin. They are not a long-term solution and should be used simply as a way to help alleviate your dog’s discomfort. More of your effort and attention should be going toward finding the allergen that’s bothering your pup and limiting their exposure to it.
5) Things To Soothe Their Skin Outside The Bath
There are a number of things that you can use to soothe your dog’s skin outside of the bath as well. For example, coconut oil, baking soda and apple cider vinegar are all excellent natural remedies for dog allergies. Simply apply these things to your dog’s skin and let them sit for a few minutes before rinsing off.
Coconut oil is a natural moisturizer that can help to soothe your dog’s skin. It’s also antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, which can help to reduce irritation. Baking soda can help to neutralize any irritants on your dog’s skin, and apple cider vinegar can help to restore the pH balance of your dog’s skin.
Simply apply any of these to the area that is bothering your pup to help soothe their discomfort. All of these ingredients are safe to use on your dog’s skin and can provide relief from itchiness and irritation.
If your dog is suffering from allergies, there are a number of things you can do to help them. From diet adjustments and special shampoos to increased maintenance, there are several natural remedies for dog allergies that may help your pup feel better.
If you’re unsure what’s causing your dog’s allergies, it’s always a good idea to talk to your vet. They can help you identify the allergen and come up with a plan to help your dog avoid it in the future.