How to Help Your Dog With Allergies
27 March, 2017
Dogs will have allergies when some irritant in the environment, their food, or even fleas attacks their body. And some dogs have extreme reactions to allergies. As with any allergy, the first thing you need to do is identify the type of allergy your dog might have. As always, a good place to start is by discussing the allergy with your veterinarian.
The symptoms that usually occur if your dog has allergies
Some of the most common symptoms that your dog has allergies include the following: Itchy, red, moist or scabbed skin; excess scratching, itchy, runny eyes, itchy back or tail, sneezing, itchy ears, diarrhea, paw chewing, constant licking and/or swollen paws. Itchy, red, moist or scabbed skin, itchy, runny eyes, itchy base of tail (usually fleas), itchy ears, ear infections, diarrhea (usually food allergy).
Ad mentioned above, relieving symptoms without addressing the source of the problem is a short term fix.
If your dog is allergic to fleas, you should start your dog on a flea prevention program
The best treatment for allergies caused by fleas is to start a flea control program for your dogs before the season starts (typically spring). Your veterinarian can advise you about some of the best flea control products for your dog. There are many natural remedies that also help prevent fleas.
Comb your dog’s hair at least once daily, every day during pest season with a flea comb. Do this on a white towel or other light colored cloth so you can see what’s coming off your dog as you comb.
Bathe your dog often. A soothing bath will kill any fleas on your dog, help heal skin irritation, and make her feel more comfortable and less itchy. Clean dogs are less attractive to fleas.
Your dog might have food allergies which can develop from routine feeding
If your dog has an allergy to something he’s eating, it may show itself not only as digestive upset (gas, diarrhea, vomiting, etc.), but even chewing and scratching. Like humans, your dog can develop a food allergy merely by eating the same food every day for months or years. Your dog could be sensitive to the single source of protein or carbohydrate that is in your dog’s food.
The only way to diagnose a food allergy is to feed your dog a prescription or hydrolyzed protein diet exclusively for 8 -12 weeks. This means no treats, table food or flavored medication and only the prescribed diet. The diet will be free of potential allergy-causing ingredients and will ideally have ingredients your dog has never been exposed to. Your dog will stay on this diet until his symptoms go away.
Your dog could also be allergic to irritants in your home or outside
Your dog can also be allergic to any of the different irritants in the environment. These can be outdoor allergens like grasses and pollens, as well as indoor irritants like mold, dust mites, cleaning chemicals and even fabrics like wool or cotton. As a general rule, if your dog is allergic to something inside your home, he’ll have year-round symptoms. If he’s reacting is to something outdoors, it could very well be a seasonal problem.
Some other ways to help combat allergies:
Make sure your dog’s indoor air environment and consider investing in an air purifier to control dust mites.
Make sure your dog’s drinking water is high quality and doesn’t contain fluoride, heavy metals or other contaminants.
If you suspect something outdoors is irritating your dog, in between baths, do foot soaks. Chances are the allergen is coming inside on your pet’s feet. He or she can’t escape it and then it’s being spread around your home.
Try adding a fatty acid supplement might help relieve your dog’s itchy skin. There are also shampoos that may help prevent skin infection, which occurs commonly in dogs with allergies. Sprays containing oatmeal, aloe and other natural products are also available.