With the changing of the seasons also comes allergies for both dogs and humans. Listed here is how you can identify allergies in your pet, as well as the appropriate steps to take.
Common Seasonal Allergens for Dogs
When the world is in bloom, your dog may be suffering. Common allergens for canines include pollen from trees, grass, and weeds; mold spores; feathers; and dander. These types of allergens cause a reaction when the substance is inhaled, called atopy. In general, dogs do not show signs of atopy until they reach 1 – 3 years of age, and females are more likely to be affected than males.
Signs of Allergies
The signs of allergies in canines include:
- Red skin (particularly visible on white dogs)
- Irritation on belly, armpits, and base of tail
- Excessive paw licking and/or chewing
- Itchy ears
- Ear infections
- Watery eyes
- Seasonal snoring
Dog owners can go one of two routes when it comes to treating their pet’s allergy issues. The first involves natural home remedies, which can work well in mild cases. Many pet owners supplement their dog’s diets with either apple cider vinegar or coconut oil. Apple cider vinegar can relieve itchiness as well as reduce the amount of yeast on a dog’s body. Simply spray a 50/50 apple cider vinegar and water solution on your pet, as long as there are no open wounds. If skin has been scratched raw, add apple cider vinegar directly to your dog’s water dish, up to 1 tablespoon per 25 kg of body weight.
Coconut oil contains medium chain fatty acids that have numerous useful benefits. This oil can be used to improve the immune system, reduce inflammation, and improve the condition of irritated skin. Dogs can be fed 1 tsp per 5 kg of body weight; however, or coconut oil can be applied topically.
A second option is to use medication to treat and control your dog’s symptoms. Antihistamines can be prescribed by your veterinarian which suppress allergy symptoms. For dogs that develop infections on their skin or in their ears, oral antibiotics and ointments might be necessary. For severe allergy sufferers, corticosteroids are an option. These are used for intense and unresponsive itchiness as a last resort.
While you cannot prevent your dog from experiencing atopy entirely, you can minimize his or her exposure to allergens. If your dog is frequently outdoors, you can limit the amount of pollen or mold spores in his or her fur by bathing your dog weekly with a hypoallergenic, oatmeal-based shampoo. Every time your dog comes inside from outdoors, wipe your pet’s paws with a damp cloth to remove harmful allergens from your dog’s feet. Placing your dog on a high-quality diet is also an important measure. Animals (and humans) are more likely to experience allergy symptoms when their bodies are in a chronic state of inflammation, which can occur when diets are high in fillers, preservatives, grains, soy, and corn. Supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids can also help your dog naturally fight allergies.