Spring can be rough on allergy sufferers and just as humans can suffer so can your dog.
Common allergies in pets include: food allergies (chicken, turkey, beef, or corn) and environmental allergies (grass, danger, pollen, weeds). Dogs can also be allergic to medications (oral, topical, flea and tick preventatives) or to human products such as cigarette smoke, perfumes, shampoos, and cleaning products.
Symptoms of allergies in dogs include:
- Itchy, irritated skin
- Skin rashes
- itchy or watery eyes or itchy and inflamed ear
- Skin licking
- Coughing or sneezing
- Hair loss
- Runny nose
- Chewing of the paw
Unfortunately, I know all too well what it’s like to have a dog who suffers from environmental allergies.
If I am not diligent, Bean’s allergies will flare up. Bean’s symptoms include: paw biting, itchy and inflamed skin, and she suffers from inflamed and itchy ears during flare ups. It took a lot of time and money to get her allergies under control, but she will still suffer from the occasional flare up.
Watching your dog suffer from allergies can be heart wrenching. You can see how uncomfortable they are and while they’re not able to vocalize it, the frustration is real all the same. So what can you do to help your dog when they’re suffering from allergies?
1. Consult a vet
The first thing I had to do when I noticed that Bean was suffering an allergic reaction was to consult her vet. Bean’s allergies had reached the point where she was chewing her feet raw and she could no longer get comfortable.
The vet prescribed her some medication to help her feel more comfortable and I was given ointment to alleviate the inflammation and infection in her ears. Luckily, the medication was able to provide some relief and take care of her ear infections.
If you notice your dog is suffering from allergies and you are unable to find out what your dog is allergic to or keep it under control, call your vet right away.
2. Wipe down your dog
If your dog suffers from environmental or skin allergies, be sure to wipe down your dog with some grooming wipes after they go outside. You can also opt to bathe your dog after exposure to irritants.
3. Purchase products to help alleviate your dog’s itchy skin and ears
Consider purchasing hypoallergenic or oatmeal shampoos to help calm down skin irritations caused by allergens.
I also use these wipes form Duoxo daily on Bean’s paws along with shampooing her with the Duoxo shampoo once or twice a week.
Do some research to find out what products will work best for your dog as there are a ton of medicated shampoos, sprays, creams, and wipes to help dogs with irritated skin.
Some of my favorite’s are:
- Duoxo (pass, shampoos, mousse)
- Bannix spray
- Zymox (for ears)
- Burt’s Bees Itch soothing spray
- Vet’s Best Allergy Itch Relief Spray
- Vet’s Best Hot Spot Spray
- TropiClean Oxy-Med Shampoo
4. Consider medical treatment
If your dog suffers from extreme allergies, it might be worth it to invest in allergy shots for your dog. At the very least, you can always give your dog allergy meds that contain anti-histamines (just be sure to dose your dog correctly) or consult with a vet if you aren’t sure.
5. Figure out what food is causing your dog’s allergies and remove it from their diet.
Unfortunately, it is possible for your dog to develop an allergy to his food if you have been feeding him the same kibble for years. However, it is also possible that your dog just simply develops or has an allergy that you were unaware of.
Your vet can help you determine which foods your dog is allergic to so that you can subsequently remove them from your dog’s diet or you can use the trial and error method at home by removing certain foods from your dog’s diet all together until you can determine which foods are causing the allergy. While this method may save you money in the long run, it can be time consuming.
6. Remove irritants from your dog’s home.
While it’s impossible for your dog to avoid contact with grass or pollen when they go outside, it is possible for you to remove any irritants from your home that may be contributing to your dog’s allergies. Switch to all natural and pet safe cleaning products and stop smoking in the house if you do.
7. Give your dog fish oil supplements
Fish oil is a great supplement to help give your dog a luxurious coat and soft skin. In addition, fish oil helps to reduce the inflammation caused by allergies.
Does your dog suffer from allergies? What do you do to keep them under control?