Looking for home remedies for dog allergies? Consider that in the human world, allergies mean sneezing, red eyes and runny noses, while in the dog world, dog allergies instead mostly involve the skin. So if your dog is all itchy and scratchy, consider that unless your dog has fleas or some other pesky parasites, there are good chances those itchy fits are stemming from allergies. Dogs can be allergic to virtually anything in the environment, but the most common allergies are either diet-related or may stem from the environment, such as from pollen, molds, awns or, if the allergy is localized to paws and tummy area, possibly products you use in the carpet, floors or lawns. The best solution is having your vet test to find the underlying cause of allergies, but consider that this can be time consuming and costly at times. In the meanwhile, you may want to provide relief to those annoying itches. Here are some ideas for relief.
Cool it Down
One of the best ways to sooth allergies is by giving a bath. If your dog is suffering from allergies to dust, pollen or other things in the environment his skin gets in contact with, a bath may remove those allergens from the coat for a little while. However, the temperature of the water can sure make a difference. Warm water may feel pleasant to the touch, but it actually can aggravate the itching, explains John McDonald, veterinarian and professor of dermatology at Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine in Alabama. A cool water soak for 5 to 10 minutes can help easy that itchy skin.
Power it up With Oatmeal
Oatmeal may come from old folk remedies, but it has a history for soothing irritated skin for up to 2 days, explains veterinary dermatologist Christine Reese. Adding some colloidal oatmeal (like Aveeno) to the bathwater can help calm that irritated skin, says Dr Karen Komisar, a holistic veterinarian with a private practice in Dover, Delaware. Collidal oatmeal, softens, lubricates and soothes allergic skins. If you are looking for a commercial preparation that’s made more potent with other active ingredients meant to relieve allergies, veterinary dermatologist, Gene H. Nesbitt, mentions Allermyl by Virbac, Vetoquinol or Duoxo in an article for DVM360.
Add Herbal Healers
If your dog’s skin is irritated after all that scratching, you can calm it down with calendula ointment (calendula officinalis). Try applying a thin coat of calendula ointment 2 to 3 times a day in the areas your pet is scratching, recommends holistic veterinarian Adriana Sagrera.
Subdue with Supplements
Fatty acid supplements under the form of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids are something you may want to keep in your allergic dog’s survival arsenal. Look for a commercial supplement that contains both Omega 3 and Omega 6. Expect to see results within 45 to 60 days though, explains veterinary dermatologist. Gene H. Nesbitt. As with other products and supplements it’s always wise to discuss with your vet first as some dogs may not do well on them such as dogs with pancreatitis, diarrhea or bleeding disorders.
For severe itching, your dog may benefit from antihistamines. One of the most commonly use is plain Benadryl without any added ingredients. The only safe version is Benadryl containing only the active ingredient “diphenhydramine” According to veterinarian Dawn Ruben, “A common method of dosing Benadryl in dogs is 1 mg per pound. Therefore a 25 pound dog would get 25 mg total dose and a 50 pound dog would get 50 mg total dose. ” However, getting the ideal dosage can be tricky. The secret is to find the right balance to find a dose that isn’t causing too much sedation without being too itchy. As always ask your vet for guidance on dosage and recommendations as not all medications are suitable for all pets.
Manage the Madness
If your dog is so itchy, he’s causing a sore or large irritated area, you need to intervene to prevent an allergy from turning into something worse. A good management plan may include letting your dog wear an Elizabethan collar so he can’t reach the area or applying some Bitter Yuk spray to deter the constant biting and licking. Alternatively, some dog owners report success letting their dogs wear a shirt or a pair of boxers so the allergens are kept off the skin and the dog is prevented from bothering the itchy areas over and over.
The Doctor’s Book of Home Remedies for Dogs and Cats, Bantam Books
The Complete Book of Home Remedies for Dogs, Deborah Mitchell, St Martin’s Paperbacks
New Choices in Natural Healing for Dogs and Cats, Amy Shojai, Rodale Press, Inc.