How to Combat Dog Allergies
Do you suffer from allergies? Whether they are seasonal or perennial ones, just like you, your furry friend can suffer from its own form of dog allergies. This nuisance can be as annoying to dogs as it has been to you, but they are unable to combat it without your help. Give your dog a hand (or a paw) by familiarizing yourself with dog allergies and how to treat allergies in dogs.
Common dog allergies
Allergies in dogs can manifest in many forms, with four types being the most common culprits. Atopy is a reaction to environmental allergens. Substances such as grass, dust mites, mold, tree pollen, and more can cause severe negative reactions in your dog. This type of allergy typically occurs seasonally. For instance, a dog allergic to dust mites will suffer most in the winter. One allergic to tree pollen will suffer most in the spring. And one allergic to types of grass will suffer most in the fall. Flea allergies are the result of a bite from this small insect. Such a bite can produce dog skin allergies, including severe irritation and hypersensitivity. Your dog may have contact allergies if it overreacts to certain medications, metals, man-made materials, or chemicals. Common allergens include carpets, plastics, or cleaners. Dog food allergies are very similar to the human form, capable of causing severe illness or death in your beloved pooch and requiring substantial detective work in order to determine the guilty culinary culprit.
Certain breeds are more likely to suffer from one or multiple of these dog allergies. Beagles, Boxers, Terriers, Dalmatians, and Bulldogs are just several of the breeds which are highly susceptible. There are no ‘allergy free dogs', but certain ones are more vulnerable due to their genetics.
Does your dog have allergies?
In relation to the various forms of dog allergies, certain dog allergy symptoms arise for each. Atopic allergy symptoms include itching, scratching, chewing, and biting typically around the face, ears, and paws. Dogs suffering from flea allergies may start to frequently itch, lose hair, or develop scabs on their skin. Signs of a potential contact allergy include red itchy bumps –typically on the belly, feet, or muzzle — and intense scratching as a result. Dogs with food allergies could begin to scratch their face, feet, or hindquarters, have to relieve themselves frequently, or have noticeably soft stool. While diarrhea and vomiting are noteworthy symptoms, these may simply be a result of food intolerances, not a full-blown dog allergy.
How to treat a dog with allergies
Dog allergy treatment should begin with a visit to your veterinarian. This individual is both knowledgeable about your dog's health history and about dog allergies in general. Such a visit is necessary if you suspect your pet may be suffering from a food allergy in order to run tests to determine the culprit. Veterinarians can suggest dog allergy medicine in order to provide relief to your pet. Allergy medicine for dogs typically begins with antihistamines, but these aid each dog uniquely and gradually decrease in effectiveness over time. A more powerful medication may come in the form of corticosteroids. These can be extremely adequate at fighting allergies, but can produce negative effects after a long period of use.
How to treat dog allergies:
Aside from the recommendations of a veterinarian, you can devise your own dog allergies treatment in order to make your beloved pooch more comfortable. Quality shampoos simultaneously reduce itching while removing the source of the itching, such as fleas, bacterial, scabs, and dirt. Baths, in general, can be a source of relief for your dog and a form of treatment for dog allergies. Keep the water cool for maximum relief. Your dog may be hesitant at first if it typically does not enjoy baths, but it will feel much more comfortable afterwords. Over time, your dog will increasingly become more receptive to this cleansing process which doubles as an allergy treatment for dogs. During seasons in which dog allergies rage particularly high, you can wash or spray down your pooch after each time it is outside. Keeping potential allergens completely out of your dog's life is impossible, but you can do your best to reduce the number and strength of these irritants. While the above dog allergy treatments treat general symptoms, you can adopt treatment for dogs with allergies on a more specific level.
How to treat dog skin allergies:
Dog skin allergies treatment may include topical creams for instant relief. You can purchase these at your local drug store or create your own. Homemade recipes are not difficult, often utilizing common whole ingredients. By making your own cream, you know exactly what substances are in the recipe and can avoid ones which may irritate your dog further as you learn about the source of their negative reactions. If you wonder how to treat skin allergies in dogs, you can go to a professional or simply to your local grocery store.
How to treat dog food allergies:
You can foster long-term relief while treating allergies in dogs through a change in their diet. The foods you feed your dog affect every aspect of its health and wellbeing, from its skin to its energy to its digestion. Therefore, adopting a nutritious diet for your pooch would aid any dog, but can also serve as a potent dog food allergy treatment. You should avoid foods which commonly elicit allergic reactions in canines, such as beef, wheat, dairy, and chicken. Otherwise, you should implement foods with probiotics as these aid in digestion as well as other infections and skin conditions. Plain yogurt naturally contains probiotics and can serve as a way to treat dog allergies. You can easily purchase fish oils (or fish) and flax seeds and begin to implement these into your dog's diet.
Also, you can treat dog allergies with wise choices at the pet food store. The best dog food for allergies contains few ingredients, as you can quickly identify any potentially allergenic ones and, by sheer probability, the less likely the chance for a negative reaction to a particular one. Also, you should look for foods with obscure, but whole, components. Meats like buffalo, pheasant, or kangaroo are less likely to irritate your dog than the more common ones to which dogs are often allergic. Follow similar guidelines when trying to select treats for dogs with allergies.
How to treat dog flea allergies:
Dog flea allergy treatment materializes simply as a form of the more general flea treatment. Because a bite from a flea can cause an allergic reaction in your pooch, by eliminating the insect, you eliminate the negative effects it induces. But, as with many products, you get what you pay for in regard to flea treatments. Therefore, for guaranteed results, you will need to invest in a quality periodical medication. You can apply these medications topically, such as a serum to the back of the neck, or orally, in the form of a pill. Flea shampoos may be effective when treating dog allergies, but these typically perform best in acute cases. For a cheaper option, but one with less assurance of success, try a lemon water solution. By spraying the solution all over your dog's body, the citrus helps to repel fleas.
When focusing more specifically on how to treat dogs with allergies, many of the above recommendations will also help to fight the negative reaction to flea allergies. Diet, bathing, topical creams, and professional help all can contribute to soothing your dog's irritation. Also, brushing your dog once a day helps to rejuvenate skin renewal, distribute natural oils, and remove residual dirt or bugs.
But in the end, long-term change relies on prevention. Give your dog some form of flea treatment on a consistent basis. Clean or inspect your dog's skin and fur after being outside, particularly after jaunts in the woods or park. Keep bedding and furniture clean, periodically vacuuming and washing any areas where your dog rests or frequents.
No matter what form of treatment you attempt when combatting dog allergies, stay aware of your dog's responses and reactions. Changing or worsening symptoms may reveal allergies in dogs treatment, as some particular element or ingredient in your chosen treatment may be doing more harm than good. If that treatment was recommended by a veterinarian, report your findings and ask for an alternative option. If you purchased or created that treatment on your own, simply try another recipe or type of treatment. As long as you stay attentive to your dog's condition, any work you put forth to improve his or her comfort are admirable and well-worth the effort.
If you are a victim of allergies, you know how frustrating and painful such a condition can be. As a pet owner, you can provide your beloved dog with much needed relief by educating yourself about the types of dog allergies, their symptoms, and their treatment. With just a little effort and minimal monetary investment, you can completely transform your dog's life, putting an end to sufferings of which you may not have previously been aware.