Dogs Allergies: Causes, Symptoms and a Holistic Treatment Approach
Just like you, your dog is also susceptible to allergic reactions to everyday substances or allergens. Although some of these substances are quite common and harmless to most dogs, some dogs might have an extreme reaction once in contact with them. Allergens become problematic when ingested, inhaled, or when they come into contact with a dog’s skin. As the dog’s body tries to get rid of these substances, a variety of skin, respiratory and digestive symptoms may appear.
Symptoms of allergies in dogs
• Itchy runny eyes
• Increased scratching
• Itchy, moist, red or scabbed skin
• Itchy ear or ear infection
• Itchy back
• Constant licking
• Snoring as a result of an inflamed throat
• Swollen paws
• Paw chewing
Causes of dog allergies
• Flea allergy dermatitis: This is an allergic reaction to flea bites. Some dogs are allergic to flea saliva. Once it comes into contact with their body, it causes extreme itching, especially at the back or the base of the tail causing red, inflamed and scabbed skin.
• Environmental allergens: Dust, pollen, and mold are just a few of the environmental allergens that might cause an atopic allergic reaction. The most commonly affected areas are the ears and paw. However, it might also affect the wrists, underarms, groin, eyes, ankles, between the toes and around the eyes.
• Food allergies: Food allergies may cause itchy skin, especially around the ears and paws. The itch might also be accompanied by gastrointestinal symptoms.
Treating allergies in dogs
The best way to handle an allergy is by avoiding the cause and the allergens. If your dog is allergic to flea bites, you can treat them by killing the fleas. If it is a food allergy, you can manage it with a change in diet.
A holistic approach to treating dog allergies is also highly recommended. Most natural remedies can fight off the symptoms of dog allergies while avoiding the potentially harmful side effects of conventional medications. However, make sure to discuss these treatments with your vet before administering them to your pooch.
• Quercetin: This food contains antihistamine, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which can help fight inflammation and reduce itching. It can also be used to treat asthma, among other respiratory issues.
• Oat Baths: Oat baths should not be used on dog’s whose itching is as a result of a yeast infection. However, if your dog’s itch is as a result of other allergens, an oat bath can be soothing to their skin as well as remove most of the allergens present or trapped in the dog’s coat.
• Aloe Vera: When using Aloe Vera to treat dog allergies, make sure you only use the gel since the saponins contained in the leaf might make your dog sick. Aloe Vera gel contains antifungal, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory agents that make it an excellent remedy for treating itching, hot spots and burns when applied directly to the affected areas. Its cooling effect helps to reduce the discomfort immediately.
• Thyme: This plant is effective in treating skin and yeast infections. If your dog is always chewing on his toes, make an infusion out of dry or fresh thyme and apply it to the affected areas. Make sure to apply it deep between your dog’s toes too.
How to prevent dog allergies
Frequent bathing of your dog can help prevent dog allergies, especially those affecting the skin. Only use a hypoallergenic shampoo and steer away from grains. Another great and efficient way of averting dog allergies is by rubbing their coat down with coconut oil can, which can help minimize the allergic reactions and is quite healthy for their skin.