We all want the best for our dog’s and it can be distressing to see them suffering with allergies. Your Veterinarian is the best place to start looking for solutions as you need to identify the root cause of the allergy before considering treatment options.
Two of the most common causes of allergies in dogs are fleas and food. Some of the hardest allergies to treat are the environmental ones as there are an infinite variety of irritants in the environment.
But your dogs susceptibility to allergens may be caused by an underlying immunity weakness or other health problem which is why it’s best to get your dog checked out by a Vet as a first step.
Dr. Karen Becker of Mercola Healthy Pets advises that “Relieving symptoms without addressing the source of the problem is a short term fix to what can become a lifelong health problem. And certain drugs used to stop the allergic cycle have significant, potentially very serious side effects.”
Here’s some more allergy treatment tips from Dr. Becker to help you start your dog on the road to recovery.
Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD)
- Comb your dog at least once daily, every day during pest season with a flea comb. Do this on a white towel or other light colored cloth so you can see what’s coming off your dog as you comb.
- Bathe your dog often. A soothing bath will kill any fleas on your dog, help heal skin irritation, and make her feel more comfortable and less itchy. Use a non-grain (no oatmeal) herbal shampoo.
- Use an all-natural pest repellent during flea season.
- If your dog is over a year old, consider using Dr. Jean Dodds’ Nutriscan saliva test to determine if your pet is allergic to beef, corn, wheat, soy, eggs and/or milk (the most common antigens for dogs).
- If your pet has been eating the same food every day for months or years, there’s a good chance she’s developed an allergy to it. Pets need diversity in their diets just like humans do. She might be sensitive to the single source of chemically-laced protein she’s been getting and also probably grown sensitive to certain allergenic ingredients in the food, typically grains and other carbohydrates.
- Work with your holistic vet to develop an allergy elimination diet to help pinpoint the source of the problem.
- To be optimally healthy your dog should be fed a balanced, species-appropriate diet. The diet I recommend is preferably raw, either homemade (again, as long as it’s balanced) or commercial. Rotating the protein sources your dog eats is extremely important, as is strictly limiting or eliminating grains.
- Clean up your pet’s indoor air environment. Don’t allow smoking around your pet. Switch to non-toxic cleaning products. Consider investing in an air purifier to control dust mites.
- Make sure your dog’s drinking water is high quality and doesn’t contain fluoride, heavy metals or other contaminants.
- Steroid therapy is often prescribed for pets with allergies. What these drugs do is turn off the immune system so it stops creating the allergic response. It does work for symptom relief, but unfortunately, the side effects make this a very serious, potentially dangerous drug.
- If your pet has irritated skin, bathing will rinse the allergens away and make her feel better immediately. Don’t be shy about how often you bathe your pet, especially if she suffers from allergies that itch and irritate her skin.
- If you suspect something outdoors is irritating your dog, in between baths, do foot soaks. Chances are the allergen is coming inside on your pet’s feet. She can’t escape it, and she’s spreading it around indoors.