The flowers are blooming and the grass is growing with the onset of summer – a welcome sight for most. But for many of us, the signs of the season include itchy eyes and runny noses that force us to reach for the allergy medication.
Did you know that your dog can suffer from allergies as well? In fact, allergies in dogs are common – the three major types being flea, food, or environmental.
All allergies require varying levels of treatment, but here are a few strategies that can help to relieve your dog’s symptoms:
Removing your dog’s exposure to the cause of the reaction is the first step in effectively controlling allergies. If your pet is experiencing dermatitis caused by fleas, flea control and prevention should be your top priority. Use topical dog flea treatments, flea collars, and flea shampoos to eliminate exposure and skin irritation.
If your dog suffers from a food allergy, recent changes to his or her diet could be the culprit. Consult with your veterinarian and try different foods with minimal ingredients to help you determine which ingredient is causing the reaction. In some cases, a grain-free or hypoallergenic diet might be the best option.
Environmental allergies are much harder to control. Frequent baths are a great way to temporarily relieve your dog’s symptoms. It may be necessary to get your veterinarian to prescribe medication or to use over-the-counter antihistamines to manage seasonal allergies.
There are also many natural, do-it-yourself remedies that you can try in conjunction with the efforts described above. Aloe vera gel and coconut oil are two products that can be applied directly to your dog’s skin to decrease inflammation and heal itchy or sore spots. Chamomile tea or apple cider vinegar (mixed with equal parts water) can be spritzed on the affected areas using a spray bottle. This treatment is great for dry skin. Fatty acid supplements, such as fish oil, can be bought in most pet stores and given to your dog to reduce inflammation caused by allergies.
The strategies listed above are a great place to start in managing your dog’s allergies. Not all methods are effective for every dog, though, so consult a veterinarian if you have any concerns or questions.
For flea preventatives, dog shampoo, dog food, and other pet supplies, visit your local Stockdale’s. Find the nearest location here.