Seasonal Allergies? Tips to help your furry friend.
In our Northern Nevada area, between the dry air and blooming native plants, many dogs can be susceptible to seasonal allergies--many of which can be managed but not cured. Sometimes you may need a little extra help with calming the itch. There are many natural remedies to help your dog find relief from his symptoms.
For itchy skin or "hot spots", try these tips:
Sprays or baths: Try a spray made from diluted apple cider vinegar or chamomile tea. Both of these have been shown to soothe the skin and take away the itch. Baths can be helpful, too--try adding in a cup of oatmeal (blended to a fine powder) or ½ cup of epsom salts (not actually a salt but a mineral combination of sulfate and magnesium) to your pet’s bath. Pour the water over him (avoiding the eyes and face) for ten minutes. You can allow your dog to soak too, but be sure to supervise him and give him a good rinse afterward.
Balms: Coconut oil or Vitamin E oil can also be used topically to help with itchiness. Massage the oil into your pet's skin for relief from hot spots that can develop due to constant licking and biting at the skin. Using the oil as a lotion can also help soothe inflammation and comfort sore footpads.
Supplements: You can supplement their diet for allergies too--try adding some green tripe or yogurt (plain and free of xylitol or other sweeteners) for a probiotic boost, or adding a teaspoon of salmon oil or coconut oil to their food to increase their good fat intake (and help with metabolic function and bone health). Or try bee pollen (given in very small quantities and from local bees), which can desensitize your pet to local pollen and help minimize their symptoms.
While dealing with your dog’s atopic dermatitis can be frustrating to both you and your best furry friend, there are other tips you can try as you work toward a comfortable and happy life for your dog. Keep his skin clean using a fragrance-free and chemical-free shampoo (we prefer using Dr. Bronner’s unscented Castile soap). Clean his feet with a washcloth and mild soapy water after long hikes or walks outdoors. Also, try having him wear doggy booties if you know he’ll be in an area with lots of pollen or other allergens.