If you suffer from seasonal allergies, perhaps to pollen or mold, or a particular food allergy, you know how frustrating it can be. The same is true for your canine companion. Our dogs can react to all sorts of allergens, including pollen, dust, dirt, mold, ingredients in food, medication, and more.
Allergies can affect a dog of any breed, size, and age, and they can be debilitating if not dealt with. As a pet owner, it's up to you to find out what your dog is reacting to and seek treatment. That way, you can get your pooch back to feeling like themselves as quickly as possible.
Keep in mind that in many cases, allergies can't be cured completely. They can be managed, though. And it turns out that there are several ways to give your dog relief in the comfort of your own home. Home remedies for dog allergies are often more common — and effective — than ever.
Let's take a closer look at the symptoms of dog allergies so that you know what to look for. Then, we'll discuss several home remedies that you can try.
Symptoms of Dog Allergies
Before you set about treating your dog's allergies at home, you need to know what those allergies might look like. It's possible that your dog's issue is caused by a skin condition like eczema or a yeast infection, rather than an allergy, so you'll want to be aware of allergy symptoms and get a definitive diagnosis before trying any home remedies.
While allergy symptoms can vary depending on the allergen and the dog, there are some common signs. They include:
- Itchy skin and associated scratching
- Dry skin or scaly skin
- Scabbing on the skin
- Red, inflamed skin
- Hot spots
- Hair loss
- Ear infections
- Diarrhea (most common with food allergies)
If you see symptoms like these, the best course of action is to call your veterinarian. They can run tests and examine your pet to confirm an allergy. From there, you can work together to come up with a treatment or management plan.
Some dogs have severe allergies that can only be managed with medication, such as an antihistamine like benadryl. For others, DIY home remedies can make a big difference.
Natural Remedies for Dog Allergies
You've seen symptoms like intense itchiness, sneezing, and irritated skin, and your vet has confirmed it's an allergic reaction. What do you do next?
If the problem isn't necessarily severe enough to warrant medication, you can ask your vet about natural remedies or DIY solutions. Once you have the go-ahead from a vet, you can try some of the following home remedies for dog allergies:
Adjust Your Dog's Diet
If your dog is suffering from a food allergy, changing the diet will be essential. Pet allergies are often caused by ingredients like beef, chicken, soy, lamb, dairy, or wheat found in your dog's food. Working closely with a vet, you'll be able to pinpoint the ingredient that bothers your dog and avoid including it in the diet moving forward.
Adjusting the diet can also be helpful for environmental allergies, like allergies to pollen, dust, or dirt. Bolstering your dog's immune system by giving them a diet full of ingredients with anti-inflammatory properties can make a big difference.
Remember to ask your vet before changing your dog's diet in any way. It's always best to play it safe.
Give Dietary Supplements
Adding dietary supplements to Fido's diet is another great way to help combat your dog's itchy skin and other allergy symptoms. Ask your vet if a supplement might be a good way to deal with your dog's allergy problem at home.
Probiotics are one example of a helpful supplement. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that live in your dog's gut, and they help to balance out the "bad" bacteria. There is strong evidence that probiotic supplements can help reduce allergy symptoms in dogs, or eliminate them entirely in some cases. Native Pet's probiotic powder is a great choice for maintaining your dog's gut health and potentially reducing allergy symptoms at the same time.
Omega-3 fatty acid supplements are another great choice. Certain omega-3s have anti-inflammatory properties and can decrease symptoms like itching and scratching. Fish oil is high in omega-3s and is a popular supplement choice. You can check out Native Pet's Omega Oil for an easy-to-use option that can help address skin irritation and other allergy symptoms.
Use Apple Cider Vinegar
Did you know that apple cider vinegar has antibacterial properties that are good for your dog's skin? It's another natural home remedy that you might try for your dog's allergies. It can be used as a rinse for your dog's paws — a common hot spot for allergic reactions — or it can be applied topically. Some dog owners put diluted apple cider vinegar into a spray bottle in order to make application easier.
Apple cider vinegar can also be included in your pet's diet, although you'll want to dilute it with water. Ask your vet before feeding your dog apple cider vinegar in this way to make sure you get the mixture right.
Apply Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is another source of "good" fats, so it can be helpful when added to Fido's diet, but it can also be applied to your dog's itchy skin as a topical solution. Using the oil like a lotion in this manner can help soothe inflamed skin or itchy paw pads.
Run Oatmeal Baths
Pet parents can run an oatmeal bath to help soothe a dog's inflamed and itchy skin. Oatmeal is a natural moisturizer, so it can provide quick relief. Either pick up an oatmeal shampoo made for dogs, or blend a cup or so of dry oatmeal and pour the powder into warm bath water. Just make sure to supervise your dog closely so they don't get the solution in their eyes.
Try Epsom Salt Baths
Epsom salt — a mineral combination of magnesium and sulfate — is known to relieve the itching that comes from allergic dermatitis (skin irritation). Regular soaks in epsom salt baths may be able to reduce your dog's itchiness and inflammation. Ask your vet about the exact procedure for soaking your dog in an epsom salt bath to make sure you're doing so safely.
Apply Aloe Vera
You may have used aloe vera gel for your sunburns. Did you know it can also be useful for your dog's allergies? Aloe has antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties that can provide relief for irritated skin. Apply the gel to affected areas of your dog's skin for a few minutes at a time, watching Fido carefully to make sure that they don't lick it off.
Native Pet's Allergy Chews
Our air-dried allergy chicken chews are another great at-home solution to try when it comes to managing your dog's allergies. The natural ingredients in our chews help to build your dog's natural defense against allergens, and it can even aid in long-term immune system support.
Home Remedies for Dog Allergies: What to Know
Dog allergies are no joke. Many of our canine friends suffer from allergic reactions and associated itching, intense scratching, and other symptoms. It can be heartbreaking to watch your fur baby go through this, and it's important to get your pet the relief they need.
After consulting with your vet, try some of the home remedies for dog allergies discussed above. Many can be administered with over-the-counter ingredients that aren't hard to find. That means your dog can get back to normal as quickly as possible.
To learn more about your dog's health and care needs, read the Native Pet blog.