Dog Allergies: 5 Simple Solutions That Provide Relief
Dog allergies are a bigger problem than most pet owners realize. So much so, up to 40 percent of dogs will suffer from allergies at some point in their lives. However, despite a dog's chances of experiencing ongoing symptoms of allergies, there's no need for your pet to continue suffering. There are some ways to provide relief.
An allergy is typically triggered when a pet's immune system strongly reacts to something in the environment. Generally, mold, pollen, and dust are the likely causes of a dog's allergy. When a dog's immune system recognizes a substance as dangerous, antibodies go to work to eliminate these foreign, but not always dangerous, substances. While combating different allergens, the immune system releases several chemicals intended to kill and remove them. While these chemicals are very efficient at their jobs, they tend to cause inflammation, itching, sneezing, and redness as side effects. Hives, ear infections, hair loss, and excessive paw chewing are also quite common. Many animals start to create “hot spots” or rashes because of their excessive chewing.
Dog allergies related to the environment tend to be seasonal. During spring and fall, dogs usually experience an increased number of allergy symptoms. Yet, in the winter and summer months, these same symptoms generally subside or go away altogether.
As a pet owner, you probably want to help your dog find relief as quickly as possible and potentially without a pricey trip to the vet's office. Fortunately, there are some natural solutions to ease the suffering.
Apple Cider Vinegar, Water, and Green Tea
Apple cider vinegar can be used to relieve a dog's itchy skin caused by an environmental allergy. Many pet owners have found that a mixture of water, green tea, and apple cider vinegar applied to their pet's itchy spots, particularly the paws, can provide quick relief.
Putting the mixture into a spray bottle and applying to your dog's coat after a bath can offer long-lasting relief. In addition, the diluted apple cider vinegar can be an effective deterrent to parasites as fleas and ticks are repelled by the common kitchen staple.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids like EPA and DHA are thought to help the body control inflammation. These fatty acids are found in abundance within cold water fish, especially mackerel and sardines. Adding fish or a high-quality Omega-3 supplement to a pet's diet can go a long way in relieving the common symptoms of dog allergies.
Omega-3 fatty acids do more than just provide allergy relief. Improved joint health, more efficient digestion, and increased energy are other benefits of adding fish or an oil supplement to your pet's diet.
Histamine is one of the substances released by a dog's immune system when encountering an allergen. This chemical is an irritant that causes redness and inflammation. Known as a natural antihistamine, Quercetin is a bioflavonoid that can slow down or stop the production of histamine.
Sometimes called "nature's Benadryl," quercetin is commonly found in apples, bananas, and broccoli. Quercetin can also be purchased in supplement form, but usually only for humans. If using a quercetin supplement, the dosage will have to be lowered to compensate for a dog's lower weight. Over the long term, quercetin has been linked to kidney disease, so only use this supplement as a temporary solution.
Extracted from the cannabis plant, CBD oil has been shown to provide relief from a variety of health issues including dog allergies. CBD oil works synergistically with a pet's endocannabinoid system, which regulates many important functions within the body. Specifically, recent studies have suggested CBD oil has many anti-inflammatory properties.
CBD oil supplements are generally easy to administer to a pet. Most commonly, a dog can be given oral drops or mixed with food. While CBD-infused topicals are also available to treat problem spots on the skin and paws, there is the distinct possibility your dog will lick it off before it has time to work effectively.
Chiropractic not only “cracks” bones, but it gets the nerves signaling correctly to the rest of the body. If your animal has a pinched nerve, or their spine is slightly misaligned, the nerves may be functioning poorly. A “hot spot” may indicate an area that does not have proper blood flow, therefore, compromised nerve function. An adjustment will not only align their spine, but make sure the signal from their body to their brain is working properly. Consult with an Animal Chiropractor (make sure they are certified in Animal Chiropractic through an accredited program) to find out if your pet’s nerve function is compromised.
Dealing with dog allergies can be frustrating for both your pet and you. Fortunately, there are some natural, effective treatments you can use to provide symptom relief before making that costly appointment with the vet. This list is not meant to take the place of a Veterinarians advice, this is just what I have found to be helpful as an Animal Chiropractor and the patients I see every day.
Andie Ibarra, D.C., Dallas Animal Chiropractic