Natural Remedies For Dogs With Seasonal Allergies and Itching
Our six-year old Border Collie cross called Reilly, has allergies. Every summer from July through to September or October he goes crazy!
He licks his front legs and gets hot spots on his hind legs that he licks until they are raw and hairless.
He also scratches at his mouth until his gums swell up and sometimes bleed. Reilly also tends to throw up easily during these months. Our vet has done allergy tests and Reilly tested positive for various grasses, weeds, certain shrubs and foods.
We were advised to put him on a prescription diet of fish and potatoes from the vet, but last summer he was as bad as ever - we had to fit him with an Elizabethan collar to keep him from scratching himself raw.
Are there any natural remedies or supplements that could help poor Reilly be more comfortable this summer?
The Patrick Family
Fighting seasonal allergies with seven steps
Dear Patrick Family,
Seasonal allergies are usually caused by inhalants or fleas and there are supplements and natural remedies you can use to help Reilly with these kinds of allergies.
However, healthy dogs with good immune systems are not anywhere near as attractive to fleas as dogs with unhealthy immune systems so it would be a good idea to give Reilly's diet a bit of boost at the same time as you are treating him for fleas and ticks and other parasites such as mosquitos and mites in tandam with treatments for inhalants.
Dogs are no different to us in terms of, we are, and they are, what they eat.
Many dogs with allergies improve dramatically once their owners start introducing a specie specific diet as Mother Nature intended.
Four years ago I had the good fortune to rescue two little Maltese-Shih-Tzu litter sisters called Molly and Rosie. They were only four months old and still young enough to swap to what I call my version of the Barf Diet.
The Barf Diet pretty much follows a raw diet which is similar to what my Mum used to give our cat and dogS when I was a young kid living in country New Zealand.
Molly and Rosie eat human grade raw meat and soft juicy meaty bones such as chicken necks and beef brisket bones.
However I am always running out of fresh meat and I find K9 Natural frozen raw nibblets - which come in beef, chickeni and lamb varieties - and K9 Natural freeze dried dog toppers - which come in beef, lamb and lamb tripe varieties - are a natural fit in our family freezer and pantry.
And the best bit of all, is that our supplier has a special deal going with their freight company that protects frozen foods from spoilage.
Remember when suspecting food as an allergen, always avoid feeding dogs like Reilly any foods with excessive carbohydrates or grains in them. Many commercial dog food manufacturers add cheap carbohydrate fillers to their dog foods and herein lies a multitude of allergy problems for dogs. Dogs are born carnivores and I have yet to see a carnivore in the wild eating food which contain grains.
All dogs are different when it comes to allergies and how they respond to various remedies. Expect things to be a bit of a hit and miss until you sort out which raw meats agree best with Reilly, even those which he tested allergic to in the past.
Essential fatty acids - Omegas-3,6,9
Essential Fatty Acids decrease inflammation and offer support for dogs' immune systems which in turn helps dogs like Reilly suffering with allergies.
The best sources are fish, flax and coconut oils. My girls Molly and Rosie love all three and can't wait to lap any one of them from a dessert spoon.
Vitamin E compounds the benefits of the fish oil, and is an excellent antioxidant. 400 International Units (I.U.) per day is recommended.
Vitamin E plays a very essential role in supporting Reilly's health. Just like other fat soluble vitamins, vitamin E supports his immune system and prevents common canine health problems, such as unhealthy skin and coat developing, which can easily come about due to lack of deficiencies.
I find Halo easy to use. It's a bit like making a cake or scrambled eggs, I just slurp a a teaspoon or so over the girl's food before I put their dishes down and they wash it down with everything else.
You can buy Vitamin E online for Reilly as part of Multi-vitamin dog chews which make excellent treats.
Or, alternatively, you can buy a bottle of VitaGlo dream coat and pour it over his food as mentioned above.
Digestive enzymes and probiotics
Always use Digestive enzymes and probiotics during the transition period from processed food to raw food and consider continuing the treatment for several months to allow for Reilly's gut to adjust and heal.
I take digestive enzymes and probiotics myself and I have always given them to my girls. If Reilly were my dog I would continue to give them to him for the rest of his natural life.
Daily greens ingredients help supply nutrients that may be missing from Reilly's diet and are an ideal solution for dogs who like to eat grass.
In Traditional Chinese Medical terms Reilly is suffering from wind (itching), heat (redness), damp (oozing), and blood deficiency (dryness and poor coat) problems.
Take a look at Chinese herbal skin care products to support Reilly's system through the healing process.
During Reilly's worst months you may need to bathe him frequently to remove allergens from his skin and coat. Use an Oatmeal shampoo that soothes his skin, lather him up and massage the shampoo through his coat for five minutes.
Thoroughly rinse him off and lather him up again with an Oatmeal conditioner and once again massage it through his coat.
Use the time to reinforce bonding with Reilly and talk to him in a soothing manner to keep him calm and relaxed.
I am sure when natural remedies are used in conjunction with a nutritious diet, Reilly will enjoy a healthier life-style.
This article and information forms part of the Carole's Doggie World Library and is presented for informational purposes only.The information is not intended to be a substitute for visits to your local vet. Instead, the content offers the reader information researched and written by Carole Curtis for www.carolesdoggieworld.com