Whether you have a cat or a dog, or both, you can’t deny the fact that you care for them as much as you care for any of your family members. Caring means to always keep a check on your pet’s health and development. But health issues such as allergies or sensitivities may disturb your home’s environment. If you’ve heard that your pet has allergies or you’ve suspected it yourself, and want to deal with it, you are in the right place.
We’ve put together an ultimate guide to deal with pet allergies along with some natural remedies and medications for your pet to help heal different types of allergies. Let’s get started with the guide first.
How Should You Look For Allergies in Your Pet?
If you are not sure that what you suspected in your pet are allergies or just a bad reaction to something, then the easiest way to look for allergies is to search for related symptoms. Some common symptoms include vomiting, itching, coughing, etc. If these occur regularly, you should check your pet. Severe symptoms, such as difficulty in breathing, should be noticed immediately. The best course of action is to take the pet to a vet.
Here are the symptoms of allergies you should look for in your pet:
- Runny eyes
- Scooting/itchy bum
- Ear infections and itchy ears
- Scabs on the skin
- Gastrointestinal upset
- Red and moist skin
- Constant licking its paws/swollen and irritated paws
Types of Allergies
To deal with your pet’s allergies in the best way, you should know what kind of allergy it has. Allergies are a reaction to foreign substances by your pet’s immune system. Both humans and animals can suffer from this irritation. Here are the types of allergies in dogs that a pet owner should be aware of:
Note: Diagnosing your pet for allergies is quite a complex task for a pet owner as the symptoms of the different types of allergies below can overlap. So, we suggest consulting a vet as soon as possible for better treatment and results.
Skin allergies are also known as allergic dermatitis – these are the most common type of allergic reaction that your dog can have. There are further three types of skin allergies in dogs:
Flea Allergy Dermatitis
As the name suggests, flea allergy dermatitis is an allergic reaction to fleabites. Some sensitive dogs are allergic to flea saliva as well that makes them itchy, especially at their tale. Due to this allergic reaction, your dog’s skin may become inflamed, scabbed, and red. You may also see the signs of fleas, such as flea dirt or even fleas themselves.
The best way to counter fleas is to remove them. This may sound simple but can be difficult. Fleas can exist in all weathers and are present year round. Hence you need to monitor your pet regularly. Monthly or weekly treatment cycles are recommended. You may use anti-flea shampoos during bathing your dog. You may also use anti-flea sprays. When used together, they can reduce the flea count on your pet’s skin drastically.
Other solutions include medication. Steroids can suppress allergic symptoms. These are recommended where fleas are hard to get rid of. Oral tablets may be used. They travel through the innards to the skin of the pet. This allows them to kill most fleas. These tablets come with an additional benefit of even getting rid of parasites inside your pet.
Not every food suits your pet. Some foods may cause allergies and sensitivities, hence cause itchy skin. To suspect food allergies, you should notice your dog itching its eyes and paws continuously. Food allergies do not just cause itching, but also shows gastrointestinal signs and skin conditions, including hives and facial swelling. Some food allergies can also result in anaphylaxis, which is similar to severe peanut allergies in humans.
The best way to deal with food allergies is to work in collaboration with your veterinarian to examine your dog’s symptoms and find out the ingredient causing the allergic reaction.
Environmental allergens/ Seasonal allergies
What are the environmental allergens? They are pollen, mold, and dust that can cause atopic dermatitis or atopic allergic reactions. Mostly, these allergies are just seasonal, means that they can be cured at home using certain medications and natural remedies. If you have noticed your dog itching during certain times of the year, then it may have seasonal allergies.
Regular bathing is essential. It removes allergens from your pet’s skin and hair. It also provides relief from dander that may have been stuck near the eyelids or nose. Apart from cleaning your pet directly, clean its bum as well. Vacuum the areas it frequents. Wash its shed or shelter weekly and remove any excess clothing material. Clothing can gather allergens, which may result in allergic reactions.
Your dog can also be allergic to certain fabrics, pollens, plants, and chemicals that are used around the home. The seasonal allergies caused by environmental allergens can cause respiratory problems as well. Make sure to discover the thing that your dog is allergic to and avoid letting him go near it.
Diagnosing Allergies in Dogs
Diagnosing allergies is a daunting task. The best thing you can do is consult your vet – if he feels that your pet may have allergies, he may propose allergy testing that discovers the allergen (and its cause) that is causing the allergic reaction.
An Elimination Diet method can be used to diagnose allergy caused by foods. It consists of feeding your dog a single source of protein only, along with carbohydrate for about 12 weeks.
On the other side, flea allergy dermatitis is the easiest to diagnose because it can be determined by examining the dog’s body for fleas or fleabites. It can be cured by applying a product like a flea and tick powder that kills fleas instantly. If after killing fleas, your dog doesn’t itch or show any other symptoms – you have successfully diagnosed and dealt with flea allergy dermatitis.
Here are different types of testing that your vet would do to determine allergies:
Skin testing can be done through the intra-dermal allergy test. It is performed by injecting different types of allergens in your dog’s body (in tiny amounts) to check the reaction and diagnose accordingly.
IgE Allergy Testing
This is a blood test that your vet may perform to look for the presence of IgG and IgE antibodies in response to particular allergens. If there is an abundance of IgE antibodies in response to a specific allergen, then your vet will say that your pet dog has an allergy to it.
According to a study, both of these tests are right about 90% of the time. This means you can trust your vet on performing these tests without worrying much. However, these tests are not reliable for food allergies.
Food Sensitivity Testing
Food sensitivity and food allergy are two different things. Although the symptoms of both of these may look quite similar, testing for food sensitivities is much easier than diagnosing food allergies. A Nutriscan test can be done (even at home) in order to confirm if your dog has food sensitivities. This test measures IgM and IgA antibody response to different foods and identifies the particular food that your dog is sensitive too.
Natural Remedies for Treating Pets with Allergies
Omega Fatty Acids help your pet’s immune system from overreacting. However, you have to be patient as fatty acids usually may take 3 to 6 weeks to incorporate into your dog’s cells in the body. Omega 3 Chew Treats for your dog is one of the most suitable products for this purpose. But if your pet is a bit finicky, you can try mixing Omega 3 Liquid in its food.
Yucca is a natural anti-inflammatory that works great in helping the immune system function normally. If you are against giving your pet steroids, then Yucca is an excellent alternative to help resolve symptoms without any side effects. You should give your dog Yucca Intensive daily for allergies. It is a natural, concentrated remedy that is safe for both your pet dog and cat with allergies. You can either apply it directly to the itching skin or mix with your pet’s food.
Medications for Treating Pet Allergies
If your dog does a lot of itching then YuMega Plus oil, a natural food supplement, is the right choice as it can help reduce scratching and itching, and supports sensitive skin. It is a blend of Omega 3 and Omega 6 oils that are sourced from cold-pressed Golden Flax, Starflower, and fresh Salmon Oil.
Curaseb Antiseptic Ear Flush works great in killing ear mites, soothing irritation, assisting healing, and softening earwax. If your pet jiggles its head a lot, then the chances are that it has mites, yeast and bacteria in its ears, which can be treated using antiseptic ear flush. You can use it on your dog’s skin too! Its alcohol-free, anti-microbial properties work wonders on treating various skin diseases such as rashes, scaly patches, and acne.
Aloe Vera Gel is great for both dogs and cats. It can treat irritated and sensitive skin. If your pet’s skin needs soothing and astringing, Aloe Vera gel is a great option.
An antibacterial powder doesn’t just keep your pet’s skin/coat clean and free from harmful bacteria but also ensures that minor skin conditions do not become a major problem.
PetHonesty Immunity supplement has the power of all-natural ingredients that address both internal and external symptoms and works great in alleviating your dog’s allergies (seasonal, skin, environmental, and food). A Bad immune system is the root cause of allergies, and this supplement doesn’t just boost your dog’s immune system and treat symptoms but also address the underlying cause of allergies.
If you have diagnosed that your dog has a seasonal allergy, then Vet’s Best Seasonal Allergy Relief supplement is an excellent treatment that can support proper skin moisture and help in maintaining normal histamine levels. It is a plant-based supplement that includes nettle leaf, perilla seed, and vitamin E. These are tasty chewable tablets that you can give to your dog directly or with its favorite meal.
Pro-Sense Itch and Allergy Solutions (tablets) provide fast relief for allergy symptoms and reduce itching caused by minor skin irritations. If your dog has the following symptoms, then Pro-Sense Itch & Itch Allergy Solutions is the best option:
- Runny nose
- Watery eyes
If you have found that your pet has flea allergy, then Capster Oral Flea Treatment can be a useful product as it consists of tablets that can be used to kill fleas on your pet’s skin. It is quick and effective, removing fleas within 30 minutes of administration. The six doses included are suitable for both cats and dogs. It is a safe and certified product – You can give it to your pet regularly without worrying much. It can even be used in tandem with other medication.
If you are looking for a decent shampoo that can help provide relief to your dog against itching, Burt’s Bees Natural Itch Soothing Shampoo with Honeysuckle is a great choice. It cleans and conditions your pet’s skin and hair. It is made from natural materials and designed to be used on pets with allergies. There are no sulfates, colorants, or other irritating materials present in this shampoo. The PH level is also balanced to prevent allergic reactions.
In short, 100% safe and veterinarian-recommended formula to soften dry, itchy skin, hence treating allergies.
Allerpet Dander Remover Spray isn’t just good for removing harmful proteins but also for your pet’s skin. It has the power of aloe vera, green tea, rosemary, and chamomile. It is not a pet shampoo, so you don’t have to worry about bathing your pet regularly. With Allerpet, all you need to do is spray it generously on the applicator mitt (comes with the spray) and rub it well on your dog’s fur so the formula can get into the fur and start working.
Dealing with pet allergies is, indeed, a daunting task. However, with the right products, information, and proper measures, it can be made a lot easier. We hope our guide helps you in keeping your pet healthy and allergy-free.