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Most owners treat their dogs as family members – they love, care and provide for them, having their best interest at heart. There’s a reason why many of them call themselves dog parents. If you have a dog, you want everything that’s best for him – just like with children – so when you see that he’s not feeling very well, you want to do something about it.
For example, dogs, like people, can suffer from various types of allergies and we all know how it can affect our well-being. Dogs are no different. Did you notice that your canine spends a lot of his time scratching? There’s a huge possibility that he has a skin allergy.
Fortunately, there are ways to deal with its symptoms to make your dog calm, comfortable and happy again, but first, you need to know what you’re dealing with.
Go to the vet
According to PetPlace.com, flea allergy is the most common skin condition among dogs, but you shouldn’t even try to diagnose it yourself. With no knowledge or experience, you can easily make a mistake and treat a flea allergy, when in fact your dog may suffer from a parasite or some other skin disease, even cancer; or the other way around.
When it comes to allergies, there are many different types, so the treatment is not always the same. Just like people, dogs can be allergic to food, grooming products or different cosmetics, insect bites, pollen or mold, or other environmental irritants. Therefore, it’s best to have a professional check your dog and then treat him accordingly.
Remember to always follow the instructions of your veterinarian; only then you can be sure that you’ve done everything to help him.
To help with the allergies, a vet can recommend:
- steroids, but they do have various side effects (short-term and long-term, some of them severe, even organ damage or diabetes), so, like in the case of human allergy, they are applied only in the most severe cases,
- cyclosporine, which helps with seasonal allergies and atopy,
- immunotherapy – it’s time and money consuming, but very effective,
- oclacitinib – it reduces the level of cytokines in the immune system. Cytokines are responsible for promoting allergic reactions like itching.
How can you help?
The most obvious, but still the best way to deal with an allergy is to keep your pet away from the allergens. In terms of treatment, the cure for allergies doesn’t really exist, but you can do something to help your dog with their symptoms:
- You can give him digestive enzymes to help him absorb all the necessary nutrients.
- Antihistamines, like Benadryl, bring relief not only to humans, but dogs can suffer from various side effects, so it’s better to consult it with your vet.
- If you see small spots on your pet’s skin, try applying vitamin E directly by massaging it in the aggravated place.
- Wash his bedding in hot water once a week, more or less, just like your own sheets. That’s how you can avoid recurrent parasites and bacterias. What’s more, replace his bed once a year, regardless of its condition and choose those that are less likely to collect allergens.
- Calendula tea compresses have been effectively used to treat skin conditions for ages. It won’t hurt your dog and it certainly may help to improve his well-being.
- Reduce carpeting and other dust collectors, vacuum regularly and often change filters (such as air-conditioning or furnace).
- After every bath, leave in a well-chosen conditioner that suits your dog’s skin, coat, breed, age, and individual preferences. You can also try replacing all of his cosmetics with these hypoallergenic ones.
- Chamomile tea is also known for its soothing qualities. You only need to make some tea, cool it a little bit and spray it on the inflamed area on your dog’s skin.
- You can try adding fish oil capsules to your dog’s food once a day.
- Don’t save money on your pet’s food, because low quality can cause a whole range of problems, including food allergies. Apart from that, always make sure that meat is one of the top ingredients of your dog’s food – remember that dogs are not vegetarians, they need meat to function and develop properly.
- You can rub Aloe Vera on your dog’s skin if it’s dry and itchy. Some people also use coconut oil, as well as salmon oil.
- Coconut oil is also used to help animals with digestion. It improves their coats and decreases the production of yeast. It works for the doggy odor as well.
- Refill your dog’s drinking water bowl regularly, even when you see that he hasn’t drunk it all. It always has to be fresh.
- Check his hair for fleas, mites, and other critters. Biting insects are always annoying, but some animals have actual allergies to some insects’ saliva.
- If you’re dealing with red and raw paws, you can put some Epsom Salt in warm water, then have your dog stand in it; it should bring him relief.
- Omega 3-6-9 Chews do not only help with red spots and itching, but it also influences your dog’s overall health – they support joints and heart health and improve the immunity system. They can improve your dog’s skin and coat condition.
- Lavender soothes red, itching spots and, at the same time, calms you and your dog. Research shows that its smell actually helps to reduce anxiety, plus, it’s antibacterial. Lavender essential oil is definitely worth buying.
Life with allergies can be hard, especially in the case of dogs who aren’t able to do anything to help themselves. It’s essential to get the right diagnosis, but it’s only the beginning of a long and difficult road to the peaceful normality of your beloved pet (and yourself).
Lifestyle change and skin treatment can be as helpful as medications, which makes your role extremely important. It’s worth being patient, tough, as it will change your dog’s life for the better and make you, as his owner, much happier.
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