As one out of five dogs is affected by allergies, it is best that we educate ourselves about canine allergies and what to do when our dogs suddenly show signs of allergic reactions. Particularly because they can be easy to miss, and have long term consequences. Even if they’re being fed the same food every day and they’re exposed to the same environment, their sensitivity towards a certain ingredient in food or ingredient can still change over time.
Here are some common allergies and how you can deal with them:
Flea allergy dermatitis is the most common allergy for dogs. In this case, it’s not actually the flea bites causing the allergy in dogs, but rather the flea’s saliva. Unfortunately, just one flea’s saliva can cause your dog to vigorously scratch his skin if he’s extra sensitive to it. So even if your dog is not infested with fleas, this can still be a likely scenario. If you suspect your dog to have flea problems, there are many strategies you can try to mitigate the problem.
First, you can comb your dog at least once a day. The benefits of regular brushing extend beyond proper grooming. It is an effective way to take the fleas out of your dog’s body. Make sure to use a light-colored cloth while you’re at it to see the severity of the situation. Fleas actually leave feces on dogs that look like dusty substances. If you put alcohol on it, you will easily be able to decipher otherwise. If the “dirt” releases blood, then you’ll know for sure it’s flea feces. Another trick is to dab the comb with petroleum jelly, so the fleas stick to the comb while you’re combing your dog’s hair.
You should also give your dog more baths than he needs. It’s no rocket science: Your dog will be cleaner and less attractive to fleas when he’s always fresh. Not only that, but it will kill the fleas that are currently infesting your dog’s skin as well. You can make their shampoos on your own if you wish to do so. A lot of dog owners swear by this mixture of 1 cup water, 2 tablespoons of baby soap or shampoo (choose the ones with organic components) and 1-2 tablespoons of organic apple cider vinegar. Mix all these in a bottle and lather it on your dog’s skin. This miracle concoction tremendously helps kill the fleas and pacify the itching of your dog.
If proper grooming just won’t cut it, you can also apply pest repellents on your dog. Just be very careful you choose those that aren’t going to poison your baby. You can easily purchase one from a pet store, but choose a brand that only uses organic ingredients. You don’t want to harm your dog even further by putting chemicals on his body! If you want to make your own, you can mix equal parts organic apple cider vinegar and water onto a spray bottle and douse your dog with it. You may also choose to slice lemons thinly (with its skin still on), put in a pint of water and bring to a boil. Let the concoction steep overnight before you spray on your dog.
Another homemade remedy you can try is calendula. If your dog’s scratches eventually result to wounds or abrasions on his skin, consider applying calendula salve on your dog. Calendula is a plant from the family of sunflowers and the petals of its flowers can be used to make a salve or tea concoction that’s being applied to dog’s wounds. It helps heal the wounds of your dog quickly.
Yet, fleas aren’t the only triggers for canine allergies. Its food can also trigger its allergies too. The reality is that if you’re feeding your dog the same thing over and over again, chances are, he’s developed an allergy to it. Contrary to belief, dogs also need a variety in their diets as their sensitivity to a certain ingredient can change over time. Normally, it’s not easy to determine which ingredient your dog has suddenly become allergic to. It’s best to take your dog to a veterinarian to get your dog tested. However, take note of the three main ingredients that cause food allergies in dogs: corn, grains, and cereals. The easiest way to help your dog with this particular allergy is to remove these food products from its diet completely.
As soon as you know which ingredients to avoid, stop feeding them to your dog. Read the label before you purchase their dog food. It may not be the main ingredient, but if it’s part of the meal, it can still cause allergies.
Lastly, dogs can also be allergic to pollen, dust, and other external environmental pollutants. It is best that you control your dog’s exposure to them as much as you can. One of the easiest ways you can prevent the allergies is to always maintain the cleanliness of your household. Make sure you only use non-toxic cleaning products and don’t subject your dog to cigarette smoke. Some dog owners even use air purifiers at home in order to make their air quality inside a lot better.
It is just as important for you to thoroughly clean your dog’s paws at all times, too. If he’s allergic to something from outside the house, even when he’s back inside, he might still be carrying it around and spreading it around the house through his paws. Make it a habit to clean your dog’s paws after spending time in your backyard or the dog park. It won’t take longer than a few minutes but it goes a long way in keeping your dog healthy and allergy-free!
Needless to say, keeping our dogs clean is ultimately the best way to keep them allergy-free and to soothe the symptoms that result from an allergic reaction. It may be a little different when dealing with food allergies, but making sure that his diet is balanced and healthy will make sure his existing allergy does not get aggravated. It’s not fun to deal with any type of canine allergies at all and guess what, prevention will still always remain the best cure.