Is your four-legged friend suffering from environmental allergies? While allergies may be bothersome, you’d be surprised to know that they tend to be extremely common in dogs. Environmental allergies such as pollen, dust, and mold can lead to dogs experiencing allergy symptoms.
Environmental allergies, however usually tend to be seasonal. So, you’re likely to notice your dog’s allergies getting worse during a certain season. Signs of environmental allergies in dogs include:
- Itchy skin
- Excessive licking (especially its paws)
- Face rubbing
- Red skin
- Fur loss
- Runny eyes
So, if your dog has been showing the above-mentioned symptoms, it is likely your dog has an environmental allergy. But like many other conditions that have widely available treatments in today’s world, your dog’s allergies can also be treated.
However, before we get into details about how your dog’s allergies will be treated by the vet, it’s important to know what causes environmental allergies. Environmental allergies occur when your dog’s immune system overreacts to a substance in the environment such as pollen, dust, or mold.
Pests in home can be harmful to your pets and can cause allergies in pets so it is important to control pests from home.
Like humans, dogs also come with antibodies in their system that fight any foreign substance or threats in the body. When the antibodies in your dog’s system consider these substances a threat, the antibodies attack them which leads to your immune system overreacting.
Moreover, stem cells in the bone marrow also produce a specialized white blood cell known as a B cell. These B cells then lead to the production of antibodies that work against anything in your dog’s body that is foreign or a threat. These can be viruses, infections, parasites, or allergens. There are several types of antibodies in your puppy’s body. These include:
The IgE identifies and works against allergens in the body. So, as soon as an allergen enters your dog’s body, the IgE antibodies trigger the immune system to get rid of it. Simultaneously, the igE antibodies work to attach themselves to cells known as mast cells.
These mast cells assist in regulating your dog’s immune system and also contain necessary chemicals needed to fight allergies such as histamines. So, as soon as an allergen enters your body, histamines are released in the system to fight it.
However, these histamines lead to the allergy symptoms your dog experiences.
So, now that we know what exactly leads to allergies, you might be wondering what it takes to treat them. Usually, for allergies, you might be recommended to keep your dog away from whatever causes it to have allergies. However, that does not go well with seasonal allergies.
You may manage to keep your dog away from dust and mold (and you should) but if your four-legged friend is allergic to tree pollen, you simply cannot keep it indoors for months until the season ends. So, it is crucial to visit your visit as soon as possible.
Your vet is likely to recommend medicines such as steroids or anti-allergy medicines such as Cytopoint. However, these dogs do have their con; they work by suppressing your dog’s immune system to prevent it from going haywire when allergens enter its system but this suppression of the immune system can lead it to become vulnerable to other diseases.
While you should definitely take your vet’s advice and go ahead with giving your dog the medicines it needs to deal with allergies, there are certain natural remedies that you can try as well:
- Apple Cider Vinegar
Organic and raw apple cider can help treat itchiness and scratchy skin that your dog may experience as an allergy symptom. To use apple cider for your dog’s allergies:
- Give Your Dog a Foot Bath: Your dog’s paws are more likely to be affected by allergies and itchiness caused by the allergies. To relieve itchy feet, mix two parts of water with apple cider vinegar (preferably organic) in a bucket and soak your dog’s feet in it for up to 5-6 minutes. You do not need to rinse off the mixture but make sure to dry your dog’s paws well after you’re done.
- Give Your Dog a Body Bath: Sometimes, your dog’s entire skin may get itchy. In that case, mix ½ cup apple cider vinegar, ½ cup green tea (cooled), and 1 cup filtered water. Whenever you rinse your dog after using dog shampoo, pour this mixture over its body and pat dry.
Certain herbs contain anti-allergic properties. These include:
- Nettles: Nettles contain histamine that helps your dog’s system fight against allergens. You can either dry the herbs or use them to make nettle leaf tea. To make nettles tea, use 1 oz of the herb in water and leave the water to boil. After the water is boiled, add the herbs to it and cover it with lead. Then, let the tea steep for 30 minutes. Then, feed your dog 1 tablespoon of cooled tea for 25 pounds in the morning and evening.
- Bovine Colostrum
Bovine Colostrum is produced by cows in the mother’s first milk right after giving birth. Bovine Colostrum can help calves strengthen their immunity. The leftover bovine colostrum can also be used by your dog to boost its immune system.
Bovine Colostrum contains igG antibody which can assist your dog in strengthening its immunity against allergies. To feed bovine colostrum to your puppy, you can either use a powdered form of it or even give it a capsule.
You can consult your vet for further details regarding a dose if your vet recommends it. However, the standard dose is 1/16 tsp powdered form of bovine colostrum for every 25 lbs of body weight or 1 capsule every day for small dogs or 2 capsules every day for medium to large dogs.
Quercetin is another excellent option for your dog’s allergies as it contains antihistamine compounds. It works by suppressing histamines which produce allergies symptoms that are experienced by your dog.
Credible research has shown that Quercetin can help stop histamines. It can also prevent itching and suppress the production of inflammatory molecules.
You can add quercetin to your dog’s diet by feeding it food and fruits that are loaded with quercetin. These include:
- Apples with skin
You can also purchase quercetin supplements for your dogs. However, it is necessary to run this by your vet as some dogs should avoid quercetin. These include dogs with kidney diseases. And note that it is not recommended to feed your dog this supplement for the long term.
Other Useful Tips to Help with Your Dog’s Allergies
- Change the furnace filter in your home regularly to keep the air allergen-free
- Ensure your dog is in a different room every time you vacuum as vacuuming can release dust or other allergens into the air, triggering your dog’s allergies
- Check your house for mold as mold can be a common cause of allergies in dogs
- Feed your dog a diet that is fresh and raw to improve its gut health and overall immunity
- Try to replace your chemical cleaning products with more natural or organic options. This prevents your dog from being exposed to harmful substances in the chemical cleaning products while also avoiding allergies to these toxins
Allergies can be extremely bothersome for your dog and should never be left untreated. If your dog is currently suffering from allergies, it might be time to schedule a visit with your vet and also try some natural remedies to provide relief.
PS – If you’re looking to adopt another puppy and in search of some reliable dog rescues shelters, you might want to check out our articles for the best rescue shelters in different locations around the world. To view, please click here.