More and more, people are learning that their dogs can suffer from allergies just as they do. Like in humans, different dogs may be allergic to different things such as certain foods or chemicals. Seasonal allergens, like pollen and mold, can also affect them. This can make your dog feel fatigued and miserable. In some dogs, prolonged allergies may lead to more serious problems like respiratory infections, chronic skin disorders, joint problems and digestive issues. Fortunately, there are many simple, inexpensive remedies that you can use to help treat and prevent your dog’s allergies.
1. Feed Real Food
Like people, dogs can also suffer from food intolerances and allergies. In most cases, grains are the culprit because they’re not a natural food for dogs to eat and they’re difficult to digest. With repeated exposure to the offending food, your dog’s body may eventually start to react to the food as if it were an invading pathogen. When this happens, it can result in joint, digestive and skin problems.
If you suspect that your pet is experiencing problems due to grain, consider removing kibble from their diet and giving them either fresh meat or a dog food made exclusively from meat. Many people who do this find that most or all of their dog’s problems resolve quickly.
2. Wash Bedding and Stuffed Toys Regularly
Everyone knows that their mattresses and furniture harbor dust mites, but few realize that their dog’s items are no better. Dog beds and stuffed toys can accumulate dust, and therefore dust mites, over time. If your dog seems to have respiratory problems and excessive itching, it’s a good idea to wash these things at high temperatures using a pet-friendly detergent free of dyes and fragrances such as Ecos-Pet.
3. Keep the Air Clean
Just as you would for yourself, you should keep your home’s air clean for your dog’s sake. If you don’t want to spend the money on a decent air purifier, consider just opening your windows more often and adding some house plants. Open windows allow proper circulation of clean air while plants help to absorb air pollution and mold. Similarly, it’s recommended to replace your furnace filter every three months, preferably using ones designed for allergen relief.
4. Stop Using Harsh Products
Many allergens affect a dog’s skin, causing itching and rough, red and inflamed skin patches. This reaction is almost always the result of sensitivities to certain chemicals used on the skin such as shampoos and deodorizing sprays. Stopping the use of these products is essential for halting skin allergies. Try switching to an chemical-free soap, such as Dr. Bronner’s, which is made from coconuts. To expedite the recovery process, consider feeding your dog nutrient-rich fats like fish, cod liver, krill or salmon oil.
5. Keep Your Pet Hydrated
A dog that is properly hydrated is significantly less vulnerable to respiratory allergies than a dog who is chronically dehydrated. When your pup is outside playing this spring and summer, make sure you always provide him or her with plenty of water. This helps to keep the protective mucus membranes in their nasal passages moist, enabling them to catch incoming allergens before they get into the sinuses and lungs.