Here Are 7 Tips To Help Your Dog With Allergies

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( — September 20, 2023) — Dogs can suffer from allergies just like humans. They can develop seasonal allergies as well as food and flea allergies. If you think your dog might be suffering from allergies, here are seven tips that can help.

1. Recognize allergy symptoms

The first and most important way to help your dog is to become familiar with the symptoms that indicate your dog might have an allergy. A good vet will explain dog allergies and their accompanying symptoms so you can help your furry friend.

Allergy symptoms include:

  • Runny and/or squinty eyes (or tear stains)
  • Head shaking
  • Pawing at their ears and face
  • Licking their paws and bottom frequently
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Itching
  • Hives
  • Constant scratching and biting
  • Red skin
  • Swelling

Once you know the general signs to look for, you’ll be in a better position to help your dog when they’re having an issue. However, it’s critical to know what’s causing the allergic reaction.

If your dog hasn’t been diagnosed with an allergy yet, take it to the vet before trying to treat the symptoms at home. Not all allergies are best treated in the same manner and if your dog is hypersensitive, they might actually react to certain remedies that are supposed to provide relief.

3. Keep excess medications

Don’t throw away excess meds. Under the direction of your vet, having some of your dog’s prescribed meds on hand in an emergency can help them get relief before you see the vet. For example, if you have an appointment in two days and your dog won’t stop biting their back, your vet might tell you to give them a certain medication to reduce the itching until you make it to your appointment.

4. Try an elimination diet

Elimination diets are a wonderful way to figure out what foods your dog is either allergic to or sensitive to without having to get an expensive blood test. The most common food allergies are chicken, beef, dairy, wheat, soy, and eggs.

First, choose a source of protein that is different from anything you’ve given your dog. Some people choose alligator or kangaroo, for example. For a specific duration of time determined by your vet (usually a few weeks to a month), you’ll feed your dog only that source of protein and eliminate all other foods.

Your dog should get to neutral and stop showing signs of an allergic reaction. At that point, you’ll introduce one food back into their diet and wait a day or two to see how they react. If they’re fine, you’ll add another food and repeat the process. If at any time they react to something you’ve introduced, you will know it’s something your dog can’t have.

Talk with your vet if you’re considering an elimination diet trial as they can help customize the plan and guide you through the process.

5. Use special products

Dogs with allergies tend to respond well to medicated shampoo, especially when they have a yeast or bacteria overproduction problem and need extra support for their skin.

Another thing you can try is dog shampoo made with tea tree oil to provide cooling relief for your dog. You can also try an oatmeal-based shampoo but avoid oatmeal if your dog has a problem with yeast overproduction, as the yeast will feed on the oatmeal.

Hot spot sprays will go a long way to alleviate itching, and if your dog has seasonal allergies, you can give them a pill for that.

6. Get your dog some cute pajamas

There’s nothing cuter than dogs in pajamas, but they can also prevent your dog from excessively chewing and biting their back end. If your dog tends to severely bite themselves when they itch, fleece pajamas will make it harder for them to do damage.

Granted, fleece pajamas are only ideal in winter when it’s cold, but even a basic t-shirt or thin pair of dog pajamas will help. If your dog is extremely itchy to the point of needing clothing, be sure to make an appointment with their vet to discuss diagnostics and ways to improve your pet’s comfort.

7. Deal with fleas aggressively

If your dog has a flea allergy, all it takes is one or two bites for them to be uncomfortable. The problem is, you can’t always see the fleas so you might not know they’re still hatching.

The best way to control the flea population in your home is to prevent more from hatching. You can do this by vacuuming every day, washing all the blankets you and your dog use as often as possible, and giving your dog a bath to remove the fleas.

Most of the time, fleas will jump ship or die in your dog’s fur. They’ll wash out when you rinse your dog.

Also, talk to your dog’s vet about getting prescription flea medication.

Connect with your vet for the best course of action

Before treating your dog for allergies, find out what’s going on from your vet. They’ll know the best way to help your dog get relief.