Perhaps one of the most common conditions that our dogs suffer from is allergies. Fortunately, there are several safe and effective home remedies for dog allergies that you can use to treat your dog without breaking the bank.
When humans have allergies, the most common symptoms would involve the respiratory system. Cough, sniffling, wheezing and the like are known to mark the allergic human. For dogs, the skin is the organ that bears the brunt of allergic symptoms. An allergic dog will most likely develop hives, red and patchy skin, and extreme itchiness, as well as watery eyes and a runny nose. Before we tackle the possible home remedies for dog allergies, it is important that you determine the cause of the allergy so you can eliminate it from your dog’s immediate environment as soon as possible.
There are several possible causes of allergies in dogs. The most common of these causes are food, fleas and irritants found in certain chemicals or bacteria. For food allergy, you need to put your dog on a hypoallergenic diet to find out what ingredient it is that triggers an allergic reaction (it is usually a protein substitute that certain food sensitive dogs develop an allergic reaction to). This may take a month or so to find out, and another few weeks to establish a new diet so you need to be patient during this time. Suddenly changing your dog’s diet may cause indigestion and stress.
Dogs are not allergic to fleas per se, it is the saliva that a flea excretes to clot the host’s blood that some dogs are allergic to. You need to remove fleas and other parasites in your dog’s body as soon as you see them. Fleas are repelled by aromatherapy oils and citrusy scents so a good, natural remedy to deter fleas from getting to your dog and thus preventing allergies, is to give your dog a bath with aromatherapy oils mixed in. Citronella, eucalyptus, lavender and peppermint are just some examples of these oils. If you have no essential oil lying around in your house, you can quarter up some lemons, squeeze the juices in a spray bottle with water, and mist your dog lightly all over. Run a fine toothed comb over your dog’s fur daily to check for these pesky parasites. Take special care to check the dog’s face, legs, collar and base of the tail that the fleas may be hiding in.
Other times dogs are allergic to weeds, dust, mold, pollen, detergent and chemicals used in certain products. While we have no control over the weather, you can lessen the chances of the dog acquiring allergies in certain seasons of the year by keeping him indoors more often. If this is not possible, avoid areas where there are piles of wood, or a bunch of trees growing together. When your dog enters the house, wipe him down with a large, damp towel to remove possible allergens that may have clung to his fur.
Epsom salts are excellent to soothe hot spots and painful red patches on the skin. Dissolve a generous amount of Epsom salts in warm water and let the affected area soak in it for about 10 to 15 minutes. If the hot spots are in the face, moisten a towel with this solution and hold it over his face for a few minutes. Do not leave the dog with the Epsom salt solution because he might drink it.
Another option to treat hot spots is to mix equal parts of water, baby oil and mouthwash in a spray bottle and put it over the hot spots. Now, this doesn’t work with all dogs so use caution when trying this natural remedy on your own pet.
It is a good idea to use only natural and organic products for your dog. Never use human shampoos and treatments because the pH balance of the dog is a lot less than humans, meaning our stuff will dry their skin easily. Look for products that have aloe vera, oils and oatmeal in the list of ingredients. These elements have natural moisturizing properties that keep your dog’s skin soft and clean. You can also make your own oatmeal paste (mix oatmeal with warm water) and spread it over your dog’s skin. Cover it with a warm towel to keep in in place for about 10 minutes.
Aside from topical home remedies for dogs allergies, you should also be mindful of your dog’s diet. A good dose of oils in your pet’s food will boost his moisture levels up and help heal his dry, flaky skin more quickly. Drizzle half a teaspoon of olive oil over his dish, or incorporate some fish in his diet. Marine fish is the best source of omega fatty acids, a good source of healthy oil in dogs.