Allergies in dogs are very common pathologies that can be managed with natural remedies and improve significantly.
Allergies in dogs are a very frequent consultation, both at the veterinarian and in specialized stores like ours. Today we wanted to summarize in this post all the information about allergic reactions in dogs, so you can apply our advice and improve the life of your furry friend.
Before applying any health advice to your dog, we remind you that you should consult your veterinarian to determine if your dog really suffers from an allergy and to confirm what type of allergy it is.
How do I know if my dog has allergies?
Observe if your dog shows one or more of the following symptoms:
- Generalized itching all over the body leads to constant scratching.
- Reddened skin on the belly, armpits, face, ears, or paws.
- Frequent otitis that does not completely resolve or recurs frequently
- Conjunctivitis that recurs or does not completely clear up
- Constant tearing and excess of eye-lashes
- Crusting or pustules on the skin without apparent cause
- Licking or chewing of paws and other areas of the body
- Thickened or changing skin color
- Loss of fur
- Skin rashes and scaling
- Difficulty breathing in severe cases
- Diarrhea, vomiting, and abnormal stool consistency.
If so, consult your veterinarian to provide him with all the information about your dog and help him with the diagnosis. It is important that you take into account issues such as recent changes in diet, alterations in their daily routine or changes in their walking routes. Relating these changes to the onset or worsening of symptoms can be of great help.
Types of Allergies in Dogs: Environmental, Food, or Bite Allergies
Basically, these three types of allergies that we mentioned in the heading are the ones that affect our dogs. Environmental allergies, allergic reactions or food intolerances, and allergic dermatitis due to insect bites.
We are going to separate these 3 types to discuss the main causes and propose natural solutions for their treatment or at least to alleviate those annoying symptoms.
Food Allergies or Intolerances in Dogs
Food allergies in dogs are probably the most common type of allergy in dogs. Some manifest food allergies and intolerances exclusively through their hair and skin, while others also suffer from diarrhea, vomiting and other gastrointestinal problems.
When these symptoms appear, we tend to associate them quickly with an allergy, but in many cases, it is not really a food intolerance. The difference between allergies and intolerances is substantial and we are not going to deal with it here, but we want to emphasize this point, since many dogs treated as allergic recover completely simply by changing their diet to a natural food without cereals.
Whether it is an allergy or intolerance, detecting an adverse reaction to a food can be of vital importance for the health of our dogs. Some symptoms that your dog may be suffering from any of these pathologies are:
- Redness, scaling, and itching of the muzzle area.
- Redness and itching of the area around the eyes.
- Irregularities in stool consistency
- Constipation or too frequent stools
- Alterations to the hair and skin: hives, itching, scaling, alopecia.
To avoid allergies in dogs, you should try to make any changes you want to introduce to their diet progressively. You should also make sure that their daily meals and snacks do not contain any potentially allergenic ingredients.
And what do I do if my dog has food allergies or intolerances?
The best thing to do if your dog suffers allergic reactions to food is to:
- Avoid ultra-processed cereals present in low-quality feed and opt for grain-free diets.
- Give natural food free of additives and GMOs that can cause allergies.
- Try to give foods rich in fatty acids that help coat and skin health, as well as gastrointestinal health: oils for dogs and salmon-based feeds.
- Use allergy supplements for dogs specially formulated to control the immune response and help improve their quality of life.
- Give natural snacks with ingredients that aid treatment, such as healing clay.
There are allergy exclusion diets, which can help you detect which particular proteins your dog may be reacting to. This is achieved thanks to the monoprotein formulation of the food that allows you to rule out that particular protein as the cause of the allergy.
There is also a growing range of hypoallergenic dog snacks on the market, made from natural ingredients, without cereals or additives.
Environmental allergies in dogs arise as a consequence of your dog’s exposure to substances naturally present in the environment, such as pollen, dust mites, and fungi. These three allergens are the ones that most frequently cause problems in our dogs.
To avoid environmental allergies, the only thing we can do is to increase precautions and maintain correct cleaning habits.
Vacuuming our homes will prevent the accumulation of dust, pollen and mites that can trigger allergic reactions in our dogs.
Frequent washing of cribs, beds, and blankets with hypoallergenic detergents and soaps for dogs will also help to control allergies in pets.
Avoiding environmental allergens indoors will do much of the work. However, if you notice that allergies flare up after walks, you should probably:
- Change the route of walks to avoid areas of heavy vegetation.
- Check if your dog has any type of parasitic infestation.
- Apply measures after the walk to avoid the accumulation of allergens on your dog’s skin. For example, bathing
- with water and natural soap to remove environmental residues.
- Use of hypoallergenic wipes to cleanse without bathing.
- Use of supplements for pet allergies
Sting Allergies: Sting dermatitis or contact dermatitis.
Sensitive skin in dogs is also common, especially in some breeds. Some dogs, despite not having environmental or food allergies, do suffer allergic skin reactions as a result of insect bites.
The most frequent is flea bite dermatitis, although our pets can be sensitive to any insect bite, as it happens in people. This allergy usually causes great nervousness in our dogs, provoking scratching, licking, and nibbling of the areas where they have been bitten. Check his body for possible parasites or lesions such as scabs, areas of alopecia, and redness.
In order to avoid dermatitis due to bites, the best thing we can do is to check our dog periodically and administer the correct antiparasitic treatment. We also recommend the use of natural flea and tick repellents, which, besides protecting your dog and keeping parasites away, are safe and gentle on the skin of our sensitive dogs.
We mention here contact dermatitis, caused by the use of collars or other objects made of synthetic materials on our dogs. If your dog has sensitive skin, rubbing against certain materials or the use of chemical substances (such as some present in anti-parasite collars) may cause an allergic reaction in the form of flaking, hair loss, and reddening of the collar area. To avoid this type of allergic reaction in dogs, they use natural materials such as cotton or leather in their collars and avoid contact with chemicals.
Natural Remedies for Dog Allergies
If your dog suffers from allergies that have caused lesions or stomach discomfort, here are some plants and natural remedies that you can use to help him:
- Chamomile: Both in infusion and to apply it to the eyes and skin with the help of cotton pads. Chamomile, thanks to its anti-inflammatory power, soothes and moisturizes the skin, reducing the itching sensation and avoiding scratching.
- Vinegar: If fungi have caused the allergic reaction, applying apple cider vinegar to the area may help fight the infection.
- Olive oil: Applying olive oil to peeling skin can reduce tightness and prevent cracking.
- Green clay soil: It has almost magical properties. In addition to acting as an antiseptic, it provides a lot of minerals, reduces inflammation and acts as a natural detoxifier, helping to purify the bodies of our dogs from different allergens.
Do you want to know more? Don’t hesitate to leave your questions in the comments!