English: 10 wks old, female. She snorts but is super loveable, great with housebreaking, other dogs, cats and kids. I noticed some grass allergies on her belly. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Dogs, just like people, can suffer from allergies. Allergies occur when the dog’s immune system starts to react to everyday substances as if they are a danger to the animal. This can lead to scratching, scabby skin, hair loss, runny eyes, runny noses and sneezing.
If your dog is suffering from allergies, his life is quite miserable. The good news is there are things you can do to ease his suffering, even without a trip to the vet. In fact, natural treatments that you can do at home are often the best way to tackle a dog’s allergies.
One of the first things you can do to deal with allergies is locate and remove the allergen, if possible. Common allergens for dogs include:
- Ingredients in their food
- Plants, either indoors or outdoors
- Cleaning products
- Shampoos and other topical treatments
- Flea control products
- Fleas and other pests
- Dust and dust mites
- Rubber or plastic
Dust is a common trigger. If you suspect this is a problem for your dog, start by cleaning your dog’s bedding once a week and vacuuming your home twice a week. Vacuum any materials, including the curtains and couches, that could gather dust.
If you suspect food as the problem, switch your dog to a specialized diet, or consider cooking food yourself for a while. If the fillers in the dog food are the source, the problem should clear up in a few days.
Bathing your dog regularly can help remove environmental allergens from his coat. However, you will want to avoid cheap shampoos that may have allergens and perfumes in them. Talk to your vet about an allergen-free shampoo you can use.
If your dog’s skin is irritated, cover it with a mixture of oatmeal and water. Leave it on his skin for 10 minutes, then rinse it off. This can soothe irritated skin. You can also treat hot spots with a mixture of equal parts water, baby oil and Listerine.
Finally, consider investing in air filtration for your home. This can help remove airborne allergens, like mold spores and dust, so your dog can live in your home free from allergies.
Remember, whenever possible, treat your dog’s allergies naturally. This will help avoid adding more allergens to his system as you work to control these uncomfortable symptoms.