Top Allergy Fixes for Dogs
Dogs unfortunately can suffer many different allergies which can result in unpleasant symptoms for your beloved pet, from itchy skin, sore feet or digestive issues, sickness and diarrhoea – none of which are pleasant for either the dog or their owner.
It can be tempting to rush your dog straight to the vet to get checked out but there are also a number of natural fixes you can look into – particularly for itchy skin – which might actually save you time and money and make life a lot nicer for your dog.
So while you should get any very severe reactions or problems checked out professionally, there are a few other natural allergy fixes which you might want to try for some of the milder symptoms to give your dog instant relief.
To give us better guidance we spoke to the team of Time for Paws – an online seller of pet supplies, and they gave us these tips on simple allergy fixes for our furry friends.
- Colostrum from cows milk
Colostrum is found in the milk from all mammals and helps to support newborns’ immunity straight after birth. It contains praline-rich polypeptide (PRP) which can help to reduce allergy symptoms by helping to calm down an overactive immune response.
PRP also works in other ways within the body to help calm down allergic reactions and is also anti-inflammatory so can reduce histamine levels making it ideal for helping to combat allergies in your dog.
Colostrum from cow’s milk contains antibodies against many common allergies so helps to build up a defence against the same allergens in the future as well, so giving cow colostrum supplements to your dog can really help with allergy issues.
It comes in either a powder or capsule form and works best when taken before food but you can mix it with yogurt or a little food to get him to eat it. You should use it consistently for a month and then just whenever it is needed from then on.
- Seeds which are sprouting
Your dog’s gut needs to be balanced to help prevent problematic tummy troubles caused by allergies and one way to help support this is to buy probiotic food. However, if they need extra protection against allergies then sprouting seeds can help.
Sprouting seeds are full of probiotics as well as minerals and vitamins which can help to keep your dog healthy. They do need to be sprouting though – plain seeds don’t have the same impact. This is the reason you will see dogs eating grass – they know it’s good for their digestion.
The best way to help support your dog’s gut is firstly, to encourage him to eat grass when out and about as long as it’s free from any nasty pesticides. But you can also buy sprouted seeds to stir in with his food which will make sure he gets all the probiotics he needs.
- Stinging nettles
Believe it or not stinging nettles are recommended by herbalist vets for dogs with allergies but obviously be careful how you use them. It’s thought they contain histamines which creates an anti-allergy reaction in the body. They also contain quercetin.
You can just pick them yourself (carefully) and make an herbal tea, or sauté them in a pan with oil until tender and add to your dog’s food. You can also choose a nettle tincture instead and add drops of this to their food. You can also let the tea cool down, and use it to apply to itchy areas of skin for a soothing effect.
Quercetin is found in fruits and vegetables and contains antioxidants as well as having strong antihistamine and anti-inflammatory effects. It is a great way to reduce histamine in the body and to manage the causes of itchiness.
Histamines are the cause of allergic reactions in the body and quercetin helps to stop the immune cells in your dog from releasing histamines, which in turn, reduces the symptoms of allergies.
Quercetin can be found in food like broccoli, so you can try including these in your dog’s diet, however, it can be easier and more effective to give it to your dog through a supplement. They are available in both pill and capsule form and best consumed by your dog on an empty stomach.
- Cabbage leaves
This old fashioned remedy can help draw heat out from an inflamed patch of skin. You need to beat the cabbage leaf so that the juices start to come out. Then place it against an area of inflammation and you will feel the leaf get hot as it pulls the inflammation away from the body. Remove it after a few minutes.
- Green tea
Green tea has great anti-inflammatory properties as well as an antihistamine effect so it’s perfect to use to help soothe a dog’s itchy skin. Make a strong cup and then allow it to cool, before then applying it to the itchy area for around five minutes.
You can keep the rest in the fridge to use later. Alternatively, use a green tea bag which has been wetted and apply it directly to the red itchy area for instant relief. Just make sure anything you apply to your dog’s skin is cold and it only works if it’s green tea.
- Aloe Vera
If you buy an Aloe Vera plant you can use it for all kinds of things to help your own skin conditions as well as your dogs. The gel inside an Aloe leaf is full of enzymes which help to decrease itchiness and inflammation as well as encouraging healing.
You simply need to cut the leaf open and directly apply the gel which comes out onto the itchy area for a cooling and calming effect. You can also use it to promote healing and it has an antiseptic property so is perfect for sore paws or any small broken skin areas as well.
It also works wonders on sunburn and acne and other common skin conditions for humans as well so is a great plant to have in the house in general.
- Baking Soda
Another stable kitchen ingredient which can help with itchy or inflamed areas of skin is baking soda. You can add it to water to make a paste, which you then apply to the itchy areas and wash off after a couple of hours.
Or you can mix it with water in a spray bottle to spritz onto your dog’s skin as and when they need some relief. You will need to make sure you shake the bottle every time, before you spray it, to make sure the water and soda is still combined.
Liquorice can have an anti-inflammatory effect and one of its component ingredients has a similar effect to codeine. It has been used in Chinese medicine to help people with allergies for many years and is thought to help coughs, sore throats and spasms. It can also be used to clear mucus from the nose and throat – which can be a real help with allergies.
Seek advice on exactly how much to give to your dog and the best way to administer it as the dose will vary considerably depending on the size of your dog and the condition you are trying to treat with it.
- Witch Hazel
This is another natural remedy which can be used to support broken skin and reduce any swelling so it’s perfect for soaking sore paws in. You can also apply it to itchy patches of skin using a cotton wool pad to provide relief. This is another natural remedy which also works well on human skin and has great cleansing properties.
Having a dog constantly scratching sore and itchy skin, or sneezing and snuffling due to allergies can be heart-breaking and can often leave the owner feeling truly helpless but while you might not know what is causing the allergy, you can now do something about it.
There are plenty of easy and natural ways to provide relief to your dog from itchy skin without having to drag him to the vets and medicate him so if it’s only an occasional problem then try some of these remedies first.
However, some dogs have more severe reactions resulting in severely upset stomachs and diarrhoea in which case you should always seek veterinary support just in case there is some other cause beyond a simple allergy.
From cabbage leaves to aloe Vera and witch hazel, nature has a way of helping to balance the imbalance created within your dog’s body from an allergic reaction so if you can resolve it with a gentle natural remedy then so much the better and you can leave trips to the vet for check-ups and more serious conditions.
By just ensuring you have a few natural remedies in your kitchen cupboard, like green tea and baking soda you can sit safe in the knowledge that you are able to provide some relief to your dog from an itchy skin allergy reaction instantly, while his body settles down and until the allergy symptoms disappear altogether and he is back to his normal happy self.
Guest Post by Jane Aldridge