Does your dog suffer from allergies? While over-the-counter and prescription treatments may do the trick, most of the synthetic versions include chemicals or ingredients that are not healthy for your pet, especially dogs with allergies.
Some of the most common prescription medications used to treat chronic or severe allergies include variations of antibiotics and steroids. While these medications may be necessary in some cases, we find it’s best to minimize or eliminate medication use altogether.
If your dog is currently taking a prescription allergy medication of some type, and want to learn more about making a switch to more natural options, schedule an appointment with a local, integrative veterinarian. 
The great news for you and your beloved canine is there are several natural treatments that work successfully for dogs and other pets who suffer from seasonal or environmental allergies.

Acupuncture For Dogs with Allergies

White Pitbull dog scratchingIf your dog has suffered from seasonal or chronic allergies for some time, acupuncture for dogs with allergies can help.  If we follow allergies down to their root cause, the allergen isn’t the “biggest” problem. The problem is actually an immune system that goes into hyper-drive when exposed to its trigger. Over time, this causes everything from frequent sneezing and watery, red eyes (just like humans!) to inflamed skin, hot spots, general inflammation, and even sores.
Acupuncture for dogs with allergies addresses a fair amount of allergic responses at their source, providing pain and itch relief, while alleviating inflammation and getting the immune system back into balance so it has a more moderate, healthy response to offending allergens. It will also soothe discomfort-related anxiety.
Read, Acupuncture Treats Pet Allergies Safely, for more information, including clinical data and research findings.

Next Comes the Diet

Dogs can have sensitivities or allergies to commercial pet food ingredients, or the food scraps you feed them from the table. Symptoms of pet food allergies can spread to other areas of the body if the allergy isn’t addressed early enough. However, the most immediate symptoms affect areas directly affected by contact with the food, including:

  • Stomach irritation or discomfort
  • Sneezing
  • Swelling, rashes and/or hives around the mouth, nose, eyes and ears
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Changing to a higher-quality food free of common allergens, or learning to make healthy dog food at home can correct these symptoms quickly. Your vet may also recommend nutritional therapy for severe cases. Always check with your vet before starting any pet on supplements.

Bathe With Pet-Friendly, Colloidal Oatmeal Shampoos

Bathing with commercial shampoos containing dyes, fragrance, chemicals and other synthetic ingredients, exacerbates dry, itchy or inflamed skin. 
Use a pet-friendly, colloidal oatmeal shampoo, and only bathe your dog as much as it makes sense. If they take a walk in a field with high grass or lots of foliage or flowers, a simple water rinse to wash away potential irritants should suffice.
If your dog gets professionally groomed, consider bringing your own dog shampoo with you and let staff know not to use any perfumed or synthetic chemicals on your dog. NOTE: If your dog has a yellow/brownish crust or discharge coming from the ears or a musty smell, schedule a vet appointment to rule out a yeast infection. In this case, oatmeal shampoos aren’t the right treatment since carbohydrates activate yeast.

Keep Up With the Housekeeping

Our pet companions are as equally susceptible to household allergens as we are – including dust, dust mites, pollen and mold spores.
Keep up with the housekeeping in terms of weekly:

  • Dusting with a microfiber or damp cloth
  • Vacuuming using a vacuum with a HEPA filter
  • Mopping hard surface flooring – including underneath beds, dressers, ottomans, and other furnishings
  • Change HVAC filters quarterly (and monthly during peak allergy seasons or if the people and animals in your home are particularly sensitive)
  • Use portable or whole-home air filtration system

Minimizing allergens and airborne particulate matters that cause dog allergies stops the symptoms and side effects in their tracks.
Are you interested in learning more about acupuncture for dog allergies and other natural remedies for your pets ailments? Contact Wise and Wonderful Integrative Veterinary Clinic and work with a compassionate team of vets who use the very best that Eastern and Western veterinary medicine have to offer.