Springtime is lovely, with all its beautiful blooms everywhere. But if you suffer from allergies, those blooms can be a double-edged sword as they invoke itchy eyes, puffy skin, stuffy (or runny!) noses, and more. Unfortunately, your dog can experience the same symptoms of allergies—and worse, they can’t tell you how bad they feel. That’s why, as a responsible pet owner, you need to pay close attention to your dog’s behavior and take notice of any changes.
Allergies in dogs can be caused by a variety of things, just like in people—grass, fleas, foods, pollen…and it can be difficult to track down the cause of an allergic reaction. Obviously, if you’re able to identify the cause of a dog’s reactions, limiting exposure to the allergen is your best option. However, that’s not always possible (you try keeping your dog away from pollen and grass!).
If you notice your dog start to lick and chew her paws, scratch excessively, or have red, goopy eyes, you might want to try some of the tricks below to help offer some relief—with these natural home remedies.
Natural Supplements For Your Dog’s Allergies
1. Coconut oil is a great multitasker! Not only does it help keep the skin, digestion system, and immune system healthy, but it also reduces itchiness and allergic reactions to fleas. It can even decrease yeast production in your dog, cutting down on itchy paws and ears caused by yeast.
3. Give your dog a quercetin supplement to fight inflammation. It further combats allergic reactions by preventing immune cells from releasing histamines. (Add in bromelain and papain to reduce pain and further reduce inflammation.)
4. Supplement your pup’s diet with omega-3 fatty acids (like fish oils!) to reduce inflammation and strengthen the immune system.
Natural Remedies For Dog’s Itchy Skin & Hot Spots
1. Apply a baking soda paste to hot spot or red, itchy areas. You can also try making a baking soda spray and spraying it on the dog’s irritated areas.
2. Apple cider vinegar can relieve itching, including in the ear areas—but don’t use it on any open wounds or bites. It’s also good for washing potential allergens like pollen off a dog’s paws after a jaunt outside.
3. Try making a thyme-infusion and applying it to their paws—making sure to get between the toes—if they’re chewing their paws often. Thyme is anti-inflammatory, which will help with redness and itching, but it’s also antiseptic and anti-fungal.
4. Apply pure aloe vera gel to hot spots or itchy skin. Just like it cools our skin, it cools your dog’s. Just make sure not to let your dog eat any of the actual plant (if he licks some of the gel off, it’s ok).
Other Things You Can Do To Reduce Your Dog’s Allergies
1. Wipe down your dog’s paws when she comes inside. This gets rid of pollen, grasses, and other allergens, and minimizes your dog’s contact with them—hopefully keeping them out of her mouth and limiting her reaction to them.
2. Change your air filters regularly. If you have central air conditioning or heating, make sure you’re cleaning and/or changing your filters regularly. Also think about other filters in your home, like on window air units and oven hoods. Keeping them free of dust and other allergens will help the humans in your home breathe easier, too!
3. Vacuum and dust often. If your dog is reacting to dust or pollen, increasing the frequency of your vacuuming and dusting can help. Stuff gets tracked inside on paws and shoes, and these things can cause allergic reactions, too.
4. Try a limited ingredient diet. Since allergies can be caused by certain ingredients, restricting your dog’s diet to just a few (and adding them back in to gauge reactions, just like you do with a human elimination diet) can help get rid of symptoms.
5. Bathe him regularly with a soothing, mild soap, like an oatmeal- or aloe-based one. Regular bathing keeps pollen and other allergens from building up on his skin and fur, and using soothing ingredients like oatmeal or aloe soothes irritated skin.
6. Keep her eyes wiped clean (be gentle!)—and even try a cool compress for her eyes if they seem really inflamed.
7. Wash your linens often. Of course, this is especially true for your dog’s bedding—but you should also wash your own linens and rugs regularly too to minimize exposure to allergens.
8. Give him an oatmeal bath to calm down red, itchy skin. It will reduce itching and also help rinse off any potential allergens on his coat. (Note: Avoid oatmeal baths if your dog’s itchiness is due to yeast.)