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Canine allergies are a common problem that you will likely run into at some point in life with a dog. The telltale signs of scratching, chewing, eye and nose discharge and even upset stomach all can point to allergies. Both foods and environmental factors are able to set off an allergic reaction in your dog. Pollens, mold and household cleaners are common allergy culprits. If you are like many dog owners, you probably prefer natural remedies and preventions over harsh medications.
We've gathered some helpful tips from dog care professionals to help you keep your dog in tip-top shape and potentially prevent a full-on allergic reaction.
A great way to prevent your dog's immune system from malfunctioning is by giving your dog daily supplements before a reaction ever occurs. Quercetin is a supplement that has been proven to suppress the body’s release of histamines, which is what leads to much of the inflammation that develops during an allergic reaction. It is a natural alternative to Diphenhydramine (the main ingredient in Benadryl). Giving your dog enzymes such as bromelain and papain can help your dog to absorb Quercetin. These fruit-derived supplements also help reduce the amount of irritation that your dog experiences by lowering the amount of prostaglandins that the body releases.
Certain foods have been found to increase inflammation in the body of a dog. By avoiding these foods, you can help limit the impact that a reaction may have on your dog. Foods to avoid include any high-carb ingredients like grains or rice. Look for foods that are high in vegetables, fruits and lean protein. Adding a small amount of yogurt to your dog's dish can further help by boosting the amount of probiotics in its digestive system. Go one step further by giving your dog coconut oil and food high in omega-3 fatty acids like tuna or anchovies. These oils help reduce inflammation and prevent yeast from making a reaction worse.
Dogs spend a lot of time outside, and often trap lots of allergens in their fur. Wiping down your dog after every walk can help remove these allergens before a reaction happens. Daily baths using natural or hypoallergenic shampoos can help with more severe allergic responses. If your dog is not a fan of the water, you can try dry shampoos or just a small foot bath instead to help reduce symptoms. A good brush down once a day outside can help rid the dog of pollen, spores and other irritants.
The effectiveness of any allergy prevention or treatment method will depend on the nature and severity of your dog’s allergies, his or her overall health, and the level of exposure to allergens. As with many health conditions, prevention is often the best care for allergies in dogs. A proactive approach to improving your dog’s general health and reducing exposure to known allergens is usually the most effective.
The natural allergy treatment and prevention remedies described generally do not produce negative side effects or require special care or recovery time after administration.
Many natural allergy remedies for your dog can be provided at low or no cost. Nutritional supplements and grooming products can be purchased economically, whether from your vet or at a local or online retailer. A visit to your vet, groomer, or other provider to evaluate or address your dog’s allergies could cost $30 to $150. Allergy testing from your vet could cost $200 to $500.
Taking steps to prevent, reduce, or treat allergic reactions in your dog can be simple and inexpensive. However, understanding what triggers your dog’s reactions is key in determining and providing the most effective treatment. A visit to your vet can help you understand your dog’s allergies and plan the best at-home treatment and prevention methods, as well as rule out other health conditions that may be causing your dog’s symptoms.
Taking some precautionary measures can help lessen the chance that your dog will suffer from a bad allergic reaction. If symptoms are extreme or if they do not dissipate, it may be best to take your dog to a veterinarian for further treatment. As a reaction is caused by a heightened immune system response, you should avoid getting your dog vaccinated during this time. A little bit of research can help save you and your dog both pain and money when it comes to allergies!
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