As spring comes in full bloom many of us experience the annoyance of seasonal allergies. From a runny nose and watery eyes to potentially life threatening body responses, allergies are uncomfortable at best. It should come as no surprise that, like people, dogs experience allergies as well. In fact, around 15 percent of dogs have an allergy that affects them in some way!
Simply put, an allergy is an immune response caused by exposure to a particular substance. Common dog allergens include pollens, molds, foods, insect toxins and medical drugs. While any dog can suffer from allergies, some breeds are more prone to them than others. Common signs of allergies in dogs are chewing, scratching, biting, rashes, hair loss and rubbing of the face with a paw or on the floor.
The good news is that the impact of an allergy on your pet can typically be at least lessened, if not eliminated. After an allergy has been identified, the first step is to attempt to reduce or avoid exposure to that allergen. For example, make sure the dog does not eat a food he or she is allergic to. In the case of an environmental allergen, like pollen, keeping the pet indoors during peak pollen times may help. At times, more extreme measures like allergy shots to desensitize the immune response or corticosteroids may be administered. This type of treatment must always to under the care of a vet.
In addition to reducing the exposure to an allergen, there are remedies to help make your pet more comfortable when they are affected by them as well, especially in terms of allergies affecting the skin. To help relieve itchy skin, the affected areas of the coat can be soaked in cool water for 5-10 minutes. Be careful that the water is not too cold and don’t do this too often or you may dry out the skin and cause the condition to worsen.
Another good solution for itchy skin is to add a fatty acid supplement to your pet’s diet. While omega-3 fatty acids have benefits throughout the body, they have a significant impact skin health.Vet Instinct offers a great formula that combines high quality fish oil with dandelion root and vitamins to nourish and support the skin.