Dogs with allergies – additional tips Non homeopathic
- Try to identify the allergen from your dog’s environment or diet
- Limit or eliminate this allergen as much as possible to avoid repeat exposure, if at all possible.
- If you are not sure what is the cause of the allergic reaction you can eliminate several suspects for a few weeks and slowly re-introduce them back one by one to see which ones causes the reaction.
- Another option is to have thorough allergy testing done. Ask your vet about this.
Other problems as causes of itchiness/ skin problems to consider
- If hot spots/ skin irritation appear near the base of the tail, have your dog checked for anal gland issues. These can cause much discomfort without there being any obvious outside signs and your dog may lick this area as his only means to indicate his discomfort.
- Medication, vaccinations, worming and flea tick treatments all carry the risk of skin issues as complications.
- Flea or lice infestations, insect bites (like ants and gnats) can cause skin irritations that can quickly grow out of hand by licking and aggravating the skin. Look into natural flea and worm treatments available to you.
- Boredom. Your dog needs very regular, activity, interaction and stimulation. Habitual licking can result from boredom.
- Loneliness. Your dog is a pack animal and thrives best in company of his people and mates. Loneliness can lead to boredom (see above)
Support a strong digestive and immune system
- Skin, the lining of the lungs and the digestive tract, are basically of the same layer. This means there is a strong connection between bowel health and skin issues.
- Having an overloaded immune system or liver may mean your dog is fine part of the year, just being able to keep the balance. But, when the allergy season hits; the extra allergen stimulants coming his way may just be the drop that overflows the bucket. And therefore his skin plays up etc..
- Support your dogs immune system and bowel health with an as natural as possible a diet, plenty and freely available water to drink and healthy lifestyle with ample exercise and exposure to the elements.
- If possible feed a raw diet or look for the best and most natural products you can find and reasonably afford for your dog.
- Have a look at this website (US) https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/
- Feed raw bones ( never cooked!)
- Find a source of free and fresh meat (perhaps you have a hunter/ fisher friend? Rabbits, Turkey, ducks, Geese, offal and fish make great pet food)
- Let your dog chew! In the wild dogs eat and chew their meat in chunks, not minced from a packet. Chewing and processing food this way adds valuable digestive enzymes to the food that aid digestion and stimulate the digestive system.
- Make sure your dog can go toilet easily and regularly and have bowel motions without having to wait and hold on for an opportunity too long. Waste products and toxins may stay in their system longer than desirable; especially if there is Constipation and slow bowel function.
Use Natural products
- For grooming, bedding and deodorising etc
- Understand that your dog is living in your house and any products you may use there may affect his sensitivities.
- Only use chemical medications and vaccinations if absolutely necessary
Your dog is a wolf
- Allow your dog to be a dog and be naturally doggy.
- Try and approach his or her needs with his natural habits and history in place (e.g. does your dog really need washing daily?)
- The fact that your dog lives inside means you’ll both have to compromise on your needs and requirements.
- Your dog needs leadership as he/she is a pack animal, lack of leadership and picking order/ clarity causes uncertainty and anxiety and raises stress levels which besides impacting their immune system may also cause obsessive behaviours or self mutilation.
Your dog has feelings and emotions just like you.
- His/her physical health issues may be related to changes in situation, (eg divorce or new additions to the family, the loss of a pet mate) grief, shocks and frights recently experienced.
- Prickliness and irritable skin, sensitivity on the surface may be reflecting his or her emotional wellbeing.
Helpful supplement/ herbal tips for skin irritations
- Support the liver with Milk Thistle to help detox
- Help the immune system with Brome lain or Quercetin (natural anti histamines)
- Help the Bowel flora to restore with Pre/ Pro-biotics,
- Add Turmeric and Honey to the diet to help settle inflammatory processes
- Omega 3 The anti-inflammatory nature of omega-3s helps prevent pain and itching, the most common symptoms of hot spots. Look for omega-3 supplements that contain EPA and DHA. Seek your veterinarian’s advice before starting your dog on any kind of supplement.
Topical support Ideas:
- (Lubrication of the skin, also Anti bacterial, anti viral, anti fungal)to apply topically, mix ½ cup of extra-virgin coconut oil and 2 drops of oil of oregano. Rub it on your dog’s itchy spots. Do it twice daily.
- For oral administration, mix between 1 teaspoon and 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin coconut oil (depending on the size of your dog) into your dog’s meal. Do it once a day.
Apple Cider Vinegar
- ½ Cup to ½ Cup of water for a topical spray
- Mix some apple cider vinegar into your dog’s food or water daily for a few days; 1 teaspoon for small dogs (up to 14 pounds), 1 tablespoon for medium dogs (15 to 34 pounds) and 2 tablespoons for large dogs (35 to 85 pounds)
- Oatmeal contains anti-irritating, anti-inflammatory and soothing properties
- Add 1½ cups of finely ground oatmeal (loosely in a muslin bag) to a big tub filled with warm water. Add a few drops of lavender essential oil. Bathe your dog in the oatmeal bath for 5 to 10 minutes. Repeat once daily until the hot spots subside.
Black tea bags
- the tannic acids present in black tea, it helps dry out the infected area and promote a gentle healing of the skin. It also helps reduce the itchiness.
- Steep a few black tea bags for 3 to 4 minutes in warm water. Remove the tea bags from the water and allow them to cool down a bit. Once cool, place the tea bags directly onto the hot spots. Let them remain on the hot spots for 5 minutes. Repeat 4 or 5 times per day until the hot spots have cleared.
· Calendula Oils/cream/ointment
· Neem Oil
· Aloe Vera
Colloidal Silver application (anti bacterial/ anti fungal)
· Chamomile tea for bathing
- A cool compress can relieve heat and itching
- Swimming in the Ocean is great for skin complaints (salt water baths alternative) But make sure your dog dries quickly and thouroughly.
- Essential oils can be helpful but many oils can cause irritation when directly applied to the skin or may be dangerous, so tread carefully here. (Tea Tree oil is poisonous!)