Itching, raw and irritated skin, recurring ear infections, restless nights, extreme discomfort… Do these symptoms sound familiar?
If your pet has allergies, you know all too well the discomfort and pain they suffer. Unfortunately, seasonal allergies are very common in dogs and cats.
“The most common condition I treat at my animal hospital is allergies. Unlike humans, who present with runny noses, coughing, sneezing, or red, watery eyes, pets develop skin infections, ear infections, and itchiness as a response to an allergen,” according to Dr. Alison Birken, Victoria Park Animal Hospital.
And just like people, most pets that suffer from allergies, especially seasonal allergies, will do so their entire lives. Finding the best home remedies for seasonal allergies in dogs is the key to keeping pets happy while keeping symptoms at bay.
Best Home Remedies to Help with Seasonal Allergies in Dogs
While it can be frustrating to see your pet in this state, there are both home remedies and veterinary care options to help manage clinical signs and relieve flare-ups, itchiness, and discomfort.
Today, we want to focus on five ways to treat seasonal allergies in dogs using home remedies.
Your Pet’s Diet: Food as Medicine
The specific ingredients you use to nourish your pet can actually provide medical and health benefits. A proper diet is one of the most important yet easiest things you can do to help alleviate your pets’ allergies at home.
The practice of Eastern Food Therapy (EFT) utilizes diet to treat and prevent certain conditions. In EFT, external symptoms are seen as manifestations of imbalances within the body. Balance can be restored with whole foods to nourish, replenish, and soothe the body from the inside out.
And you can apply these same EFT practices to your pets, too!
Based on your pet’s body imbalances, your pet is categorized as warm, neutral, or cool. Pets suffering from allergies, manifesting as itchiness, red skin, and ear infections, fall into a warming category and benefit from cooling ingredient diets.
By providing your pet with a balanced, whole food diet of cooling ingredients, like rabbit, duck, carrots, and blueberries, you can soothe your pet’s internal heat imbalance.
“One of the most effective home remedies for seasonal allergies in dogs and cats is changing food and diet,” says Dr. Birken. “A large part of my natural approach to allergies is evaluating pets’ body’s whole systems (not just parts appearing to be affected). Using EFT in my practice, I diagnose imbalances to reestablish a whole-body balance. I work with pet parents to transition to diets that support healthy bodies and immune systems, combating allergies and other diseases in the process.”
Supplements to Enhance and Boost Cooling Effects
Omega-3s – Omega-3s have incredible anti-inflammatory properties that many dogs need during allergy season. Omega-3 fatty acids provide optimal nourishment to the skin and coat and even help relieve joint pain! They also help skin retain moisture and hydration.
“A key part of my treatment protocol when helping to manage allergies is Omega-3 fatty acids. Supplements rich in Omega-3s, like Side by Side’s Shine Through Supplement, also help brain and cell function,” says Dr. Birken.
Probiotics – Allergy symptoms worsen if the digestive system is out of balance. Having a healthy gastrointestinal tract is essential for dogs as all food nutrients are absorbed and assimilated here.
Probiotics help bring balance and harmony to the gastrointestinal tract.
“A healthy gut is essential in ensuring my patients have strong immune systems. And a strong immune system supports healthy skin. I prescribe Belly Balance Probiotics as part of my treatment plan when managing pet allergies,” says Dr. Birken.
Medicated Oatmeal and Aloe Baths
A medicated shampoo or soothing bath containing colloidal oatmeal and aloe vera can help relieve itchiness for your pet.
Aloe contains acemannan (a glycoprotein), which provides relief from itching and inflammation.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Another great home remedy for seasonal allergies in dogs and cats comes straight from your kitchen. Apple cider vinegar is mildly acidic and contains antibacterial properties that are good for your pet’s skin.
Diluted apple cider vinegar (⅓ apple cider vinegar to ⅔ water) can be used as a supplement in your pet’s diet, or you can apply it topically on skin lesions. Be sure to keep the quantity small when using as a diet supplement, approximately 1 teaspoon of the diluted mixture is sufficient.
Licking and biting at the paws is one of the most common manifestations of allergies.
A foot soak with cool water and Epsom salt is a simple home remedy for seasonal dog allergies. This treatment can relieve inflammation and itchiness, especially when pets come inside from playing outdoors.
Final Thoughts on Treating Your Dog’s Seasonal Allergies with Home Remedies
Pet allergies are tough, and nothing is worse than seeing your fur baby uncomfortable. Your pet’s ability to combat allergies starts with a healthy, balanced, and strong body.
While medications exist to soothe allergies, the battle really starts inside with a healthy diet of appropriate ingredients and supplements to prepare for allergy season.
“With cooling properties, I suggest Side by Side Pet Cooling Pork and Duck air-dried patties as a healthy diet for dogs suffering with seasonal allergies,” says Dr. Birken. “The duck helps nourish and provide moisture to lungs and kidneys and the chamomile provides soothing relief & helps to boost the immune system.”