Pet Allergies: From Start to Scratch

 

allergies

When we think of allergies what often comes to mind is coughing and sneezing with itchy, watery, red eyes. However, for our four legged friends this is not always the case.

Allergies present in a completely different way in dogs than they do in humans! Pet allergies are often shown in their skin and ears and our four legged friends can feel pretty miserable. Some warning signs might be chewing on their feet until they are red and irritated, rubbing their face on carpet, scratching, recurrent ear infections (because of the wax-producing glands of the ear overproduce), hair loss, and in some cases, they may develop “hot spots” which is when the skin becomes inflamed and infected.

If your dog has tender skin, it is most likely a result of chewing and scratching, which not surprisingly is also the cause of hair loss. When the skin becomes raw, it also becomes more susceptible to bacterial infections so if you see these signs in your dog, take them to the vet right away. Your vet will likely also want to rule out any other causes for your pet’s symptoms before treating them for seasonal allergies.

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Now let’s talk about dry skin for a little bit. Do you live in climate with low humidity? When a dog has allergies, their skin may be itchy but that might also be a reaction to climate rather than allergies. For instance, during the winter months, both weather and temperature can play into what happens with your pet’s skin.

You can tell if your pup has dry skin by just giving Fido a once over. Much like people, dogs get dandruff! If a soft touch by you sends your pup into an itching frenzy (or you see the flakes that don’t melt!), it’s likely they have dry skin. Keep reading for tips on how to address this itchy problem!

Diet is also an important consideration in your dog’s skin and well-being! Dry pet foods can have a dehydrating effect on skin and fur, so if you must feed kibble, adding digestive enzymes to your dog’s meals can help improve the release of nutrients and beneficial probiotic bacteria. A healthy gut makes for a happy pup!

There is good news!

Once allergies are diagnosed and Buddy is prescribed an antihistamine or oral steroids such as Prednisone for a bad allergy attack, they can make a quick recovery. However, if your pet is also battling a bacterial skin condition from a hot spot, antibiotics and a skin soothing shampoo such as this one from EarthBath (one of our favorites!) will get your pooch on the road to recovery.

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Much like the probiotics, there are some other things you can do to help your dog heal from the inside out. Try giving them a high-quality fish oil or even some coconut oil. Both of these things will help your dog’s coat shine, but also help their skin if it is irritated from scratching too much. Lastly, it has the added bonus of improving digestion and can also help to suppress those allergies so Fido can have more fun outside with less sneezing!

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