Having a dog with allergy issues can be incredibly frustrating… for you and your dog.
Allergies have many “faces” and can present themselves in many forms:
- itchy skin
- inflamed skin
- recurring ear infections
- non-stop scratching at ears, paws, face and back that drive you crazy
Your vet may have prescribed a seasonal dose of cortisone and anti-histamines, but to your frustration the itching persists. You have tried expensive oils and supplements with high dosages of Omegas to moisturise his skin. You have changed to prescription diets, nothing helps, and you are at your wits’ end … Seasonal allergies really shouldn’t last this long, should they?
Not only are allergies frustrating, but if you are exposing your dog to unaddressed allergens, in most cases treating the symptoms might not be the solution.
Allergies are immune system responses that cause your dog’s body to go a little haywire in response to a trigger. No matter what you do to treat them, if your dog is exposed to allergens, the problems and discomfort will continue. The trick is to figure out what these allergens are.
There can be a variety of reasons for your pet’s itchy, scratchy skin condition, including environmental allergies or food sensitivities.
In dogs, more than 50% of allergies are caused by the world around them.
The most common symptom of an allergy is skin irritation – itching, scratching and licking.
ITCHY SKIN, RED UNDERBELLY AND DULL COAT
Together, these signs can indicate an allergy. Your dog itches constantly without relief, possibly causing hair loss in the affected patches.
What It Looks Like: Skin underneath the hair is red or pink, dry, and inflamed. No relief with baths, conditioners, or over-the-counter allergy medications. Excessive, near-constant scratching.
What It Means: Environmental allergies, possibly food allergies.
Let’s look at some of the causes:
Environmental allergies: Your dog may be allergic to grass, pollen, dust mites or mould spores. These allergens are often
seasonal and can start from an early age. The dog’s skin is a crucial barrier to allergens, making proper skin care a priority.
Parasites: Fleas, lice and mites can be a constant nuisance to many pets. Some pets are particularly sensitive, and even a single fleabite can cause a skin irritation!
Adverse reactions to food: Certain ingredients in commercial pet foods, such as grains, chicken, beef, milk products, fish or wheat and preservatives, can also be the cause of allergies.
Infection: Bacterial and fungal infections can cause skin problems.
Hormonal imbalance: Pets with too much or too little of certain hormones are prone to skin issues.
Breed disposition: Certain breeds of pets can be predisposed to skin conditions too. Such as bulldogs, beagles, Labradors and various terrier breeds, particularly bull terriers. Some skin conditions can be cleared up quickly, while others need lifelong management. The good news is, soothing the itch can be as simple as changing your pet’s diet.
NATURAL STEPS TO MANAGE AND IMPROVE YOUR DOG’S SKIN CONDITIONS
1. Switch Your Dog To A Good Balanced Raw Diet:
Avoid starchy carbohydrates as much as possible … they can aggravate skin conditions. And never feed any foods with preservatives, colourings or other chemicals.
This is the first step for any health issue. Dogs with severe gut problems may need to have special care and an individually designed diet. You should also add plenty of vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, leafy greens, and zucchini to help filter toxins.
2. Use Herbs To Detoxify Your Dog
This will help clear toxins from his gut, liver, lymphatics and kidneys. Here is the best way to detoxify and support your dog’s gut and immune system: Feed a clean, raw diet (it’s worth repeating a second time). The following dried organic herbs will be beneficial and help your dog manage allergy reactions: Calendula – Chamomile – Parsley – Burdock – Nettle – Dandelion
3. Repair The Gut
Since most of the immune system lives in your dog’s gut, you need to address his gut health. The best way to do this is to feed your dog high quality probiotics daily for several months.
The probiotics will balance the bacteria in the gut and restore the health of the immune system.
4. Avoid Environmental Toxins
It is all good and well that you are detoxing your dog; however, you’ll want to make sure you’re not adding new toxins… If you do, his skin condition will continue. Go through your home and remove as many chemicals and artificial fragrances as you can (they’re very toxic).
5. Reduce Stress
Last, but not least, reduce any stress in the humans and dogs in the household. Emotional stress is a big trigger for skin conditions. Take time out as a family to relax, meditate and exercise. If there is major stress going on, get help to process and move through it. If your dog has stress, anxiety or trauma, think about training or body work. It will all help!