What is an Allergy?
An allergy is an exaggerated immune response or reaction to substances that are generally not considered harmful. Atopy or atopic dermatitis is itchy skin that is caused by an allergic response to an inhaled environmental allergen. From environmental, food, and household items, dogs can have an allergic response to just about anything.
Common causes of allergies in dogs include; food, flea bites, and inhalants. Treatment methods differ based on what type of allergy your dog has. Allergy symptoms in pets develop when their immune systems begin to recognize certain substances (or allergens) as unsafe.
Symptoms of Allergies in Dogs
Licking or chewing on affected skin areas- commonly the face, ears, paws, the base of the tail, armpits, and abdomen
Recurrent ear infections
Swelling of face, mouth, ears, and/or eyes
Difficulty breathing and/or wheezing
Symptoms can vary depending on what type of allergy your dog has. Keeping track of the different symptoms your dog has is a great start to discovering what your dog could be allergic to!
Natural Treatments for Allergies in Dogs
Natural solutions for dog allergies can be used as a preventative or as a solution to already existing allergy-related symptoms! Using natural alternatives can help alleviate the symptoms associated with allergies. However, if the condition worsens, it is recommended to seek medical advice from a veterinarian.
Oatmeal contains anti-inflammatory properties that can provide instant relief for itchy skin! Oatmeal is rich in protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. There are multiple ways oatmeal can be used to treat your dog’s aggravated, itchy skin.
- Use three cups of unflavored oatmeal that has been ground in a blender and add it to a tub of lukewarm water. Stir the water until the oatmeal is dissolved and allow your dog to soak for approximately 10 to 20 minutes (Helpful Tip: have a dog that won’t sit still in the bath? Put peanut butter or another spreadable dog safe snack on the wall of the tub! This will help your dog sit still while enjoying a treat!) An oatmeal bath will help to relieve skin symptoms associated with dog allergies as well as leave your dog with a soft and shiny coat.
- Oatmeal Paste
To make an oatmeal paste, combine blended oatmeal and lukewarm water to form a spreadable paste. You can then apply the paste to the affected area of your dog’s skin. Cover the paste with a warm towel and keep your dog as still as possible for about 10 minutes to allow the oatmeal to soothe the irritated skin. Repeat up to three times a day or as needed.
- Oatmeal in Your Dog’s Food
Cook the oats in water until they become the desired texture and refrain from adding sugar or milk. Once you have cooked the oats, just simply mix into your dog’s food! You can store extra oatmeal in the refrigerator to have it ready for your dog’s next meal.The recommended amount of oatmeal varies depending on the weight of your dog. For dogs 15 pounds or less, give half a spoonful and for dogs 16 pounds or more, give a spoonful.
There are many benefits to using coconut oil as a natural remedy for dogs with irritated skin caused by allergies. Coconut oil can help improve the overall health of your dog’s skin and coat as well as help with skin conditions such as contact dermatitis and skin allergy-related symptoms. For best results, apply topically, however, coconut oil is safe for your dog to ingest!
- Apply a small amount to the affected areas of your dog’s skin. Gently massage into the skin and allow the oil to absorb. Coconut oil can be applied to your dog’s skin as frequently as needed but it will make your dog's fur oily. Coconut oil is non-toxic, so if your dog licks it off of their skin, it is perfectly safe!
- Including organic coconut oil in your dog’s diet can help to support overall health! When feeding coconut oil, slowly incorporate it into your dog’s diet to ensure it is a good option for your dog. The amount to add to your dog’s food depends on their size. We suggest 1/4 of a teaspoon for small dogs and one teaspoon for larger dogs!
Aloe vera contains natural antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties! It should only be used as a skin topical and not ingested by dogs. Aloe veras natural cooling effects provide itchy dogs instant relief and rehydrates the skin.
A unique trait of aloe vera is that it creates a seal once applied to the skin. This locks in moisture and keeps irritated skin temporarily protected from the elements! Be sure to purchase pure aloe vera containing little to zero additives as other ingredients may further irritate your dog’s skin.