6 Ways to Ease Allergy Symptoms of Your Dog
While the saying ‘dogs are just like their owners' refers primarily to looks and unique character traits, it also relates to the fact that dogs can suffer from the same diseases as we do – cancer, arthritis, epilepsy, or, like in this case, allergies. Not unlike people, dogs can struggle from seasonal allergies and severe reactions to particular allergens that might even result in an anaphylactic shock.
Skin and food allergies, as well as acute allergic reactions, are the three types of allergies in dogs. They are frequently accompanied by a slew of noticeable symptoms, including itchiness, swelling, inflamed skin, chronic ear infections, and others. Being aware of these symptoms will allow you to respond to them in a timely and effective manner.
However, if you have a dog that is allergic to something, you can do a few other things to help your pet feel better. They range from giving your pet Benadryl to using CBD for pets to implementing changes in its diet, among other things. Continue reading to learn more about dealing with allergy symptoms in dogs.
Benadryl is a drug that is widely available and routinely prescribed by vets – it is an antihistamine with an active ingredient called diphenhydramine that is used to treat allergic reactions. It will not cure the allergy completely, but it will most likely help alleviate symptoms such as itching, inflammation, hives, and swelling. A veterinarian determines how much Benadryl to give a dog, depending on its weight and considering other health conditions.
Benadryl is available in liquid and pill form so that you can choose the most convenient one for you. Benadryl can also be used topically (gels and creams) and in the form of injections – the latter might be necessary based on the symptoms. If your dog has been diagnosed with a serious allergy condition, it is essential to keep Benadryl on hand at all times – you never know when an allergic reaction may occur.
Although Benadryl is generally well tolerated by dogs, improper dosage or presence of certain health conditions might result in adverse side effects, such as changes in appetite, vomiting, increased heart rate, etc. For that reason, you must always consult the vet first.
CBD for Pets
CBD for pets is among the most popular alternatives to Benadryl and medications alike that can help your dog deal with severe allergy symptoms. CBD has been shown to have beneficial effects on dogs suffering from other ailments such as anxiety, seizures, osteoarthritis, and more.
CBD oil for dogs works in several ways:
- provides relief from pain and inflammation
- relieves stress and anxiety
- helps maintain balance in the body's endocannabinoid system
- regulates response to allergens and toxins
- reduces itchiness, inflammation, swelling, and redness
- improves the quality of sleep
While you can apply CBD oil for pets topically to alleviate itchiness caused by skin irritation or inflammation, it is best to give it to your pet orally as a supplement in the form of chews or capsules to reduce inflammation and inflammation-induced pain. Although CBD is a much safer option, you should still consult a vet before using CBD-based products for your dog as it may interact with other medications.
Ask Your Vet About Sublingual Immunotherapy
Sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT), sometimes known as oral immunotherapy (OIT), is a relatively new treatment method for allergies that involves giving your dog small amounts of allergens. This way, the pet's immune system gets used to allergens and reacts less severely to them. SLIT can be used to treat various allergies in dogs, including food, fleas, pollen, and others, and it is used mainly for dealing with canine atomic dermatitis.
It is recommended that you first consult with your vet before starting a treatment with sublingual immunotherapy. Your vet will test your dog for allergen sensitivity and determine which allergens should be used for the treatment. SPLIT is given orally between the cheeks and gums one to two times per day, making it a more likable treatment option for dog owners who don't want to give injections to their pets.
Change Your Dog's Diet
Some dog breeds are known to be prone to developing certain allergies (such as skin allergies), while others are more likely to suffer from food allergies. If your dog suffers from the latter, giving it a different diet will likely help ease allergy symptoms – hypoallergenic diets are designed to minimize the risk of these allergies.
They include ingredients safe for your pet's sensitive stomach and immune system that won't trigger any allergic reactions. The diet is also easy to digest and helps improve your dog's digestive health in general. Still, despite many brands on the market claiming their food is hypoallergenic, you should always read the labels and pay attention to the ingredients in kibble's composition.
Change the Air Conditioning Filter Regularly
Some dogs are allergic to certain airborne allergens such as pollen, dust mites, mold, mildew, or even pet dander. For example, dust mites are microscopic bugs that live in carpets, rugs, beds, and upholstered furniture. They feed on dead human skin cells and dander, which they get from pet hair and skin flakes. Breathing in allergens can cause an allergic reaction and lead to inflammation of the skin, as well as itching, redness, and irritation.
So, if your dog is allergic to any of the airborne allergens, changing the air conditioning filter in your home regularly – once a month – will go a long way in helping it deal with allergy symptoms. As a bonus, doing so will also improve the air quality in your home, removing harmful pollutants and bacteria.
Use Hypoallergenic Shampoos and Treatments
If your dog suffers from a skin allergy, regular bathing using anti-allergy shampoo will help relieve some of the symptoms. However, you should not use this shampoo too often, or your dog might develop dry skin.
Similarly, you can try using special sprays on your pet's skin. These sprays are available over-the-counter and contain ingredients that can help reduce itching and swelling. For example, some sprays contain aloe vera that helps soothe irritated skin and relieve pain. Additionally, you can use anti-itch creams such as hydrocortisone creams and lotions.
It is essential to understand that these products do not cure allergies, but they can help reduce the early-stage symptoms and prevent infection from occurring. Keeping them at hand is helpful, but you should not postpone seeing your vet when the first symptoms appear.
Dogs can suffer from allergies and severe reactions to allergens just like humans do. However, taking care of your dog's health is not always easy when it is in a constant state of discomfort. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to help it feel better and even prevent allergic reactions from occurring.
If your dog is allergic to something, make sure to consult with your vet before administering any medications or supplements so that you know how to proceed. Allergic reactions in dogs can be life-threatening, so you should be prepared and take the proper precautions accordingly. Addressing the first allergy symptoms timely will allow you to avoid severe allergic reactions in your dog, keeping it healthy and happy at all times.