It never fails that around this time of year, my dog starts driving me up the wall, licking and biting her paws. As aggravating as it is to me, I cannot even imagine the discomfort it causes her. Sometimes, after the hundredth time I’ve told her to stop licking, I sense her eyes pleading with me. She can’t help it, and I’m sure she’s as frustrated as I am. Thankfully, there are some natural remedies to help relieve symptoms of the allergies dogs experience this time of year. Speak to your veterinarian before trying natural remedies to be sure more serious medication isn’t needed to keep your pet comfortable.
Regular bathing and grooming
Bathing your dog frequently and brushing at least once a week can make a huge difference when it comes to calming your dog’s itchiness. Use an oatmeal shampoo like Earthbath Oatmeal and Aloe Natural Pet Shampoo, allow your dog to dry naturally, and comb his coat well. Avoid using a high heat blow dryer which can wreak havoc on your dog’s sensitive skin. Brushing well removes dead skin and coat and promotes new hair growth. Brushing can also remove allergens resting on the top of your dog’s fur.
Oatmeal as a poultice
Oatmeal can be applied directly to inflamed areas, such as paws. According to Dr. Patty Khuly, owner of Miami, Florida-based Sunset Animal Clinic, “Oatmeal is especially helpful for dogs with really itchy feet. Plus, it’s 100% non-toxic and delicious, too.” To try this home remedy to soothe your dog’s itchy feet, grind oatmeal to a fine powder and mix with water to apply as a poultice on inflamed areas. Once you’ve introduced baths to your dog, you can also add oatmeal to bathwater and allow your dog to soak for 5-10 minutes.
Heat can add to the intensity of your dog’s allergies, so it is important to keep your home appropriately cooled during warm months. In the cooler, dry months, use a humidifier. Your dog’s skin reacts to the environment similar to the way your skin does, so use the health of your skin as a gauge. Also make sure your dog gets plenty of fresh water to drink. Dogs that eat a dry food diet need more water than dogs that eat a home-cooked, raw, or wet food diet.
Calendula oil can relieve inflammation from allergies and also has anti-fungal and anti-yeast properties. When taken internally, calendula can improve the immune system. As always, make sure to consult your vet before using an essential oil on your pet. Once you have the go-ahead, you can apply calendula oil to your dog’s itchy spots. The flower petals can be applied directly or can be made into a tea and used as a wash.
Omega-3 fatty acid supplements
Omega-3 fatty acids are not only good for a dog experiencing itchiness due to allergies but can also improve the overall health of your dog by keeping your dog’s natural oils present in healthy amounts. Try Zesty Paws Pure Salmon Oil to maintain the normal moisture content in your dog’s skin and reduce the intensity of allergens. One reviewer said her dog loves the flavor so much he refuses to eat until the oil is added to his food. Others said the oil improved joint function in their older dog as well.
Use pet health resources
It is comforting to know that you can treat your dog’s allergies naturally from the comfort and safety of your home. But it is equally reassuring to know that as a PetPartners policyholder, if you have a question about your dog’s health or need advice, you can access the PetPartners Vet Helpline day or night for veterinary support. Not only can you have your pet health questions answered 24/7 but enrolling in a pet insurance policy means you are protected against unexpected eligible vet bills for conditions such as allergies. If you don’t already have pet insurance with us, get a quote today for access to our pet health resources!