It may be amusing to find out that even dogs can be affected by seasonal allergies, but dog owners who deal with these issues understand that it is no laughing matter. Allergies can drive a dog mad and make him absolutely miserable. Fortunately, there are natural remedies that may help your itchy, sneezing dog.
Symptoms and Diagnosis
A dog that suffers from seasonal allergies may display many of the same symptoms humans do, such as sneezing, a runny nose, and irritated, watery eyes. Most likely, a dog with allergies will itch — and itch and itch and itch, causing red, raw skin.
One of the best things you can do is bring your dog to the veterinarian, who can help determine what she is allergic to and avoid flareups, or keep them from getting too bad.
Your vet may suggest you give your dog allergy shots, or steroid pills such as prednisone. These can have nasty side effects, so make sure you ask a lot of questions and determine whether it is really necessary. You can also give your dog an antihistamine, such as Benadryl, to make him more comfortable.
There are natural ways to treat seasonal allergies as well. Start by limiting access to the allergens themselves; if your dog is allergic to certain grasses, limit his time spent outside and avoid areas with a lot of grass. Keep windows shut to keep pollen out of your house. Vacuum and dust your house often, in order to keep spores, pollen and dust under control. When your dog comes in from outside, wash off his paws and consider wiping his body down to remove any pollen or other allergens that may be clinging to his skin or hair.
To soothe your dog’s skin, you can give him an oatmeal bath, which will help reduce itchiness and quiet inflammation. If your dog is not allergic to chamomile, you can also brew a cup of chamomile tea, refrigerate it and apply it to his skin with a clean washcloth to help with the irritation.
There are many over-the-counter allergy treatments, both in pill and topical form, that are all-natural and geared toward pets with seasonal allergies. Talk to your vet or an animal nutritionist to see what may work best for your dog. By taking extra precautions you may be able to keep her allergy symptoms from getting out of hand. However, do not hesitate to contact your veterinarian if your dog’s symptoms get worse or if your treatments are not helping; his skin can become infected and his health and well-being could be at risk.