Help with Seasonal Allergies
If your dog suffers from seasonal allergies, taking action before symptoms kick in will help ease the suffering. For some dogs allergies manifest as itchy, flaky skin and the degree of scratching can range from minor to maddening. For others, there may be an added complication of inflamed, red skin and even hot spots or yeast.
Allergy symptoms are either an overreaction or an under-reaction of the immune system, so supporting and balancing the system is key. And if your dog is hot, red, or suffers from hot spots, you’ll also need to address the heat from within.
It’s our belief that you’ll never cure allergies without feeding a fresh, whole food diet, or at least one that is mostly whole food based. Why? Kibble is highly processed starch; it’s a biologically inappropriate diet for a dog (or a human for that matter). Like ours, a dog’s body thrives on real food. Skin needs fresh, unadulterated fat and protein. The gut likes fibre. The body craves moisture. These are key elements when it comes to supporting your allergic dog.
So if not kibble, then what? Our choices in order of preference:
- A balanced raw diet
- From a manufacturer who provides a guaranteed analysis and produces products in a human grade facility.
- Rotate proteins.
- A balanced, gently cooked diet
- Many commercial options are available. If your dog isn’t yeasty, and only has seasonal allergies, they’ll likely do well on a diet that contains a moderate amount of carbs. Low carb options cost a bit more.
DIY diets are fine, but only if you work with a qualified advisor to ensure they’re properly balanced. Homemade diets are very often lacking in key nutrients that play a huge role in skin health, such as zinc.
- Dehydrated or freeze dried raw
- Be sure to rotate proteins.
Whenever you can, add some moisture-rich additions such as fresh meats/fish, kefir, bone broth, or pureed veg and berries.
- High quality kibble with fresh additions.
- Provide 30 - 50% calories through fresh food.
- Do not add starch like rice or potatoes. Kibble has more than enough starch (that’s how it’s held together).
- Use fresh protein (poultry, red meat, fish, eggs) and fresh produce like greens, squash, and berries.
- If you’re replacing only 30%, you won’t need to balance the topper, but do have variety in rotation. Above 30% you should use a balanced commercial product or create your own balanced meals with the help of a professional.
Can supplements actually help? Yes!
Since allergy symptoms are the result of an immune system that’s reacting inappropriately, we need to correct it. The addition of an herbal product called Cessorex will balance the immune system. You’ll see this taking place as the itching calms down and the skin begins to heal.
Think of the gut microbiome as the command center for overall wellness. We need to protect the bugs on deck so they can steer the ship correctly!
First: Feed them well. This is where fibre comes in, because they need it to thrive.
Second: Protect them. They really dislike drugs such as tick meds, and antibiotics. They’re also sensitive to chronic stress.
Probiotics help support gut and skin health, especially if there’s yeast. Sunday Sundae and Love Bugs have shown to be effective with many of our customers.
FEED THE SKIN
A high quality omega fatty acid is key. It feeds the skin (among many other important parts of the body) and reduces inflammation. This is a whole other topic, but choose one with EPA and DHA in a triglyceride form that does not come with a pump (unless it’s airless).
Leading up to allergy season and throughout, add unpasteurized, LOCAL, raw honey to your dog’s food at the rate of ¼ tsp per 10 lb. To be effective, it must come from an area close to where you live. This will help prepare your dog’s system for the pollen that affects them … sort of like an inoculation. *raw honey is not meant for dogs under the age 12 months*
If you want to help relieve symptoms, find quercetin (nicknamed nature’s benadryl).
We love Skin & Coat (Biologic Vet) because not only does it contain this natural antihistamine, it also provides added zinc and digestive enzymes that help metabolize it as well as their food.
If there’s yeast on the skin’s surface, it must be eliminated, otherwise it will continue to feed itself. Sometimes you need pharmaceutical strength cleansers, but if not, there are natural shampoos that do wonders when it comes to fighting bacteria.
Once your pup is cleansed, apply a natural, antibacterial rinse. You can purchase one or make one. 4-Legger’s Restore works great! Natural hot spot sprays can help speed up healing and relieve discomfort too.
Generally speaking, if your dog’s allergic to the environment, you should wipe them down with a clean, damp cloth after each outing. Be sure to wipe their paws too. Air filters in the home help a great deal as well.
View our complete Allergy Support Collection.
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