Friday, June 26, 2015

Tips to Help Your Dog Cope with Seasonal Allergies

It's that time again!  No, not party time - seasonal allergy time!  OK, I get it, no cheers for allergies - I suffer from them and they are nothing short of annoying.  I have compiled a few of my favorite tips for coping with canine seasonal allergies to hopefully help you provide relief to your itchy pup.

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Signs of Seasonal Allergies

In my experience, seasonal allergies have presented themselves in a very obvious manner with these symptoms being most prominent:
  • Constant itching, licking, or biting in the same area(s) (my area is the side of my chest)
  • Pink(er than normal) skin, particularly around the eyes and ears (for me, at least)
  • More than usual chewing on paws or legs
I can always rock a tutu, no matter how itchy I get!

What you can do

There are a few things that my humans do at home to help me cope with seasonal allergies, and I am hopeful that they will help you, too:

  • Anti-Itch Baths.  OK, these are not a cure all.  In fact, we have tried many different anti-itch shampoos and our favorite (so far) is the FURminator Itch Relief Ultra Premium Shampoo .  It is not going to cure the allergies, but it will provide some relief.  We [try] to do an anti-itch bath once a week to help calm the itching down.
  • Wiping paws after walks.  It takes a little extra effort, but it helps to clean any grass, pollen, or other offending material off of your pup's paws. Make sure to use a hypo-allergenic bath wipe (we use Earthbath All Natural Hypo-Allergenic and Fragrance-Free Grooming Wipes - they even sell wipes for cats ) and clean all of the grooves in dog's paws.  Doing this regularly should help reduce the amount of allergens that your dog brings into the house after a walk.
  • Hypoallergenic Food.  If your pet's allergies seem to require more than regular cleaning, you may want to consider a hypoallergenic food.  Your vet should be able to discuss this option with you (and, quite frankly offer better prices in some circumstances).  I recently started on the Royal Canin Potato Whitefish Formula and it has worked wonders!  Again, not a cure all, but it has definitely provided relief.  Plus, it tastes awesome (from this dog's perspective, at least)!
  • Talk to your vet.  If the allergies seem to be making your dog uncomfortable (like mine), and none of the above remedies seem to help, please talk to your vet.  (S)he can discuss different prescription options to help give your pet some more relief.  Be prepared to do some trial and error:  the first medication that I took made me really aggressive and essentially turned me into the hulk. Even the neighbors noticed.  

Have patience, seasonal allergies is something that many dogs deal with and overcome.  The seasons will change, and the allergies will get better!  Do you have any allergy-coping tips that I haven't mentioned?  I'd love to hear about it in the comments!

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