Temperatures are rising, we’re blinking at the first sunrays reaching us
and something else is making a come-back: Itchy eyes, runny noses and Buddy
is also acting differently from his usual self.
Every year, from February to September, people suffer from allergies that are caused by pollens. However, it is estimated that every seventh dog is already suffering from allergies as well. Those are not caused solely by pollens, because your dog’s food or the detergent you used to wash his bed might act as an irritant for his skin as well.
How do you know whether your dog is suffering from an allergy?
The most common symptom for allergies within dogs are itches, which are demonstrated by your dog trying to scratch his eyes or nose with his paw or rubbing his head on the carpet. Inflamed eyes, reddened mucous membranes and sneezing are also possible symptoms for an allergy. Unlike with a cold your dog is not going to feel lethargic and drink a lot, instead your dog would act anxious and drink less than normally.
Should you notice your dog behaving unusually while demonstrating a few of the named symptoms it is recommended to take him to a vet and find out what might be causing the possible allergy. For instance a food allergy is easier to discover and treat by giving your dog a special diet feed. A skin test would be used to determine whether your dog is suffering from a pollen allergy.
How do I care for my dog that is suffering from allergies?
Should your dog be diagnosed with a food allergy, you can just change his food to something more suitable. In case of a pollen, dust or mite allergy you will need to invest some time into your dog’s fur care. That is necessary to remove allergens from your dog’s fur, strengthen the skin’s barrier function and battle possible skin infections.
The easiest way to remove allergens is wiping your dog’s fur down with a damp towel after your daily walks. It also helps to wash his paws with cool water. Should your dog already be suffering from inflamed or injured paws you can put special little boots on his paws. Just make sure to wash them regularly as yeasts and bacteria multiply easily in the damp environment of the shoe.
For a really thorough removal of allergens you will have to bathe your dog. Make sure that your dog is standing on a non-slip surface, washed with cool water and you are working in a soft and calm manner. Your dog should get used to the bath and not develop a fear from it.
During the wash it is important to use a mild, hypoallergenic shampoo that moisturizes your dog’s fur and skin. Keep in mind that medicinal shampoos require to be left in the fur for three to ten minutes.
Bathe your dog only with a special dog shampoo which is suitable for the ph-value of dogs. The weekly dog washing with the right dog shampoo is suitable for all dog types.
Using sprays, lotions and spot-on treatments you can lessen irritations, moisturize the skin and help the skin regenerating. Sprays can be applied generously over the whole body, lotions are used only on small or very injured spots and spot-on treatments are applied to the neck or along the back.
In case of severe or chronic allergies it might be necessary to give your dog food supplements or special feed that is developed with allergic dogs in mind.
Written by: Julia A. Moor