Do you suffer from hay fever and dread the coming of Spring each year? Did you know that dogs can have allergies just like we do. It’s true, and they can actually be more susceptible to pollen and its symptoms; they not only breathe it in through their noses, they scamper through and roll around the source of the irritants, which then gets absorbed through the skin.
So what can you, a loving and caring pet owner, do to help relieve the pain? First, you need to know the signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction to look for, which include:
- Skin lesions
- Skin discoloration or darkening
Unfortunately, if your dog does have an allergic pollen attack, he will probably feel the affects for a month or two before it goes away.
However, once sensitized to and affected by an allergen like pollen, the allergy can return and will progress if it goes untreated. It could then becomes a problem all year long.
If your pet does show signs of an allergic reaction, do whatever is possible to have it avoid the source of the allergens. While it’s very difficult to keep an active, otherwise healthy dog indoors and away from allergens all the time, frequent bathing is the best solution to remove contaminants and reduce scratching and other symptoms.
While each dog will need a bathing regimen tailored to its breed, size and temperament, these general guideline should fit most cases:
- Shampoo and condition your dog two to three times a week, up to every other day, during the allergy season.
- When you observe your pet scratching less frequently, you can decrease baths to once a week, or more frequently, of needed
- If your pet is still in distress, increase bathing frequency to daily until the scratching decreases. You can then dial back to one or two times a week, which should maintain the level of comfort
While many people believe that too many baths can dry out a healthy dogs’ skin, an allergic dog requires frequent bathing and conditioning.
- We recommend the use a gentle hypoallergenic shampoo and conditioner, which should prevent you pet from further developing dry, itchy skin.
- You may want to have your vet prescribe a medicated shampoo and/or conditioner to help relieve the itching if he that doesn’t respond to the mild hypoallergenic shampoos, .
Other than that, there are a number of topical ointments and herbal treatments that have been reported to reduce itching and the inflammation caused by excessive scratching. Consult with your veterinarian for recommendations.
Most importantly, be observant! The sooner you recognize that your pet is in distress and begin to fight the allergies, the faster he or she will recover.
- Cheney, Joseph. "My Dog Has Allergies?” www.ohmydogsupplies.com/. Reprinted on www.DoctorDog.com. Retrieved 2012-03-10.
- Messonnier, Shawn D.V.M. "Allergy Solution for Dogs” www.DoctorDog.com. Retrieved 2012-03-10.
- “Dog Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook”. "Skin Allergies and Reactions in Dogs” pets.webmd.com/. WebMD Veterinary Reference. Retrieved 2012-03-10.
- Dog Allergy Treatments (2010-08-16). "Dog Allergy Symptoms”. Retrieved 2012-03-10.