Have you ever noticed that your doggie is scratching, biting or licking themselves more than normal? It could be allergies. Just like humans, the change in the weather and the increase in pollen counts can spark allergies for dogs, and this often manifests in itchy skin and sudden rashes.
Luckily, these issues are very common, and there are plenty of things you can do to help your dog be more comfortable.
WHAT ARE SEASONAL ALLERGIES?
When a dog is allergic to pollen, mold, or other seasonal irritants, their immune system signals trouble, resulting in histamine being released into their bloodstream. This is a very natural response and it works for the majority of the time. However, seasonal changes create a larger volume of these irritants resulting in an overabundance of histamines and thus stress to your dog’s immune system.
SIGNS & SYMPTOMS OF SEASONAL ALLERGIES
While you may experience post-nasal drip, some congestion, and plenty of sneezing when the flowers bloom and the ragweed spreads, seasonal allergies work a little differently for canines.
Some common signs of seasonal allergies in dogs include:
Scratching or biting, oftentimes to the point of visible skin irritation
Eyes that are watery, itchy, red, or gunky
Excessive shedding or dry flaky skin
Ears that are itchy, smelly, or red and waxy
Head shaking, as if to dry themselves off
Rubbing head and/or body against surfaces
Paw licking, often repeatedly until wet
Scooting or licking their rear end
All signs and symptoms do not need to be present. Your dog may only experience one or a few of these symptoms but could still be suffering from seasonal allergies. When a dog rubs up against items like a couch or carpet, they are more-often-than-not itching. Something as simple as tilting their nose upward and swallowing or licking the air can indicate postnasal drip.
Keep in mind that dogs are generally very stoic when it comes to pain and discomfort. This means if your dog is itching or licking enough for you to notice the change in behavior or skin appearance, it's likely that he is experiencing significant irritation.
These signs may also seem to come and go if your dog is outside (or in the house) more for a few days or if whatever is causing the reaction blooms.
THINGS YOU CAN DO TO HELP
Any time you think your dog may be suffering from a skin allergy, it's always a good idea to cover your bases with a vet visit. While there are plenty of over-the-counter things you can do to help your dog, itching and skin rashes can also be indicative of a larger issue, such as ringworm or a food allergy, so it's important to make your vet aware of the issues your dog is experiencing so they can rule out anything more serious and give you advice on at-home treatments.
If it's seasonal allergies your dog is suffering from, these issues are very common, and there are plenty of things you can do to help your dog be more comfortable.
1. MORE FREQUENT BATHING
While this may seem counter-intuitive, washing your dog more often keeps the allergen from staying on the skin, and there are skin-calming shampoos that can make a big difference if your dog is experiencing red, itchy skin.
High-quality ingredients make a big difference in keeping your dog’s skin and coat in optimal condition.
✅ Vitamin E:Reduces flakiness and supports healthy skin and coat. Vitamin E is great for a dog’s health as it protects the skin from solar radiation by defending against free-radicals
✅ Shea Butter:Softens and hydrates dry skin and offers natural skin protection. Shea butter protects your dog’s skin by creating a barrier with its fatty acids (oleic, stearic, linoleic, and palmitic), and minimizes inflammation. Excellent for dermatitis and allergic reactions
✅ Coconut Extract:Hydrates dry, dehydrated skin and adds shine. This ingredient tends to have similar benefits to shea butter, while also boosting collagen levels
Additionally, what’s not in your dog’s shampoo has a lot to do with the support of a healthy immune system. People looking for a solution to help alleviate their dog’s seasonal allergies tend to steer clear of products with the following:
❌ Soap:Modifies pH and thus destroys good bacteria along with bad bacteria.
❌ Parabens:Disrupts hormone function by mimicking estrogen.
❌ Sulfates:Creates lather, and can damage hair follicles.
❌ Detergents: Harmful to the ecosystem, destroying plant and animal life.
2. FUN T-SHIRTS
If your dog is experiencing issues on the belly or the armpit region -- especially common on more wrinkly breeds because the skin folds hold onto moisture -- a doggie T-shirt keeps these areas out of reach. Bonus points for those with cute sayings that show off your dog's personality.
3. HOT SPOT TREATMENTS
These are usually liquids that come in a spray or sponge-topped bottle, and they have bittering ingredients that keep your dog from wanting to lick those spots.
Make sure to look for a treatment that doesn't include alcohol and says it's safe for open wounds to ensure it doesn't burn your pup.
Omega fatty acids provide a powerful defense against seasonal allergies. These essential fatty acids act as a natural antihistamine and inflammation fighter, while also boosting the immune system. These supplements work best when given year-round, and in combination with synergistic ingredients so that your dog’s defense system operates optimally and is ready to provide natural allergy relief as needed.
Here’s what to look for in quality omega supplements for your dog:
Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil:Exceedingly high in both EPA and DHA regulates immunity, reduces inflammation, and prevents skin allergies.
Omega 3, 6, and 9:Helps immune regulation, decreases inflammation, and fights off infection.
Apple Cider Vinegar:Improves digestion and helps balance pH levels.
Bee Pollen:Contains the natural antihistamine Quercetin, all essential amino acids (40% protein), over 20 minerals (including calcium, magnesium, iron, etc.), over 10 vitamins (A, B, C, K, E, etc.,), enzymes, and 14 beneficial fatty acids.
Kelp:Contains 60 different vitamins, minerals, and trace elements (especially iodine) as well as 21 amino acids, as well as reduces itching and inflammation from skin allergies.
Licorice Root: Contains glycyrrhizin, closely resembles naturally occurring corticosteroids, that provides immune support, anti-microbial, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Hemp Powder: Rich in omega fatty acids, vitamin E and protein that helps control inflammation, promotes healthy cellular growth and reduces common skin issues.
Vitamin E (d-alpha tocopherol):This natural vitamin E is 36 percent better than synthetic.
Hyaluronic Acid: Naturally found in tissues and fluids, including joint cartilage and fluid, this ingredient decreases joint inflammation and supports cellular functions
If over-the-counter treatments aren't making a difference or you feel like your dog's symptoms are worsening, a trip back to the vet is the best bet. Your vet may be able to recommend a prescription treatment like Cytopoint, Apoquel or hydroxyzine or refer you to a veterinary dermatologist who can do more testing to determine if the underlying issues might be something like a food allergy.
If you believe it is seasonal allergies your pup is suffering from or if you've been looking for something to help improve their skin and coat health, we encourage you to give ourSalmon Omega soft chewsa try!
Our team worked tirelessly creating a comprehensive Salmon Omega chew that contains evidence-based ingredients that have been shown to be effective in promoting a healthy coat and skin, improved immunity, allergy support, and more. Coupled with our amazing 2-in-1 shampoo plus conditioner that provides relief to dry, itchy skin, your pup will be looking good and feeling great!
Help give your dog relief from seasonal allergies and improve their immune support.