How to Help Your Dog Deal with Allergies

We all know somebody who’s allergic to pet dander, but did you know that dogs can suffer from seasonal allergies too? It’s not uncommon for our canine friends to suffer reactions to pollen, ragweed, mold, and other nuisances. And whenever the weather changes - which is pretty much a constant occurrence - your dog’s immune system can become irritated. While medications can help ease canine allergies, there are some simple steps you can take that won’t involve multiple, expensive trips to the vet. (Of course, if your dog does seem to have a more serious allergy, such as to food or environmental triggers, you should certainly consult with your veterinarian about the best approach.)

  • Take a bath.

    Your dog’s tongue can only do so much to keep his or her skin and fur clean, so a regular bath, using an approved dog shampoo and conditioner, will certainly help revitalize those outer layers. There are many options available, so check the ingredients first. After all, you wouldn’t want to treat a skin allergy with a product that will aggravate a food allergy.

  • Get grooming.

    Once you’ve started bathing your dog regularly, take some time to comb the fur, preferably with a flea comb that will remove the dirt they leave behind. Check the claws for irritation, and use a paw soak to remove any bacteria that may be trotted in from outdoors. Use grooming wipes after you come in from a walk to remove unwanted guests.

  • Keep it clean.

    A messy home can be a wonderful breeding ground for environmental irritants. Because dust, mold, and mildew can be a bother to us humans, that’s a good enough reason to run the vacuum regularly, whether you’ve got carpets, bare floors, or both. Check your air quality - air purifiers and HEPA filters are available at your local hardware store - and if you smoke, don’t do it near your dog. If your dog has a favorite bed, blanket, or chew toy, wash those regularly too.

  • Switch up the menu.

    If your dog eats the same food every day, there is a possibility that he or she may have developed an allergy to something in it. A little variety can help flush out whatever might be causing the problem, so consider gradually changing to another brand of food. Then, after a few months, change back to the old favorite.

  • Supplement the diet.

    Some allergies may be so severe that medication is necessary to help control it, but you can also give your dog natural supplements, which provide herbal remedies, biotins, Omega-3 fatty acids, and other safe ingredients.

  • And as always, keep ’em hydrated. A dog needs plenty of water every day, so be sure to keep that bowl clean and filled with a fresh supply.

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