Seasonal Allergies in Dogs: The Signs, Causes & Raw Remedies
Isn’t it true that we spend all year longing for those warm summer months? Enjoying the endless sunshine, longer days, vacations together, and nature thriving in all its brilliance. A great time for the whole family, although Summertime doesn’t come without its downsides… (for our pups included). Perhaps your dog starts to scratch more often as the temperature heats up? Or maybe you notice they’re licking the same spot repeatedly? This can be an indicator that they might be suffering from seasonal allergies. In this blog, we’re going to go over some of the most common signs, causes and explore a few of the best natural remedies out there.
As with any kind of allergy, seasonal ones can range from very mild to more severe. So, it’s important to keep an eye out to notice if your fur baby is displaying any of the most common signs of discomfort.
- Excessive scratching: this is most likely to occur in the armpit, groin, muzzle, or paw areas and is a sign that they are experiencing uncomfortable itchiness on their skin. They might also rub themselves (more than normal) on carpet or pieces of furniture, too!
- Repeatedly licking the same areas: when your pooch licks the same area over and over again, it can be a sign that they are experiencing some discomfort in the affected areas from either soreness or itchiness. Their tongues can be quite rough, so allowing them to lick themselves too much might only make matters worse!
- Frequent head shakes: have you ever seen your dog get something caught in their ear before? Their go-to for removal is to shake their head (just like they do when they’re wet!) If your four-legged friend is doing this often, it could be a clear giveaway that they have some form of ear irritation or infection. Left untreated, this could get progressively worse, so it’s important to take action as soon as you notice something’s amiss.
- Rubbing of the eye area: Listen… We all rub our eyes every now and again (especially in the morning!) However, if your dog is doing this frequently, they might be suffering from some form of irritation or infection in this area. Do their eyes look a little red or puffy? Keep reading to find out how you can help them…
Curious about what causes our dogs to come up against these discomforts? Well… There are certain elements outdoors that are only present during certain times of the year. For example: higher pollen counts, dust mites, flea bites and freshly cut grass (although those last two can happen all year round, of course!)
Seasonal allergies in dogs usually occur when they come in to contact with or inhale something they are sensitive to. Allergies happen when the immune system doesn’t mix very well with an allergen, which then causes it to respond every time it comes in to contact with that specific allergen in the environment. These flare ups are what cause some of the symptoms we’ve just listed, as it’s the body’s way of dealing with something it’s not sure what to do with. It’s important to remember that each immune system is totally unique, so what may affect one member of the pack may not cause issues for the other!
If you’ve noticed the signs above, we would recommend you speak to your dog’s veterinarian for an official diagnosis. Depending on what discomforts your dog is experiencing, they’ll most likely run a physical exam or laboratory tests. For skin allergies, a board-certified veterinary dermatologist might be your best bet - they can run skin tests measuring your pet’s reaction to tiny doses of each allergen to determine which one they are allergic to.
While there isn’t necessarily a total cure for allergies, once you know the cause of your fur baby’s problems it’s time to get to work on providing them with some relief from their symptoms so they can have a paw-some Summer, too!
In our humble opinion, raw is best! If you haven’t already, check out Monty’s Story – the very inspiration for why we do what we do here at Top Dog Food & Supply. We’ll come to relieving from the inside later, but here are some options we have cherry-picked to help settle things on the outside… Apply any of these options topically to the affected areas to calm any irritation (be sure to try just one at a time for at least one week! Every dog is different, so some may work better than others):
- Coconut Oil
- Aloe Vera Gel
- Oatmeal (grind into a fine powder and add 1:3 ratio of warm water. Let it rest on affected area for around 10 minutes, then rinse)
Now, what about providing some relief from the inside? We’ve got some fantastic supplements right here on our website that’ll be sure to get those tails wagging again! Industry-changing formulas from our friends at Venjenz should help fortify your hound’s immune system and provide them with better tools to fight those pesky allergens. Have a peek at RAMPART K9, as well as the wealth of beneficial supplements available to order via our website.
Natural remedies are also out there just waiting to be found! Let’s start with Quercetin. What is it? It’s a compound found in plants that essentially gives fruit and veggies their colour. Quercetin is bursting with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, which could help with reducing itchiness and swelling for your doggo.
Fish Oil & Turmeric: these are another couple of great supplements for their anti-inflammatory properties that should be worth considering.
Of course, be sure to speak with your veterinarian before starting with any supplements and weigh your dog to calculate the correct dosage.
You Do You
Allergies in dogs are very common and can come from many different things. Flare ups may come in waves, too! While these might be a pain in the *WOOF!*, there are things you can do to alleviate the side effects. Stay consistent with it until you find something that works for your dog, so you and your sidekick can get back out there and enjoy all your usual antics again!
N.B. it’s always important to contact your veterinarian for some advice if you notice any sign of irritation or infection on your four-legged friend.