Many dogs are allergic to beef, chicken, corn, soy and wheat. These are precisely the same ingredients found in many brands of commercial dog food. In fact, the cheapest labels are heavy on the corn, and light on the meat.
Corn and other grains are not what dogs naturally eat. So it’s little wonder a lot of dogs are having problems.
Canine food allergies can appear in a number of disguises. The inside of your dog’s ears may become red, irritated and itchy. His eyes may also become reddened. Oftentimes, food and environmental allergies show up on the skin, in the form of hot spots.
Please understand that I’m a dog owner and not a vet. So anything you read here is only my personal opinion. Please talk to your vet before using any natural remedies.
Treatments for Dog Allergies
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If your dog has allergies, and you bring him to a regular vet, it’s likely he’ll be given drugs. These could include steroids. These drugs will make the symptoms recede. However, at the same time, they also weaken your dog’s immune system, potentially setting him up for even bigger problems.
If your dog has hot spots, or skin inflammation, antibiotics may be prescribed.
At this point, you might want to find a holistic vet. He or she might tell you that antibiotics are the best choice, for now. However, this practitioner might suggest alternatives. Antibiotics can disrupt the normal intestinal flora, potentially exacerbating the allergies.
A holistic vet will work to strengthen your dog’s immune system and to address the underlying cause of the hot spots.
Treatment for Dog Food Allergies
Your vet may suggest an elimination diet. This will likely entail putting putting your dog on a low-allergen food plan for a short time. After that, you can try to introduce old, familiar foods, one at a time, to see if your dog reacts.
Also, your vet will probably suggest feeding your pet high-quality food, instead of grain-based kibble. He or she may also recommend specific supplements to modulate the immune response. Your dog may also be put on probiotics.
You’ll like be steered away from overly processed food made predominantly from grains. Depending upon the vet, he or she may insist on home-cooked meals. Although my husband and I try our best to feed our dog nutritious table scraps, including organic raw meat, we do need to also use a high-quality grain-free kibble with antioxidants and probiotics.
We started this grain-free diet about a year ago, because our elderly dog was showing clear signs of deterioration. (I do wish I’d done this much sooner.)
Symptoms of Seasonal Allergies in Dogs
Pollen can trigger seasonal allergies in dogs, just as it can in humans. However, instead of sneezing, your dog may develop itchy and uncomfortable hot spots. Dogs can also react to other types of toxins, such as various chemicals you may use inside your home. Once you identify the culprit, you’ll want to reduce or eliminate exposure.
A holistic vet will help you come up with a treatment plan. For the long-term health of your dog, alternative vets generally recommend avoiding prednisone, a steroid, if at all possible. This drug has strong and potentially serious side effects.
I once had a kitten with asthma. This was shortly after I was married, before I knew anything about alternative medicine. We took him to a regular vet, whom recommended prednisone shots. He would have had us bringing our kitten in forever, for this “treatment.”
The shots would “magically” make the symptoms go away. We paid $75 a visit, every three weeks. We had no idea how dangerous this was.
Finally, the vet tech took me aside and told me to stop. Fortunately, we listened. Continuing would have been disastrous for the health of our pet. Our kitten outgrew the asthma. Our vet survived as well. Shortly after, he built a huge new office.
So, if you’re dealing with allergies, please find a vet you can trust. Ideally, this practitioner should be a holistic doctor or someone who’s at least open to a more natural approach.
Natural Remedies for Hot Spots in Dogs
Please understand I’m not a vet. Just a dog Mom who likes to write about her successes with natural remedies. For instance, I’ve used essential oils on my dog’s hot spot, with excellent results. Here is a recipe similar to the one that I used.
- 1 ounce of olive oil or jojoba oil (available here)
- 1 drop of lavender oil (available here)
- 1 drop of frankincense oil (available here)
Homeopathic Remedies for Dog Allergies
Our dog is now 14 years old. We’ve used homeopathy to keep him healthy. We’re blessed that we’ve had an excellent homeopath, who works with us. She has a lot of experience, both with people and with pets. However, I realize these practitioners are very hard to find. There aren’t a lot of professional homeopaths around.
Holistic Remedy for Dog Allergies
Although, ideally, you’ll probably get the best results working with a personal homeopath, there is another option. There’s a wide-spectrum homeopathic solution for dog allergies that show up on the skin. This is called Derma-IonX. It contains multiple remedies to address itchy, irritated and bald spots. The company that sells it also offers support for customers. Its staff includes two holistic vets. This product also comes with a money-back guarantee. Click to View Price.