Many of us are tormented by seasonal allergies, each of us with stories of reactions ranging from mild bother to complete torment. Our dogs, while they may not show it in the same way, can also be the victims of seasonal allergies.
Seasonal allergies are due to an imbalance in the immune response dogs have to allergens such as grass pollens, house dust mites, and more. Common reactions to seasonal allergies in pets include scratching and biting, paw-licking, and excessive shedding. More serious symptoms can involve ear infections, inflamed skin, and respiratory issues.
Taking action against your dog’s seasonal allergies could vastly improve their quality of life, especially if they’re experiencing some of the more extreme side-effects. Luckily, even the most effective precautions an owner can take are both simple and in-line with good health habits in general.
Here are three tips on combating your dog’s seasonal allergies.
1. Balanced Diet
Most of us feed our dogs formulated kibble or wet dog food. It’s easy, we’re familiar with the format, and we know our dogs like it. What we may not be familiar with is just what’s inside our dogs’ food. The first step in a balanced diet for your dog is education. Read up on your dog’s brand of food, learn what ingredients to avoid, and discover what’s right for your dog.
Additionally, introducing things into your dog’s diet can be a big help. Fish and plant-based oils contain omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids which promote growth and repair, skin health and hair health.
Leafy greens can provide a health boost to your dog’s diet and play a role in combating seasonal allergies. If your dog is down, experiment with dandelion leaves, spinach, lettuce and celery. These are known as cooling foods which provide health benefits to the liver and skin.
2. Proper Grooming
The physical particles that cause seasonal allergies can end up in your dog’s fur and on their skin. Regular and appropriate amounts of grooming can benefit your dog by ensuring these particles don’t remain there for long, causing persistent issues or discomfort.
Generally, most dogs only need one bath per month unless they get into something unusually messy. When bath time does come around, consider using a natural shampoos. Many shampoos on store shelves contain harsh soaps that wash protective oils from your dog’s skin and fur. These oils keep coats shiny and skin moisturized. After trips to the park leave dirt and allergens on your dog, a simple rinse and dry is more than enough in between regular baths.
Brushing is another key part of grooming. Brushing will keep your dog looking fresh, feeling good, and promote healthy skin and fur. Try brushing your dog once a week. It provides bonding time between dog and parent and will reduce the amount of pet dander found in your home. Older dogs can especially benefit from a good brushing as they may not be able to groom themselves as effectively as they used to.
3. Immune Health
A direct and intentional focus on your dog’s immune health is another major way to combat seasonal allergies. Since seasonal allergies play out in the immune system, an internal health approach to the issue is an essential part of the mix.
Vitamin supplements can really round out your pet’s diet and provide a long line of benefits. Vivamune™ is a once-daily chew with immune-supporting properties and, unlike most allergy medication, no side effects. OxC-beta, the proprietary active ingredient in Vivamune™, supports the immune system bringing it back into balance and so helping dogs with seasonal allergies naturally.
There are very few supplements for dogs that support the immune system directly and therefore medications dampen the immune response so that there is no response – OxC-beta supports the immune system so that there is a normal response.