If you suffer from seasonal allergies you’re well-aware how daunting spring and fall can be. Between the itchy eyes, the stuffy nose, and the constant sneezing, transitional seasons can feel more like a sentence than a gift.
If your dog suffers from allergies, she probably feels that way too.
If you’ve noticed the tell-tale signs of environmental allergies in your dog, what can you do to help? Short of giving her plenty of pets and all the good giirrrrlllllllsss you can muster, here are four ways to directly reduce your dog’s suffering.
1. Bathe Her More Frequently
Most seasonal allergies are caused by environmental particulates like pollen, dust, or dander which are in heavy bloom during both spring and fall (or all the time in temperate locations like California.) These particulates can stick to your dog’s coat for hours (or even days) after she comes inside from a bathroom break, continuing to stir up her allergy symptoms all the while.
More frequent baths, especially if your dog’s favorite potty spot is in bloom, can help keep those particulates from following her around wherever she goes. Just be sure to use a shampoo especially for sensitive skin and to talk to your vet if your dog’s skin seems dry or flaky.
2. Upgrade Her Diet
Allergic reactions are, at their core, immune system responses. It’s important you do everything you can to keep your dog’s immune system strong during allergy season. Doing that always comes back to her diet.
A filler-free dog food light on grains is typically best at keeping inflammation and illness at bay. You may also want to consider incorporating as many healthy people foods into her diet as you can to further balance her gut’s nutritional content. As with any big lifestyle change, consult your vet before you switch out your dog’s food.
3. Clean Her Eyes and Ears
Dog’s eyes and ears are two places on her body most prone to allergic reactions. Thankfully, there’s a lot you can do to help. An over-the-counter eye irrigation solution like saline can go a long way towards keeping your pooch’s eyes from swelling and itching; apply twice daily to flush her eyes of particulates.
The same holds true for ear canals, which can harbor allergens and microorganisms that quickly build up. A vet-recommended ear flushing solution used regularly helps keep those canals clear. And if your dog is showing signs of an ear infection? Make an appointment with your vet as soon as possible as these can be harder to get rid of once inflaming allergies set in.
4. Work With Your Vet
At the end of the day, your vet knows your pet best (after you, of course.) Your vet can actually help determine whether it’s allergies or something else that’s making your dog uncomfortable. In fact, some of the most common dog-related issues have symptoms very similar to those presented by seasonal allergies.
Allergy testing could include anything from skin scraping to blood tests, and your vet will know what to suggest pending the results. Be sure to ask which OTC medications you can give your dog if her allergies are really acting up, and whether she suggests any supplements or other can’t-hurt solutions.
Allergies don’t have to be a mood killer. Your dog doesn’t have to suffer through them…there’s a lot you can do to try and ease the way. Whether it’s pollen, ragweed, mites, or anything else that’s bothering your furry friend, always talk to your vet if you notice things are out of whack. Your dog will thank you. (Probably in kisses.)