Prevention Of Pet Allergies
Before we look at some possible natural remedies, it is important to note that you can do a few things to reduce your risk of exposure to pet allergens.
Clean well: clean the floors, curtains and furniture as thoroughly as you can. Make dusting and cleaning easier: Consider replacing your carpet with tiling and reduce clutter from areas that dander may cling to. Filter your air Keep your pets out of the home if possible but make sure you dont allow them into the family bedrooms.
Treating Allergies In Pets
The first thing your veterinarian will do is rule out anything else that may be causing the symptoms your pet is experiencing. After this, they may do allergy testing to verify the cause of the allergy. Some allergies are pretty easy to diagnose while some, like a food allergy, can take more time. Blood tests and skin tests are often performed.
Allergy treatment is based on avoiding or removing the allergen if possible. With food allergies, this will require careful label reading once the allergen is identified.
Flea allergy treatment is aimed at reducing symptoms and eliminating fleas. Flea removal and a preventative will be necessary. Your vet may initially recommend a treatment with Nitenpyram that kills fleas immediately, followed by a preventative that will break the life cycle of the fleas.
You will also need to treat your home to ensure that no more fleas can make themselves at home on your pet. The vet may also recommend an anti-itch cream or corticosteroids to reduce the inflammation on your pets skin.
If your dog has seasonal or environmental allergies, then treatment will focus on reducing symptoms, unless it’s something you can eliminate from your home. Your vet may recommend a short course of steroids, a medication like Apoquel or Atopica to relieve itching, or even a human anti-histamine like Benadryl . There are longer-term injectable treatments available as well if your dog has severe allergies.
Pet Allergens Are Everywhere
Many people are allergic to pet dander, which can be suspended in the air like pollenX pollen A fine, powdery substance, typically yellow, consisting of microscopic grains discharged from the male part of a flower called stamens or from the male cone of a tree.. They are called aeroallergens. Dander collects on surfaces like carpets, upholstered furniture, curtains and mattresses. Because it travels easily through the air, these allergens may also cling to your clothes and hair and are easily transferred in public settings where animals arent present, like schools and offices. If you suddenly start sneezing at work, one of the causes may be your new cat-loving co-worker.
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Types Of Doggie Allergy Supplements
- Chews. To a dog, chews are just another kind of solid treat that they get to eat.
- Tablets. Some allergy supplements are tablets that you can hide inside soft treats.
- Liquids. Liquid canine allergy supplements can be dribbled over kibble so dogs have no idea theyre eating something extra special.
- Powder. Like liquid supplements, a teaspoon or two of powder is sprinkled on dog food to sneakily support your dogs health.
Environmental Changes To Help Reduce Allergy Symptoms In Dogs
As discussed in the section on the types of allergies, there are often multiple factors contributing to flare ups , which gives opportunity for various avenues of control. Treatments that can work synergistically with allergy medicine for dogs to help reduce symptoms include:
In addition to spreading diseases like Bartonella, fleas can contribute to allergy flare-ups in dogs. If your dog is flea allergic, all it takes is the saliva from the one bite of a flea to trigger an allergic flare-up.
Therefore, it is important to keep your dog on year-round flea prevention. Flea preventatives come in oral and topical treatments. Please talk with your veterinarian about which preventative is best for your dog.
Medicated shampoo for dogs
Medicated shampoos can be used to treat fungal and bacterial infections as well as reduce the number of allergens that build up in your dogs fur. Most protocols involve bathing your dog one to two times per week and letting the shampoo sit for a contact time of 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing it off. Talk with your veterinarian about which shampoos and bathing frequency would be best for your dog.
Also, simply wiping a dogs body and paws down with a cold, wet washcloth after being outdoors will remove allergens from the coat and can help reduce allergy symptoms for dogs with environmental allergies.
Vacuuming/washing pet beds
Bottom line on environmental changes for dogs with allergies
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Immunotherapy: The Gold Standard In Treating Environmental Allergies In Dogs
When it comes to treating environmental allergies in dogs, the gold standard is immunotherapy. Similar to allergy shots in people, this treatment works by slowly exposing the dogs immune system to the allergen until the immune system no longer reacts to it.
The immunotherapy is given as an injection under the skin once every one to three weeks or as a medication that is given under the tongue every 12 hours.
Benefits of immunotherapy as an allergy medication for dogs
There are many benefits of immunotherapy. Instead of suppressing the immune system, the treatment is directly targeted to the allergens that specifically trigger that dogs immune system. A skin test or blood test is used to determine which allergens are a problem for that dog, and the immunotherapy is customized based on that information.
Between 50% to 80% of dogs on immunotherapy show improvement in allergy symptoms after a year of treatment.
Downsides to immunotherapy as a medication for dogs with allergies
There are some downsides to immunotherapy. First, because the immune system is being stimulated instead of suppressed, there is a low risk of a serious allergic reaction. Second, therapy is a lengthy process, usually taking between six to 12 months. B ecause no standard protocol exists, results can vary, and dogs may need to remain on immunotherapy for the rest of their lives to maintain control of their environmental allergies.
The bottom line on immunotherapy for dogs with environmental allergies
Causes Of Dog Allergies
You may have heard that some dog breeds trigger allergy symptoms while others don’t, or that short-haired dogs are safe while long-haired dogs prone to shedding are not. But on the whole, experts say that isn’t the case. In fact, two dogs of the same breed can each give off very different levels of allergen.
It’s not the dog’s hair or fur that’s the real problem. Instead, people are usually allergic to the dander — flakes of dead skin — as well as the saliva and urine. So, no matter how long or short the hair, any dog can potentially cause an allergic reaction.
You might wonder why dog dander has such an effect on you. People with allergies have oversensitive immune systems. Their bodies overreact to harmless substances — like dog dander — and attack it as they would bacteria or viruses. The sneezing and watery eyes are just the side effects of the body’s attempt to destroy or flush out the allergen.
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Home Remedies For Dog Skin Allergies
There are several things you can do to help increase the comfort of your dog dealing with skin allergies.
Baths are going to be great, but if you cant get your dog to remain calm in a bathtub then there are a couple of other tactics you can do. This list of natural dog remedies comes to use from our friends over atPet MD.
Vitamin E for Dogs with Dry Skin
Vitamin E can be great for your dog’s dry skin.
You can give your pup a massage by applying vitamin E oil directly to the skin, a soaking bath with vitamin E added to the water, or you can go give your dog a vitamin E pill.
If you give the vitamin orally, check with your vet on the recommended dosage for your specific dog breed.
Yogurt and Acidophilus for Dogs for Yeast Infections
Plain yogurt is a healthy treat for Fido. The live acidophilus in the yogurt can keep the good bacteria in your dog’s intestines in balance and gets rid of the bad bacteria.
If your dog is on antibiotics, a little yogurt can also help keep yeast infections at bay.
You can also give your dog acidophilus pills if he doesnt like the taste of yogurt.
Puppies are especially prone to yeast infections, so a little plain yogurt as a snack can help keep things in balance especially useful while the intestinal system is building immunities.
Chamomile Tea for Dogs
Chamomile tea can alleviates minor skin irritations.
Just cool in the fridge and spray onto the affected area on your dog’s raw skin.
Oatmeal to Reduce Itching
Epsom Salt Bath for Dogs’ Wounds
What Can I Give My Dog For Antihistamine
Known mainly as Benadryl or diphenhydramine, diphenhydramine is an antihistamine that treats allergies in humans as well as animals. If one of your dogs needs to travel long distances using this remedy, then it could also be useful to relieve the symptoms of motion sickness. Several dogs are perfectly safe with a dosage of Benadryl of only a few drops.
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Treatment For Pet Allergies
If you have an allergy to pet dander, dont panic getting rid of your furry friend is not your only choice!
While removing your dog or cat from your home may ultimately be necessary for anyone who experiences severe animal allergies, choosing the right allergy relief product can be a big help. A product like FLONASE can help treat your allergy symptoms while also allowing you to keep your beloved companion.
FLONASE Allergy Relief helps to relieve your worst pet allergy symptoms including nasal congestion, sneezing, itchy, watery eyes and a runny nose. FLONASE goes directly into the nose to provide 24-hour relief at the source of your allergies. No matter which allergy symptoms you might get from your pets, FLONASE works hard to ensure that any symptoms caused by pet dander and other airborne allergens wont get in your way. Discover other FLONASE products for you and your family to try.
Here are some other things you can do to help manage your cat or dog allergies at home if you decide to keep your pet:2
You can also take a look at 5 ways to reduce pet allergens in your home for more tips and tricks on managing pet allergies as a pet owner.
1. Pet Allergies. Mayo Clinic. Accessed 7/7/2021. See source doc for referenced text.
3. Pet Allergy . American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. Accessed 14/05/20.
An Action Plan For Fighting Pet Allergies
You can minimize allergens by keeping your house nice and clean. A big step in fighting pet allergies is to make your house more livable for you and less hospitable for allergens:²
Bathe your pets at least once a week
Invest in an air purifier with a certified allergy and asthma filter
Keep pets out of the bedroom
Wash your hands with soap routinely throughout the day
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How Do Dog Allergy Supplements Work
Dog allergy supplements include ingredients that help our canines fight specific allergens. Supplements aid canine immune systems and work to minimize allergy symptoms like inflammation and itchiness.
Dogs with skin and environmental allergies may benefit from supplements that include omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids.
For dogs with environmental allergies, supplementing omega 3s can be very beneficial, but with food allergies, you have to be careful about the flavoring, says Dr. Erica Irish, DVM. Also, fish oil is usually contraindicated .
Its always a good idea to ask your veterinarian if a specific supplement is an appropriate choice for your dog.
What Ingredients To Look For
- Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.Fish oil is often featured in supplements as it contains omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids that naturally aid promote cognitive function, eye function, heart health, and also relieves allergies, joint pain, and itchy skin.
- Probiotics. Many probiotics contain zinc, which can help chronic itching and hot spots.
- Antihistamines. Antihistamines can be given to dogs, but may not be as effective as they are for people. According to VeterinaryPartner, antihistamines dont provide short-term or long-term relief for dogs.
- Vitamin C. Vitamin C plays an important role in your dogs health as it helps reduce inflammation, fights infections, and improves joint health.
- Turmeric. Beyond being tasty in Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine, turmeric naturally aids digestion, is antibacterial, and provides pain relief. Some studies have looked at tumeric treating arthritis in dogs, but more research is needed.
- Vitamin E. Dogs need vitamin E to help their muscles and cells function properly.
Vitamin E is good for skin health but already a part of regular commercial diets, so over-supplementation can be problematic.
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Cat Allergies In Infants
There is ongoing debate among scientists whether infants who are exposed to animals at a very young age are destined to develop allergies, or if the opposite is true. Recent studies have come to conflicting conclusions. A 2015 study found that exposing infants to cats and dogs at home is associated with a higher risk of developing allergies during the first four years of the childs life.
On the other hand, a 2011 study found that babies who live with cats, especially during the first year of life, develop antibodies to the pet and were less likely to acquire an allergy later.
A 2017 study found that cats and dogs may provide a benefit by exposing babies to certain healthy bacteria early in life. The study concluded that babies exposed to a cat or dog in the home during pregnancy may have fewer problems with allergies in the future than babies who werent exposed.
Your doctor will be able to answer questions you may have about your baby and your cat. For children who are allergic, removing fabric toys and stuffed animals and replacing them with plastic or washable ones may help relieve symptoms.
Avoidance is best to prevent the allergies in the first place. But if you discover youre allergic to your cat, there are other options than getting rid of your pet. Consider these strategies for reducing your symptoms.
Common Causes Of Dog Allergies
Dogs face allergic reactions from three sources: flea bites, airborne allergens and food.
- Flea bites: According to PetMD, flea bite allergies are among the most common skin conditions in dogs. Some reactions occur after a single bite. Common reactions are itching and inflammation of the skin. Depending on the severity of the itch, dogs can scratch until they lose hair or even draw blood.
- Airborne allergens: Dogs can suffer from airborne allergies just like humans. Also like humans, these can be seasonal or year-round. Most dogs develop itchy skin in reaction but sneezing and coughing/wheezing can sometimes occur. According to PetMD, common sources are pollen, mold and dust mites.
- Food: Dogs can also suffer from food allergies. Common symptoms are breathing and digestive issues, ear infections, itchy faces and sneezing. According to PetMD, most reactions come from proteins such as lamb and fish. Some dogs also react to grains.
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Clean Clean And Clean Some More
Theres no way around cleaning to keep the allergen level tolerable. Whenever possible, enlist the help of a family member who does not suffer from pet allergies. Youll become a vacuuming whiz in no time and should also steam clean the carpet regularly. If its feasible, ditch the carpet altogether in favor of hard-surface flooring that does not trap allergens. Wash all bedding often . If your pet likes to lounge on upholstered furniture, cover the furniture and wash the covers often. Wipe down walls and smooth surfaces. Eliminate clutter that can hide allergens.
How To Treat Dog Allergies With Prescription Medicine
Sometimes, home remedies for dog allergies are not enough, and you need something from your veterinarian that is prescription strength to stop the itch. Fortunately, there are many products available that can be used alone or in combination with home remedies for dog allergies to provide the right amount of relief for your dog. Always make sure you tell the vet what OTC and holistic remedies you are currently giving your dog, as they can potentially interact with prescription meds.
- Prescription topical treatments
- Allergy shots
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What Causes Allergies In Dogs
There are three major causes of dog allergies: fleas, inhaled triggers, and food.
Flea saliva delivered through a flea bite is the most common trigger for canine allergies. Up to 40% of dogs suffer from flea allergy dermatitis, and as few as one or two bites can bring on symptoms. Afflicted pooches will generally bite and scratch at the spot vigorously, further inflaming the area and sometimes even wearing away the fur. The result can be hot spots areas of reddened, inflamed skin that often weep clear fluid or blood which can drive your dog to itchy distraction.
Inhaled or airborne allergens are the next most common category, affecting around 15% of dogs. These allergens are also the common cause of hay fever and seasonal allergies in people and include pollens, molds, dust mites, and mildew. While some of these allergens are seasonal, others linger all year long. Unlike allergic humans, who usually develop respiratory symptoms such as sneezing, congestion, runny nose, and runny eyes when exposed to these triggers, allergic dogs generally itch and will scratch or lick themselves in an effort to gain relief.
Understand Your Pet Allergies
It is important to see a doctor and be tested to determine what allergies you actually have. You may find that you’re allergic to something else and not your pet at all! For example, you may assume that you are allergic to your beloved dog, only to find out through an allergy test that you’re actually allergic to a specific tree pollen that got on his fur during a walk together, and that’s actually what’s bothering you.
If an allergy test shows that you are allergic to your pet, it is important to understand what causes your allergic reaction to them. There are allergy-triggering proteins called allergens in saliva and skin glands that cling to an animal’s dry skin and fur. The fur and dander then stick to walls, carpets and clothing.
The reaction of someone to these allergens is different from one person to the next. The reaction may range from mild sniffling and sneezing to life-threatening asthma. The reaction can be made worse if a person is additionally exposed to other things he is allergic too, such as pollen, dust mites, cigarette smoke, and mold.
Whether someone has an allergic reaction depends on both the individual person and the individual animal. A person with animal allergies may react less to dogs with soft, constantly growing hair, or one specific cat or dog may cause more or less of an allergic reaction than another animal of that same breed.
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