Watery eyes, sneezing, itching all over…these are symptoms that we commonly associate with seasonal allergies for us two-legged animals, but did you know that our pets can suffer from these airborne irritants just as often as we do? While we can pop an antihistamine when symptoms become unbearable, are there other options for our fur-kids? Let’s find out!
Common Signs of Seasonal Allergies
The most common first sign of any kind of allergies is itchy, dry skin. Your pet may scratch her neck, ears, head, bite at his legs, back and tail. This excessive itching can cause swelling, irritation, and in some cases, hair loss, sores and hotspots. Although itchy skin is the most common sign of a seasonal allergy, some pets may also experience watery eyes, sneezing, inflamed ears, and/or runny nose- just like us!
How Can We Help?
As we mentioned in our previous post highlighting Omega Oils, a good quality fish oil will do wonders for your pet’s dry skin. Another oil you can utilize for relieving skin irritations is coconut oil. Coconut oil contains lauric acid, which helps to decrease the production of yeast- one of the main factors in ear inflammation. Using both a fish oil and coconut oil together can actually help moderate or even suppress inflammation of both the skin and ear canal.
Although bathing too often does strip your pet’s coat of necessary oils, using a calming shampoo specifically formulated for sensitive and dry skin can really make a difference in your pet’s comfort. A good-quality, chemical-free shampoo with soothing ingredients like oatmeal, aloe vera, tea tree oil and/or orange peel oil will soothe the skin while washing away any allergens that may have settled on the skin and coat. You may also want to invest in a soothing deep conditioner- if your pet is comfortable in the bath, an extra five minutes with this creamy concoction will make a huge difference in the texture of the coat and the flaking skin. Cleaning your pet’s feet when they come in from outside will also lesson the amount of potential allergens being tracked into the areas they frequent- this can either be done with a foot bath by the door, or even by a few swipes of a grooming wipe.
There are also dietary and environmental changes you can institute that will help ease your pet’s symptoms. Including a immune-boosting supplement will help to lesson the sevarity of your pet’s reactions, since allergies are, in part, an immune system response. Vacuuming and cleaning frequently will also cut down on allergens settling on floors and other surfaces, and investing in an air purifier will benefit both your family and your pet, by removing the majority of airborne allergens. Also, making sure your pet is eating a high-quality diet with very low to no grain content will keep the reactions at bay, long-term.
If you find that your pet is still scratching itself raw, it is safe to give him or her antihistamines, but make sure the active ingredient is Cetirizine Hydrochloride (commonly known as Reactine brand), and is not the non-drowsy option. Although a more common antihistamine overall, Benadryl does not work as effectively in your pet’s system. Before you give your pet any type of medication, always check with your vet for the proper dosage.
Helpful Products to Pick Up From Spaw Boutique!
Earthbath Grooming Products– Earthbath is a full-service line of grooming product that utilize natural oils and cleansers, instead of harsh chemicals and sulphates. Their shampoos and conditioners are completely biodegradable, also. Earthbath has a large selection of shampoos, with three blends specifically formulated for skin issues- Oatmeal & Aloe, Eucalyptus & Peppermint, Tea Tree & Aloe. They also have a fantastic line of grooming wipes, with scents like Mango Tango, Green Tea, and the delicious cherry-scented Puppy wipes.
Organic Slobbers– Slobbers is a high-quality, Ontario-based company that produces only certified organic treats, and they have also introduced an organic coconut oil to their roster. Coconut oil smells great and is very easy to administer, since the delicious coconut flavour matches it’s scent.
Big Country Raw– BCR is a frozen raw food manufacturer, but they also offer a line of supplements and treats. BCR carries a benefit-packed herring oil, which is less strong (both in taste and aroma) than salmon oil, making it a great option for pet’s that don’t love a strong, fishy flavour. Since there are so many benefits to feeding a good-quality fish oil, it is definitely a supplement that can be fed daily, all year.