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How to combat seasonal allergies

March 12th, 2018

An allergy is an abnormal response to something in the environment. It is very common in people and is the same in dogs. A substance capable of causing an allergy is called an allergen. People, dogs and other animals that are allergic need only come into contact with very small amounts of allergen to cause the reaction, the symptoms.

Skin problems in dogs are commonly caused by allergic inhalant dermatitis (hay fever, atopy). While humans have mast cells in the respiratory passages that become inflamed and cause sneezing, dogs inhale the pollen but develop atopy in the skin. Dogs don’t usually sneeze with atopy; most are itchy which causes them to lick, chew and scratch.*

When your dog suffers with inhalant allergies it’s impossible to avoid the allergens as the pollen is pretty much everywhere, even though surprisingly, only about 1% of the total weight of a pollen contains the allergic portion! This doesn’t sound too bad, however when you consider that the ragweed plant can produce 1 billion pollen grains and most pollens and molds can travel 30 miles in the wind … that’s pretty impossible to avoid them.*

There are a few ways we can minimize the effects of the inhalant allergies, the natural way.

  1. Apply Paw Butter – if your dog gets irritated paws (redness, excessive licking after a walk) and redness or rash on the skin on his belly, you can apply the Paw Butter on these areas before the walkies. Because the Paw Butter is oil-based, not water-based like creams, it stays on the skin longer and makes a film, a protective layer on the skin. The butter will not only protect the skin from the allergens but it will also moisturise the skin, and it’s both antipruritic and anti-inflammatory.
  2.  Use Apple cider vinegar mixed with water to rinse for your dog’s feet. You can make a 50/50 mixture in a spray bottle and apply directly onto your dog’s paws. Don’t use it on open wounds!
  3. If your dog already has an allergic reaction on his skin you can use Skin Relief. It is specially designed for dogs suffering from allergies. The cooling and anti-inflammatory properties of Skin Relief will reduce the redness very quickly, it will also reduce the itchiness, and the peppermint oil in the spray helps with the pain relief.
  4. What are you feeding your dog? I am a big advocate of raw feeding, because I can see the benefits in my dogs. Well balanced raw food is easier for the body to digest and the nutrients are absorbed more efficiently. A raw food diet also strengthens your dog’s immune system, and helps fight the allergens. I even tried this on me. Of course I don’t eat raw meat, bones & offal … but a few years ago I switched to a plant based diet. My summer hay fever is minimal, and I haven’t had an antihistamine for about 3 years.
  5. Add coconut oil to your dog’s diet. Coconut oil has many benefits including:

Reduces allergic reactions

Anti-inflammatory

Boosts the immune system

Aids the digestion system

 

 

 

6. Honey contains small amounts of bee pollen, beeswax and propolis, and they have the ability to help with pollen allergies. As we already know, an allergy is caused by certain pollen which you will also find in your local raw honey. By consuming your local raw honey, you or your dog, will naturally develop immunity to the pollen and the adverse effects will be reduced.

* Ackerman, L., D.V.M. ; Skin and haircoat problems in dogs ; Alpine Publications, 1994

 

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What People Say...

When we got home from the hospital with our new arrival it was clear that Perri, one of our miniature poodles, maternal instincts kicked in and went into overdrive. She was immediately acting like a mother separated from her pups and just wanted to care for the ‘naked puppy’. She has a history of being so motherly, even to the point that she has produced milk for puppies that aren’t hers even before she had a litter and has mothered every type of animal she could. She was panting, pacing and unable to relax for long at all. She could whine for England!

We tried other herbal remedies we had at hand for a previous anxious dog and nothing worked at all. She stopped eating and stressed herself into overheating too. Her stress was starting to impact the other dogs and she just couldn’t unwind. No matter if we worked off her energy with a walk and she wasn’t even interested in her usual mind games or call games. We also couldn’t offer long-lasting treats and chews too often as they gave her an upset stomach.

As soon as the Calming Floral Spray arrived I gave the bed a spritz and put some on her coat and the change was instant. She just got on her bed and fell asleep. She stopped panting and barely whines now, started eating again and she only does a bit of whining if the baby cries. We have now been able to positively reinforce her calm behaviour. I honestly can’t recommend this enough to people.
Natalie Griffiths