Much like humans, our furry friends can suffer from seasonal allergies from grass and pollen. Their symptoms may present differently, but they are just as miserable. A veterinarian can diagnose your dog and come up with a successful treatment plan, and there are some home remedies that may help him feel better.
Can dogs be allergic to grass?
We may not think of dogs as having seasonal allergies, but they can in fact have them. According to petMD, "Canines allergic to grass and flora usually develop dermatitis, itchy patches of skin." Dogs may also have symptoms similar to humans but not as severe, such as scratchy throats, watery eyes, and runny noses. If you notice your dog is scratching more than usual or biting her skin, bring her to your vet to determine if she is allergic to grass.
There are several natural ways to provide allergy relief for dogs. PetMD suggests omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce inflammation and soothe irritated and flaky skin. You can administer it topically on his skin or give it to him orally. Try using fish oils and flaxseed oil and see how your dog responds to it.
Allergy medicine for dogs
Your vet may prescribe corticosteroids either as a pill or in injectable form. "Steroids are extremely effective for relieving severe itching and inflammation," says Animal Planet. The downside is that steroids can have some unpleasant side effects. Some of these side effects include weight gain, hyperactivity, and depression. Due to these side effects, the lowest dose possible should always be used. Antihistamines can work for dogs with allergies and can be used alone or in combination with steroids. They can have a sedating effect on some dogs and can cause hyperactivity in others. Therefore, it may take some trial and error for your vet to find which antihistamine works best for your dog. Animal Planet adds that each animal will respond differently to each antihistamine, so you may have to try several different antihistamines before finding the best one for your pet.
Fish and sweet potato diet
Another option is switching your dog to a fish and sweet potato diet. Try this diet for six weeks to see if there is an improvement. You can purchase commercial dog food with this recipe. Fish is a great protein for dogs because it does not have the allergy-producing effect that chicken, turkey, or beef may have. Sweet potatoes are a carbohydrate but are gluten free and a good alternative to wheat. PetMD recommends buying a commercial dog food with fish and sweet potatoes instead of making it yourself because it can be difficult to get all the nutrients your dog needs into a home-cooked meal.
Using colloidal oatmeal
Another natural option is colloidal oatmeal used topically. You can grind it up into a thin, fine paste and coat your dog's fur with it. PetMD recommends it because the oatmeal draws out heat and moisturizes dry and irritated skin. Oatmeal is safe for dogs to eat, so if your dog starts licking it off, it is completely fine. In addition to being soothing, it can also draw out allergens like pollen and mold spores that get absorbed into your dog's fur.
Using floral oils
Floral oils can also be very soothing for a dog's skin. Try using lavender, tea tree, and calendula flower oils. PetMD states that they have anti-inflammatory properties that can help dogs feel better. However, floral oils should only be used topically and should never be ingested because they are toxic. Tea tree oil in particularly can be very toxic for dogs, so always dilute it with a lot of water and monitor your dog to make sure she is not licking it and ingesting it. These oils will also make your dog smell great as an added bonus.
Using aloe vera
If you have used aloe vera on sunburned skin or a burned hand, you know how refreshing and cooling it can feel. You can buy it at the drugstore or use it fresh from the plant if you have it growing at home. If buying it at a drugstore, look carefully at the ingredients. PetMD advises that aloe vera lotion without alcohol is best because alcohol can burn a dog's skin. This is to be used topically and can also help with any redness.
Once you understand the cause of your dog's symptoms and allergies, he can feel his best. You may need to help your pet avoid his allergens, change his diet, or take medication. Your dog will be back to his old self.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.