Spring, summer and fall are beautiful seasons, but they're also the time of the year when pesky environmental allergens are likely to cause dogs to scratch, itch, bite or chew after they've been in the great outdoors. However, dog owners can do a few things to prevent seasonal allergies.
Pollen, mold, mildew and dust mites are allergens that cause seasonal allergies in humans as well as dogs. Like humans, dogs may show allergy symptoms like sneezing, itching and runny nose and eyes--but more often symptoms present as dermatitis, or skin issues, like itchy skin, hair loss or rashes. Unlike food allergies, which present whenever a dog eats offending food stuff, seasonal allergies are intermittent throughout the year.
One way to prevent seasonal dog allergies is to monitor the pollen count, just as you would do for yourself if you have allergies. When the count is high, keep your dog inside except for quick potty jaunts outside. You can find daily pollen counts on a variety of online weather websites, and it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with the months your area is experiences high pollen and dust counts, like spring and autumn.
Keep a clean house to help reduce pesky allergens. Therefore, as you enter the house, use baby wipes or a wet towel to clean off your dog's paws to eliminate tracking pollen and other allergens into your living area. As prevention, you should also remove your shoes, which can track in allergens. In addition, vacuum and dust your house regularly, including changing the dog's bedding, to reduce dust mites.
Serious grooming also helps to prevent your dog from experiencing seasonal allergies. Baths not only give relief to a dog who is itching, but they also wash away the offending allergens from the coat and skin. At least once a week baths can be very effective. However, over-bathing can cause your dog's skin to dry out--which also causes itching--so use a grain-free, or oatmeal-free, shampoo. Look for shampoos for sensitive skin.
Giving your dog supplements can have a beneficial impact on seasonal allergies. According to Dr. Karen Becker, a proactive and integrative wellness veterinarian, giving your pup allergy-fighting supplements like quercetin, a bioflavonoid with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, can suppress histamine--which cause the allergic response--from being produced. She also recommends the enzymes bromelain and papain to increase the absorption of quercetin, and omega-3 fatty acids to decrease inflammation and coconut oil to decrease the production of yeast.
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