Unleashing Ways to Give Relief to Your Dog with Seasonal Allergies

Welcome to spring time in Texas! Seasonal allergies may find you sneezing and reaching for the tissue box. But allergic reactions to trees, plants and grass in your dog may cause him to lick, scratch and nibble on his itchy skin and paws.

The Dallas metroplex actually ranks 19th among the worst cities in the United States for allergies due to its high pollen count, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

Can I get an achoo? Pollen from ragweed, cedar tree and grass do not discriminate, impacting people and pets. Mold and dust can also cause havoc.

Sadly, some dogs suffer from allergies year-round due to have sensitivities to certain foods or because of a side effect from a medication. But for this article, let’s hone in on helping canines coping with seasonal allergies. They may display any or all of these signs:

* Itchy skin

* Red, swollen spots on the skin (also known as hot spots)

* Scratching their bodies and ears

* Ear infections (that can be smell like dirty socks)

* Rolling on the grass or rubbing against furniture

* Excessive licking and nibbling the paws, belly and back

* Coughing

* Wheezing

* Nasal discharge and runny eyes


How can you offer relief for your dog? For starters, report any of the above-mentioned signs in your dog to your veterinarian without delay. The quicker your dog can be examined, the better chance he has for a specific treatment to ease his discomfort. In some cases, a veterinarian may prescribe topical and oral antibiotics, antihistamines or hydrocortisone sprays or creams.

You can do your part to unleash relief in your dog by considering these strategies:

* Wet and wipe. Get in the habit of using a warm, damp hand towel and wiping your dog’s paws and body after you both finish a long walk. This helps remove any pollen or allergens from your dog’s body.

* Dust and vacuum more often. You would be surprised by all the pollen and allergens that linger on surfaces and flooring. They act like magnets to your dog’s skin and paws.

* Change your air filters regularly. During allergy season, you may need to change them more frequently.

* Team up with your veterinarian. Seek recommendations from your veterinarian on selecting a gentle, hypoallergenic shampoo best suited for your dog’s coat and health condition. Also chat about the best natural supplements to give your dog to ease itchiness and boost skin health. Your dog may benefit by supplements containing coconut oil or fish oil (loaded with omega-3 and -6 fatty acids) and organic turmeric.

* Step up laundry duties. Wash and dry your dog’s bed and any throws you use on your furniture to boot out allergens weekly. And, gently use a damp washcloth to wash your dog’s favorite soft toys.

We can’t hit the pause button on pollen this spring in Texas, but by considering this game plan outlined, we can ease the seasonal allergic reactions in our dogs.

— Arden Moore is the founder of Pet First Aid 4U, best-selling author of host of the Oh Behave Show on Pet Life Radio. www.ardenmoore.com.