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Allergic to Summer?

With a new (and wonderfully warm) season upon us, it’s important to pay attention to any new behaviours your dog might exhibit as they might derived from allergic reactions. Luckily for us, our good friends at Healthy Pets have given us some pointers in battling allergies.

SIGNS TO LOOK OUT FOR

Unlike humans whose allergy symptoms usually involve the respiratory tract, allergies in dogs and cats more often take the form of skin irritation or inflammation – a condition called allergic dermatitis.

If your pup has allergies, their skin will become very itchy. They'll start scratching excessively, and might bite or chew at certain areas of their body. They may rub themselves against vertical surfaces like furniture, or they may rub their face against the carpet. They’re trying to relieve the miserable itchiness by any means possible.

As the itch-scratch cycle continues, their skin will become inflamed and tender to the touch. Other signs of allergic dermatitis include areas of hair loss, open sores on the skin, and scabbing.

Pups with allergies also often have problems with their ears – especially dogs. The ear canals may be itchy and inflamed as part of a generalized allergic response, or they may grow infected with yeast or bacteria.

Signs your pup's ears are giving them problems include scratching at the ears, head shaking, and hair loss around the ears. If infection is present there will often be odor and a discharge from the ears.

HOW TO HELP OUT

While respiratory symptoms aren't common in pets with allergies, they do occur. A running nose, watery eyes, coughing and sneezing are typical allergic symptoms in both two- and four-legged allergy sufferers. You can also use allergy-fighting supplements such as:

Quercetin
Quercetin is a bioflavonoid with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. I call it 'nature's Benadryl' because it does a great job suppressing histamine release from mast cells and basophiles.

Bromelain and papain
Bromelain and papain are proteolytic enzymes that increase the absorption of quercetin, making it work more effectively. They also suppress histamine production.

Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids help decrease inflammation throughout the body. Adding them into the diet of all pets -- particularly pets struggling with seasonal environmental allergies – is very beneficial. The best sources of omega 3s are krill oil, salmon oil, tuna oil, anchovy oil and other fish body oils.

Coconut oil
Coconut oil contains lauric acid, which helps decrease the production of yeast. Using a fish body oil with coconut oil before inflammation flares up in your pet's body can help moderate or even suppress the inflammatory response.

Have you found your dog regularly itching uncontrollably after a play outside? If so, please give us a bell 09 448 2227 and we can help to pinpoint the cause!