Dogs can develop seasonal allergies like humans, and it’s just as uncomfortable for them. The symptoms they experience can be intense, affecting their ears, eyes, skin, nose, paws, and other parts of their body.
Signs your dog may be suffering from allergies
- Excessive shedding
- Biting and licking their skin and anal glands
- Butt scooting
- Chronic ear infections
- Inflamed ears or skin
- Pawing at their face
- Sneezing without an obvious trigger
- Dark skin
If your dog experiences seasonal allergies, here are some ways to alleviate their symptoms and help them feel better.
Identify the root issue
The first thing you want to do is find out the root of the issue. For instance, if your dog is constantly licking its paws, this is a sign of irritated skin. It might be caused by allergies or it might be something different.
Before treating your dog for allergies, it’s important to see a vet and rule out other causes. For example, dogs who lick their paws often have a gut flora imbalance that can sometimes stem from parasites, which has a very specific treatment protocol.
Also, make sure the allergic reaction isn’t caused by food. Common food allergies include beef, chicken, lamb, and even sweet potato. These issues need to be addressed by a dietary change.
However, even if your dog doesn’t currently have food allergies, they can develop out of nowhere. As a precaution, when dealing with seasonal allergies, avoid the foods known to cause allergic reactions.
Once your vet rules out other issues, there are several ways you can help you furry friend get relief from seasonal allergies.
Clean your dog’s ears
Seasonal allergies often affect a dog’s ears, and the impact can range from mild to severe. Vet-formulated products like Dermabliss can help your dog get relief. If you notice your dog’s ears are itchy, red, or warm to the touch, the skin is likely inflamed from their immune system’s response to an allergen.
It’s common for allergens to physically make their way into a dog’s ear. You can use a gentle ear cleaning solution to remove them along with other debris, including excess wax. Just avoid sticking anything in your dog’s ear canal to clean deeper. That should only be done by your dog’s vet.
Once you clean their ears, you can use a natural, gentle ointment that contains soothing ingredients, like aloe vera or tea tree oil to soothe their skin.
Talk to your vet about Benadryl
Benadryl can do wonders to help your dog get relief from allergy symptoms, like sneezing, itching, coughing, hives, and watery eyes. However, don’t give your dog Benadryl without first consulting with their vet to determine the proper dose. Benadryl is an antihistamine that can cross the blood-brain barrier, which makes it highly effective, but also risky.
Use a topical spray to prevent itching
A simple anti-itch spray will do wonders to help your dog get relief from seasonal allergies. You’ll have to apply it periodically throughout the day, but it will help them feel much better.
There are many different sprays you can get, most of which contain soothing ingredients, like tea tree oil. You can also get a hydrocortisone spray.
Bathe your dog with medicated shampoo
Sometimes dogs produce excessive yeast from allergies and other issues. If your dog’s skin is turning black, or their fur is turning red/orange, that’s a sign of yeast and it can be alleviated with medicated shampoo. If they already have a yeast issue, the itching can get worse with allergens, so treat both issues at the same time.
Yeast overproduction is also a sign of a gut imbalance, so while you can treat it topically, it’s important to resolve it at the root. Usually, this can be done with probiotics or a parasite remedy.
Reduce your dog’s exposure to allergens
It helps to know exactly what your dog is allergic to so you can limit their exposure. However, if you aren’t sure what’s causing their symptoms, do your best to reduce or eliminate exposure to known, common allergens.
Common allergens include:
- Tree pollens
- Grass pollens
- Weed pollens
- Dust mites
- Mold and mildew
Use steroids as a last resort
While some dogs are on steroids, like prednisone, for allergies, it’s hard on their bodies. It’s good to try other remedies first; ask your vet to exhaust all options before getting a prescription for steroids.
Talk to your dog’s vet about an allergy relief plan
Seasonal allergies don’t just go away after a few months. They come back year after year. If your dog is showing symptoms of allergies, work with their vet to create a year-round allergy relief plan to keep them feeling good.