Is your dog is constantly itching, scratching, and biting at his skin and fur? You’ve tried changing his grooming routine, special shampoos, and medications with no luck. We checked in with our friends at NomNomNow.com and their veterinarian, Dr. Justin Shmalberg, who offer some natural solutions to treat your dog’s skin allergies:
Probiotics are beneficial to humans and have been shown to improve dog’s skin allergies quickly and efficiently. Cultures like Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus bifidus can be great to give young dogs as a preventative measure, while also being used in skin allergy treatment for dogs of all ages. Even more, probiotics have a ton of other digestive benefits and are a relatively inexpensive way to give your pup an all-around health boost. How to give your dog probiotics: Add probiotics to every meal, per serving size on the package. Ideally, your pup will consume around 2-10 billion CFUs per day.
Ditching Kibble (and Other Processed Foods)
Processed foods are one of the main causes of skin allergies, so they recommend that you stop feeding your dog processed foods and treats. They can lead to day-to-day health issues while also playing a role in long-term health problems. Kibble is the biggest culprit, with high-pressure, high-temperature cooking processes that damage essential nutrients, while also adding fillers.
Cooking at Home
Veterinarians recommend home-cooked diets for dogs with allergies. Whether you cook it yourself or use a fresh pet food service doesn’t matter. Moist food has been shown to reduce skin allergies, so avoid any dehydrated versions that will rob your pup of an essential dose of hydration.
When buying treats or other snack items, be sure to read labels. Like your own food, you should only be purchasing things that have real ingredients (and only a few of them).
When adding probiotics to your dog’s meals, you’ll also want to make sure your dog receives a healthy share of good fats and Omega-3s to combat skin allergies. Flaxseed oil (or milled flaxseed) is especially healthy and hypo-allergenic, as is fish oil and coconut oil. When added to meals, they can help treat skin allergies from the inside out (plus, you can count on a lush coat and brain benefits!). Important note: fat is still fat, even if it’s a good one. Check with your veterinarian about how you can add these to your dog’s diet that will be helpful to him and not cause him to gain weight.
Make sure your dog is getting the best water, and plenty of it. Tap water can have things in it that while not harmful to your dog, can be inflammatory to a dog’s skin allergies if he’s already suffering from them. Bottled or filtered water is a sure way to guarantee your dog’s diet is free from impurities.
Further Treatment Options
Most dogs will find that the above treatments will be sufficient in kicking allergies to the curb, and it is highly recommended to begin with a natural approach before diving into a more intensive treatment. However, if your dog is one of the few who still suffers after trying all of the above, you’ll want to discuss the options of antihistamines or other pharmaceutical approaches with your veterinarian, to make sure your dog doesn’t suffer.