Is your dog licking his paws more often? Is she rubbing her face on the carpet? Does the skin on your dog’s belly have red blotches? With the coming of spring, plants are blossoming and pollen counts in the air are going up. Dogs allergic to these pollens start to lick their paws, rub their faces and scratch their bellies and arm pits. You have an allergic dog. But there are 3 natural remedies you can give your dog to minimize the itching.
1. Fish Oil
Fish oil contains the omega-3 fatty acids called DHA and EPA. These fatty acids calm the body’s the inflammatory reaction. This calming effect reduces the amount of histamines that are released from white blood cells and reduces your dog’s itching and scratching. This effect cools the red and inflamed skin.
20mg per pound of body of combined DHA and EPA is a safe effective dose of fish oil for your dog. If you have a small or medium sized dog, your fish oil capsules are probably too strong for your dog. Plus it is hard to accurately measure the dose when you poke a hole in the capsule and squirt it onto your dog’s food. Better are liquids so you can dose the DHA and EPA more accurately. Also avoid cod liver oil or fish oil products with Vitamin D. Excessive vitamin D can be harmful to dogs.
Curcumin is found in turmeric and is the basis of curry powder. Curcumin has very strong anti-inflammatory capabilities that reduce histamine release and minimize inflammation in general.
Tumeric and curry powder do not contain the amounts needed for allergy relief. There are many sources of natural, purified curcumin available. A safe and effective dose is 25mg per pound of body weight. Gradually work up to this dose to avoid possible stomach and intestinal upset. I have my clients poke a hole in a curcumin capsule and sprinkle 3-4 squirts on the food. The number of squirts is increased each meal until the final dose is reached.
Lavender essential oil has a very strong, localized calming effect on red and inflamed skin. It is my go to relief for hot spots and irritated areas due to scratching. It is also one of the safest essential oils for dogs and can be used without dilution. Generally 2-3 drops rubbed onto the skin of the redden area is enough. It can be repeated twice daily if needed.
The remedies are not a cure for allergies but certainly can reduce the discomfort for your dog. Make sure you keep them on hand and use them regularly during peak allergy seasons. For severe allergies there are other natural remedies available. Consult you holistic veterinarian for these allergy solutions.