Spring is a beautiful time and everyone…dogs included…are “itching” to get outside. Unfortunately itching is a major springtime health issue for dogs that experience seasonal allergies. Following are a few tips to help your allergic dog enjoy springtime to the fullest.
- Keep your lawn cut short to reduce seeds and pollen production. Do not allow your dog out on freshly cut grass (for at least a few hours).
- Limit your dog’s outdoor time on high pollen days.
- Avoid going outside at dawn and dusk as these are the highest pollen times during the day.
- Rinse off your dog’s paws and coat after being outdoors to remove excess pollen.
- Bath your dog frequently with a fragrance and chemical-free shampoo to remove pollen and debris. Choose a natural product that won’t strip your dog’s skin and coat of natural oils and won’t expose a sensitive allergic dog unnecessarily to chemicals.
- Consider using an air-filtering system to remove allergens from your indoor air. There are filtering systems available for your vacuum and air conditioner also.
- Consider de-humidifiers to limit indoor allergens like mold.
- Wash your dog’s bedding frequently in hypo-allergenic detergent and NEVER dry the bedding outside in the breeze where it could pick up a tremendous amount of pollen or other allergens.
- Don’t let your dog ride in the car with his head out the window.
- Consider a natural fatty acid supplement to help decrease inflammation within your dog’s skin. Regardless of the type of allergy, many dogs will experience less itching if they are taking fatty acids.
- Remember flea control. Dogs who have allergies to pollen or other inhaled allergens may also be hyper-sensitive to flea bites.
- Some dogs with inhaled allergies may also react badly to certain food ingredients. Choose a natural diet that limits your allergic dog’s exposure to inferior ingredients, synthetic or chemical additives.
If your dog’s allergy signs are severe or more year-round, ask your veterinarian about advanced allergy testing and if allergy shots might be able to help your dog.