If your dog is scratching, losing fur or developing a rash, it may mean that your dog suffers from allergies. Allergies are an increasingly frequent problem for dogs, mirroring a similar trend in people.
The symptoms of allergies can be very debilitating and uncomfortable for your furry friend. Red eyes, itchy skin, discharge coming out of the eyes and nose, itchy paws and red spots from scratching are some common symptoms.
If your dog has seasonal allergies, there can be additional symptoms like sinus inflammation, sneezing, coughing, excessive mucus, yeast infections and skin irritations like rashes.
Seeing your dog in such discomfort can make you feel terrible, and want to bring quick relief to your pet.
While it is recommended to take your pet to a vet for proper diagnosis and treatment for allergies, there are several home remedies that can help your dog feel better and possibly alleviate some of the symptoms.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for dog allergies.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Raw and unfiltered apple cider vinegar is good for humans as well as pets when it comes to treating allergy symptoms.
It helps restore the acidic nature of your pet’s skin, which in turn reduces the itchiness, rashes and other allergy symptoms. Also, its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic nature helps a lot.
- Pour raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar and an equal amount of water into a spray bottle. Give it a shake to mix up the ingredients. Spray the solution all over your dog’s skin, and allow it to dry on its own. Use this remedy 1 or 2 times a day.
- Also, add raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar to your dog’s food once daily for a week. Use 1 teaspoon for dogs up to 14 pounds, 2 teaspoons for dogs between 15 and 34 pounds, and 1 tablespoon for dogs between 35 and 85 pounds.
Caution: Do not apply undiluted apple cider vinegar on your dog’s body, as it can sting.
When your dog suffers from itchy skin caused by allergies, one of the best remedies to try is oatmeal.
An oatmeal bath can be very soothing, and it can even help remove many of the allergens that may be present on your dog’s skin or trapped in their coat.
- Add 1½ cups of colloidal oatmeal to a big tub filled with warm water. Add a few drops of lavender essential oil. Bathe your dog in the oatmeal bath for at least 5 to 10 minutes. Rinse off the oatmeal with warm water. Repeat once daily until your dog shows no symptoms of allergies.
- Alternatively, you can buy colloidal oatmeal shampoo and conditioner for your pet and use it as directed.
Caution: Do NOT use oatmeal if your dog has a yeast infection. Being a source of carbohydrates, it will only make the yeast thrive.
3. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has many benefits for your dog, including providing quick relief from allergy symptoms.
First of all, it contains lauric acid, which helps reduce yeast production. Secondly, it contributes to healthy skin and reduces allergic reactions to fleas.
The high fat content in coconut oil helps keep the skin moisturized and also promotes the growth of healthy skin and hair.
When taken orally, coconut oil also helps boost your dog’s immune system.
- To apply topically, thoroughly mix ½ cup of extra-virgin coconut oil and 2 or 3 drops of oil of oregano. Rub the mixture on your dog’s itchy spots and any rashes. Rinse it off after 1 hour. Do it twice daily.
- For internal use, start by giving ¼ teaspoon daily to small dogs or 1 tablespoon daily to big dogs. Gradually increase the amount to 1 teaspoon per 10 pounds of body weight. Always mix the coconut oil with your dog’s regular food.
4. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is one of the safest herbs for humans as well as pets when it comes to reducing allergy symptoms. Your dog can safely enjoy the holistic and medicinal benefits of aloe vera.
Due to its natural antiseptic and antiparasitic nature, aloe vera can provide quick relief from symptoms like itching and scratching, which cause huge discomfort to your dog.
- Give your dog a nice soapy bath.
- Allow the fur to air-dry, then apply fresh aloe vera gel on the skin.
- There is no need to rinse the gel off the skin.
- Repeat once daily and your pet will start feeling better quickly.
Caution: When you use aloe vera for your dog, make sure you are just using the gel and not the yellow or orange substance found in the rind of the aloe vera leaf. This substance contains saponins, which is a laxative that can make your dog sick.
5. Licorice Root
Licorice root offers many benefits and is a safe herb for dogs.
Glycyrrhizin, the glycoside in licorice root, has a chemical structure similar to naturally occurring corticosteroids, thus making it an excellent anti-inflammatory agent for allergy issues.
In fact, several products designed specifically to treat allergy symptoms in dogs have licorice root as one of the main ingredients.
- Give your dog 12 to 20 drops of licorice tincture per 20 pounds of body weight, twice daily.
- Alternatively, steep 1 teaspoon of licorice root in 1 cup water for 10 minutes, then allow it to cool. Give ¼ to ½ teaspoons of this tea per 20 pounds of body weight, twice daily.
You can mix the herb in your dog’s food.
6. Evening Primrose Oil
Evening primrose oil contains active anti-inflammatory and anti-itch properties, and can be used to treat allergic reactions in dogs. It is especially beneficial at providing relief from dry or itchy skin.
Evening primrose oil also boosts your furry friend’s immunity.
- Dilute evening primrose oil with a little coconut oil. Apply it directly on your dog’s skin and massage gently. You don’t need to rinse it off. Do it once or twice daily.
- Also, you can add a few drops of evening primrose oil to your dog’s food or water.
7. Baking Soda
Another effective home remedy, baking soda can do wonders in helping calm itchy or reddened, inflamed skin on your canine friend.
It has a soothing effect on the skin, due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Also, it acts as a natural acid neutralizer that helps relieve itching and prevent your pet from scratching the skin too often.
- Prepare a thick paste using a 50/50 mix of baking soda and water. Apply it on the affected areas of your dog’s skin. Allow it to sit for 20 minutes, then rinse it off using cool water. Repeat once daily.
- Alternatively, add 1 cup of baking soda to your dog’s bathwater. Bathe your pet in this water for 10 minutes. Then, rinse with clean water. Do it once daily.
Caution: Never use baking soda on broken skin or open wounds.
8. Vitamin E
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that helps with allergies. It helps keep the affected area moisturized, which in turn aids the healing process. The oil also promotes the growth of new skin and hair in the affected areas.
It also adds protection against ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun, which is especially beneficial if your dog spends a lot of time outdoors.
- Break open a few vitamin E capsules and extract the oil. Rub the oil directly on your dog’s skin, so that it gets fully absorbed into the skin. Repeat 2 or 3 times a day until the allergy symptoms disappear completely.
- Vitamin E can be given orally, too. However, it is recommended to check with your vet regarding the dosage for your specific dog breed.
Lemon is great for treating allergies in dogs. Being highly acidic, lemon juice can help heal damaged skin caused by extensive scratching.
The d-limonene, vitamin C and other healing components found in lemon also help boost your dog’s immunity.
- Thinly slice a whole lemon, including the rind.
- Put the slices in a bowl of hot water.
- Cover and let it steep overnight.
- The next morning, use it to give your pet a sponge bath.
- There is no need to rinse off the solution afterward.
Caution: Do not apply lemon juice directly on open scabs, as it can cause a burning sensation.
10. Indian Lilac
Indian lilac, also known as neem, has varied dermatological benefits for pets when suffering from skin allergies.
Being a natural antiseptic, it can help fight the cause of the allergy and reduce itchiness.
It also soothes the skin and prevents your pet from scratching, which can otherwise aggravate the symptoms and delay the healing process.
- Boil a handful of neem leaves in a pan of water for 10 minutes. Allow the water to cool. Strain and put the solution in a spray bottle. Spray the neem-infused water onto your dog’s fur and leave it in (no need to rinse it out). Repeat once daily.
- Alternatively, get an over-the-counter neem shampoo and bathe your dog with it every week.
- You can also use bovine colostrum, as it provides your dog with antibodies to common allergens.
- Another supplement that can be helpful for dog allergies is quercetin, which has antioxidant, antihistamine and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Increasing the fatty acids in your pet’s food can boost their immune system and lessen allergic reactions.
- Brush your dog’s coat every day to control and eliminate itchy and irritated skin.
- Replace plastic with stainless steel, glass or ceramic food bowls and keep them meticulously clean.
- Use little white marshmallows as treats for food-allergic dogs.
- Wipe the dog down with a wet towel after he comes in from outside.
- If your dog gets ear infections due to allergies, try cleaning your dog’s ear with diluted white vinegar.
- Apply organic witch hazel on rashes or itchy areas a few times a day.
- Start feeding your dog yogurt, but make sure it is plain yogurt with no sugar or additives.
- Take your dog for a walk to help distract his attention from his itchy skin.