It's that time of year again! The flowers are blooming, the sun is shining, the afternoon rain showers are back, and our cars are completely orange COVERED in pollen. My poor dog begins his constant licking, biting, scratching and whining. For a while it seemed like there was nothing I could do to help him! I tried all of the lotions, soaps, and pills I could find and he continued to lick himself raw. It was a painful, frustrating, and heartbreaking experience!
After many trips to the vets office and all types of DIY remedies, I FINALLY found the solution to my dogs allergy problems. By combining these three products and routines, my dog can finally survive the changing of seasons happy - and with healthy, itch-free skin!
1. Fish Oil
My vet originally recommended liquid fish oil, but Cooper was not having it. We switched to the alternative pill version, which I originally had to disguise in a little peanut butter (but now he loves them as they are!) However, you don't want to buy your typical fish oil pills at the local convenience store, because the dosage for dogs is much higher than humans. There are several brands out there that offer fish oil pills for your pet, but if you're having trouble finding the right one your vet will definitely carry them! The recommended guidelines are as follows: 1500 mg per 20 lbs of body weight. Based on his weight (65 lbs) Cooper takes 3 pills a day since they are 1500 mg each. This is the brand we use but again, there are plenty out there in liquid and pill form!
2. Baby Wipes
Another HUGE help has been simply wiping his paws every time he comes in the house. I keep a pack of hypo-allergenic, non-scented baby wipes at the front and back door, and simply wipe all four paws before he comes inside. I felt so silly for not thinking about this previously since it seems like common sense, but when your dog walks around outside (whether they are prone to allergies or not) they pick up all of that pollen in their paws then continue to scratch themselves, spreading it all over their body!
3. Switching To A Gluten-Free, Poultry-Free, Fish Based Diet
The biggest decline in Cooper's itching was when we cut the two most common allergy sources for dogs (poultry and wheat) out of his diet and switched to a gluten free fish based food. It is chocked full of omega acids (especially when combined with the daily fish oil pills) and promote a healthy skin and coat! Don't forget to use alternative treats as well, or else you won't see true results. It can be a lengthy transition so patience is key, but it is so worth it!
We hope some of these remedies help you and your itchy pet! Feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions, and please share your recommendations on any additional tips that have worked for you!