Treating Dog Allergies, Scratching and Itching Naturally
Does your dog suffer from seasonal allergies?
Dexter is in his prime allergy season. His allergies flare up late spring/early summer and hang around until our first hard frost. I always feel so bad for him. I’m confident that his allergies are something environmental because they only pick up during a certain time period of the year. He’s on a fresh, home-cooked diet, and over the last year, I’ve eliminated grains, potatoes, peas, and lentils (starchy foods) to see if that would help. Unfortunately, that has not had any effect on his scratching.
I battle Dexter The Dog’s seasonal allergies a few ways. First, his diet. Diet is always the first thing I manage to help Dexter feel better. Since his allergies flare up in the summer/warm months and cause his body to feel hot, I start by using cooling foods in Dexter’s meals. When following Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), all things have an energetic. Let’s look at Dexter in the summer. Summer in Ohio is HOT, and his skin and body are HOT. All food is also either warming, cooling or neutral and will affect our bodies when consumed. So, if Dexter is already overrun by excess heat, I want to cool him down. Cooling foods I include in Dexter’s summer diet include cod, turkey, rabbit, duck and clams. Hot foods I avoid in the summer are venison, goat, chicken, and lamb. (Learn more in What’s For Dinner, Dexter?)
Organic licorice root is also beneficial to dogs with seasonal allergies. Licorice root is anti-inflammatory and can help with allergy relief. Licorice can reduce potassium, so increase dietary potassium (banana, beef, broccoli, cantaloupe, carrots, clams and pumpkin) and don’t use longer than a couple of weeks. If your dog has any other medical issues like diabetes, liver disease or heart disease, please consult a Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine Practitioner. Read more on licorice root.
To continue on Dexter’s cooling path, I also provide his body with immediate cooling relief. I have a dog cooling mat that Dexter will choose to lie on instead of the carpet. I also put the mat on our bed so that in the evening he can lie on it if he chooses, and he does. If Dexter’s body really seems hot to the touch, I hold an ice pack on him for a few seconds, move to another on spot and repeat. This really seems to take the edge off when he’s really going at it.
I also wipe him down when we return from an outside walk or adventure. This helps by removing any pollens, grass, or who knows what. I’m not sure what is triggering Dexter’s seasonal allergies. He’s not a fan of being wiped down all the time, but it’s for his own good; he just doesn’t know it.
I bathe Dexter regularly with a natural, non-toxic dog shampoo. I look for ingredients that can both soothe his itch and help him relax, such as lavender, chamomile, aloe, and beneficial oils.
Finally, the last thing I go to is a home-made dog itch spray. I spray Dexter’s hot spots when he’s really being bothered by his allergies. I spray on the dog itch spray, then do a quick rub. He doesn’t love it, but it stops him from itching and I feel it takes some of the rawness and scratchiness away. By not allowing Dexter to keep scratching, I’m ensuring that his skin doesn’t become infected and create another set of problems.
Hopefully, you will find my natural tips on how to stop your dog from scratching helpful. Dexter and I love summer, but his body is looking forward to the first hard frost.
Dog Itch Spray Recipe
- 1 Cup Distilled Water
- ½ Cup Distilled White Vinegar
- ½ Cup Chamomile Tea
- 2 Drops Eucalyptus Oil
- 2 Drops Lavender Oil
- 2 Drops Peppermint Oil
1. Place an organic chamomile tea bag into ½ cup of hot distilled water and steep for an hour.
2. Once steeped, remove and discard the tea bag.
3. Pour the tea into a glass mason jar.
4. Add the remaining ingredients and shake.
5. Pour mixture into a spray bottle.
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