Thursday, October 7, 2010

Dog and Cats with Hay Fever? You Bet!

Several of us have been suffering with allergies and hay fever lately and, like their owners, many pets are sensitive to airborne annoyances. Pets are likely to get downright itchy. To soothe their skin and help keep allergies under control, here are a few tips:

- Calm it with cool water: Giving your pet a cool-water soak is a quick way to ease itchy skin. Bathe your pet for five to ten minutes. Make sure the water is cool as warm water can aggravate the itch.

- Ease it with oatmeal: To make soaks additionally soothing, vets sometimes recommend adding colloidal oatmeal (like Aveeno) to the bathwater.

- Alleviate it with antihistamines: You can often bring allergies under control with antihistamines. Your vet may recommend an over-the-counter drug like Benadryl. The typical dose is one to three milligrams for every pound of pet, but you should ask your vet for the precise dosages.

- Subdue it with supplements: To help calm itchy skin, try giving your pet fatty acid supplements, which are also used for relieving mange and other skin disorders. Getting a dog or cat to swallow a capsule can be tricky. An easier way is to take the capsules apart and squeeze the oil into your pet’s food.

- Clean and clean again: Vets recommend vacuuming and dusting often. It’s also a good idea to change furnace or air-conditioning filters monthly. Plan on washing your pet’s bedding at least once a week. This will help reduce the build up of dust mites.

- Look to the litter: Many litter box products contain certain chemical scents to make your cat’s bathroom more appealing. In some cases, however, both cats and dogs may be sensitive -- both to the smell of the litter and to its dust.

- Give her a foot soak (for dogs only): Dogs with allergies occasionally suffer from itchy feet, and soaking them in Epsom salts can be a big relief. Fill the tub with just enough cool water to cover your dog’s paws. Dissolve several cups of Epsom salts crystals in the water. Stand your dog in the tub for five to ten minutes, then gently dry her feet. Don’t let her drink the water, however, since Epsom salts can act as a laxative.

*These tips are home remedies only and should not ever be used as a substitute for any treatment that may have been prescribed by your veterinarian. If your pet has a medical problem, we urge you to seek competent medical care.

Alice England


Giupetto and Gianna Tails said...

Great post Alice. My dog Giupetto does suffer from allergies.
I love that last video Athena. The Golden looks like he was really enjoying having his back scratched. :-)

HappyDapperDogs said...

Thanks for all the great home remedy ideas.

Art and Sew Forth said...

Good post! I wish I had known about the epsoms salt soak as my dog-in-law had terrible itchy feet when I was there last and he kept chewing on them. We put booties on him, which only made him hot. Turned out to be allergies and they gave him meds. I wonder if the soak would have worked just as well?

Mary said...

Great post! Snowbird has skin allergies that get worse in the fall. She has broken out in a bumpy rash all over, so I'm contemplating giving her a cool oatmeal bath. If that doesn't work, she'll have to go back to the vet for shots. :( Poor baby.

AngelPups said...

Awesome info, Alice~ My pups are out and about in the many trees and plants on our property...and they are sneezing all the time! I love the idea of an epsom salt bath for their paws!! We'll be trying it this weekend!! Thanks~Alice