Does your dog suffer from allergies?
Pet allergies are more common than you might think. While allergies in humans are mostly limited to runny noses, watery eyes and skin infections, in the case of our furry friends, the list is much longer. And more serious.
Understanding allergies in dogs
Allergic reactions in dogs and cats show up in numerous ways. It could be itchy skin, hot spots or hair loss. Ear infections, watery eyes and runny noses too can be signs of an underlying allergic condition. Redness, swelling and irritation of skin
tissue are other signs to watch out for. Some allergies are more internalized, such as respiratory issues and digestive problems.
The number of dogs and cats that are brought to vets with allergies is increasing. What could be the reason for seeing this upsurge in the number of pets with allergies? Is it an environmental change or is it something closer home?
What are the causes of allergies in pets?
The most common allergens for dogs and cats include fleas, being outside and coming in contact with grass, trees, pollen, etc., indoor factors such as chemicals, dust, and dust mites
, etc. What many pet owners might not be aware of is that some foods can also cause allergies
Do not treat allergies as small issues. On the less serious side, allergies can make your pet highly uncomfortable and also come in the way of living life fully. On the extreme end, they can have an impact on your pet’s health and impact life.
As a pet owner, you must not just look at addressing the symptoms and offering temporary comfort, but you must seek out the cause of the allergy and try and eliminate that entirely from your pet’s life. In extreme cases, you might need to seek veterinary treatment and medication as well.
The ‘real’ truth about allergies
Did you know that despite how common we believe allergies are, about 10% of dogs are diagnosed with actual allergies? So what is the story then? Why are so many pets visiting vets with allergic symptoms? The answer lies not in the ‘allergens’ themselves, but in how your pet’s body handles the inflammation that comes with allergies.
If you look closely, inflammation is at the root of nearly all sickness. Whether it is heart disease or cancer, or anything in between, the body suffers from chronic inflammation. While inflammation is the body’s short-term solution to protect the body from the injury or sickness when it gets chronic that it starts to get harmful.
It puts tremendous amounts of stress on the body and interferes in the normal functioning of the body. Important functions, like toxin removal, don’t work, and the excessive hormones and steroids released can lead to adrenal fatigue in your pet. Yes, inflammation is not a nice thing, and we should look at every possible way to reduce or prevent inflammation in our pets.
Treating allergies and inflammation
Allergies and inflammation are hand-in-glove with each other. An allergy can cause inflammation, and inflammation can make an allergy flare up.
The best place to start treatment is by reducing any inflammation that your pet currently has. Once that is taken care of you can check for any ‘true’ allergies that your pet may have. Naturally, you might be wondering what you can do to reduce inflammation.
You can consider switching your pet to a raw diet
. A raw diet is a perfect antidote to inflammation as it contains all the species-appropriate proteins, fats, and nutrients that are easy for your pet to digest. Kibble and processed foods put a lot of stress on the digestive system of our pets and that can lead to chronic inflammation which can trigger allergies. Remember, the easier your pet can digest and process its meals, the less the possibility of the occurrence of inflammation.
The results will be noticeable in about a month or so of your dog eating raw. Inflammation, if any, will go down. You will now be able to tell whether your dog has any true allergy. You can rotate different proteins to see if any of the foods is the culprit. The idea behind this is to isolate, identify, and eliminate the allergen from your dog’s diet and life. Don’t forget to pay attention to the treats that you feed. Some treats are grain-based and your dog could have an allergic reaction to grain. You might want to switch your dog from a grain-based treat to something more natural like liver, lung or heart.
We pet parents just can’t sit by and watch our loving pets suffer because of allergies. All it needs is a little effort and smart detection to identify and eliminate the culprit. Three steps to give your pet a happier, allergy-free life: reduce inflammation, identify the allergen through elimination, and remove it from your pet’s life.