Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Does your Lab have Skin Allergies? 4 Holistic Solutions

My yellow Labrador, Elroy, is one of the sweetest dogs you'll ever meet. But being a Labrador means he's much more prone to skin allergies, so he's also one of the itchiest dogs you'll ever meet. It can be quite heartbreaking to see your little rascal constantly scratching himself to the point of hair loss, dry, flaky skin, and redness and abrasions. Allergies are just something that many Labradors have to live with, but you don't necessarily have to resort to prescription drugs from your vet just yet. Many prescriptions used in the long-term can have harmful side effects, including depression and frequent urination. There are some holistic steps that you can take, however, that will bring relief to your dog long-term. Here are just a few:

1. Bathe your dog frequently with natural shampoo.

Bathing your dog frequently can go a long way in bringing it relief from skin allergies. Some dog shampoos, however, may have many chemicals and additives that could make your dog's allergies worse. Be sure that you purchase a shampoo formulated for dogs with natural, allergy relieving ingredients like aloe, oatmeal, and essential oils.

2. Adjust your pet's diet.

You'd be surprised by how often dogs have allergic reactions simply from what they're eating. Unfortunately, most dog foods that are commercially produced can contain certain ingredients that are common allergens for dogs, like grains and food additives. Look for dog food that contains as few ingredients as possible, and try different types of protein (beef, chicken, lamb, duck, or venison) to rule out an allergy to any of these proteins.

3. Consider fish oil supplements.

Fish oil is a great way to relieve your dog of skin allergies and leave her with a thick, shiny, luscious coat. Of course, do consult with your vet before giving your dog any sort of supplement. Typically, human fish oil supplements work just fine. Your vet should know what the best dose should be. An occasional can of sardines can also have the same salubrious skin effect as fish oil supplements.

4. Take steps to keep your home allergen free.

Just as many allergens exist outside as inside, so be sure to do your best to control the environment you can control—inside your home. Try using an air filter, and be sure to frequently dust your home and keep your pet's area, bed, etc., free from shedding dog hair.

Of course, your beautiful dog will never be allergy-free, no matter how many steps you take. But by trying your best to attack its allergies from many different angles, you'd be surprised by how much itch relief you can give your pooch. Good luck!

Does your Lab have Skin Allergies? 4 Holistic Solutions is a guest post by Amelia Wood

Amelia Wood is a freelance writer and blogger who primarily contributes health and career advice to her favorite website, MedicalBillingandCoding.org. She also enjoys writing about other topics like personal development, family issues, parenting, sustainable living, and more. She welcomes questions and comments at amelia1612@gmail.com

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