3-STEP WELLNESS PLAN FOR ELIMINATING ALLERGIES in dogs
At Pet NutriSystems we encourage a proactive approach to pet
health. It is the best way to protect our pets and keep them healthy.
If your dog is suffering from allergies, we offer well-researched
products and information that give much needed support when
your friend needs it most. Following the guidelines in the 3-step
wellness plan can give your dog the support to stop the suffering
|STEP 1: Identify the Allergen(s) - getting to the source of the problem|
Determining exactly what is causing the allergic reaction in your dog is
not always easy and it requires a bit of detective work - and a lot of
The most common allergen is flea dermatitis, which is an allergy to
flea saliva. It only takes one flea to make a dog with a flea allergy
Flea dermatitis is difficult to discern from other skin conditions since
the intense itching results in excessive licking, biting and chewing -
resulting in skin eruptions and hot spots. Just to make sure, give
your dog a bath in Neem Shampoo. It is all natural and it gets rid of
the fleas and their larva without the worries of a pesticide product.
Once the fleas are gone it is important to keep them away. See
Managing Parasites for more information on keeping your dog pest
free naturally. Eliminating the fleas and keeping them away from
your dog could be an easy solution to your dog's skin problem.
Inhalant and contact allergies
Our dogs can be allergic to the same types of inhalant stimuli that we
are, such as house dust, molds, dust mites, household chemicals,
pollen, feathers, etc.
Identifying an inhalant or contact allergy can be difficult and it
requires a great deal of detective work on your part. Here are some
things to consider:
- Is the allergy affecting a specific area of skin like under the chin or
stomach? This could indicate a contact allergy. Your dog could
be allergic to a plastic food or water bowl. Or they could be
allergic to a detergent used to launder bedding.
- If the allergy is seasonal you are probably dealing with a plant,
pollen or mold allergy.
- If the allergic reaction is new, what has changed? New
houseplant, new household cleaning agents, new shampoo?
These are all things to consider.
It is estimated that up to 30% of pet allergies are the result of food
ingredients. Allergy testing has not proven to be overly accurate
when it comes to identifying food allergies and it usually requires an
elimination diet to know for certain.
Some of the clues to look for:
Not all factors have to be present to indicate a food allergy.
- Allergies are year round
- A change in environment does not alleviate the symptoms
- Recurrent ear or yeast infections
- Ear infection and skin problems that respond to antibiotics, but
recur once the medication is discontinued
- Itchy skin that does not respond to antihistamine or steroid
- Bowel movements more than 2 times per day
The straightforward way to identify a food allergy is an elimination
diet. It is a very lengthy process that requires a great deal of effort
and patience. Basically, the dog's diet is restricted to two items (one
meat and one carbohydrate) that are not a part of their normal diet.
Examples are venison and potato, rabbit and turnip, duck and peas,
etc. The diet should contain only these two items for 7-12 weeks. If
symptoms improve you place the dog back on their original diet. If
symptoms return you know you are dealing with a food allergy.
Once a food allergy is determined, you begin the lengthy process of
returning to the two-item diet until symptoms abate and then adding
possible allergens until you determine what food(s) are causing the
|STEP 2: Eliminating the Allergens - not always easy|
Determining what is causing the allergic reaction is the first half of the
dilemma. Fortunately once you reveal most allergens, they can be
dealt with easily. If you uncover an allergy to a food or a detergent,
that's an easy fix - just get rid of the offender.
If your pet is allergic to pollen, dust, mold, etc. (seasonal allergies)
there is only so much you can do. Fastidious housekeeping and air
filters may help, but they usually won't completely remedy the
problem. It is also possible you won't be able to determine the exact
cause of the allergy, despite your best detective work. In either case,
it is time for supplements.
|STEP 3: Assist With Nutritional Supplements|
Nutritional supplementation can often help dogs deal with unresolved
allergies by fighting inflammation and strengthening the digestive
Veterinarians recommend adding additional amounts of long chain
fatty acids, found in the highest concentrations in fish oil, for a variety
of health reasons. Fish oil not only helps maintain a healthy coat and
skin, it also reduces inflammation, reduces itching and has the added
benefit of supporting kidney function, the cardiovascular system, the
digestive system and more.
Nutri-Vet Wild Salmon Oil comes from 100% wild
salmon, not farmed sources. Wild salmon has
higher levels of beneficial omega-3 and lower
levels of saturated fats. In addition, farmed
salmon have been found to contain significantly
higher concentrations of PCBs, dioxin and other
cancer causing contaminants than salmon
caught in the wild.
Many pets suffering from allergies also have issues with yeast
overgrowth. Unfortunately a lot of the conventional treatments for
allergies symptoms (steroids and antibiotics) increase the likelihood
of yeast problems. Probiotics promote a healthy intestinal tract,
improve food digestion, and help inhibit the overgrowth of yeast.
Probiotics should be combined with digestive enzymes for optimum
Gentle Digest is a human grade probiotic that
promotes the growth of friendly bacteria in your
dog's digestive tract. Unlike other products, Gentle
Digest uses live microencapsulated spores which are resistant to gastric acids and therefore ensure delivery to the
intestines. In addition, it is shelf stable and no refrigeration is
Digestive enzymes are necessary to properly breakdown food and
absorb nutrients. This is especially important given today's non-raw
diets our pets consume. Used in conjunction with a probiotic,
digestive enzymes help maintain a healthy digestive
tract to control yeast overgrowth. They may also
help reduce the irritation caused by food allergies to
the bladder wall, which in turn causes urinary tract
infections. Dr. Goodpet's Canine Digestive Enzymes are specially formulated to work with a
dog's protein and carbohydrate diet.
Get all the vital supplements - plus the
Allergy Detective and the Guide to the
in your Essential Allergy
Kit - for dogs.