Are you looking for relief for your itchy dog? Are you trying to heal hotspots or raw, red skin from constant licking and chewing? Find natural remedies here!
If you have read Understanding Canine Allergies Part One: Defining Allergies, Part Two: What Type of Allergy Does Your Dog Have? –Part Three: Do Vaccines Cause Allergies? – and Part Four: Healing the Immune System – then you are ready for these remedies!
It is good to provide the skin relief from the symptoms of allergic reactions, while the body is healing itself. Try these natural remedies at home!
However, please realize that using these remedies alone will only bring temporary relief without further treatment of your dog’s immune system and digestive tract.
Top Ten Remedies for Allergy Relief
Say goodbye to itching, licking, and red, swollen skin with natural relief! These remedies bring anti-inflammatory, anti-histamine, and anti-yeast properties to your allergy defense arsenal. As each dog is an individual, you may need to try different treatments or even combine them to find what works for your dog.
In some cases, our dogs’ allergies have so severely affected their skin that these remedies may not make much of a dent in their misery. For some dogs, it may be necessary to use a medicated shampoo for topical relief, while you address the root cause. The most important thing for these dogs is to give their body some comfort and a chance to heal itself.
Chamomile and Green Tea
Polyphenols in tea have anti-inflammatory and antihistamine effects that can help soothe the inflamed, itchy skin common to allergic reactions. This treatment may provide relief from hotspots.
Either tea, when brewed very strong, can be applied to itchy, inflamed skin for 3 to 10 minutes to soothe. Save extra tea in the refrigerator.
A wet tea bag can be applied directly to the skin, especially for hives and reddened skin.
Fresh aloe gel contains enzymes that help heal itchy skin. Aloe can calm inflammation, like in hotspots. These enzymes are only in the live plant, not a bottled gel. You can keep an aloe plant (they are very hardy) and cut off fresh pieces for topical use or buy it fresh at a grocery store.
Baking soda is another way to calm itchy, inflamed skin. Mix one tablespoon baking soda with a little water for a paste and apply it to the affected area for a few hours.
Or make a baking soda spray by combining one tablespoon baking soda with one cup of water, to spray on itchy areas.
Witch hazel is high in tannins which help reduce swelling and repair broken skin. Use organic witch hazel on a cotton ball to apply to rashes, itchy areas, and hotspots, or in a bowl to dip your dog’s feet in.
An old remedy, cabbage leaves help remove heat and inflammation. You need the juices from the leaf, so pound it until the surface is broken. Then hold the leaf over the inflamed surface for several minutes.
Raw Coconut oil is Antiviral, Antiseptic, Antibacterial, and Anti-fungal. It is very gentle on the skin and can be gently rubbed on sore or itchy spots for relief.
And don’t worry if he licks it off, it’s perfectly safe and healthy!
Also antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-yeast, apple cider vinegar contains healthy bacteria that encourage healing of the skin. It can be a cool relief for dogs with red, irritated skin. Apple cider vinegar should be diluted 50:50 with water to use topically for hotspots, itchy skin, and infections. Click here to read more about ACV.
Oatmeal and Yucca Shampoo Baths
These soothing remedies promote healing while helping keep your dog clean and comfortable.
You can make an oatmeal bath by grinding up a cup of oats into a powder and adding it to a tub of warm water. Soak your dog in the oatmeal bath for ten to fifteen minutes.
Monitor your dog’s preference for warmth or cold and let the temperature of his bath match his choice. Sometimes dog’s with allergic skin disease can be made worse by cool or warm temperatures aggravating the skin.
One of many forms of plant therapy, there is a wide range of oils to choose from as remedies for your dog’s allergic reactions. Please always dilute oils before using on your dog’s skin. Undiluted essential oils can be more harmful than healing, and this isn’t our goal.
We also do not recommend using essential oils internally for potential harm to internal organs and mucous membranes. However, a great way to use essential oils is to diffuse them in the air, and this works very safely and very effectively.
Here are a few oils that you can use:
Lavender – can be used for itching, inflammation, restlessness, seasonal and inhalant allergies, hair loss, rashes, hotspots, and ulcers.
Basil – can be used for allergic reactions to stings.
Eucalyptus – can be used to calm inflammation and promote healing of the skin.
Helichrysum – can treat dermatitis, inflammation, and secondary infections.
Roman Chamomile – relieves allergies, rashes (hives), dry skin, and stings.
Homeopathy is the use of plant essences at a variety of potencies to promote natural healing and immune responses in the body. These homeopathics are prescribed according to the dog’s symptoms, and the dosage is determined according to the degree of the reaction/symptoms.
Homeopathics come as tinctures or dissolving pellets, and there are several homeopathic remedies are useful for allergic skin disease:
Apis – for intense itching, hot sores, hives, facial swelling, and acute vaccinosis.
Arsenicum – for dry, itchy skin, intense itching of normal looking skin, restlessness, and when warmth relieves the itch.
Rhus Tox – for hot spots and itching, cold stiffness (stiffness that goes away when warm), and stiff joints.
Sulphur – is indicated for chronic skin disease, dry-itchy skin, poor coat condition, and red inflammation around the eyes, mouth, and anus. Also for when the dog seeks cool places, when bathing aggravates the symptoms, and for thin dogs with extreme hunger and lack of energy.
Thuja – is anti-vaccinosis for vaccine-related symptoms or inherited vaccinosis, for skin that is darkly pigmented (like happens in dogs with excessive licking and chewing), and for treating poor hair growth.
Hepar Sulphur Calcareum – for treating hotspots, painful sores, skin that is hot to the touch, foul-smelling discharge, and when warmth is soothing.
Mercurius Solubilis – for sores that ulcerate, green or yellow discharge, enlarged lymph nodes, foul odors, and hotspots.
You can learn about more homeopathic remedies and how to use them at Dogs Naturally Magazine.
As homeopathics open the door to healing for your dog’s allergic skin reactions, symptoms in your dog may change to reveal another underlying problem. When symptoms change, the remedy will as well.
Please consult with your Veterinarian if your dog is currently on any medication before using any ingestible remedies.
It is “Easier said than done” to avoid common allergens that may come in contact with your dog simply by walking outside. When it comes to outdoor allergens such as grasses and pollen, Veterinary Technician Julie Anne Lee suggests this:
“You can help to minimize outside toxins by filling a 1 liter spray bottle three-quarters full of steeped green tea. Add 12 drops of calendula tincture and fill the rest with apple cider vinegar. Spritz your dog’s body and feet on the way outdoors and again when he comes back in.”
Unfortunately, drugs for canine allergies like Atopica and Apoquel can have negative effects on the rest of the body and the immune system. As such, it is best to avoid using these drugs when it is possible.
However, for some dogs, giving them relief from the vicious cycle of autoimmunity is necessary if we hope for the dog’s gut and immune system to heal. Therefore, our advice is that you consider your dog’s quality of life and the possible side effects of the drug in question before putting your dog on medication.
“To help get rid of the effects of drugs I used to use a combination of Nux Vomica 30C with Sulphur 30X twice per day for 3 days; for vaccines I’d use Thuja 200C with Silica 200C twice per day for 2 days.” – Julie Anne Lee.
If you and your veterinarian deem it is in the best interest of your dog to be put on allergy medication, try your best to give your dog a strong immune-boost through his diet. Consider using a mild detox method such as a homeopathic or a dietary addition like leafy green veggies to combat the side effects of the medication.
Emergency Treatment for Allergic Reactions
Major swelling, difficulty breathing and anaphylactic shock call for emergency treatment, usually an epinephrine (antihistamine) injection.
If you would prefer using a more natural treatment for major allergic reactions, we would advise trying a homeopathic (such as Apis) on the way to the vet. You can ask a homeopathic or holistic vet about dosing for emergencies.
If your dog’s reactions have calmed by the time you reach the vet you can happily go home without the injection. However, it is always best to be cautious and head for emergency veterinary treatment too.
Using natural remedies like these to give your dog relief from his discomfort and bring healing to his skin, opens the doors to internal healing.
I encourage you not just to find relief for your dog’s external discomforts, but to address the root cause of that discomfort. This will bring the long-term healing every pet owner wishes for their canine companion.
– Cassy Kay
Griffiths, Sarah. “The Ultimate Guide to Fixing Hotspots Naturally” dogsnaturally.com. Web. Accessed Jan. 7, 2018. http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/ultimate-guide-hotspots/
Kivi, Rose. “How to Make an Oatmeal Bath for a Dog” cuteness.com. Web. Accessed Jan. 7, 2018. https://www.cuteness.com/article/make-oatmeal-bath-dog
Lee, Julie Anne. Veterinary Technician. “When Treating Allergies Makes Your Dog Worse” dogsnaturallymagazine.com. Web. Accessed Dec. 30, 2017. http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/when-treating-allergies-makes-your-dog-worse/
Ziakoski, Grace. “5 Signs Your Dog Has Food Allergies” dogsnaturallymagazine.com. Web. Accessed Dec. 30, 2017. http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/5-signs-your-dog-has-food-allergies/