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Unfortunately, yes. Dogs can have seasonal allergies, just like humans. They also suffer from many of the same symptoms, such as sneezing and itchiness. Because the allergen is seasonal, your dog’s symptoms will come and go throughout the year.
Despite this, it’s important to try and identify allergies as early as possible so that you can find treatments and provide symptom relief.
Symptoms of seasonal allergies in dogs
Symptoms of seasonal allergies in dogs vary depending on several factors, including the allergen itself and your dog’s reaction to it. But in general, these symptoms are indicative of allergies:
- Itchy eyes, ears, paws, or skin
- Swollen face, ears, lips, eyes, or ears
- Chronic ear infections
- Inflamed skin
- Runny eyes
You’ll likely notice your dog scratching, licking, or rubbing themselves, especially if they suffer from itchiness and inflammation. You may also see pimples, scabs, sores, and hives, either due to the allergy itself or your dog’s reaction to it.
What causes them?
Allergies are the result of the body’s immune system reacting to foreign substances. Immune systems naturally produce antibodies, and when antibodies think a specific substance is harmful, such as pollen, they cause a chain reaction that results in allergy symptoms.
Skin allergies, also known as allergic dermatitis, are the most common type of allergy for dogs. There are three primary causes:
Environmental allergens are the only seasonal type and cause atopic allergic reactions or atopic dermatitis (AD). Allergens may include dust, pollen, mold, or other substances.
Common reactions include itchiness and inflamed skin, often resulting in rashes or scabs when your dog itches to relieve their irritation or pain. In turn, this can cause skin infections, further compounding your dog’s symptoms
There are several treatments for seasonal allergies. Some treatments are effective for all allergies, while others are best only used in response to specific allergies. Common treatments include:
- Avoidance – If you can isolate what is causing your dog’s allergies, avoid it as much as possible.
- Allergy Medication – Giving your dog prescribed medication like Prednisone from the veterinarian is one of the most common treatments.
- Immunotherapy – Also called allergen therapy, this medical treatment involves injecting increasing amounts of the allergen into your dog to increase their tolerance over time.
Of the treatments listed above, medication is often the most practical and cost-efficient. Common allergy medications include corticosteroids, antihistamines, and decongestants. However, a 2010 study on canine AD found that the most effective medicines include topical and oral glucocorticoids and calcineurin inhibitors.
But it’s important to be aware of the side effects of these medications. This study is just one that outlines the potential dangers of antihistamines like Benadryl. Hyperactivity, depression, hypersalivation, and tachycardia are the most common side effects, although some dogs also exhibit dry mucous membranes, disorientation, and fever. Overdoses, while uncommon, can lead to convulsions, respiratory failure, and death.
The International Task Force for Canine AD (now the International Committee on Allergic Diseases of Animals (ICADA)) does not recommend using medication as the sole source of seasonal allergy relief for dogs. Instead, they endorse a multi-faceted approach that includes medications, nutrition, bathing, and other strategies. This list may eventually be updated to include CBD, which has natural anti-inflammatory properties.
Dog seasonal allergies home remedies
When applied correctly, home remedies can be effective in treating your dog’s seasonal allergies. Thorough skin and coat hygiene and care are a critical component of resolving or mitigating allergy symptoms. Some successful remedies include:
- High-quality diets and supplements – Changing your dog’s food won’t resolve their skin allergies, but it will boost their immune system and ensure their skin and coat are healthy. Specific ingredients such as fish oils, omega 3 essential fatty acids, and flaxseed oil reduce inflammation and itching.
- Natural shampoos and conditioners – Invest in hypoallergenic shampoos with ingredients like oatmeal, aloe vera, almond oil, and Vitamin E. Stay away from sulfates, parabens, and other harsh chemicals. If you want a scented shampoo, pick one with natural scents like lemongrass or lavender, not artificial or synthetic perfumes.
- Topical’s – Applying topical’s directly to your dog’s skin can help with some of the symptoms of allergies, like swelling and inflammation. CBD, essential oils, and natural antihistamines have grown in popularity in recent years as home remedies for seasonal allergies in dogs. Avoid putting topical treatments on open wounds, since they can sting and get in the way of tissue healing.
Help your dog with seasonal allergies naturally
When used properly, consistently, and in conjunction with other appropriate treatments, natural treatments for seasonal dog allergies can be very effective. Talk with your veterinarian about natural remedies and whether you can use them to help your dog either solely or in part.
As discussed above, one natural option is CBD oil, also known as cannabidiol. CBD oil works to help support your dog’s physical and emotional well-being. It can also be used to support skin health. When used routinely and as part of holistic treatments, CBD oil can help provide support for your dog’s seasonal allergies.
CBD oil, its benefits, and its drawbacks are still being researched. However, preliminary results have shown it may have the ability to reduce inflammation, one of the most common symptoms of seasonal allergies in dogs. This study outlines the basis for their use as an anti-inflammatory for autoimmune diseases and other related disorders, such as seasonal allergies.
It’s important to invest in a reliable product. Our premium CBD oil for dogs and our CBD balm for dogs are both 100% natural and independently lab tested. They contain naturally retained whole-plant benefits for your dog, such as terpenes, antioxidants, and fatty acids. Our CBD extract is sourced from only the best organically grown hemp plants.