Your dog could be allergic to you, or other irritants: fleas, food, ferns, feathers, fabrics or other common allergens, and like humans, dogs exhibit some of the same variety of symptoms like itching, runny noses, red eyes and intestinal disorders. "There is an ever growing estimate that one in every seven dogs suffers from allergy symptoms," says Keryn Rod of Purebred Breeders. Rod says you can reduce the severity of allergic reactions by following the following eight-step program.
1. Bathe your dog frequently with fragrance- and chemical-free shampoos. Make sure to use a mild product that doesn't strip your dog's coat of natural oils, which could leave him or her exposed to unnecessary chemicals.
2. Rinse your dog's paws and coat immediately after a romp outdoors to help remove excess pollen.
3. Wash your dog's bedding frequently and don't dry it outdoors, as that could attract pollen and other allergens.
4. Keep your grass short and don't let your dog out on freshly cut grass for at least a few hours.
5. Avoid walking your dog at dawn and dusk, as these are high pollen times of the day.
6. Install new air filters or invest in an air-filtering system for the room where your dog spends most of his time.
7. Using dehumidifiers will curb indoor allergens like mold for both you and your pet.
8. Use a natural fatty acid supplement to decrease inflammation. Regardless of the type of allergy, many dogs will experience less itching if they are consuming fatty acids.
If you and your dog are allergic to each other's dander, the dead skin that flakes off all humans and dogs, it will usually cause red, runny eyes and runny noses. Injections or an antihistamine like Benadryl might help you both. "Always check with a medical professional, and remember it is important to treat your dog's symptoms quickly to alleviate your pet's misery and to avoid complications from too much scratching or licking," Rod says. "Do that, and you and your best friend should enjoy a lovely spring season."