Dogs have been domesticated, bred, and genetically modified for thousands of years. Unfortunately, dog parents have been witnessing an epidemic of dogs plagued by minor to severe allergies. Many of these allergies are food related, due to over breeding and over feeding of certain proteins. The most common food allergies are chicken and grains.
If you’ve recently discovered that your dog has allergies, or are trying to cope with your dog’s allergic reaction, this is the list for you.
Here are 10 things to do when you have a dog with allergies.
1. Consult With Your Vet and Other Parents
The best person to diagnose your dog’s condition is your veterinarian. Once you’ve found the source of the allergy, you can work together on a food plan that promotes a healthy balance of proteins and fats for your dog. Other pet parents will also become an amazing resource for ideas, as many of them have experienced your exact same situation.
Join some local groups, or ask around at the park for advice on dealing with your dog’s allergy. You’ll learn a lot!
2. Determine the Safe Foods
Determining safe foods is just as important as determining the actual allergy. If you have a dog with allergies, you will quickly discover that there isn’t just one thing bothering your dog. You will find that his allergies will develop over time, and he will eventually have a decent amount of unsafe foods.
Once you’ve figured out what ingredients are 100% safe for your dog, you can start building a “meal plan”. This includes hypoallergenic treats, shampoos, and other dog products.
3. Get Your Dog on A Consistent Feeding Schedule
All dogs need a consistent feeding schedule, but dogs with allergies become even more dependent on it. Dogs with allergies often experience bowel issues, like diarrhea or constipation. This means that you, as the dog parent, will constantly be monitoring his potty breaks.
Monitoring potty breaks becomes much easier when you know what times throughout the day to expect a bowel movement. A consistent feeding schedule will also help eliminate random tummy aches from hunger or over-eating.
4. Carry A Bag Of Hypoallergenic Treats At All Times
This is super important! Even if you aren’t one to treat your dog often, you will experience times where you wish you had one in your pocket. Whether it’s to distract your dog from a situation, or even just thank him for being a good boy, you will need to have his special treats handy.
It’s also important to have your dog’s special treats handy for introducing him to strangers. You don’t want strangers giving your dog something he’s allergic to!
5. Tell Others About Your Dog’s Allergies
Though a lot of parents understand dog allergies, there are some who won’t realize it until it’s too late. You’ll encounter a lot of people who want to treat your dog, but wont think to ask about allergies beforehand. Make sure people around your dog know about his allergies and understand the importance of keeping allergens away from him.
Be polite, but be clear. Your dog’s health could be at stake.
6. Research Ways To Make Your Dog More Comfortable
There are a lot of natural remedies for skin irritation and tummy aches!
For example, if your dog is experience dry skin or redness from an allergy, coconut oil or oatmeal can make a great skin soother. Tummy aches, diarrhea, and constipation can all be solved with a little pumpkin, or sweet potato.
The internet is a fantastic resource for at-home treatments.
7. Find Other Treat Options
There are dozens of companies who make hypoallergenic dog treats! If your dog has an allergy, the doggy world already has a treat ready for you. All you have to do is look.
Just because your dog is allergic to something like chicken or grains, doesn’t mean he has to go without treats. Try checking out all veggie options, or single protein treats like freeze dried liver.
8. Reward Your Dog With Non-Edibles
Training your dog to feel praise from non-treat based rewards is the best way to battle your dog’s allergy. This eliminates your dog’s desire to ask for treats, and will prevent others from accidentally giving him something harmful.
Dogs with severe allergies would benefit the most from non-treat based rewards, like playtime or a special toy.
9. Teach Your Dog Manners: Don’t Take Treats From Strangers
This one’s tough, but worth the effort. Training your dog to not take treats from strangers ensures that he won’t get his paws on something harmful. Teaching him to sit and wait patiently for his reward also gives you enough time to explain to the stranger that your dog has allergies and can not have certain treats. You can then pull out your own, hypoallergenic treats, or simply pass on the offer.
Always be polite to strangers around your dog, and reward him for being polite as well.
10. Avoid Having Allergens in the Household
Dogs are crafty animals, capable of getting their grubby paws on things they aren’t supposed to. Even if your dog has sever allergies, he will probably disregard any forethought and munch down on something harmful. The tummy ache is totally worth it to him!
Keeping allergens out of your home is the best way to avoid any accidents. If your dog has allergies to something you usually have in your house, place it far out of his reach. High cupboards, and on top of the fridge are great hiding spots. Avoid leaving allergens on the counters, or in lower cupboards. Like we said, dogs are crafty animals!