People who suffer from allergies know how bothersome they can be and the same applies to our pets! Humans with allergies often react with sneezing, watery eyes and red itchy noses. Although animals may also have these symptoms, they more commonly develop itchy skin rashes to a range of allergens – resulting in frantic scratching that may drive both you and your furry friend up the wall! This may also lead to skin problems like infection, bald patches – not to mention a very unhappy pet!
But exactly what is an allergy? An allergy is an abnormal reaction by the immune system to a substance that would otherwise not be harmful. When an allergy develops, the body becomes hypersensitive to something (called an allergen) and responds in an abnormal way. Any substance can cause an allergic reaction, but the most common allergens for pets are flea saliva, food, grass, pollen and certain chemicals, especially those found in shampoos, perfumes or household cleaning chemicals.
Common signs that your pet might have an allergy
- Itchy skin rashes, hair loss and infected skin
- Face rubbing, paw chewing and repeatedly licking an area of the skin
- Recurring ear infections
- Although respiratory allergies are less common in animals, they may include congestion, sneezing, coughing, snoring, runny nose or watering, red eyes
- Also less common are digestive symptoms like nausea, vomiting and diarrhea
Allergies tend to start playing out in your pet from about the age of 2 – 4 years, although some puppies and kittens can develop allergies earlier. Allergies can affect any pet, but some breeds tend to be more susceptible to developing allergies.
Things that could trigger allergies in your pet
- Flea saliva
- Grass, tree and weed pollens
- Mould spores
- Dust and house mites
- Cigarette smoke
- Chemical prescription drugs
- Perfumes and fragrances
- Cleaning products
- Certain fabrics
- Chemical flea control products
- Rubber and plastic materials
- Certain foods in their daily diet
Natural ways to treat a pet with allergies
- Fleas – We recommend staying away from highly toxic conventional flea products, unless absolutely necessary and rather using a natural flea control product like Vondi’s Khakibos Spray, flea powder and shampoo. Remember to treat the environment too! Regular vacuuming keeps the flea population down and dusting bedding with Vondi’s Khakibos Flea Powder or spraying kennels with the Vondi’s Flea Spray will make all the difference!
- Our go-to solution for itchy skin allergies in pets is a combination of AllergiClear Pets, Allergy Itch Ease and Skin & Coat Tonic (Skin & Coat Tonic especially if skin is raw, infected or has bald patches or hot spots) Save 20% when you buy this combo together!
- Dust – Try and wash your pet’s bedding at least once a week with chemical free washing detergent. We also recommend vacuuming your pet’s bedding twice weekly
- Wash your pet – Washing your pet with a sensitive hypo-allergen shampoo and conditioner will soothe and remove unwanted additional irritations on the skin
- Monitor your pet’s meals. Food allergies are common, especially with today’s highly processed pet meals containing way too many chemicals! You might need to try different meats as your pet might even be allergic to chicken for example. We also have Doggobone frozen raw food and Vondi’s frozen food available at the Feelgood Health shop in Cape Town, while online customers elsewhere in South Africa can order Grandma Lucy’s Freeze Dried all-natural dog food.
- Introduce fatty acid supplements to your pet’s diet like Organic Virgin Coconut oil or Flax for animals. Both have anti-inflammatory properties and are great at adding moisture to very dry and flaky skin. Coconut oil can also be applied on the rash area to treat and soothe
- As we have mentioned that allergies are directly related to the immune system, it seems like a good idea to start giving your pet an immune boosting supplement. We recommend Immune and Liver Support, AllisOne Immuno Synergy Tissue Salts, Vondi’s Multi-Vitamin Supplement for dogs and cats, or EveryPet by Herbal Pet.
- An Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (with the Mother) water solution in a spray bottle is also great at spraying on rash areas caused by yeast infections. It is important not to spray this ACV mixture on open infected wounds as it might cause them to sting!
We hoped we have helped you to rule out some common allergy triggers in your pet! For questions or comments please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are always here to help and advise the best possible natural solution for your pet.