Herbs can work wonders for dogs that have allergies. When choosing which herbs to use, you want to start by selecting one that has antihistamine properties. This includes Nettles, Astragalus, Thyme, and Chickweed. All these herbs are considered safe for dogs and can provide allergy relief.
It’s not only humans who are benefiting from more holistic approaches to health. Turning to nature for treatments is also helpful to man’s best friend.
One of the most common health conditions that dogs suffer from is allergies. Unfortunately, owners are not always able to keep their dogs away from the things that trigger an allergic reaction.
Sometimes the solution to dog allergies is a simple change in food, but other times it’s more complicated than that. When an owner can’t easily keep the dog away from the thing he is allergic to (such as seasonal allergies), further treatment will be required to keep the dog healthy and comfortable.
Some owners will want to try home remedies before putting their dog on a lifelong medication. When it comes to treating dogs holistically, you can be hard pressed to find a veterinarian who practices holistic care. Still, they should know which herbs are harmful to dogs and which are not.
Once you know the herbs that are not harmful to dogs, then it’s safe to try holistic approaches to treating your dog’s health concern (in this case allergies), as long as the dog is not in imminent danger, chronic pain, or in need of immediate care.
Allergies are one of the most common reasons for a visit to the vet. Some breeds are much more prone to allergies than others, but any dog can develop them.
So long as the condition is not causing a lot of pain, it is safe to try herbal remedies once you know that those herbs are safe for your dog. Along with skin allergies, some dogs experience seasonal allergies in much the same way that humans do.
Why Do Dogs Get Allergies?
Dogs can have allergies for the same reasons as humans. Often, seasonal changes bring on allergic reactions in dogs. Dogs can be allergic to pollen, dust, and mold in much the same way that humans are. Dogs can also develop allergies to certain ingredients in their dog food.
Allergies in dogs usually present themselves in skin irritations or respiratory congestion, but can sometimes result in chronic ear infections.
Whatever the cause of your dog’s allergies, you may want to try some of the following herbs.
Herbal Remedies Can Help Address Allergies
There are two types of herbal remedies for allergies: ones with immune building properties and ones with antihistamine properties.
Immune Building Herbs
Colostrum (Not Herbal – But Natural)
Colostrum is perhaps the most important home remedy to try if you want to boost your dog’s immune system. Colostrum is found in the mother milk very early in her whelping of a litter. The nutrients in the colostrum are vital for the immune system of the newborn puppies.
Since a compromised immune system is a factor in the development of allergies, building the immune system would, in turn, treat the allergies. And what better way to improve the immune system than with what nature provides to brand new puppies?
At any rate, colostrum cannot hurt your dog, so it doesn’t hurt to try it and see if the allergies subside.
Elderberry is one of the most popular immune building supplements humans use, but can it be used in dogs? In safe doses, yes, this can help build a dog’s immune system and ward off allergies.
Elderberry poisoning is possible, however, so the owner must ensure that the proper dosage is given. Whenever administering herbal remedies, it is important to be under the guidance of a professional in animal health, whether that be your local veterinarian or a holistic vet.
Herbs With Antihistamine Properties
This is a commonly known herb that is used for many purposes in humans. The antihistamine properties of Nettles have been known for quite some time, and many people drink tea made from nettle leaves.
This herb is also generally considered to be safe for dogs. The antihistamine properties can help to calm down the reaction your dog is experiencing.
Astragalus is not only an antihistamine and anti-inflammatory, but also has antibiotic properties. This herb is also considered very safe for dogs and has been used in animals for years. It’s usually prescribed in older dogs as it promotes overall vigor and vitality. But because Astragalus is an immune system booster, it can also help to keep allergies at bay.
This everyday household herb has quite a few benefits for dogs suffering from allergies. Whether your dog is experiencing congestion, respiratory symptoms, or skin irritations, this herb can help.
Thyme has antiseptic, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. It is also full of antioxidants. If your dog has a variety of symptoms, this might be the herbal remedy to start with.
This herb is popular for treating skin irritations because it can be applied topically. It’s generally considered safe for dogs, and it can help relieve skin irritations and hot spots. When a dog has skin irritations due to allergies, he will sometimes lick that area excessively, causing hot spots.
Chickweed, when applied topically, not only relieves the pain, but the taste can also discourage the dog from continuing to lick the area, which allows the hot spots to heal more quickly.
Herbs with Antibiotic Properties
Garlic is likely the most well-known home remedy that people use to fight bacterial infections, but it is also safe for your dog.
Garlic is packed full of antiviral and antibiotic properties. It has been known to help humans fight off viruses and infections for years. But it can also help with treating allergies.
People can ingest garlic or use it topically, but dogs should only be given garlic in a topical form to treat skin irritations. Garlic can be poisonous to dogs when ingested.
If a dog’s allergic reaction causes skin irritations that become infected, then a topical form of raw garlic could help heal the irritations and keep the dog from licking the sore spots on his skin.
However, if you notice that your dog continues to lick his skin even with the garlic applied topically, you will want to stop using the garlic as your dog could ingest too much of it through licking his skin.
Oregano oil has antibiotic properties and is safe to use orally or topically on your dog’s skin irritations.
This may be an even better choice than raw garlic since it’s perfectly safe for a dog to ingest small doses of oregano oil. This herb also contains antifungal and antiviral properties. If your dog is exhibiting both respiratory and skin symptoms of allergies, this is an excellent herb.
Oregano oil is so safe and effective that it has even been used by some farmers as an alternative to traditional antibiotics.
Herbs for Comfort
Sometimes the best thing you can do for your dog is to treat the symptoms to get them as comfortable as possible. Some herbs are specifically used to calm inflammation, and they can bring some temporary relief for dogs who suffer from allergies.
Licorice root contains an enzyme that can soothe a sore throat or relieve symptoms of a cough. This enzyme is called glycyrrhizic acid, and it has pain-relieving properties. This herb should only be given under the guidance of a veterinarian or holistic pet health professional, as it should be given in small doses. This herbal remedy is best suited to treat allergies that cause a cough or respiratory problems.
This herb also has pain-relieving properties, but aloe leaf is used to treat the skin. Allergy symptoms in dogs often present themselves as skin irritations, and aloe leaf can offer temporary pain relief for your dog.
Chamomile is best known as a sleep aid since it causes drowsiness, but this herb can also bring comfort to dogs suffering from allergies. Chamomile has sedative qualities, which can help relieve a dog of acute pain from the allergy symptoms.
However, it also has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties, so it can treat the other symptoms while also providing some much needed sedative relief.
Chamomile is particularly beneficial as a treatment for ear infections. When mixed in a solution and rubbed into the inside of the dog’s ear, Chamomile can treat the ear infection that was brought on by allergies.
This herb should only be used under the guidance of your pet’s health professional. Because it has sedative properties, it can slow the heart-rate of the dog. Anything that slows the heart-rate should be used with caution and given only in small doses. This herb should never be given to a pregnant or nursing dam.
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