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Many vets are willing to prescribe allergy meds, and some over-the-counter treatments for humans are pet-safe, but many owners prefer a more natural treatment. Try these options on Fluffy or Fido next time the outdoors makes them miserable.
If you’re planning to take your dog outdoors for a hike or visit to the park, plan to give him or her a bath immediately after. Regular baths will wash off the irritants that cause your dog to scratch and keep them from spreading onto his bed and other favorite spots.
Baths can also soothe the skin and prevent further damage from scratching. Try pouring apple cider vinegar into lukewarm water, or a cup of oatmeal (just like treating the chicken pox), and wash your dog for 15-20 minutes. Your dog might not like getting regular baths, but his or her skin will appreciate the results.
If you give your dog weekly baths, then what are you supposed to do for the other six days? Before you let your dog inside from a walk — or before the cat comes inside if you let her out — grab a wet cloth with a little soap and wipe down their paws. This will significantly reduce what they track into the house and prevent them from causing further damage when they scratch. If you have seen your pet rolling around before coming inside, lightly wipe them down to remove the most prominent irritants from their skin.
While your dog might love bath time or the bonding that comes from cleaning his paws, you cat might not be as willing. This leaves cat owners looking for oils to treat Fluffy’s allergies naturally. Many essential oils are toxic to cats, so avoid natural remedies that are fine for humans. Instead, turn to Coconut Oil and Omega-3s. You feline will love getting a treat of extra fish to help his or her coat, while coconut oil can be added to the food or applied to infected areas to sooth dry skin. One more word of warning: if your kitty likes the taste of coconut oil, they may just lick it off after application. Be sure to watch them for at least an hour to let the oil sink in.
While indoor irritants are common year-round, they might get worse during peak season. To keep your pets happy, increase your dusting, vacuuming, and cleaning regime, especially in areas that your pet favors. Just like humans, pets can experience coughing and wheezing if there are irritants in the air, so check your air filters and open up the house for ventilation as much as possible to minimize indoor irritants and to keep your home’s indoor air quality clear.
Your pet can’t tell you exactly what’s bothering them, so many vets recommend a trial-and-error treatment plan. Remove potential irritants one at a time to see if there’s improvement, and test different treatments to see what works. Your pet will let you know what they don’t like, and finding a treatment they enjoy will make their recovery process faster and easier.