If you’ve got the sniffles, chances are your dog's also starting to itch. Dr Guy Fyvie from Hill’s Pet Nutrition says that environmental allergens pose an invisible but constant nuisance to many dogs.
“More than 50 percent of allergies in dogs are caused by the world around them – pollens, moulds and house dust mites can be found anywhere and in any season."
The good news is that there are a couple small, simple changes that can help:
Wash his bed, often
Sounds obvious, but you’ll be surprised at how much time can pass before you remember it’s time to do it again. The ideal would be to wash their bedding every second week in a washing machine on the hottest programme.
If you’re in the Western Cape where water is scarce, skip the wash and rather give the beds a really good vacuum twice a week.
Keep his coat healthy
If your dog is suffering from an allergic environmental reaction, give him a bath, but keep the water cool. For really bad cases you can do it as much as three times a week.
This will help to calm itchy irritated skin and can reduce allergens in the coat. “There are a few pet friendly hypoallergenic and gentle medicated shampoos available from your vet. Also, invest in some dog grooming wipes which can remove loose hair, dirt and odour causing bacteria from your dog’s fur,” says Dr Fyvie.
Consider his diet
Nutrition can make a massive difference to your dogs ailment. This all helps to fortify the skin barrier to block environmental allergens, disrupt the internal allergy response, break the vicious itch scratch cycle and create a healthy skin and coat.
Conduct tests with your vet
The cause of the allergy may not always be obvious but there are several tests that your vet can perform which identify what your dog is allergic to. Pop down to your local vet and get more information.
There are a variety of things you can do to prevent your dog from suffering from allergies. “Your dog doesn’t have to endure the pain and irritation that comes with itching and inflammation,” says Fyvie.