You might not know this, but dog allergies are one of the top reasons dogs are euthanized …
That’s because treating allergies is expensive and rarely works. And nobody likes to see their dog suffer.
Itchy skin, hot spots, anal glands, ears or feet, digestive problems and chronic diarrhea … these allergy symptoms can make life miserable for your dog and for you.
And the drugs your vet wants your dog to take will make them worse over time …
Why Conventional Drugs Don’t Work
Allergy symptoms are caused by an immune system that is misfiring. This causes your dog to react so things in his food or environment that are normally safe.
The drugs vets give your dog suppress your dog’s immune system.
This might reduce your dog’s reaction to allergens … but it disables his immune system.
This means cancer cells, viruses and bacteria can grow unchecked in your dog. There’s no functional immune system to find and destroy harmful invaders.
So the benefit of your dog’s allergy drugs comes at a very high cost to your dog. It’s a price you don’t want to pay.[Related: Why Apoquel Is Not The Answer For Allergy Relief]
What About Allergy Diets?
If your dog has allergies, your vet will probably recommend expensive prescription dog foods.
But according to pet food formulator Meg Smart DVM PhD, these diets contain a lot of harmful ingredients.
That can make your dog’s allergies worse …
One of these harmful ingredients is hydrolyzed protein.
The process needed to make these hydrolyzed proteins is the problem as it creates monosodium glutamate (MSG) … and MSG can cause brain damage.
According to Dr Smart, hydrolyzed proteins have not been effective in fighting allergies in clinical trials, and have even caused more skin problems.
Most allergy or hypoallergenic dog foods are also full of starch … and starch is known to aggravate allergy symptoms.
Finally, most prescription dog foods your vet recommends contain low quality oils that become rancid. And they contain fillers like powdered cellulose … which is basically sawdust.
Instead of prescription allergy diets, Dr Smart recommends preparing your own dog food so you know exactly what’s in it.
So, if you want to actually fix your dog’s allergies long term … without the harmful side effects …
… then check out our top natural options for allergy relief for dogs:
Natural Remedies For Dog Allergies
Let’s go through the list, from most effective to least effective.
But with that said, not every dog responds to the same remedies, so you might need to combine or change remedies to start seeing changes in your dog.
# 1 Colostrum And Dog Allergies
Colostrum is naturally found in mother’s first milk. It plays a vital role in developing the newborn’s immune system and digestive tract.
But colostrum can help adult animals too (and for more than just allergies) …
Colostrum contains an ingredient called proline-rich polypeptide (PRP).
Research shows PRP help eliminate or improve allergy symptoms. It does this by changing the immune response to allergens.
PRP can inhibit immune cells that ramp up allergic reactions. PRP can also help create immune cells (helper T-cells and suppressor T-cells) that suppress and switch off the immune response.
PRP is also anti-inflammatory and can reduce histamine that triggers allergic reactions.
Bovine colostrum also supplies your dog with antibodies to common allergens.
These antibodies are built in the cows as they are exposed to pollen, fleas and other triggers that can cause allergies in dogs. The cows then pass these antibodies to their calves, so the calves don’t develop allergies to these substances.
When you give your dog colostrum, those antibodies can help his immune system see that these common substances aren’t a threat.
Colostrum works especially well with environmental allergies and seasonal allergies.
How Much Colostrum Do Dogs Need?
Colostrum comes in either powdered or capsule form. It’s most effective when given on an empty stomach, but you can also put it in a little yogurt or broth.
Use it daily for a month to start, then give as needed if your dog’s allergy symptoms resolve.
Give your dog:
- 1/3 tsp powdered colostrum per 25 lbs of body weight, twice a day
- Small dogs 1 capsule twice daily
- Medium to large dogs: 2 capsules twice daily.
# 2 Mushrooms And Dog Allergies
Not that long ago, we made a medicinal mushroom product for dogs with cancer.
The crazy part is, it didn’t just help with cancer …
… we discovered mushrooms also helped dogs with all types of dog allergies.
And researchers are investigating that link:
Mushrooms contain a substance called beta-glucan.
Beta-glucan is a fiber that’s found in the cell walls of certain substances, especially mushrooms. Beta glucan is also found in many types of seaweed, algae, some cereals (grains) and yeast.
However, only beta-glucans from certain mushrooms have immune-modulating properties.
Beta-glucans change the immune response in allergies by binding to specific immune cells. This modifies their response and prevents the inflammation, autoimmunity and allergic reactions they can cause.
Beta-glucans can also activate immune cells called macrophages. Macrophages target, trap and eliminate foreign substances that don’t belong in the body, like viruses and cancer cells.
So, when you give your dog beta glucan, his immune cells will become more active and more powerful.
But not all mushrooms contain beta-glucans. The mushrooms with the highest content are:
- Reishi (Ganaderma lucidum)
- Shiitake (Lentinula edodes)
- Cordyceps (Cordyceps sinensis)
- Turkey Tail (Trametes versicolor)
- Maitake (Grifola frondosa)
If you’re buying medicinal mushrooms for your dog, be sure your mushroom has a certificate of analysis with a beta-glucan content of at least 30%.
And make sure the mushroom product doesn’t have a high starch content, so you know the beta-glucans are derived from mushrooms, not cheap cereals and grains.
Medium sized dogs should get about 400 to 500mg of mushrooms, once or twice a day.
#3 Quercetin And Dog Allergies
Quercetin is a phytonutrient found in fruits and vegetables. It’s an antioxidant and it also antihistamine and anti-inflammatory.
Quercetin is called Nature’s Benadryl because it can turn off histamine production.
Histamines are chemicals that cause allergic reactions, and research has shown that quercetin prevents immune cells from releasing histamines.
Quercetin is found in foods like broccoli and apples. But it’s best to give your dog quercetin in a concentrated, powder.
How Much Quercetin For Dogs With Allergies?
Quercetin supplements come in pill and capsule form. The often contain bromelain, which is an enzyme that makes it more effective.
Quercetin is best given on an empty stomach. The recommended dose is 8mg for every pound of your dog’s weight.
- So for a 20 lb dog, you’d give 160 mg
- Or for a 50 lb dog, 400 mg
# 4 Nettles For Dog Allergies
A herb called nettles can help manage your dog’s allergies.
In their book Herbs for Pets, Gregory Tilford and Mary Wulff explain that nettles contain histamines. The histamines work in a small dose. Think “like cures like” … the plant stimulates the body to protect itself from allergens.
Nettles also contain quercetin, which boosts nettles’ anti-allergy effects.
How Much Nettles Should Dogs Get?
If they’re growing nearby, you can pick nettles yourself … but wear good gloves because they sting!
You can dry the herbs, or make nettle leaf tea. Or, as herbalist Rita Hogan recommends, sauté fresh nettles in a pan with coconut oil until tender, then add to your dog’s food.
You can also use a pre-made nettle tincture. Give 2 drops per 10 lbs of your dog’s body weight per day.
Dr Gruenstern also likes to use cooled nettle leaf tea topically for itchy skin or even as a rinse for itchy eyes.
# 5 Baking Soda
Baking soda is cheap and can work wonders! It calms itchy, inflamed skin.
Here are 2 recipes that you can make at home:
Baking Soda Paste
- Mix 1 Tbsp of baking soda with a little water to make a paste.
- Place it on itchy, reddened areas and leave it on for a few hours before washing it off.
- This is very useful if your dog has itchy feet: place it between the toes or on top of the feet.
- If it falls off onto your carpet, it won’t do any harm – just vacuum it up.
Baking Soda Spray
- Mix 1 Tbsp baking soda with 8 oz water.
- Put the mixture in a spray bottle and spray your dog’s skin as necessary.
- Shake the mixture each time before using.
# 6 Licorice For Your Dog’s Allergies
Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra L.) is an easy to find herb. It’s a harmonizer that’s been used in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for allergy patients for thousands of years.
In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), licorice tonifies the spleen, benefits the Qi, moistens the lung, stops coughing, clears heat, detoxifies Fire Poison (boils, sore throat) and soothes spasms.
A study of a substance in licorice called glycyrrhizic acid, showed that it has an effect similar to codeine:
Licorice can also relieve inflammation in the digestive tract and helps remove mucus from the respiratory tract.
Just what the doctor ordered for allergy sufferers!
Giving Licorice To Dogs
Tilford and Wulff recommend working with your vet because dosage varies widely, depending on your dog’s condition.
But they suggest starting with 12 to 20 drops per 20 lbs of body weight twice daily, using a low alcohol licorice extract. If you’re using a tea, triple that dose.
# 7 Aloe Leaf
Keep an aloe plant in the house and you can use it for all sorts of dog allergies and skin issues, from your own sunburns to your dog’s itchy skin.
Or you can buy fresh aloe leaves at the grocery store – they’ll keep for three days in the refrigerator.
Fresh aloe gel contains enzymes that help heal itchy skin and decrease inflammation. These enzymes are only in the fresh plant and not in the bottled gel.
Slice the leaf open and apply the gel inside the leaf to itchy areas – it will cool and calm the skin.
If your dog suffers from allergies, start at the top of the list with 2 or 3 remedies. You might just find you can skip the elimination diets, blood tests and harmful side effects …
Natural solutions work … without harming your dog’s immune system. Why not try them today and give your dog natural allergy relief!