Limiting exposure to an allergen can be difficult, especially if the offending element is an airborne pollen or spore. It’s not possible to cut down every blade of grass or tree in the neighbourhood, and nor would you want to.
However, there are a number of strategies which can help:
1. Reduce skin allergens on the coat.
The first step in helping a pet with skin issues is to keep them clean and regularly bathed.
I would normally recommend washing an allergic pet every 10-14 days in a shampoo designed for sensitive skin such as Aloveen, PAW Sensitive Skin or Ivory Coat Sensitive Shampoo to help remove excess allergens. Finishing a wash with Aloveen Intensive Conditioner will help soothe the skin and coat and prevent future flare-ups.
Recent research has shown that wiping a dog’s paws with a low allergen wipe or a clean damp towel after a walk will help reduce allergic load. Malacetic wet wipes are a great choice and have an anti-yeast and anti-bacterial effect as well.
Regular washing of the bed and household cleaning of pet areas by natural cleaning products will also help reduce the levels of dust mites, spores and other allergens.
2. Reduce or eliminate any dietary allergens.
Often, we will also try a specialised hypoallergenic diet such as Hills Z/D or Royal Canin Hypoallergenic for an affected animal to help reduce any exposure to food-borne allergens. If the pattern of allergy suggests that a contact allergen may be involved we may try changing bedding or avoiding pet clothing.
Even if a pet doesn't have a primary food allergy, a healthy low allergen diet will significantly improve skin health and reduce dermatitis.
Vetopia has many products to help pets with skin problems for dogs. Click here to see our range.
Allergy tests are available which can help determine the offending allergies. These are available as skin tests or blood tests. There is a great deal of debate amongst veterinary specialists about the overall accuracy of these tests, but in some cases they can be helpful.