Just like 2leggeds, 4 leggeds have seasonal allergies. For dogs, fall brings heightened reactions to two allergens: molds and ragweed pollen. Molds are a byproduct of decaying plant materials such as falling leaves. Mold spores are everywhere. Ragweed pollen is at its highest count from late August to October.
That means, reactions such as hot spots, itchies and rashes... ICK.
So, how do you cope on a day to day basis?
First, arm yourself with some basic knowledge and a whole lot of patience. Start here:
The Healthy Pet Journal
Canine Inhalant Allergies
In 2 leggeds, ragweed allergies means sneezing and itchy, watery eyes. It's estimated that 8 million dogs have allergies. Those allergies are usually reactions to ragweed and mold spores that result in inflamed, itchy skin and secondary infections that develop from atopic dermatitis, or atopy. It is no fun, let me tell you. Both allergens, ragweed and mold spores are at nose-level of every inquisitive 4legged. Every walk, every outing, exposes your 4 legged to allergens.
While 2leggeds can go to their pharmacy and get relief from many OTC drugs, 4leggeds don't have the same options. The only option for long-term management of 4legged allergies available that is FDA-approved is Atopica (Cyclosporine capsules, USP) modified. (Note to momma: belly rubs are nice, though.)
So what do you do?
1. Be aware. Look around. LIMIT EXPOSURE.
Avoid uncut grasses and open fields, get rid of leaves and any decaying matter, keep your grass cut short. 4leggeds, I KNOW how fun it is, but flopping on your back and rolling in the grass is not the best thing for allergies. Avoid walking in the early morning when everything is mildew covered. Pollen tends to circulate most heavily between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m., so limit outdoor activities during those times. Conversely, rain helps prevent pollen from spreading, so take advantage after rain showers for outdoor activities. Ragweed pollen is at its lowest count right after a rain.
2. After a walk outside, BE IN A RUSH TO BRUSH (hehe, it rhymes) your 4 legged, AND WASH THE BRUSH after each use. Brush your 4 legged down after every outing with a nice stiff brush (brushing is like petting but with hundreds of mini hands). Vacuum the area where the brushing occurred. If you use a towel, wash IT after every use. Bathe your 4 legged frequently with a mild soothing shampoo and moisturizing conditioner. (Note from Silvie to momma: Momma, this part does not apply to you. If you wash me too much, I'll shrink. Really. So ixnay on the ashway.) Think of mold spores and ragweed pollen as contaminants. Minimize exposure and eliminate ASAP. With that mind set, you should be able to develop your own protocol. Remember that any outdoor activity exposes your 4legged to mold spores and ragweed pollen that gets trapped in their coat. Make the brushing fun and routine. My momma sings: I am going to wash that ick right our of your hair.... it is off key, but I know that it lasts just a few minutes and it is funny!
3. Take advantage of a holistic approach. Add omega oil to your 4 legged's diet. It is a great anti-inflammatory and it will help itchy skin. Yogurt has good bacteria. And local honey.
Yes LOCAL honey which contains local pollens will act as an immunity booster.
If you know of any more tips, SHARE!!!
And If you get a hot spot, we like ABREVA. It works!