ALLERGIES: Help your dog ditch the itch
Your four-legged friend can’t always easily communicate what’s going on with their skin or tummy, so it’s up to you to observe them closely and look for the signs that your dog is uncomfortable due to an allergic reaction. None of us want our dogs to suffer, and more often than not, we can help relieve their discomfort by simply adjusting their lifestyle and/or switching their diet.
Just like humans, many dogs react to pollen or spores in the air during certain times of year, and if you notice your furry friend itching their skin excessively, pawing at their runny eyes, or licking/chewing their paws, you can bet they’re feeling uncomfortable.
Their skin might also break out in a red rash, and they could develop an unhealthy coat as a result. So too, your dog might develop hot spots and secondary infections, which can cause even more discomfort and extend recovery times unless you learn how to curtail their licking, rubbing, and scratching.
Any number of environmental factors may contribute to your dog’s allergies, which is why it’s so important you keep a watchful eye on them. We also recommend you record your observations about their reactions in a journal you can share with your vet. Ask yourself, “Does my dog itch during certain seasons? Do they start licking their paws after I cut the grass? Does giving them a bath help alleviate their symptoms?” Any notes you made about your dog’s behavior could really help your vet make valuable treatment recommendations.
You also have some immediate options available to you and your uncomfortable companion. As mentioned earlier, an oatmeal shampoo is a great natural remedy for canine skin issues. In fact, when added to a warm bath, colloidal oatmeal soothes and moisturizes dry, itchy skin, almost immediately relieves redness and irritation, and may even help with hotspots and flea problems. Your furry friend may not love bathtime, but they’ll appreciate the reprieve from constantly itching and finally get some quality sleep.
Some over-the-counter antihistamines can also help your dog, so if their itching becomes severe, you can walk down to the corner store and pick up Benadryl or Claritin for your canine companion. Please consult with your local vet about the dosage of antihistamines that's right for your dog.
While allergens in the environment may irritate your dog’s skin, paws, and eyes, the ingredients in their daily meals may also trigger their allergy symptoms and disrupt healthy digestion. Many of our furry friends suffer from food-related allergies and sensitive stomachs, and it’s not always easy to figure out what’s going on with their tummies.
They might develop some skin rashes, or you may notice some issues with unhealthy coats (excessive shedding, patchy fur, etc.). Pet parents who switch their pups to v-dog eliminated inflammatory ingredients and common allergens (corn, soy, wheat, etc.) from their diets. The result? Thick, shiny coats and smooth, healthy skin.
If your pup has chronic symptoms like loose stool, gas, or vomiting, they might be suffering from a food sensitivity. It might also surprise you to learn that animal proteins represent the top food allergens for dogs. According to this 2016 study by Ralf Mueller, animal protein allergies are highly prevalent in dogs, even more so than allergies to grains. The study also found that beef, dairy, and chicken were the top 3 food allergens based on a population of 297 dogs with cutaneous adverse food reactions, or CAFRs (a fancy way of saying skin reactions). CAFRs include both food hypersensitivities and food intolerances.
Thus, eliminating animal products from your pup’s diet often results in these allergic reactions clearing up in a matter of weeks. A complete and balanced plant-based diet eliminates these allergens and provides easily digestible protein that has relieved countless dogs of their uncomfortable symptoms.
You can check out stories about people switching their dogs to v-dog with miraculous results on our testimonials page! Since v-dog is a pure plant-based dog food with no corn, soy, or wheat, it is easily digestible and tends to help with allergy-related doggy ailments. Your pup's gut health is closely linked with their diet, and many sensitive pups benefit from eliminating animal ingredients entirely.
How can I try a vegan diet for my sensitive dog?
Many people were taught their whole lives that dogs were carnivores, but we now know that domesticated dogs are omnivorous because of their evolution alongside humans. And because of that history, you might be apprehensive about transitioning your dog to plant-based formula.
It’s only natural. You love your dog, and you want them to be safe and healthy. However, if you’re noticing issues with your dog’s digestion, their skin, or their coat, now might be the perfect time to think about a hypoallergenic kibble so that your furry friend can stop feeling so itchy and uncomfortable. (In fact, many people who aren’t vegan themselves decide to switch their furry friends to v-dog for that very reason.)
No matter what hypoallergenic formula you choose, make sure you only feed your pup a nutritionally complete and balanced vegan food that meets AAFCO requirements. Then you’ll know that your canine companion isn’t missing out on any key nutrients and that you won't need to supplement their diet.
We also recommend that you gradually transition your dog to any new food to avoid upsetting their stomach and disrupting their digestion, which is especially important for sensitive dogs. It’s easy enough to mix the part of the new kibble in with the old formula over the course of 1 to 2 weeks and incrementally step up the amounts until your dog is completely transitioned.
And if you’re still not sure v-dog is the right kibble for you and your dog, you can add some of our new samples to your cart and we’ll ship them directly to your door. It’s that simple.
Keep an eye on your dog, and if you notice that they're scratching or suffering from digestive issues, you may want to explore the various ways outline here you can help relieve their distress. We all want our canine companions to be comfortable and relaxed whether morning, noon, or night.