When you are a person who considers your pet dog to be essentially like one of your children, your focus is always on taking the best possible care of them and ensuring that they are as safe and healthy as possible. As such, when you notice that they are constantly scratching or biting themselves and appear to be extremely uncomfortable in their own skin, you worry about what ailment or infestation could possibly be bothering them. However, once you determine that the cause of these issues is thankfully allergies, you may wonder what you can do to try to help them feel better and more comfortable. Get to know some of the ways you can help treat dog's allergies and related symptoms to help them feel better.
Give Your Dog an Antihistamine
Just like people, dogs with allergies can benefit from the effects of a basic over-the-counter antihistamine. Veterinary clinics and care providers often recommend that dog owners try antihistamines that use diphenhydramine as the active ingredient. Cetiizine is another antihistamine that can be used on dogs as well. You need to carefully read the antihistamine labels to ensure that one of these is the only active ingredient if you do not purchase name brand medications for your dog.
Dosages of antihistamines for dogs are not the same across the board as they are for humans. The amount of medication you administer depends on their weight. Your vet can give you a recommendation for the amount of antihistamine to give your dog.
However, the standard way of determining the dosage for diphenhydramine (the most commonly recommended antihistamine for dogs) is one milligram per pound (1mg/lb) administered every 8 hours or up to 2 or 3 times a day. So, if your dog weighs 25 lbs, you can give them 25 mg, 2 to 3 times a day. This means half a pill in most cases.
Bathe Your Dog Using Just Warm Water or a Natural Oatmeal Shampoo
When your dog's allergies are causing them to itch and therefore, scratch constantly, you can also treat the surface-level symptoms by giving them gentle baths. Using standard pet shampoos with harsh chemicals can dry out their skin causing further irritation.
As such, you can give them a bath using just warm water to help relieve discomfort. This helps to wash away the allergens that may be trapped in their fur causing irritation and can be soothing. Oatmeal-based shampoos or a homemade oatmeal bath using crushed plain oatmeal and warm water can also soothe your dog's itchy skin. Gently brush your dog after their bath to remove excess skin cells and loose hair which can also cause them itching and discomfort.
Now that you have a few ideas of how you can treat your pet's allergies at home, you can get started right away. If you find that the over-the-counter antihistamines or the baths do not do the trick, your vet can also look into prescription options to help get your dog's allergies and symptoms under control. So, get started treating your dog's allergies and see what works for them. For more information, talk to a professional like Phoenixville Animal Hospital - R B Wolstenholme DVM.