How do you tell when your dog has an allergy, and how do you treat it?
Allergies are not just a scourge for humans, as dogs can also suffer from them. They can result in digestive problems or skin problems, among other things. The skin barrier of an atopic dog is less effective than that of a healthy dog, so adding omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to their diet makes sense. BERRYOMG® Silk & Shine dietary supplement is also helpful in caring for atopic skin alongside other treatments.
Pollen allergies are fairly common in dogs, but they can also be allergic to many other things, such as certain foods, the materials that water bowls or food bowls are made from, detergents, dust mites and mould mites.
According to veterinarian and animal nutrition expert Johanna Anturaniemi, an allergy can also result in a dog having skin or digestive problems. Sometimes the only symptom is recurrent ear infections.
“A dog’s skin may become red or itchy, or yeast overgrowth may occur, or their ears may be itchy and there may be some discharge from them. Their stool may be loose, or the dog might have persistent diarrhoea. It can also cause flatulence or heartburn. A less common symptom in dogs is nosebleeds.
Allergies can be diagnosed by the vet
If itching or digestive problems persist, the dog should be taken to a vet. This should always be done with suspected ear infections in particular, as they can become very serious if left untreated.
Before making an allergy diagnosis, however, the vet must rule out other possible causes. In addition to allergies, itching can be caused by external rashes and certain internal diseases, among other things. Digestive problems can be caused by intestinal disorders, an inappropriate diet, different kinds of internal diseases, or stress.
Atopia, which is a form of hypersensitivity to environmental allergens, can be identified by both blood and skin allergy tests. Food allergies can be best identified by a process of ruling out particular substances as the cause of the allergy: one protein source at a time is added to the diet and monitored to see whether the dog develops symptoms.
How are allergies treated?
If a vet diagnoses the condition as an allergy, the cause of the symptoms must be traced. The most effective treatment, of course, is to get rid of the cause of the problem once it has been found, such as a particular food or a particular material that water bowls are made from. In this way, any unnecessary medication can be avoided.
If the cause of the allergy cannot be avoided entirely, the symptoms can be treated with the appropriate medication. These include medicines given orally, skin treatments applied only to the affected area, and injectable treatments. It is also possible to carry out a desensitisation programme for dealing with a pollen allergy.
The skin barrier of atopic dogs is known to be less effective than that of healthy dogs, so it is a good idea to add omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to the diet to strengthen the barrier.
“However, the addition of omega fatty acids is slow to have an effect, so it’s important to be patient when using them. Moreover, fatty acids alone are not a solution for treating allergies. They’re most effective in supplementing other necessary measures,” Anturaniemi points out.
BERRYOMG® Silk & Shine dietary supplement can be used as part of atopic skin care and soothes the skin, reducing dryness, itching and allergic symptoms. Read more!
Should you wash your dog?
Many people like to wash their dogs, especially when it’s hot and humid. But is washing good for an allergic dog?
One effect of washing is that the skin dries out, so excessive washing should be avoided. This is especially true for atopic dogs, as their skin is drier than normal in any case. However, for dogs that develop allergy symptoms in their paw pads, cleaning the paws of dirt and dust after walks also helps. And proper drying is extremely important.
“Various skin moisturising or soothing detergents are available for dogs with skin problems as an alternative to washing. In addition, special medicated shampoos can be used to treat yeast or bacterial overgrowth on the skin,” Anturaniemi says.
BERRYOMG dietary supplements for healthy and happy pets
Made from blackcurrant seed oil and sea buckthorn oil, BERRYOMG® Silk & Shine is an innovative skin care dietary supplement for cats and dogs. Seed oils contain important omega fatty acids that help maintain the skin’s natural protective layer and prevent dryness. The supplement is a useful addition to atopic skin care and soothes the skin, reducing dryness, itching and allergy symptoms. Silk & Shine also gives added shine. Read more about Silk & Shine here!
BERRYOMG® Vitality & Defence is a dietary supplement made from sea buckthorn oil with antioxidants to protect against the effects of ageing and to reinforce the immune system. Sea buckthorn oil contains a naturally unique composition of omega-3, omega-6, omega-7 and omega-9 fatty acids and vitamin E. It is excellent for dry and cracking paw pads, and makes the coat shinier. The supplement also ensures extra hydration for dry and watery eyes. Read more about Vitality & Defence here!
BERRYOMG® OMvEGA-3 is a completely plant-based and fish oil-free source of essential fatty acids made from lingonberry seed oil to promote your pet’s overall wellbeing. The natural fatty acid composition of the oil keeps the skin, coat and joints in good condition. The dietary supplement also contributes to a balanced diet for pets with allergies, and for pets that are very selective about what they eat. It can also be give to pets that fish oil products are not suitable for. Read more about OMvEGA-3 here!
BERRYOMG® products are made in Finland, and have been formulated through scientific research on the health benefits of berry oils, fatty acids, antioxidants and vitamins.