The scratching, chewing, rubbing, and pawing that many pets and their owners must bear come allergy season—which for some animals can be all year long—is a frustrating, complex battle.
Unfortunately, there are no easy fixes. But there is hope. First, you’ll need to work with an experienced holistic vet to get to the root of the allergy issue. There may be a larger underlying issue at work. While you work on that, there will still be the immediate problem of the itch and other symptoms.
We have suggestions for those, too. Here are some helpful products that can help take the sting out of allergies.
Methylsulfonylmethane—aka MSM—is a type of sulfur found in various foods, animals, and humans. It is a popularly known supplement linked to possible benefits for people and pets with joint problems and arthritis, cited as an anti-inflammatory and pain reliever. Beyond that it’s also been used to help reduce the effects of allergies. I’ve had success using it with my allergic dog.
Like MSM, yucca—which is a plant with the scientific name of Yucca schidigera—may also be helpful as an inflammation and pain reliever for dogs with joint problems. And like MSM, it has also been linked as a possible itch reliever for itching resulting from allergies. Note that yucca should not be used consistently over the long term—so give your dog a couple of days off each week to avoid digestive or other side effects.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
The omega-3 fatty acids in marine oils have long been associated with healthy skin and coat in pets. There are a ton of products out there when it comes to marine oils, but not all are created equal. Research is key to finding quality products. Another way to go is to feed sardines (in water with no salt added) to your dog and/or cat. Sardines tend to accumulate less toxins than other fish. Before feeding fish to your pet, make sure he doesn’t have a fish allergy or you may end up making things worse.
Jam-packed with nutrients, this blue-green algae can help promote healthy skin, coat and immune system in dogs and cats, according to holistic veterinarian Dr. Karen Becker. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, “Preliminary test tube and animal studies suggest that spirulina, a type of blue-green algae, may help protect against harmful allergic reactions. Spirulina stops the release of histamine, which contributes to symptoms of allergic rhinitis…”
Animal Essentials Seasonal Allergy
Containing a blend of nettle leaf, licorice root, burdock root, and eyebright herb, the formula combines skin, anti-inflammatory, and antihistamine support to help get your dog or cat through allergy season. The liquid can be squirted into your pet’s mouth or added to food or water. Make sure your pet isn’t allergic to any of the ingredients in the herbal formula before using.
Vet’s Best Seasonal Allergy Support
Formulated by Dr. Dawn Curie Thomas, DVM, these chewable tablets include a list of antioxidant and herbal ingredients that work together to help dogs combat seasonal allergies. The tablets are for dogs ages 1 year and older. My dog ate these up like they were treats, and they did help soothe his seasonal allergic reactions. Again, make sure your dog isn’t allergic to any of the product’s ingredients.
Allergies can be a real frustration for everyone. But there are allergy-fighting products that may help. Make sure to consult your holistic vet for any questions before using any of these products and study ingredients to avoid any possible allergic reactions. With some research, patience and veterinary holistic support, you can help your pet get through the tough season.
Jessica Peralta has been a journalist for more than 15 years and an animal lover all her life. She has had dogs, cats, birds, turtles, fish, frogs, and rabbits. Her current children are a German shepherd named Guinness and a black kitten named Riot (and he lives up to that name). It’s because of her love for animals that she focused her journalistic career to the world of holistic animal care and pet nutrition. In between keeping Riot and Guinness out of mischief, she’s constantly learning about all the ways she can make them healthier and happier.