If your dog is itching, scratching, and licking his or her paws or skin, your pet is most likely suffering from an allergy. Although it is not life threatening, this disease seriously affects your dog’s quality of life, and consequently yours as well. Allergies in dogs can be viewed like asthma in humans: you cannot cure it, but with some assistance you can manage it.
Allergy is very common and affects one in five dogs. It is a complex reaction by a sensitized dog to foreign proteins called “allergens” causing skin inflammation and the typical clinical signs associated with itching.
It is often difficult to identify with precision the exact cause of the allergy, but natural solutions can improve the life of your companion dramatically.
Sources of allergens:
Allergens come from 4 major categories:
1. Food (beef, dairy, wheat, etc.)
3. Other animals (other dogs, cats or even humans)
4. The environment:
– From Outside the House: pollen, grass…
– From Inside the House: dust, dust mites, mold, carpet, cockroaches…
Some breeds are predisposed to allergic dermatitis. These breeds include Westies, Golden Retrievers, Boxers and German Shepherds.