Environmental allergies, that is.
Your dog may be sneezing, have runny eyes and nose, be scratching him/herself, including the ever-famous bum scooting along carpets. Some dog owners believe that helping to “boost” the immune system- especially at this time of year- is the key. In fact, what you are seeing is an over-reaction of the immune system, so even it was possible to “boost” it, this is the last thing you’d want to do.
Environmental allergies are tough to subdue, but certain things can help.
✅Use an air purifier,
✅Keep pollens out of the house as much as possible (this means not opening windows nearly as often as you might like),
✅Keep bedding fresh and clean,
✅Dust and vacuum more often than you’d prefer,
✅Rinsing your dog with cool water can also help because it removes some pollen from the hair.
Foods and supplements can help too, but we need to understand the how and why.
📌Mast cells are located throughout body tissues, and this includes the “outside” tissues in the nose, skin and eyes. Environmental allergens such as pollen and dust attach to these cells and the body responds by releasing histamine. This is the basic explanation of why antihistamine medications work.
🥦Bioflavonoids decrease the sensitivity of mast cells, thereby making them less likely to release histamine in the first place. Some dogs (and people!) will continue to release histamine, but the problem is lessened even if not eradicated, and we can all agree, any help is appreciated.
Bioflavonoids are available in supplement form but are also in a host of foods including broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, berries (caution: strawberries🍓are often the cause of histamine reactions), apples and onions. Of course, onions are toxic to dogs, so strike this one off the list, but you might want to keep it in mind for the human family. Why these foods in particular? Because they provide a good deal of quercetin, one of the bioflavonoids shown to help allergic conditions. Inhibition of histamine release by mast cells and basophils also contributes to quercetin’s anti-inflammatory activity.
1️⃣ Quercetin with bromelain is definitely one to consider at the start of allergy season. The supplement form can provide a higher dose because dogs can only tolerate so much of the veggies and fruits. See the comments for one we recommend. Dosage we recommend is 40mg per kg of body weight. Start lower and work up slowly.
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2️⃣ Acidophilus may provide some defense against seasonal allergies. The National Institutes of Health states that people with cedar pollen allergies have fewer symptoms if they are taking this supplement. More studies are needed in this area, especially as concerns dogs, but going by my experience over the years, I consider acidophilus to have great merit.