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  • Jody

Seasonal Allergies in Dogs: What you should do now to prevent or reduce flare ups.

Updated: May 8

𝗟𝗼𝗼𝗸𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝗺𝘆 𝘄𝗶𝗻𝗱𝗼𝘄, 𝗜 𝗳𝗶𝗻𝗱 𝗶𝘁 𝗵𝗮𝗿𝗱 𝘁𝗼 𝗯𝗲𝗹𝗶𝗲𝘃𝗲 𝗦𝗽𝗿𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗶𝘀 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗶𝗻𝗴... 𝗯𝘂𝘁 𝗶𝗳 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗵𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝗮 𝗱𝗼𝗴 𝗱𝗶𝗮𝗴𝗻𝗼𝘀𝗲𝗱 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗼𝗿 𝘀𝘂𝘀𝗽𝗲𝗰𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝘁𝗼 𝗵𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝗲𝗻𝘃𝗶𝗿𝗼𝗻𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗮𝗹 𝗮𝗹𝗹𝗲𝗿𝗴𝗶𝗲𝘀, 𝗻𝗼𝘄 𝗶𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘁𝗶𝗺𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝗯𝗲 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗮𝗰𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗲.

Spring can often mean flare ups of runny eyes, scratching/itching and licking.

For dogs who are sensitive to the increase in pollens, molds and dust -their mast cells- primarily the ones in skin, and the respiratory tract -release histamine in response to the “intruders”. This increases inflammation in the area as the immune system seeks to help heal and protect.

Quercetin is a natural antihistamine - it is a flavonoid and powerful antioxidant that helps inhibit both the manufacture and release of histamine and is used for many inflammatory and allergic conditions. The enzyme bromelain enhances the absorption of quercetin, so I recommend products that include both.

Although quercetin is found naturally in some foods like blueberries, blackberries, apples, broccoli and brussels sprouts - for dogs with significant environmental seasonal allergies, the amount in foods is unlikely to be enough to reduce symptoms.

A proactive approach to implement Before allergy season:

  • Consider starting quercetin at a dosage of 20-25mg per kg of body weight. Always build up to the amount slowly to ensure it’s tolerated. Divide dose between two meals.

  • Increase the frequency of dusting and vacuuming,

  • As tempting as it is to open all the windows when it warms up, know that you are also letting in pollens and dust,

  • Invest in a high-quality air purifier, I have the Rabbit brand - Dyson is also good but more expensive.

  • Wipe your dog’s paws -even their whole body, with a damp towel after walks outside once the melt begins and the grass is out and there is more exposure to fertilizer and pesticides, trees are budding and sap is dripping.

  • Quick, cool full body rinses can help reduce pollens and dust in their coats/skin.

One last important tip - keep in mind that mast cells also line the digestive tract and many dogs have both food and environmental allergies.

If you have a dog that has seasonal environmental allergies and they tolerate a food with a long list of ingredients, and/or they can handle higher histamine foods like canned fish- in winters - you might consider a temporary change to a limited ingredient food (a simple ingredient list) during spring (and fall) to reduce their overall allergy threshold.

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