I don't know about you, but I do have one dog that suffers from allergies. Funny enough, her allergies started later in life, just after she was spayed...coincidence? Maybe.
As sad as I am for this development in her health, really the bottom line is HOW to deal with it within the parameters that I want...which means keeping it natural.
I help MANY people in this realm, most do not come to me purposefully for this reason, I am not a vet. But what happens, is they reach out to me for training on one level or another. It could be basic skills to major behavior issues, and inevitably diet comes up in the conversation, which then leads to any potential health concerns and so on. I specialize in the WHOLE dog, as I find that everything goes hand in hand.
So, what did I do for my girl? I really wanted to get down to base of the problem, which so many people tend to avoid, trying to bandaid the situation. I am a firm believer that if you can find the root problem, or problems that are contributing to the issue, your success rate goes up.
Things to consider when working out the triggers....consider EVERYTHING inside and out.
Inside - candles, cleaners, laundry detergent, vacuum bags, wall plug ins, diet, cookies, chews, shampoos, conditioners, and more.
Outside - dust, plants, grass, dirt and so on.
When we started considering what triggers could be the culprit in our home, I was pretty confident that main trigger was not in the house, though I still have a sneaking suspicion that cat dander is on the list. Keeping in mind that we run a natural household, which means no chemicals, no candles, no plug ins ect. Yes, I will admit we only use doTERRA, along with vinegar in our home.
This led me to look at our outside environment. After watching her behavior and reaction levels I determined that wet grass was a main source of the problem. I then made lemon, lavender, peppermint paw wipes. This made a huge difference for her comfort level. I use these especially in the morning after going out to potty when the grass is wet. By watching her behavior, I was able to tell that dry grass did not effect her the same way. That is why watching is ever so important.
In addition to the grass issues, I suspected that diet would also make a difference. Now, with that said it is important to note that we have fed a prey model diet for years, and am a huge fan of. What I needed to test was the protein sources. On a regular basis I feed beef, chicken, turkey, and fish. With the occasional "exotic" option of elk, bear, moose. I ruled those out, as she they are not fed enough to make an impact. So I went back to the key 4, I then systematically stopped each of the proteins, one at a time, for two weeks. Guess what? CHICKEN was the culprit!
Between the lemon, lavender, peppermint paw wipes, and the diet modification, I have my girl back. No more long days of chewing feet, and itchy skin. This is why I encourage people to find the root causes, but eliminating what I can control (chicken), supporting what I cannot (grass). I have systematically brought my girls quality of life back into what I know is best for her.
I write this today, because I do feel it is possible to support our dogs naturally, it may take more work than throwing a pill at the problem, but that is what I would do for myself, why would I not do it for my dog!
PAW WIPE RECIPE:
1/2 roll paper towels (recommend cutting the roll in half with a large smooth blade knife), you can also take a full roll, taking each sheet and folding them up.
Container (recycled baby wipe box, new box from Amazon, there is also a super fancy Omni-Wipe container - I use this one - from Aromatools.com)
10 drops each doTERRA Lemon, Lavender, Peppermint
Distilled water (my choice when making recipes) I use on average 1.5 cups water.
Mix water and oils together, then pour over wipes.
As an extra bonus, you can also add in a capful or two Apple Cider Vinegar (the kind with the Mother).
As always join in on the discussion on our FB page Pawsitive Principles with Bree and share what you have done to support your dog with seasonal allergies. See you all next week!!