The most common conventional treatment for any allergy includes either antihistamines or cortisone. Antihistamines tend to have fewer serious side effects (mostly drowsiness) but they are also less effective than cortisone. While almost always great at stopping the allergy symptoms, cortisone also suppresses the immune system, stresses the liver and increases the animal’s thirst and appetite. In my view, a more holistic approach to treating allergies is preferable
For me, any allergy is a symptom of a sick immune system. Face it, a normal immune system does not react to foods, pollens, or flea bites. Since allergies of all kinds are so common these days, you might wonder if we are doing something to over-sensitize our pets’ immune systems.
Here are 4 tips to get your pet’s immune system back in shape and fight allergies naturally.
- Stop Over-Vaccinating – The outdated practice of yearly vaccination is one major stress on a pet’s immune system. Even the more recent 3-year distemper vaccine protocol is probably excessive for most pets. I recommend that vaccine titers replace the usual shots. A vaccine titer is a blood test that measures the antibody level and can show whether or not the pet has adequate immunity to the disease.
- Give Probiotics – Any time we want to positively influence the immune system, probiotics can help. Probiotics facilitate the establishment of healthy bacteria in the animal’s intestine. Interestingly, 70 percent of an animal’s immune system is in the lining of the intestines. Studies show that supplementing with probiotics improves the health of the entire immune system.
- Feed Raw – I have found that many pets with allergies respond favorably to balanced, raw diets. Processed foods tend to be pro-inflammatory and the phytochemicals in whole, raw foods nourish the immune system.
- Use Natural Flea Control – The insecticides in topical and oral flea/tick medications also strain an animal’s organs. (Doesn’t it bother you that the label cautions against skin contact and yet that is how you apply it to your pet?) Toxins in the air, water, and food of the pet can also compromise any animal’s bodily functions. Reducing the toxic load on your pet’s system can help him stay healthy and allergy-free. Consider more natural methods of parasite control.
These 4 natural allergy-busting tips are a start. Next week I’ll have 4 more.
Do you have a pet with allergies?