Tag Archives: Flea Allergy

Help Your pet Beat the Itch with These 4 Natural Remedies

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Fall allergies are in full swing and we no doubt have several weeks left. If your pet is suffering from an itchy rash here are four more helpful remedies (on top of the four from last week).

1.      Give Fish Oil – Another factor regarding pet allergies is the balance of essential fatty acids in their food. Omega-6 fatty acids increase the inflammatory processes of the body while omega-3s dampen inflammation. Processed pet foods are often lacking in omega-3 fatty acids and high in omega-6 fatty acids which means that they promote inflammation.

A recent study concluded that 45 percent of dogs with seasonal allergies respond favorably to increasing the level of omega-3 fatty acids in the diet. The best source of omega-3s for pets is fish oil as opposed to flax seed oil. Allergic pets often benefit from daily supplementation of 1000 mg. of fish oil per 20 pounds of body weight.

2.      Give Digestive Enzymes – Another supplement that can be helpful when treating allergies is digestive enzymes. Digestive enzymes can increase the absorption of fatty acids in the diet by 71 percent. Adding them to a pet’s treatment will help the animal get more bang for the buck out of the fish oil.

3.      Give Herbal Licorice – From a Western herbal perspective, licorice root can be helpful in reducing allergy inflammation. Licorice has been shown to increase blood levels of the cortisol that the body naturally produces. This is much better than giving the pet cortisone pills or shots. Plus, licorice has a sweet taste that dogs usually tolerate well. As safe as this herb is, I do not recommend giving it to pets suffering from heart, liver, or kidney disease unless prescribed by a veterinary herbalist. Be sure to only use herbs from reputable companies. Here’s some basic herbal dosing info.

4.      Get TCVM Treatment – For me, Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) is invaluable in the treatment of skin allergies. There are several conditions from the Chinese perspective that can cause allergy symptoms. Seasonal allergies are often the result of an invasion of “wind.” Sometimes there is “heat” or “dampness” associated with the condition. Other times allergies are the result of a “blood deficiency.” These Chinese disease entities require the special skills of veterinarian trained in Chinese herbal medicine to determine and treat effectively.

Allergies can take time to bring under control. Because there are many issues that contribute to the problem, it takes a multi-pronged approach to solve it.

What natural remedies have you found that work?

4 Natural Allergy-Busting Tips

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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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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?

5 1/2 Tips to Beat Fleas Naturally

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By the end of the summer, fleas often become a nuisance for our pets. Sometimes, the situation can become life threatening. One important principle to understand is that in temperate climates the problem really begins in the spring, when the fleas first emerge. They reproduce during the warm months and are at peak population in the fall.

Flea bite dermatitis is the most common allergy in dogs. The bite of just one flea can make your pet itch for 2 weeks. Often a rash will break out on the tail base or groin area. Don’t be too sure that your pet does not have fleas.

Topical, chemical flea treatments only kill the fleas after they bite. That is too late if your pet is allergic, although these medications do help stop flea infestations. I have many concerns about products to be applied topically on pets when the label warns against skin contact for you.

There is no silver bullet for flea prevention from a holistic standpoint. A multi-pronged approach is necessary. Here are 5 steps to help keep your pet comfy.

  1. Keep your pet healthy. Flea prevention begins with a truly healthy pet. A strong pet with a vigorous constitution is less susceptible to any parasite. Of course the foundation for a healthy pet is a balanced, raw diet. (There are some who will tell you that a healthy pet never gets parasites, but in my experience, that often is not the case.) Some people have had success with supplementing their pets with garlic and/or brewer’s yeast. Remember that even a little garlic can be toxic to cats. Dogs can handle about a clove per 50 pounds.
  1. Treat your yard with nematodes. Ultimately, our pets contact fleas from the out of doors, so this is an obvious place to begin flea control. Even if your pet roams far and wide, setting up a buffer zone right around the house will help stop a problem.For the treatment of your yard, I recommend the use of beneficial nematodes. This natural flea control is safe and effective. Nematodes are microscopic worms that feed on the larvae of fleas and other insect pests. They are totally harmless to people, animals, and insects that are not harmful to the lawn and garden.The best part is that these nematodes cause no problems of their own. If there are no insects for them to eat, they die off. You don’t have to worry about the toxic effects that chemicals can have on animals, well water, and the environment.
  1. Treat your pet with essential oils. Another means of keeping fleas off your pet is to use a natural, topical treatment that repels fleas. There are many flea sprays available made with essential oils such as citronella, pennyroyal, and others that give off a smell that repels insects. As a bonus, this flea product actually smells nice, unlike many chemical dips and sprays. The down side is that if you can’t smell it, it isn’t working, which means these sprays need to be applied frequently.
  1. Treat your house with diatomaceous earth. For every flea you find on your pet, there are 10 more in the immediate environment. These prolific creatures lay hundreds of eggs each day. If your pet has fleas and comes into your house, then there are flea larvae in your carpet and furniture. A natural way to combat fleas in the house is to sprinkle diatomaceous earth into the carpeting to desiccate (dry out) the flea larvae and eggs.
  1. Use a flea comb. A final natural flea tip is to get a flea comb and use it daily on your pet. A flea comb has finely spaced teeth that can pull the fleas and loose fur off your pet. This technique can serve as an early detection method allowing you to really jump on a flea infestation before it gets out of hand.

Make Your Own Natural Lemon Flea Dip
Here is a simple safe formula to make your own natural flea dip. Thinly slice one whole lemon, peel and all. Add it to one pint of near-boiling water and let steep over night. The next day, sponge the solution onto your pet’s skin and let it dry. You can repeat the procedure daily for severe flea problems.

Lemons are a source of natural flea-killing substances such as d-limonene plus other healing ingredients. Be careful not to get the solution in your pet’s eyes and do not apply to irritated skin.

What natural remedies have you found that really work against fleas?