Growing up, our dogs never had any issues. Or so that I remember. Then, I grow up , have a dog of my own and we’ve taken more trips to the vet and had more reactions to shots, allergies, treats, etc. than I can remember.
No one ever said Lola was low-maintenance and she constantly proves that…
And Rio, well that’s a whole other story.
Every spring and fall Lola’s allergies start up. It starts with red bumps in between her paw pads that then swell and grow. She constantly is trying to lick her paws.
The first year we immediately made a vet appointment thinking it was a yeast infection as she also developed some darkening around the tip of her nail. $200 later it was not a yeast infection and rather, an allergic reaction that became infected.
*Also a must-read: 7 tips on crate training your dog or puppy.
Live and learn, we now are able to keep them under control with a few different things that we keep around the house.
Here are some tips on treatments and at home remedies that have worked best for us.
1. Skin spray.
It’s called Richard’s Organics Skin Spray. This stuff is great, it has tea tree oil, coconut oil, witch hazel and other goodness packaged inside this spray bottle. We purchased this for about $9 at Chuck & Don’s pet outlet in Minnesota.
Spray it on clean paws and make sure they don’t lick it off (at least let it sit for a little while).
2. Dog booties.
I know it’s a pain, but come this time of year, we slip these little socks (called Pawks) on Lola’s feet before going outside. I recommend these or the balloon-looking shoes known as Pawz.
3. Coconut oil (virgin).
Coconut-everything is sooo popular right now, but for good reason. It has many uses and remedies. We put a scoop on their food, I rub it on Lola’s paws and in between her pads, then put it on my hair. Really. Just not in that order.
4. Epsom salts.
1 cup salts + 1 gallon of water + Lola’s feet. Two times a day.
5. Self-adhesive wrap
Four bucks at Walgreens and this is one of my favorites. The booties work well for quick trips outside, but if we’re going out for a longer walk, I wrap her paws with this as it is more comfortable and natural for her to walk, plus it stays on incredibly well.
6. Benadryl (25mg)
Lola is a tiny little pocket pittie at about 35-40 lbs and I give her half a tablet a day if her reaction worsens.
Does your dog have allergies?! What do you do for them?
44 Replies to “6 Remedies for Dog Allergies”
Ace seems to have allergies too although much milder. He licks his paws, but they’re usually not red. One thing I used to do was wipe his paws off with a damp paper towel every time we headed back inside.
I also recommend the Pawz boots, like you said. Dogs generally seem to tolerate them since they’re so lightweight.
That’s good that it doesn’t get past the licking! Poor Lola’s feet get so bad every spring. And with environmental allergies, it’s tough. But we’ve pretty much learned how to get it under control! Thanks for stopping by 🙂
Nike’s allergies seem to get worse every year. An every other day steroid did the trick, but I wasn’t interested in having her on a steroid for the rest of her life. Our vet prescribed Apoquel, which worked like a charm but it’s back-ordered and no one has any idea when it’ll be available again. So she’s back on the steroid, and she also takes children’s chewable benedryl (also known as “num nums”) twice a day as needed. Still, her feet are a mess. I’ve been toying with the idea of booties. Thanks for the great tips! I’m definitely looking into all these ideas!
I hear ya! Yeah…the vet had some options like that as well, but like you said, I’d rather not have her on medications and try to keep it under control that way. I would def try the Epsom Salt soaks, too – they really work + clean her feet. It’s a pain in the butt, but it’s what we gotta do, haha! Thanks for saying hi!
Hi Sarah thank you for sharing these remedies, my lab has very bad allergies and went with the allergy shots and apoquel, but my poor guy still suffers and worse with giving him the shots. he is a little better but his paws get so bad he can hardly walk… I am excited to see if these work for him. I have tried booties but they just don’t stay on. the pawz look a lot better. I will keep you posted on how he responds to these new treatments
Apoquel worked well for my dog but be aware that it is an immunosupressive. She is now on an antibiotic following surgery and immunosupressive meds hinder healing so apoquel is out.
Sounds much like Shiner’s symptoms with allergies. I really need to try some coconut oil because I just keep hearing great stuff about it. Right now I’m trying some ointments and sprays and salmon oil. I bought some Pawz, but they are the wrong size and now I need to visit the store for some more.
Hi Ann, aren’t they a pain (allergies)!? Coconut oil is good stuff…really love the Epsom salt soaks also, those seem to do a lot of good! Thanks for stopping by :).
I know people who had good results using t-shirts too to further block allergens. Regular baths also remove much of the allergens. Of course, omega-3 is always great too.
Great tips! Thanks for sharing!
ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!
These are some really good tips. I have had a dog with allergies before and it can be alot to deal with. Fortunately, we do not have any now but have used several of your tips before and learned a few new ones. Thanks for sharing this great info 🙂
Buster’s allergies are horrible year-round. Switching to a raw food helped him a lot. He’s on coconut oil (I am starting to think this stuff is like magic!) daily, probiotics daily, a much higher dose of Benadryl (50mg twice daily), fish oil daily. I recently found another allergy support supplement that is all vitamins we’ve been trying out for about a week. I also have to clean his ears weekly or else they get a yeast infection. I really need to get him used to the booties, but he just hates them. I try to wipe his feet off with baby wipes when he comes inside. Allergies stink!
Ugh, I feel your pain, but year-round would be horrible!!! I guess that’s the ‘good’ part about Minnesota being frozen half of the year, haha. Baby wipes are definitely good for their feet as well. Thanks for stopping by 🙂
Adding in a fish oil supplement to their daily regimen is great for improving overall skin health and that pesky skin barrier that is so susceptible to allergens. Regular baths in an oatmeal or hydrocortisone based shampoo help a lot too.
Love the booty idea!
You’re right, fish oil is awesome and our dogs love it. We typically use a tea-tree oil hot spot shampoo just because the oatmeal can be bad if a yeast infection does develop. The socks are definitely helpful! Thanks for the comment 🙂
We have had good luck with Malacetic derma wipes, which are essentially vinegar wipes. Prescribed from vets, or can be bought retail too. It helps remove the allergens, and kills yeast build up from the licking. Could do the same thing by adding some vinegar to a paper towel in the correct concentration. For those using baby wipes, make sure to find out exactly what’s in them – there are some with ingredients that are toxic to dogs (I heard of a dog dying from something in some ingredient common in types of wipes).
Great site! My boxer Elsie has environmental allergies. It took us 3+ years, $$$ in vet visits, medication, diet changes, and a lot of frustration trying to figure out how to help her. What has finally worked for us is a combination of the right shampoo, keeping our house as free of allergens as possible, and finally having her tested for allergies and giving her regular hypo-sensitization allergy shots. She’s finally a happy dog and we feel like we all have our lives back!
Elsie’s story is at: http://www.allergydogcentral.com/2010/12/23/dog-allergy-stories-elsie/
thank you! Allergies can really be a pain! I’m glad you finally got your girl’s allergies under control :).
Great tips – I may try that spray as Jack does get itchy in the spring/summer.
My English mastiff is 2.5 years old and has major skin allergies!! It’s he worst in his arm/leg pits., where the hair is most fine and thin. It gets red, black circles that develop scabs. He doesn’t seem itchy. It is making him shed like crazy!!! As much hair is flying off of him daily you’d swear he’d be bald. He’s getting ear infections with it. We’ve tried fancy shampoo but bathing a 230lb dog multiple times a week isn’t very easy. We’ve done steroids but also can get pretty pricy when feeding him as many as needed for his weight . Does anyone else have issues with the skin? Not just paws? Any advice is appreciated!!
I just ran across this post from last august and hope its not too late to respond. I have two Italian Mastiffs and my male, Auggy, has severe allergies during pollen season. After trying steroid shot, which worked kind of but not completely, and not liking the potential side effects of long term use, I decided that I had to find a better solution. I use coconut oil both orally and topically for his elbows. The elbows will get raw and ooze like a hot spot and he constantly licks them, but the coconut oil seems to help them heal faster. I am a beekeeper, and understand the healing properties of raw local honey regarding allergies, so with my vet’s approval, I have started him on a honey regimen, 2 TBSP’s daily. He loves it, licks the spoon too. It should take two to three weeks normally (for a human) to see results, so I will update if it works. I have scoured the internet, like you, for ideas and help for my poor 180lb baby boy, and have come across some other suggestions. I recently found HardyPet and after researching their products, I purchased a bottle of the 90 count wafer for Skin/Coat and it’s a holistic supplement specific to combat allergies. He eats them from my hand, so they must taste okay. The supplement is supposed to help with the immune system response, and provide the nutrients and amino acids that improve skin health. I will post again as to whether or not it works,hopefully soon.
Thank you so much for the tips. My pit Harris has problems with his paws as well. He gets red between his pads and bumps. He licks at them every time he comes in so I am going to try some of these immediately.
Have 2 Bichions n Lab/mic, with allergies. Been going to try the Coconut Oil, but can I buy reg or at the doggie store for much more? Great hints going to try more of them. Bern doing liquid childrens Benedry.
Hi there! I just buy regular, organic coconut oil from a local grocery store. 🙂 Hope this helps, thanks for the comment!
I’ve had my foster buldog for a few months and she is suffering so bad with allergieg….i’m at my wits end…i’ve done everything – meds, steriods, foot soaks, wiping feel off,,,she now has a sore on the top of her head….prebiotics, probiotics seameal and honest kitchen zeal for her and she is a mess….
I just feel so bad bc she is suffering….I know it takes a long time to get under control……
My pup Harley is only 8 months old and I feel like we have been to the vet every month. Her most recent trip was for allergies but to her food. She is now allergic to most major proteins except fish and sweet potatoes. She has gets itchy and bumpy from grass too so this is super helpful. My vet suggested we keep her on benedryl or claritin everyday to prevent her from getting really itchy.
Very helpful article. Thanks a lot!
Mixing Oregano Oil with Coconut and use as ointment for paws is working perfectly.
Thanks for sharing!
My vet said the dosage for Benadryl is 1 mg per pound of body weight up to three times per day.
I have a little Cavachon that is allergic to everything green – trees, grasses and weeds. We have tried many of these things and are making a little headway. Thanks for the tips. Can’t wait to try them.
It should be mentioned that some springtime itchies are not from outdoor allergens. And if these itchies happen all year round you are looking at more than likely a food issue or chemical cleaning issue (what you clean your house with).
As for treating your poor pup with springtime allergies unpasteurized local honey, just a tsp a day, seems to work well. Of course please use common sense if your dog is diabetic or has other pre-existing conditions talk with your holistic vet. There are also natural seasonal allergy pills/drops one by natural pet (my fav) and one by vets best.
One last thing, be EXTREMELY careful with the booties and wraps on their feet, that is one of the only was they can sweat so keeping them completely covered means they can overheat very quickly!
Thank you for these tips! My pittie Turk has allergies that seem to get worse as he gets older. He licks his toes raw and recently got infected skin patches on his belly. He takes Benedryl daily and has tried a steroid once, it worked great, but we’re hoping to try more home remedies like these, and use the steroid as a last resort.
Thanks for sharing!
My blue heeler is constantly itching and licking. He has scratched off all the hair from his chest, sides, belly, legs, and about 1/4 of his back. He is currently on a lamb and brown rice food. I’ve tried the coconut oil on top bit no relief. He also immeninates a terrible odor. Anyone familiar with these symptoms? Could it be an auto immune disease? It clears up with prednisone but don’t want him on medications his whole life. Thank you.
Luke’s Mom, we are experiencing the same thing. Going to see a dermatologist next month. Itching so bad – year round but worse in summer. Had him allergy tested. Allergic to beef, sweet potato. brewers yeast, so many different grasses and trees, a backing in carpet – just everything. Can’t give him Benadryl because he gets diarrhea. He is currently on prescription dog food for skin and coat. We’ve tried everything. There is an odor – musty smell. Develops within a day or so of getting a bath. Our dog is a rescue. We were told part Australian Cattle Dog, though we don’t see that.
I cook for my boy, Larry when his allergies flair up. I boil greens, organ meats and a squash or a pumpkin. I mash it all together and he LOVES it.
Both my girls suffer with allergies! My sheltie has terrible foot problems. She is on apoquel, salmon food, and I’m keeping her off Bermuda grass as much as possible. My question is how do you manage the Epsom salt soaks? I’ve tried & she fights me.
What works really well for Lola and I (because yes, anything involving water is a struggle) is to fill a large bowl or shallow container (a large rectangular tupperware works well also) with warm water and dissolve the epsom salts in the bowl. Then fill a kong with peanut butter and I lift Lola’s front feet first into the bucket of water and have her stand in the water while I hold the Kong for her…then switch and do the back feet. Kind of a pain but it helps SO much. Then I follow that routine with the spray and rub the coconut oil on her paws, put her little socks on and supervise her so she doesn’t pull them off :). Hope this helps!
I use a plastic dish pan, ( about 20″ X 10″) from the dollar store.
For small dogs, you can fit all 4 feet at once.
eat suggestion! Thanks, Mary.
Our dog is constantly licking her feet. I wish I could figure out what to use to help her. As far as using Richards Organic Spray. It contains Tea Tree Oil, and as an Essentail Oil Distributor I know that oil can toxic to pets.
Best of luck! You should also look into possible food allergies.