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Can bathing your pets help with Pet Allergies?

on October 1, 2016
Posted in Pet Allergies

Skin allergies in pets are the number one reason dogs are brought to their veterinarian; sixth most common reason for cats! Skin allergy symptoms can be annoying and often painful to your pets. In our eBook on Pet Allergies, we share natural treatment and prevention options for both cats and dogs, and in this blog we will share the benefits of bathing your pets. 

Bathing your pets can offer fast relief for your pets skin allergies. Firstly, bathing removes some allergens from the skin so as to not perpetuate the itchy cycle. A second reason is to soothe the skin while treating the symptoms present in the skin – many of these treatments are listed below. Thirdly, bathing cuts down on the smell, if that is an issue.

There are natural ingredient shampoos, and shampoos free of dyes or perfumes. Occasionally, pets are sensitive to the chemicals or non-medicinal ingredients in the prescription shampoos. For those pets, more natural ingredients in shampoos can be beneficial. For others, the surface of the skin essentially needs “retraining” and prescription shampoo works best.

Every itchy dog and every itchy cat has a different cause(s) for his/her skin issues. Each one will also have a different presentation with different symptoms. You will find many shampoos to help treat each of those symptoms. Again, these shampoos are doing just that – symptom control – which for some is a beautiful thing on the path to diagnosis of the underlying problem and total control. If only some cats didn’t mind baths.


There are a plethora of hypoallergenic shampoos on the market, as well as veterinary prescription shampoos. These shampoos work by a number of mechanisms to treat symptoms. They can help the itch, but don’t cure the problem.

More commonly used agents, and the treatment methods, are listed in the two tables below. Note the following label terms: 

Hypoallergenic, Organic, Natural, No dyes, No perfumes, Oatmeal and Oatmeal-free. 

For non-prescriptions shampoos for atopic pets:

  • Antipruritic shampoos are used to fight itch with the following active ingredients: Hydrocortisone, Fluocinolone, Diphenhydramine, Pramoxine, Colloidal oatmeal.

An interesting note:  for the pet who may be allergic to oatmeal – colloidal oatmeal shampoo may not be effective as an anti-itch formula.

  • There is an Anti-fungal Shampoo to help fight fungus, with the following active ingredients: Miconazole, Ketoconazole, Chlorhexidine, Lime-sulfur. As well as a moisturizing shampoo to add moisture by using the essential fatty acids. Below is a table of other specialty shampoos used for pets.
  • Keratoplastic shampoo is used to normalize skin growth by using coal tar, Selenium disulphide, Ammonium lactate.
  • Antimicrobial shampoo fights bacteria, whereas Insecticidal fights parasites.
  • Anti-seborrheic shampoo treats dandruff by using sulphur, and Benzoyl peroxide.

Avoidance

Avoidance strategy is ultimately designed to address those allergy triggers that are avoidable – like strong smelling chemicals, scented household products, cleaning products including laundry detergents and fabric softeners, and yard chemicals. For the easy-to-avoid triggers, substitutes are easily and readily available – allergies are rampant in the human population as well so the alternatives are out there. And, in most cases, the whole family benefits with the new avoidance strategy.

Some tests like RAST, applied kinesiology, or saliva testing can help determine what to avoid. This means if your dog is allergic to cats, try to keep your dog away from cats (difficult if there is also a cat in the house). 

If your dog is allergic to fleas, make sure it doesn’t get bitten by fleas. If your dog is allergic to ragweed or some kind of grass, avoidance may be difficult, if not impossible.

Avoidance is particularly important for asthmatic cats. For some of these cats, triggers can be as simple as their owners’ perfume/cologne, or spices used to cook the humans’ meals. Careful observation can help some of these cats avoid the asthma trigger that causes an asthma attack.

A Note from our Veterinarian…

Pet wellbeing has a God Wash Shampoo which is highly tolerated by dogs with skin allergies and sensitive skin – Natural dog groomers would also appreciate this unique product. Your dog is left naturally scented with organic French lavender, not the perfume of most groomers’ products (also making it appropriate for sensitive dog parents). Every ingredient in this shampoo is well considered and I feel good about using it and recommending it. Your dog and the planet will thank you!


Naturally Pure Dog Wash for pets with sensitive skin and help with pet allergies:

Naturally Pure Dog Wash cleanses the fur and skin using a combination of organic botanical extracts, high quality humectants that provide luster and moisture where it is needed. Dogs washed with Naturally Pure benefit from a product designed for the pH of a dogs skin, without perfume residues or insecticides.

Contains 100% plant-based ingredients and natural preservatives from blueberry, oranges (Vitamin C) and olive leaf. Our dog wash contains components that are sources from organic, biodynamic and sustainable permaculture farms and certified fair-trade partners.

Nothing was compromised in the development and formulation of this high quality dog wash. Nothing!

What makes this the best dog wash product?

  • Made with natural and organic ingredients
  • Sulfate-free and contains NO parabens, DEA, MEA or TEA
  • Appropriate for all breeds, including dogs with sensitive skin
  • Made exclusively from non-toxic ingredients
  • Contains nothing synthetic

Can be used for PET ALLERGIES: Flea Allergies and other skin allergies!

In a non-BPA, recyclable bottle / Cruelty-free & Vegan

Order Naturally Pure Dog Wash  for $18.99


 

Learn more in our FREE eBook on Pet Allergies & Pet Immunology – download your copy below:

 

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Read also: Pet Herbal Therapy: Natural Remedies aid in treating Pet Allergies, Inflammation and Itch

Our Expert

Dr. Janice Huntingford
Janice Huntingford, DVM, has been in veterinary practice for over 30 years and has founded two veterinary clinics since receiving her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph. She has studied extensively in both conventional and holistic modalities. Ask Dr. Jan

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