What is atopic dermatitis in dogs? It is a hereditary and chronic disease, where the skin becomes sensitive to environmental allergens. Genetic predisposition manifests in certain breeds of dogs, as a result of which these breeds are more inclined towards having canine Atopic Dermatitis. This is a common allergic skin disease affecting almost 10% of dogs globally, and the symptoms are mostly associated with pruritus or itching. This disease is one of the major reasons why most people take their dogs to the vet. Now let’s get to know how to treat dog dermatitis at home with natural remedies along with simple tips.
Canine Atopic Dermatitis Symptoms
The clinical signs for atopic dermatitis in dogs is variable, and they can be limited to just one part of the body. Sometimes it can be more generalized, particularly as the disease progresses and as the pet ages. Some of the major symptoms that dog owners need to focus on are:
- Ear infections
- Face rubbing
- Paw chewing
- Recurring infections on the body
Do I need to be concerned about this dog skin allergies?
These symptoms mentioned above mostly represent the first stages of Atopy. There could be secondary complications from allergies, the most common complications being bacterial, staph infections, and yeast infections on the skin. A large percentage of these are not methicillin-resistant type infections, although those can occur occasionally. These are not typically contagious to people.
The yeast infections along with allergic dermatitis on dogs can be problematic. These are similar to humans getting yeast infections as they get very itchy and can complicate the underlying allergy disease tremendously by exhilarating the itch symptoms. The yeast infections in dogs tend to affect skinfold locations, especially the ears, paws, neck folds, armpits, groin, etc.
Dog Atopic Dermatitis Causes
The root cause of Atopy is genetics, and it has mostly to do with a genetic predisposition. The possible allergens that trigger this allergy are:
- House dust mites
- Trees, grasses, and weeds
- Plant Pollens
- Certain food and medications
Can My Dog Get Atopic Dermatitis?
It is possible for any dog to be affected by this disease, although several breeds have more propensities to develop Atopy. Here is some of the breeds prone to canine atopic dermatitis.
- Golden Retriever
- Irish Setter
- Lhasa Apsos
- Old English Sheep
- Labrador Retriever
- Most Terriers
Can my dog develop Atopic Dermatitis through Food Allergy?
Dogs can often develop allergies and itchiness after having some particular food. Unfortunately, pet owners often neglect the food as a cause of the allergy. As their dogs have been used to having it for a long time or simply because they are being fed premium quality food. Their thought process is wrong because dogs can get allergies over time, and the price or quality of food does not matter. After all, it is in the ingredients that act as an allergen. You can opt for best dog food for atopic dermatitis to avoid high risk.
Diagnosis of Canine Atopic Dermatitis
If an owner is concerned that their pet has allergies, they should take their dog to a vet and discuss the symptoms that their pet is exhibiting. Vets would be able to decipher and rate different skin diseases based on the history and the physical pattern of distribution present. The diagnosis of Atopic Dermatitis is based on the history and physical findings after ruling out other probable causes like parasitic infections. If the veterinarian is convinced that they are dealing with Atopy after ruling out other differentials, they can put your dog through one of the following:
- Intradermal Skin Test which generally requires referral to a specialist
- Blood or in a vitro allergy test
How to Treat Dog Dermatitis?
Atopy developed as a result of food reactions is curable, but the ones caused by environmental substances cannot be completely cured, at the most, it can be controlled through medication. Major dog skin irritation treatments include:
- Antifungal Medications or Antibiotics: These are helpful when a secondary complication is involved. If the infection is bacterial, then antibiotics are used, and if it is a yeast infection, Antifungal medicines work best.
- Using Medicated Shampoos: Ever wonder how to soothe flea allergy dermatitis in dogs? Many medicated flea and tick shampoos are available for dogs with the primary motive to tackle Atopy. They contain antimicrobial and antifungal properties to relieve dogs from itching. These medicated shampoos are very helpful for soothing the skin and cleaning the fur to get rid of potential allergens.
- Use of Antihistamines: Antihistamines are drugs that relieve a dog from the symptoms but cannot cure it. People choose to use antihistamines because they have proven to work and are relatively less expensive. Nevertheless, the effects of antihistamines can vary across different breeds.
- Other drugs like corticosteroids: In order to reduce inflammation, and Omega 3, Omega 6, and Fatty Acids help improve the quality of the skin, thereby reducing itchiness.
How to Treat Dog Dermatitis at Home?
#1 Aspirin and Tea Mix
Looking for natural remedies for dog allergies? Aspirin and tea mixture works when there is a hot spot, which your dog is chewing in intervals because of the inflammation, making it worse. Aspirin has anti-inflammatory properties, and black tea has Tannins that will help to stop the infection and heal it. Soak a tea bag in lukewarm water and keep it aside for 15 minutes. The number of aspirin tablets you need depends on your dog’s weight. The standard dose of aspirin is 80mg for 10 pounds. Trim the infected area carefully and use a disinfectant to clean it. Soak a cotton cloth in the aspirin tea solution and apply it gently to the affected area. Repeat the same 4 to 5 times a day for 5 days to get the best results.
#2 Apple Cider Vinegar with Water
This is the best dog bacterial skin infection home remedies available. It is completely natural mixture that you can make at home. It works well when your dog has dry, itchy skin. Apple Cider Vinegar has antiseptic and antifungal properties. To dilute the mixture, take a spray bottle and fill it up with 50% water and 50% apple cider vinegar. Since this spray is all-natural, you can use it whenever you feel to relieve your dog from the itchy skin.
#3 Coconut Oil
Yes, coconut oil is one of the best dog itching home remedies you can apply for your pet. It has antibacterial and antifungal properties, and it is safe to apply coconut oil directly on the skin. Whether it is bacterial infection, yeast infection, dry and itchy skin, you can directly apply coconut oil on the affected areas and massage it properly so that the oil can penetrate through the fur for quick relief. Coconut oil also helps in making the fur quality better over time.
Sugar-free yogurt is excellent for the digestive system, whether dogs or humans. This natural remedy for dog allergy works best for infections developed through food infection from the digestive system. 1 to 2 teaspoons of unsweetened yogurt can improve your dog’s gut health and help fight against skin rashes or several other allergies.
How can I prevent this from happening?
Since Atopy has something to do with the hereditary nature of the dog, you cannot stop it from happening. But there are several ways you can use to keep your dog away from potential allergens.
- Diagnostic Allergy Test: By doing so, you will know what your dog can eat and what it should not. As shown by the result, you should strictly avoid the items responsible for the allergy.
- Frequent Baths: Bathing your dog with warm water once a week can prove to be a good healthy habit since this will wash off most of the environmental substances from its fur.
- Controlling the Environment: You can control the environment your dog is around. For example, if you have a garden, you can get deep clean weekly to ensure that your dog is not around allergens, or you can train your dog to not play in certain areas of your house or the environment to keep them safe.
Atopic Dermatitis in dogs is very common, and if you tend to it properly before it is too late, then this is nothing to worry about. The simple home remedies also work wonders to relieve your dog from inflammation. As mentioned in how to treat dog dermatitis at home, the first necessary step you should take is to take your pet to a vet before trying remedies on your own. Then, after a proper diagnosis and consulting with the vet, feel free to use these remedies. Your dog is the best buddy you’ve got, take good care of them.