If your cat or dog is scratching, losing hair or developing a rash, it may have pet allergies. Try the following home remedies to help alleviate pet allergy symptoms from flora, food and fleas, or ask your veterinarian for advice.
More people are turning to natural remedies for both themselves and their pets. While nothing can replace the expertise of your local vet, there are many natural remedies to combat common cat ailments. Below you will find several popular holistic methods — all of which can be done from the comfort of your own home.
1. Get rid of plastic food dishes.
Hot spots around the face can be caused by plastic food bowls. Throw out your plastic food and water bowls. Plastic tends to develop tiny cracks that can harbor bacteria, which cause reactions in sensitive dogs and cats.
Pets that are sensitive to these plastic food bowl bacterial allergens often develop puppy acne or feline acne and a rash or pimples around the lips and chin, and sometimes even around the eyes or ears.
Replace plastic with stainless, glass or ceramic food bowls and keep them meticulously clean, including washing them in the dishwasher at least weekly.
2. Do not use tea tree oil to treat skin conditions in pets.
Tea tree oil causes nasty contact allergies in pets, up to and including neurological reactions. Never put human acne medications on your pet. Human skin is much more acidic than pet skin, and using any human skin or hair products on your pet — including shampoo — can cause contact irritation.
Natural remedies for hot spots and allergies include Epsom salts. The healing properties of Epsom salt have been known for generations. Gentle soaking of just about any infected area of skin with Epsom salts — including feet, feline acne, hot spots and more — once or twice daily, discourages infection, reduces swelling and promotes healing. Epsom salts are available at any local pharmacy.
To apply, use a folded cloth applied gently to the affected area. If the hot spots are under the feet, soak feet in a saturated solution by adding as much of the Epsom salts to a warm/hot bowl of water until no more will dissolve. Soak for five to 10 minutes. Do not let your dog drink the water.
3. Get creative with treats.
Use little, white marshmallows as treats for food-allergic dogs. They’re low calorie, and dogs love them.
4. Add a complete oil to your pet’s diet.
A simple way to treat dry skin and dandruff is to add a complete oil to your pet’s diet. Corn, safflower, peanut and sunflower are examples of oils that contain all the essential fatty acids. Your cat can take about half a teaspoon with each meal.
Dogs can be given one to three teaspoons with each meal, depending on size. But remember that more is not better since oils are quite fattening, and some dogs can develop pancreatitis if fed too much fat.