Holistic Approaches to Managing Itch and Allergies in Pets

By Marty Grosjean
Itch and Allergies

Ear infections, allergic dermatitis, even inflammatory bowel disease are all common allergy symptoms in pets and the causes behind these conditions can be as varied as the allergic reactions themselves. A cat licking at hot spots or your dog's itchy skin lesions can be extremely comfortable and the constant scratching and licking can lead to inflamed skin and other medical issues that can become more serious if left unaddressed.

Conventional veterinary medicine tends to rely heavily upon pharmaceutical solutions to treat the symptoms without getting to the root cause behind them. But when you take a holistic approach to managing itch and allergy symptoms in your pet, you're offering your beloved dog or cat the opportunity to overcome allergic response through natural remedies that support overall health and wellness by strengthening the immune system, increasing the focus on all aspects of the pet’s daily life, routines, and habits, and pinpointing the specific causes behind allergy symptoms that may not be immediately apparent at first glance.

Itchy skin issues, chronic diarrhea, and hair loss could all be triggered by environmental allergens, food allergies, and other common allergens that can impact immune response and negatively affect your pet's quality of life.

Allergic Reactions and Your Pet

What causes an allergic reaction and why do the symptoms manifest themselves as inflamed skin, hives, and other forms of rash and irritation? For example, dogs and cats can both suffer the symptoms associated with atopic dermatitis, a type of eczema that is triggered by certain environmental allergens like mites and pollen. When your dog's allergies are triggered by these influences, that allergic response is your dog's immune system basically malfunctioning as it over-reacts to the allergens that are in the immediate surrounding vicinity of your pup.

The same thing goes for feline sufferers of environmental allergens. The immune response is overly enthusiastic, to the point of triggering certain responses that are uncomfortable for your pet and the only relief they can get is through scratching or licking the offending areas, which can lead to secondary infection if left unaddressed for long enough.

These allergic reactions don’t always have to be visible on the surface of your pet in the form of hot spots, skin lesions, or irritation. Some types of allergic response can occur in the intestinal tract through inflammatory bowel disease or the respiratory tract indicated through coughing, sneezing, a runny nose, eye discharge, or excessive wheezing.

A pet demonstrating signs of difficult breathing may be experiencing an allergic reaction to something in their food, their environment, or a parasitic source which can be the cause of flea allergy dermatitis in dogs.

Treating Allergy Symptoms with Holistic Natural Remedies

Most pet owners have been conditioned to rely upon conventional medications to address their pet's illnesses, regardless of the symptoms being presented or the causes behind them. But the long-term outlook for that approach may do more harm than good as pet's may experience dramatic side effects from certain types of drugs either from just one dose or a continued dosage over an extended period of time. In some instances, the side effects could exacerbate current health conditions that make administering that particular medication more risky to the pet as a treatment option.

Drug interactions, consequences on the internal organs as result of long-term use, toxicity concerns, and even experiencing an allergic reaction to pharmaceuticals are inherent risks that pet owners need to understand when veterinarians prescribe medications for their pets. Many of these medications contain stringent and powerful chemicals and other components that can have an adverse effect on the gastrointestinal system, kidneys, liver, or other organs and bodily functions.

Choosing holistic remedies places more of a focus on natural remedy options that don't incorporate the chemicals and compounds of conventional medications, but instead, work to treat your pet's allergic reactions through alternative treatments that can be just as effective for pinpointing the cause of the symptoms and eliminating it.

Many of these alternatives are rooted in the principles of traditional Chinese medicine which has been a direct and useful method of diagnosing, treating, and even preventing illness and dysfunction in the body through the proper balance of Yin-Yang energy. When the energy within is imbalanced and the flow of energy interrupted, that can lead to sickness and dysfunction in both humans and animals alike.

The techniques that embody the tenets of traditional Chinese medicine include acupuncture, phytotherapy, reflexology, and massage. But these physical aspects are just one part of the solution as nutrition plays a large role in the healing processes of traditional Chinese medicine, as well as herbal remedies.

Applying these techniques to your pet can bring many positive benefits to reduce the symptoms of cat and dog allergies for their anti-inflammatory properties, calming effects, and pain relieving qualities. These techniques, in use for centuries, are some of the many natural remedies that holistic veterinarians choose to employ when diagnosing and treating pet allergies and itchy skin.

Holistic remedies heal your pet as a whole instead of taking a symptomatological, and therefore limited, approach to identifying, diagnosing, and treating the causes of allergic response.

The Importance of Alternative Treatments

Acupuncture, reflexology, nutrition, these and many other techniques are employed as both primary and supplementary treatment options to reduce inflammation, soothe itchy skin, and fight infections caused by allergic dermatitis, seasonal allergies, environmental allergies, and other common pet allergies.

The alternatives to conventional veterinary care move away from the use of antibiotics, steroids, and complex chemicals and compounds and focus more closely on the flow of energy through the body and correcting imbalance. To accomplish that task and promote healing and recovery from sickness and disease, holistic treatments like acupuncture, chiropractic, reflexology, and similar techniques designed for pets can be just as effective, if not moreso, than pharmaceuticals for promoting healing and pain relief.

These treatments work by manipulating the flow of energy in the body to promote good health and reduce disease and dysfunction. The biofield contains the life force energy which exists in every living being and establishing a secure balance in that energy is the key to good health. But when the energy isn’t balanced, the use of acupuncture and bioenergetic frequencies like those found in bioresonance technology are ideal solutions for restoring the balance and healing the body from within while warding off the negative environmental threats around your pet.

Whether it’s the use of needles placed in specific parts of the body, chiropractic adjustments, therapeutic massage techniques, or the bioresonance frequencies that work to boost your pet’s cellular energy and promote the natural healing processes on a cellular level, holistic alternative treatments that promote energy flow to relieve pain and itch from your pet’s allergic response target the cause of the symptoms.

Herbal remedies can play a major role in soothing the pain and itch from allergies, ease the bowel, and improve your pet’s health and well being. Pet supplements containing a wealth of vitamins and minerals can be a good way to ensure your pet gets the nutrition necessary to remain in good health, especially when their allergies are food-borne.

Supplements that incorporate Omega 3 fatty acids, fish oils, and a variety of nutritional proteins and dietary polyphenols can be a good way to ward off illness and reduce the risks of joint disease and arthritis. Quercetin supplements are a good source of antioxidants.

The use of medicinal mushrooms has also grown in popularity among conventional and holistic veterinarians to treat allergic response and reduce the effects of symptoms on the physical and on the pet’s overall health. Licorice root and nettle are two more useful solutions that reduce inflammation and discourage histamine production to minimize the impacts of allergens that are causing your pet so much difficulty and discomfort.

Eliminate the Symptoms of Itchy Skin and Allergic Reactions

We all want our pets to be happy, healthy, and safe, and when they suffer, we suffer. Pharmaceutical and topical options don’t always work for all pets and when conventional solutions don’t offer relief, it may be time to turn to holistic treatments instead. These are the methods that have worked for hundreds of years and we still call upon them today for better outcomes in the health and wellness of ourselves and our loved ones. That includes our pets, too!