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Is Your Dog Suffering From Allergies?
Itching! Scratching! Ear infections! Swelling! Redness!
Beth Ley Knotts, Ph.D. (Nutritionist)
Dogs can suffer from environmental allergies just like people, but they don't usually get runny noses or watery eyes; instead, their immune system reacts with itchy skin, redness and hives that cause them to constantly bite and lick. If you find your dog scratching but no fleas can be found, you might be dealing with environmental allergies.

Recent studies report that cases of environmental allergies in dogs have increased by 30% over the last decade. There are many theories about the increase. It could be due to increased allergens in the air; excessive medication use or over-vaccination, which can lead to a weakened immune response; poor breeding practices; or overuse of processed food and treats. Luckily, there are natural remedies for a dog’s itchy skin and allergies that can provide necessary relief to your fur baby.

Conventional veterinary treatment for allergies consists of cones (cone of shame), steroids, antibiotics and antihistamines. Most dogs will finish a course of medication and then, within a short period of time, the symptoms return. Overuse of any medications can weaken the immune system, throw off the digestive tract and potentially harm the liver with long-term use. These prescription treatments are not addressing the underlying immune reaction. So what CAN you give a dog for itching caused by allergies? A natural approach, such as quercetin, can offer safe, long-lasting results.

Allergy Symptoms in Dogs

Allergies are cumulative, meaning they build up with increased exposure. In dogs, the most common signs of allergies are not respiratory responses but allergic dermatitis. Allergic dermatitis is skin inflammation resulting from itching and irritation. The scratching and chewing can lead to hair loss and hot spots. Hot spots are inflamed, infected skin lesions that are the result of constant licking, biting and scratching. These areas are very uncomfortable for your dog, and many times they quickly progress to open sores with bleeding and hair loss.
  • Itching and scratching
  • Swelling of the face, ears, lips or eyes
  • Red, inflamed skin
  • Sneezing or wheezing
  • Constant licking or biting itchy areas
  • Hair loss
  • Ear infections
  • Runny discharge from the eyes or nose
  • Gastrointestinal problems: diarrhea, gas, itchy rear end

Types of Allergies in Dogs

The best way to protect your dog from an allergic response is to make sure your pet avoids the allergen, but it can be difficult to determine what’s causing an allergy in a dog. A reaction to seasonal allergens can be similar to a food allergy or flea allergy dermatitis.

  • Seasonal Environmental Allergies
Some of the most common causes of seasonal environmental allergies in dogs include dust, dust mites, pollen and grass. These irritants are more prolific during certain times of the year, and your dog's reaction can be exacerbated if it spends a lot of time outdoors.

  • Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD)
Flea allergy dermatitis occurs when a dog's immune system is hypersensitive to the antigen or protein in the flea saliva. One flea bite can cause intense itching that can last for days. This can be difficult to diagnose, as there does not need to be a flea infestation; it can be from one single flea.

  • Food Allergies
It can take years for a dog to develop a food allergy. It can eat the same food every day and suddenly become allergic to a single ingredient or a complete protein source. Your dog could also be allergic to the dyes and additives in many commercial treats. To make diagnosis even more difficult, approximately 30% of dogs with food allergies also have environmental triggers.

  • Other Environmental Allergies
Dogs can also have allergic reactions to many household chemicals, mold and mildew. Many of us treat our pets like children, so assume that they need the same environment free from pollutants and moisture. The candle you are burning or the scented laundry detergent you use can also impact your dog. Pets are much more sensitive to airborne particulates, and the exposure can cause breathing problems.

What Is Quercetin for Dogs?

Quercetin is scientifically proven to reduce your dog's histamine response, providing much-needed relief from allergies and inflammation. Quercetin belongs to a class of water-soluble plant pigments called flavonoids. Quercetin is a bioflavonoid that acts as an antihistamine for dogs and has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It has been referred to as a natural “Benadryl.” During an allergic reaction, the body releases histamine. Histamine is an organic compound responsible for the inflammatory and itch response of the immune system. Quercetin turns off the histamine response that causes the inflammation.

Quercetin relieves excessive scratching and itching, redness in paws and other symptoms related to seasonal allergies; helps reduce histamine response with mast cell tumors; and has been shown to have anti-cancer effects.

Quercetin: Natural Antihistamine for Dogs

Are you struggling with how to treat dog allergies? Are you searching for an effective allergy medicine for dogs? A safe alternative to prescription medications? Look no further! Many veterinarians suggest Benadryl or Apoquel for allergies in dogs. Like any medication, they do provide relief from symptoms, but they can come with negative side effects. Antihistamines, like diphenhydramine, can cause drowsiness or increased heart rate in some dogs, while immunosuppressants, like oclacitinib, basically reduce the immune system's ability to react to bacteria, fungi and viruses. Short-term use will stop the itching and scratching but may make your dog more susceptible to illnesses or infections not related to allergies. Studies report an unusually high number of dogs with side effects such as weight gain, ear infections and uneasiness.

Quercetin For Dogs Can Help Reduce Inflammation & Allergic Responses

  • Quercetin for Dog Allergies (Seasonal)
Respiratory symptoms, such as sneezing and eye irritation, are common allergy symptoms in humans, but dogs react with excessive scratching, licking, chewing, rashes, hot spots, hair loss and even digestive upset. Dog owners may not realize that their dogs can have seasonal allergies. Many holistic veterinarians refer to quercetin as nature’s own Benadryl. It is a safe, natural alternative to Apoquel. Quercetin suppresses the histamine reaction and blocks inflammatory enzymes to reduce swelling and itching.

Most dogs with seasonal allergies have either taken antibiotics or steroids at some point to control their allergies. These medications destroy the natural bacteria your pet needs to maintain a healthy immune system. Many dogs with allergies will also have ear infections, genital licking, digestive symptoms such as loose stool and skin infections. If your pet has allergies, for best results, use Quercetin along with Probiotics and MSM.

  • Dogs With Mast Cell Tumors (MCTs)
Canine mast cell tumors are the most common type of skin cancer found in dogs. They can be found on the limbs, in between toes and in the spleen, liver and bone marrow. Both normal and cancerous mast cells contain chemicals that can be released into surrounding tissues. When these chemicals (particularly histamine) are released into the normal surrounding body tissues, side effects can include digestive problems (for example, bleeding ulcers), skin rashes, shortness of breath and other symptoms.

Quercetin helps to control the histamine response from mast cell tumors and reduce inflammation, which reduces recurrences. According to scientific research, quercetin and flavonoids have been shown to limit cancer cell growth in tumors. Mast cell tumors vary greatly in their size, shape, appearance and texture. The only way to definitely identify them is with a biopsy and pathology report, which help to diagnose them based on location, grade and size. If your dog is diagnosed with a mast cell tumor, a holistic approach with diet changes and supplements can be used along with conventional treatments provided by your veterinarian to support your dog's immune system and prevent recurrence.

Take the weight of your dog and multiply it by 1000 mg and then divide it by 150 to get the milligram dosage for your pet.