Allergies are one of the most upsetting conditions for pet parents to see in their dog or cat. The suffering that can be involved leaves us desperately seeking relief on their behalf. It is our sincere hope that this comprehensive guide to the natural treatment of allergies in dogs and cats will offer some relief to suffering pets and their caregivers.
Top Natural Remedies for Dog and Cat Allergies
Nettle has a mild antihistamine effect.
Chrysanthemum leucanthemum (Oxeye Daisy) can slow histamine release.
Cat’s Claw may be helpful as an anti-inflamatory and for allergic dermatitis in pets, but it’s still being studied.
Lavendar Flower Water may be used to relieve itchy skin and calm obsessive licking due to allergies. It’s important to heavily dilute any essential oil before using it on your pet.
Licorice’s glycyrrhizin content has earned it the label “nature’s cortisone”. It also boasts anti-inflammatory properties and stimulates the immune system. Longterm use, especially in large doses, isn’t recommended.
Colostrum has at least one component that appears to help with allergies, Praline-rich Polypeptide (PRP), which calms and regulates the body’s overreaction to allergens. It also has anti-inflammatory properties.
Quercetin is a natural antihistamine with anti-inflammatory properties. It works best when combined with with Papain and Bromelain for optimum absorption (both of which are also antihistamines).
L-Glutamine may help with dog allergies associated with “leaky gut syndrome”, in which proteins leak into the blood via the digestive tract and cause allergies.
Digestive Enzymes and Probiotics may be the reason allergic pets often respond so well to raw feeding. There are natural enzyme supplements that will benefit allergic pets whether they eat a raw diet or not, including plant enzymes. Veterinarians may recommend pancreatic enzymes, fruit & vegetable enzymes or microbial enzymes. Two excellent sources of plant enzymes are Papaya (Papain) and Pineapple (Bromelain), which are also antihistamines as mentioned above.
Vitamin A from natural sources may help Atopic Dermatitis. It can build up in the body to toxic levels, however, so synthetic Vitamin A supplements are not recommended. Try supplying it with liver, seaweed, dark green vegetables, and yellow fruits and vegetables.
Vitamin E Mixed Tocopherols can be supplemented to help with allergic dermatitis. Check labels to verify that a supplement contains natural mixed tocopherols, namely D-alpha-, D-gamma-, D-delta and D-beta-tocopherol.
DMG (Vitamin B15) may be helpful for pet allergies, although an exact reason is unknown.
Extra Virgin Organic Coconut Oil is often recommended as an anti-inflammatory and to keep yeast in check through its Lauric Acid content.
Omega-3 tackles inflammation and is a good choice if your dog or cat doesn’t have fish-related allergies. We use Krill for Omega 3 and for its exceptionally high antioxidant properties. Note that freeze-dried Krill and Krill oil contain less contaminants than most fish oil supplements, resulting in less risk of adding allergens and toxins. The higher the fish is on the food chain, the more toxins it will contain (such as heavy metals).
Calcium Montmorillonite Clay can be used in several ways to treat allergies and their symptoms. Internally, this healing clay reduces inflammation and binds to toxins so they can be removed from the body without harming your pet. It is so exceptional at binding molds such as aflatoxin, grain crops are often dusted with it. Externally, a poultice can be used to treat hot spots.
Tip: Manufactured natural mixed dietary supplements are available for pets as well. They combine several recommended allergy treatments in one product. One of the most commonly recommended supplements for canine skin itching due to allergies is Itch Support Gold drops for dogs.
Natural flea and tick solutions will help prevent bites if your pet is allergic to them. We have you covered with two articles with natural recipes, Natural Organic Flea Treatment and Control (With Herbal Rinse Recipe) and Natural Tick Treatments for Dogs (With Anti-Lyme’s Bite Recipe).
Bathing your dog with natural shampoos designed to help with Allergic Dermatitis can be extremely helpful, and it will also remove pollen and environmental allergens. You can make your own or go with one of the many natural, non-soap products on the market. A popular choice is Earthbath All Natural Pet Shampoo. Be extra cautious if you choose to bathe your cat with any product containing essential oils because they don’t tolerate them as well as dogs.
Natural eye drops can help a great deal when allergies manifest in the eyes. Nettle-Eyebright Gold for Dogs and Nettle-Eyebright Gold for Cats are commonly recommended natural eye drops for pet allergies.
Bach Flower Essences/Remedies for allergies include Walnut, Agrimony, Cherry Plum, Vervain, Olive, Chestnut Bud, and Chicory. A popular blend of these flower essences is Pet Essences Allergies. For hot spots and obsessive licking, try Crab Apple.
The best way to identify food allergies is to use a process of elimination, which we covered in another post. A homemade diet has proven successful for many pet parents, with some going as far as raw feeding before finding relief for their pet’s allergies. A key in relation to the diet may be inflammation, which we cover in Foods in Homemade Pet Diets That Cause Inflammation. Choosing organic ingredients is a critical part of homemade pet food for allergies.
Most pet parents who have an allergic dog or cat know they should keep the environment as clean as possible by vacuuming, washing bedding, etc. In addition to that, having an air purifier specifically designed to remove allergens can make a profound difference when it comes to environmental allergies and pollen. Pet parents have reported a noticeable difference in less than a week of purchasing one of these life-savers.
For more information about Allergic Dermatitis, read Natural Treatment of Allergic (Atopic) Dermatitis in Dogs With Shampoo Recipe.
Note of Caution: Managing allergies can be complicated due to the many conditions that can be associated with the immune system. It’s also possible for pets to be allergic to some herbs, which would make matters worse. Additionally, herbal treatments may interact with medication. Plus, cats are extra sensitive to some natural treatments involving herbs and essential oils. We strongly advise you to consult with your veterinarian before administering natural allergy treatments to pets.
Have you tried any natural remedies for dog or cat allergies? We’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below.
Tilford, Gregory. Wulff, Mary. Herbs for Pets: The Natural Way to Enhance Your Pet’s Life. 2009.
Messonnier, Shawn DVM. Natural Health Bible for Dogs & Cats: Your A-Z Guide to Over 200 Conditions, Herbs, Vitamins, and Supplements 2001.
Staroscik et al, Molecular Immunology, Vol. 20, No. 12, pp. 1277-1282. 1983.
✔ You may also be interested in reading:
Dangerous Natural Tick Remedies (Infographic)
EEEWWW What’s That Smell? Dog Odor Causes and Natural Treatments
Top 5 Sources of Antioxidants for Cats & Other Carnivores (With Infographic)
Growing Herbs and Nutraceuticals Indoors for Pets
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