I have been trying to minimize Bonbon’s allergies for some time. Specially during Spring and Summertime, pollen is a real issue and it affects humans and dogs as well, and so much so Bonbon.
When dealing with allergies, you can treat the symptoms but it is hard, nearly impossible, to cure them.
How to Treat Allergies among Yorkies
There are different types of allergies that may come and go with the season. Sometimes dogs can grow into or out of allergies. I remember Bonbon never suffered any allergic symptoms until a few years ago when he turned 6 years. Although it takes some effort and time, allergies can be reduced with persistence and patience.
Allergies might occur caused by:
- Contact with people, other animals or things: Just like in humans, when they come into contact with items that were laundered with certain detergents, cleaning products, some kinds of fabrics (especially if they are synthetic) and for dogs any grooming products used on their skin.
- Environmental elements like air, water, etc: Environmental allergies, or seasonal allergies, which is the reaction to something in the environment, very often pollen, weeds and grasses which are the most common, and in areas where pollen is heavy in the early Spring this triggers it badly. Bonbon starts sneezing, rubbing his nose against carpets, car seats, etc.
- Food: Food allergies which I think is the one that is more threatening to dogs. It is a response to certain foods, or the contents in certain foods, like preservatives, grains, soy, corn, wheat or by-products, sometimes even eggs. They usually start scratching their front under legs, and tummy, usually these are food allergies.
As in humans, allergies are a hard one to pinpoint. To what food, to what object or product, or just simply what you are allergic to.
- Flooring, most commonly carpets which can be made from synthetic fibres. If you have carpet all over your home, try keeping your Yorkie on certain areas of our house with no carpet or place a cotton blanket that has been properly washed with hypoallergenic detergents and also, encourages your Yorkie to rest and sleep in his bed…this might be difficult because our Yorkies are cuddling and nearly always like to sleep with their owner, Bonbon will very rarely sleep in his own bed.
- When buying cleaners and detergents avoid heavily perfumed ones and try to choose hypoallergenic ones. It is best for all of us to use a “free of color or smell” detergent. Always good to wash his bed cover, clothing and mats with hot water to reduce the number of bacteria.
- If your Yorkie is a toy lover, remember to buy good quality toys, otherwise, other cheap plastic toys may cause allergies in their mouth.
- Always prefer ceramic or stainless steel bowls since they are much better than using plastic bowls. With time and use, plastic tends to degrade and release harmful chemicals.
- Shampoos and coat products are in direct contact with your Yorkie’s skin and can trigger severe allergies. Always choose a natural shampoo or coat product. Any shampoo, wash or coat product that contains heavy perfumes, certain preservatives, alcohol and foam boosters can start an allergic reaction. Try using top quality natural and organic products that contain no harsh ingredients.
The Importance of Food
Sometimes we buy a certain food because of the brand or because we see them advertised on TV and sometimes those are the ones that cause worse damage. Snacks or treats sometimes may contain the same allergen that might be found in any kibble. So treats must be chosen carefully as well.
Common food triggers for allergies include synthetic preservatives, which are common in many brands, because using natural or organic products is more expensive. Artificial flavouring enhancers like Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
If you want to avoid any of the problems with food, choose high-quality all-natural kibble and 100% natural treats.
If your Yorkie seems allergic to chicken, like Bonbon is, there are other protein sources of food that is very healthy. Fish recipes are a good choice for the natural omega and it will boost skin health and it really helps with itching. There are many fish-based products for small breeds.
Usually, pet food from Canada, New Zealand and Australia tend to be of higher quality and healthier products. These 3 countries have tighter regulations and controls for the use of hormones, chemicals, genetically modified ingredients, pesticides, etc in their food industry.
Home cooking is another option. That way you can perfectly know what your Yorkie is eating. Bonbon likes salmon with rice, home-cooked of course and also lean meat.
If you notice that your dog is suffering from a food allergy, and you have changed his food, please be patient because to see any significant improvement it takes from 8 to 10 weeks. If your Yorkie has had vomiting and/or diarrhoea it can help to keep him off food for a day or son and make sure that he is getting a lot of liquid.
I have even tried coconut water as a hydrating element and Bonbon has liked it. Then continue with a very bland diet of just lean fee, or if not allergic to chicken, try the white skinless chicken. You can add just white plain rice or maybe sweet potatoes.
The list of allergy causes is endless, in our precious Yorkies just as for us humans, hard to get to the core of the cause, but meanwhile watch your Yorkie and of course any kind of alarming symptom always run to your vet for professional advice.
Bonbon’s Calming Bath for Skin Itching
I have used this recipe for a bath that helps with itching and especially summer allergies for Bonbon, a friend gave it to me and I have to bathe him several times with this mixture and he seems to like it, feels fresh, clean and happy. So if you want just try it, even on a summer day and it will keep mosquitoes and they also say fleas away.
– Castille Soap (you can buy in on your local pharmacy)
– 3 drops each of:
Mix all well with warm water and bathe your Yorkie with this.
He will feel fresh, clean and it helps with fleas, as well as with grass allergies. You can also put 2 drops of each of the oils, in a bottle with warm water, and use to spray your dog once a day with that spray.
Well, we can talk lots more about allergies for our Yorkies, but just wanted to give some ideas of what I have done and tried for Bonbon.
Until next time enjoy Summer and watch your doggie for any of the allergies I have talked about.