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Allergy Solution for Dogs

Author: Shawn Messonnier, D.V.M., is a holistic veterinarian and nationally recognized expert on integrative medicine for animals.

Allergy Solution for Dogs: Natural and Conventional Therapies to Ease Discomfort and Enhance Your Dog's Quality of Life


The Allergy Solution for Dogs: Natural and Traditional Therapies to Ease Discomfort and Enhance Your Dog's Quality of Life

Excerpt
Use Hypoallergenic Shampoos and Conditioners

You can use a number of products to bathe and condition the coat and skin of allergic pets. I like to start with the mildest product first, and use more medicated products only as needed. What do we mean by the term 'hypoallergenic' shampoo and conditioner? First, any shampoo or conditioner can irritate a pet's skin. Those designated as 'hypoallergenic' are least likely to do that. The shampoo and conditioner serve to remove allergens from your dog's skin and hair, condition and rehydrate the skin, reduce flakiness (flaky skin is itchy skin), and decrease inflammation and itching. The 'ideal' hypoallergenic shampoo and conditioner should:

Be soap free. Soap can irritate and dry the skin, especially when the pet is bathed frequently, which is necessary when trying to decontaminate the allergic pet. Hypoallergenic shampoos use surfactants to remove the dirt and excess oil on the skin and coat.

Be easy to use. It's hard enough to find time to bathe and condition your pets several times each week. The product must be easy to apply and rinse off.

Contain anti-itching ingredients. The most common holistic ingredient is colloidal oatmeal. I prescribe a product that contains the oatmeal plus aloe vera, which is known for its healing, soothing, and anti-inflammatory properties.

Look and smell nice. I know it seems odd to mention this, but keep in mind that if you don't like the way the product looks or smells, you probably won't use it very often, if at all. All things being equal, I choose products that are attractive looking and smelling.

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