The Secret Your Pet is Itching to Tell You

Posted by Bradley Lewis on

itchy pets causes

It’s important to understand what causes pet allergies and the types of allergies in order to naturally and effectively heal your pet of them.

Toxins Masquerading as Allergens

With every scratch, nibble, or self-grooming session, your pet could be trying to tell you something. One of the most common health problems for pets may be creating an insatiable, unstoppable itch. Without the ability to tell you what’s bothering them, your cat or dog could end up licking their paws raw or scratching off patches of fur. Worst of all, they can scratch or bite their skin raw and create an open wound. This can be a breeding ground for infections of all types.

Just like their two-legged owners, many pets suffer from allergies. In both humans and animals, the immune system, aiming to protect the body from foreign invaders, can overreact and pump out an influx of itch-causing histamines. In men and women, allergies can also cause sneezing, runny noses, and watery eyes. The symptoms of allergies in cats and dogs can range from itching and irritated skin to respiratory distress, vomiting, and diarrhea. Allergic reactions are signals that the body has been exposed to something it finds toxic.

Four Types of Animal Allergies

The most effective way to relieve your pet’s suffering is to identify the cause of the reaction and eliminate exposure to it. There are four main types of allergies that can affect our pets. Identifying the type of reaction will help narrow down the potential cause of the allergy.

Inhalant Allergies

Common airborne allergens include pollen, mold, dust mites, and mildew. These substances cause the vast majority of inhalant allergies in both pets and people. The primary symptom of inhalant allergies in pets is severe itching with a concentration on the ears, paws, groin, and underarms. Airborne allergens are most prevalent during pollen-heavy seasons. Monitor when your pet is experiencing symptoms. If it appears to be a seasonal allergy, you may want to limit the time your pet spends outdoors, reducing their exposure to the agitator. Keep in mind the height of your pet and where they live.  An average size cat, for example is exposed to allergens just 12” or so off the ground.

Contact Allergies

Typically the easiest allergy to identify, contact allergies are the least common type of allergy in animals. To produce a reaction, there must be physical contact between the pet and the allergen. One of the most widespread examples of a contact allergy in cats and dogs is an allergic reaction to a flea collar. Many chemical-based flea collars are made with toxic chemicals that while seeming to help with fleas, can be creating havoc on your pet’s overall health. In addition to irritated skin and itching, contact allergies may also present with a strange odor.

Try removing items within your pet’s environment until you identify which item is causing the allergy. To help narrow your search, try restricting your pet to a designated area of the home. If the symptoms persist, the allergen must be located within the confined area. Think also of new items introduced to the home such as:

  • area rugs

  • pet beds

  • furniture

  • cleaning products

Had your carpets cleaned recently? Depending on the cleaning solution/s used, this and other noxious cleaning products can create allergic reactions.

Flea Allergies

This type of allergy could probably be considered a contact allergy by definition. However, because it affects such a large percentage of allergy sufferers, flea allergies earns its own category. The symptoms of flea allergies are not a result of the fleas themselves. Instead, the allergy is caused by a protein in the flea saliva left behind after a flea bites. An effective all natural remedy for ridding your pets of fleas is diatomaceous earth. Earth’s Natural®’s Pest Powder is 100% food-grade diatomaceous earth. It contains no chemicals, toxins, or additives. Repeated exposure to fleas will result in continual problems with fleas on the animal. Therefore, it’s critical to treat your pets bedding and general environment to prevent fleas from returning. As with bentonite clays, not all diatomaceous earth is created equally and there are qualities to look for in choosing the right type. While diatomaceous earth and calcium bentonite clay are often used similarly for detoxification, the way they work is vastly different.  Learn more about the differences in this blog post.

Food Allergies

In addition to itching, pets suffering from food allergies can experience difficulty breathing, diarrhea, or vomiting. With such severe reactions, identifying the particular allergen (or allergens!) becomes ever more important. Unfortunately, food allergies are possibly the most difficult allergy to pinpoint. Consult your vet. They may trying a strict hypoallergenic diet to help pinpoint the ingredients causing the reactions.

Monitoring each dish of food as well as scraps and treats may reveal a possible source. Remember what animals eat in their native habit. For example, you never see a lioness chasing a chafe of wheat in the wild, so why would we feed it to them now? And, don’t forget to check your garden and home as food allergies may also be caused by a pet snacking on nearby plants. This is an especially important point as some house plants are DEADLY when eaten by certain animals. For example, did you know aloe vera is toxic to both dogs and cats? While it is an amazing healing gift from nature, when consumed by animals, it can cause vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, and anorexia.

Holistic Remedies for Pet Allergies

While on the hunt to identify the allergen, help make your pet more comfortable by relieving some of their symptoms. Calcium bentonite clay can help relieve many of the symptoms of allergies in animals. Used externally, the soothing effects can relieve itching. Hydrate and mix the clay into a paste and applied to flea bites and open wounds. Clay baths often give animals relief from itchy skin, particularly if they’ll sit in the clay bath water. Our ready to use Hot Spot Healer brings soothing relief to soreness and itching to hot spots. Our Wound Warrior can be combined with an essential oil blend specifically made for animal’s coats including:

  • Eucalyptus Globulus

  • Eucalyptus Radiata

  • Niaouli

  • Tea Tree

  • Ravensara

  • Pine

  • Lavender

If the animal licks the wound – both the clay and the essential oil blend – are non-toxic and perfectly safe! Try adding calcium bentonite clay to your pets’ food and/or water to administer it internally. How much can be added daily is based on animal weight. Specific guidelines can be found here. Taking internally, the clay can relieve diarrhea or vomiting caused by food allergies. Water intake is key to enabling the clay to work its wonders in the gut. Be sure to have plenty of fresh water available for your pet!

Since animals can’t talk, we have to rely on the testimony of people to know the great results that can be achieved with calcium bentonite clay. It stands to reason that animals suffering from many of the same ailments as humans do, they would also benefit from incorporating pure calcium bentonite clay into their routine. To learn more about clay for animals, read our post Heal Your Pet Naturally With Calcium Bentonite Clay.

Let us know how you use clay as a natural remedy for your pets in the comments box below.



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