Skin Allergies in Dogs and Cats | How Natural Medicine Can Help

As an Animal Naturopath I could make an entire living out of just addressing skin allergies in Pets, it is that common and rampant. There are two types of allergies that cause unwanted side effects, mainly on the skin, environmental and food allergies. Sometimes it can be hard to tell which your pets are suffering from, environmental can be seasonal, such as from pollens and grasses during the spring, or they can also be year round. Food allergies or intollerances will be for the duration of the time the food is being consumed and maybe for a short time after it is ceased, until the immune system regulates itself again. There is also a huge difference in the presentation of the symptoms from mild to chronic. It is a huge subject, but it can be at best eradicated and at worst, managed by natural medicine, if you follow the steps below, itchy dogs will be no more!

Itchy skin is the most obvious side effect of allergies, but it is not the only one, ear infections, hair loss, runny eyes, sneezing, chewing the paws, hearing issues are also most common and cause so much distress to animals and their owners.


What does the immune system have to do with Allergies in Dogs and Cats? Everything….. 

Allergic symptoms are the result of a natural process for the immune system.  One of the immune systems jobs is to identify intruders (bacteria, parasites, viruses etc.) and eradicate them so they don’t cause disease, infections etc. But sometimes and for a variety of reasons the immune system identifies certain foods and environmental products as a threat. There are B cells in your pet’s immune system, their job is to identify foreign objects, (IgE) in particular does this. When the IgE identifies the ‘trigger’ (whether food or environmental), it will attach to a mast cell and tell it to release a chemical known as histamine to neutralise it. The problem with this is that it may neutralise the ‘trigger’ but the powerful histamine causes allergy symptoms that we are all familiar with, itching, redness, sneezing, inflammation etc. Histamine being released every day because of incompatible foods and environmental triggers eventually weakens the immune system and can lead to more allergies and increase the likelihood of auto-immune diseases.



It is SO important to identify food and environmental allergens or ‘triggers’ so they can be eliminated or minimised. And then a plan for healing and strengthening can begin. This means that a food allergy test is needed, I am very passionate about this, is you are treating symptoms without identifying the trigger you are stabbing in the dark. There really isn’t a great point in just focusing on minimising symptoms, without treating the much bigger issue at hand, which is constant exposure to the trigger. There are some great and reasonably priced kits on the market and once you know what triggers your pet, you can make steps to stop the exposure. That is step 1.



You may have heard of leaky gut, it’s very common in humans and in dogs and cats and it’s a major contributor to a range of inflammation driven diseases in pets, especially allergic skin conditions. The membrane that lines the gut is made up of trillions of microvilli; they are basically finger like projections that increase the surface area of the gut. The more surface there is, the better absorption of nutrients. Unfortunately that means that there is only a fraction of space between the gut lining and the bloodstream. If foods are being consumed that are constantly irritating and causing inflammation to the cells (like processed dog foods), it creates gaps in the lining. This means partially digested proteins from foods can permeate the lining and cause a ‘trigger’ reaction of histamine.  Leaky gut can cause many food intollerances and it is essential that the gut lining is repaired so that current allergies don’t exacerbate and further ones don’t develop. I created Natural Pet Supplements Gut Restore to heal the gut lining, whilst providing animal specific probiotics and prebiotics. It really is a comprehensive and essential product in healing skin allergies.


The first step was eliminating anything that is a known trigger, so after you do a food allergy test, obviously those foods need to be eliminated. Highly processed foods like kibble and canned meats will contribute to gut inflammation and leaky gut. Feeding a raw biologically appropriate diet is the best daily defence against any type of illness. A species appropriate diet essential in creating a healthy gut and minimising chances of allergies increasing and flaring up periodically. There are some great ready made raw patties on the market if you are unsure of how to start a raw diet. Additional supplements like omega 3’s and extra nutritionals will help to support every system of the body especially the immune system and skin. Superfood Gravy Skin Support was specially designed by myself to include a range of superfoods to increase daily nutrient intake. I then added medicinal herbs proven to reduce itching, balance the immune system and moderate inflammation and speed up healing time. Just add water and add to their daily meal to support all aspects of skin and immune healing.


Herbal Medicine is a powerful, effective and safe cornerstone of Naturopathy. Herbs can bring the immune system back into balance, reduce itching, soothe the skin and speed up healing. I created Natural Pet Supplements Skin Allergy Support Herbal Liquid 100ml to address not only the symptoms of allergies, but the root cause. I used herbs to down-regulate the over-reaction of the immune system whilst simultaneously lowering histamine release. Also contains herbs to reduce itching and speed up healing time. Skin is the slowest healing organ in the body


Environmental allergens can stick to your pets fur or feet and then be ingested through breathing. Such as grass or pollen, eliminating grass and trees isn’t an option. So in the case of environmental ‘triggers’ bathing the feet after walks and wiping the coat with a damp cloth will help with airborne triggers. When you are vacuuming, keep them outside if dust and dust mites are a trigger. Minimising chemicals in the environment is essential as it adds a load to the already stressed immune system. This includes; flea and tick collars, spot ons and parasite prevention medications. If there is itchy, red and raw skin, putting a soothing spray on will help to heal and stop further infections from skin trauma. I created Natural Pet Supplements Skin Soothing Spray with herbs like Calendula to speed up healing, Aloe Vera to cool and soothe and colloidal silver to eradicate yeast and bacteria.

To summarise, If you want to get on top of skin allergies

  1. Food and environmental allergen test: (to see what triggers you can eliminate or minimise)
  2. Heal the Gut: (Leaky gut is a major contributor to allergies starting and intensifying)
  3. Diet: A raw species appropriate diet is essential in general and everyday health.
  4. Herbs: Promote healing and lessen histamine release, balance the immune system. (See below for the skin allergy kit link)
  5. Topical Sprays: Soothe the outward itch and let the skin heal and fur grow back.
Natural Pet Supplements provides a Skin Allergy Kit, it a trio of hand blended herbs and nutrients to heal the root cause of allergies from the gut, immune system and topically on the skin. If you want to get your pet on the path to allergy free, contact us at Natural Pet Supplements.