Thursday, May 22, 2008

Ask Lola : A slobbering advice column written by a dog for eco-minded dogs and their owners

Dear Lola: My dog keeps sneezing & scratching what could be the problem? What are some remedies to cure a sneezing dog?

Sincerely, MR. SNIFFLES

DEAR MR. SNIFFLES: We have all fallen victim to sneezing and sniffles due to the common cold. But even a bowl of Campbell soup won't keep those dust mites from tickingly your snout. Sadly, some humans are all too familiar with a runny, tickly & stuffy nose; watery & itchy red eyes and sinus pressure. For some allergy medicine & Kleenex are their best-friends. These people have mastered the art of blowing their nose & wiping their eyes. But, just like you there are so many reasons why dogs sneeze & get the sniffles. One of the most common causes is allergies which can irritate your dogs nasal passages or sinuses. Being a sensitive pup myself I have jumped on the occasional Ah-Choo train in my life time. If you are finding that your dog is itching, scratching, has a runny nose, or thumping their leg in a circular windmill motion then your dog may have allergies. With that said it could be something in their environment. Food, the great outdoors, or home surroundings can trigger an allergic reaction.

Who are the guilty culprits to blame for this crime against your dog? Well, it is dust, pollen, the black pepper on his fillet mignon and dirt of course. Although no dog wants to hear bad news, it can even be the food you put into Brewster’s bowl. But unfortunately there is no such thing as the "Sniffle & Tickly Nose Police”. If the sneezing persist or your dog has green or yellow nose discharge can signify infection so a check-up at the vet is in order. It is always good to rule out fleas , infection or other health problems. Like they say “better safe than sorry”.

Perhaps like me, your dog is allergic to certain ingredients in dog food. If this is the case a stricter all natural, raw, or organic diet can be key and help get to the root of the problem. Trust me, this has proven good for my health & well being not to mention I have gotten woofing reviews from my friends about my soft shiny coat. With a discerning palette like me, it is great to hear that there are a plethora of wonderful homemade doggy cookbooks filled with mouthwatering recipes perfect for any sensitive dog. Also, there are an assortment of organic, all natural, preservative & artificial-free commercial readymade brands on grocery shelves for dogs of all breeds, ages, sizes & special needs. Try to keep the diet as high quality as possible in order to avoid stress on organs and to help support the immune system. But always seek advice from your veterinarian on a diet that will work best for your dog. Don’t forget to do your research.

Keeping in mind your dog’s environment is important from where your dog plays, rolls, & flops to what you bath your dog with. Also, to what you use to launder your dogs bedding for that oh so fresh scent. Maybe, your dog is known to take a daily frolic or stroll in the flower bed which is home to pollen and weeds. With your dogs nose working overtime everyday he or she is bound to sniff out a dust mite. More so, your dogs sniffles could be caused by those potent chemical household cleaning products. From my past experience scented drier sheets, air fresheners, & laundry detergents can trigger a sneezing & scratching frenzy. Based on our experience my family and I have decided to go the all natural eco-friendly route when washing my bedding.

Air filters and purifiers are a great way to remove those pesky and sometimes invisible allergens in the air. Another great tip is to give your dog a good wipe down or bath from head to paw right after they have had along romp in the field or yard. This is a good way to rid the fur & body of pollen, dirt, dust & chemicals and keeps them from infiltrating your home. But, don’t be mistaken, there will always be a few that will creep their way in doors on your unsuspecting dog, your shoe and . So a daily dusting always is encouraged, dust mites beware!

There is a wonderful product that will help give your dog some relief, because not even Sparky wants to be the conductor on the ah-choo-choo train. So now you both can wave good-bye as it chugs off ! Garth’s Sneezing Remedy does work and lets your dog get back to doing what he does best -sniffing rears that is, but as we say in human terms being a social butterfly. With a few drops on his or her forehead it naturally silence your dogs sneezing . Garth’s Sneezing Remedy is designed to help dogs with sneezing or reversed sneezing problems. Its natural blend of oils aims directly at the sinus condition, soothing and halting the sneezing. It also aids in relief of anxiety and sinus problems. Formulated with pure, organic and ecologically grown essential oils in order to supply the best for your pet. Dog owners including my parents have been astonished at the results and so will you.

Not to mention that there are a lot of all natural herbs out there can be a found at your local health & wellness grocery store. If you are unable to find these herbs you can contact a holistic vet and he or she may be able to point you in the right direction Right from nature these herbs can give your dog allergy relief. These herbs can be used topically or internally. The benefits of many of these herbs is that it strengthens your dogs immune system, live & kidneys and helps other organs function better.

Oat & Yellow Dock can be applied topically on your dog fur & body. Oat can be used to ease itchy skin. Nothing is more soothing then giving your dog an oat bath regularly. For all you ladies out there we all know how rejuvenating it feels to get a facial oat mask or body wrap which cleanses your face and body from those yucky toxins. So what you do is boil about one pound of organic oat straw in 2 quarts of water and add this to your dog's bathwater. Make sure the water is lukewarm before you throw Spot in the tub.

Alternatively, make a rinse from dried yellow dock. Add one tablespoon of the herb to 2 cups of boiling water. Let it sit and cool down. Strain off the herb and use the liquid as a rinse.

But there are also herbs that work to help your inner dog battle those allergens cleansing the body of unwanted toxins. As stated dogs develop dog allergy symptoms because they have a weakened immune system or there is improper functioning of their main organs. Herbal remedies are effective in strengthening the immune system and other major "waste-disposal organs" (the liver, skin, kidneys). Here are a few herbs that can be used internally as supplements to fight against dog allergies:

Burdock cleanses the blood and helps eliminate toxins in the urine and sweat. It is good for dry and scaly skin. Burdock root is very safe for our dogs and can be used as a daily dietary supplement.

Dandelion aids the liver which of course is a main toxin-removal organ. It cleanses and tones the liver and enhance its proper functioning.

Yellow Dock is another herb to help the liver to eliminate toxins.

Echinacea is the herb for enhancing the immune system.

Licorice root contains a compound called glycyrrhizin, which is similar to corticosteroids. Glycyrrhizin helps stimulate the adrenal glands to produce its own natural corticosteroids which give anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, immune-supporting effects on the body. As a result, licorice root can give relief from the itching and inflammation without seriously compromising the autoimmune system.

Nettle is used in many herbal treatments for allergies. It stimulates blood circulation, has antibiotic properties and is effective in treating such skin problems as eczema.

The antibacterial actions of sarasaparila make it effective in treating chronic scaly skin conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis.

Some of the best hidden secrets are found in nature. Always keep in mind that sometimes Mother Nature knows best!

Barkingly yours,

Lola the eco-dog

You can find this and other eco-friendly products at If you have a question or need advice from Lola the eco- dog on ways you & your dog can go green just Twitter or email her at . Lola the eco-dog is here to help!

No comments: