Holistic Solutions to Warm-Weather Skin Problems

There’s a Holistic Alternative to Prescription-Only Skin Care?

A holistic veterinarian can recommend natural therapies to address your dog’s allergies and skin problems.

Allergies and skin infections are health menaces that typically surface with the arrival of spring weather.

Traditional medications help dogs with these problems, but the indiscriminate use of antibiotics and antifungals can cause side effects, such as gastrointestinal and liver disease, might increase resistance to the drugs, and can increase the costs of health care.

 There are alternative approaches which holistic vets say are effective:

  • Oleuropein, the active ingredient of olive oil extract, is often used to treat skin and ear infections;
  • Certain combinations, such as astragalus root, green tea, gotu kola, and ginseng, can boost the immune system and fight infection;
  • High doses of active omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil help prevent inflammation;
  • Frequent baths with an organic shampoo specifically formulated to prevent dry skin is perhaps the most important remedy. Shampoos containing organic oils such as coconut, lemongrass, citrus, and lavender can help soothe damaged skin and remove allergens, bacteria, and yeasts.

The original version of this column, “The Natural Vet” by Shawn Messonnier, DVM, was published in AKC Family Dog.