Written by Kaydee Barker

Labrador in the Grass

The air is full of pollen, and many of us humans are struggling with stuffy noses, irritated eyes, and feeling “cloudy.” Don’t miss the signs that your pup might be feeling it too. *Disclaimer: This is not written by a veterinarian. Please consult with your veterinarian before treating your dog for allergies.

When looking for allergies in your dog, you may see:

  • Itching, scratching and biting of their skin
  • Unexplained skin sores or lesions
  • Coughing, sneezing, or wheezing
  • Extra nasal “discharge”
  • Red, watery or cloudy eyes
  • Vomiting or diarrhea

When you see any of these, the first thing to check is for fleas, ticks, and insect bites. These are the most common cause for dog allergy symptoms- particularly those that affect their skin. If you find them, you of course need to get rid of any bugs still hanging around. Remedies for preventing and treating fleas, along with soothing the skin are below.

Next, check your dog’s diet. Make sure you know what’s in your dog’s food, and take note of slight changes in their diet. This includes treats and table scraps. If you’re sure their diet hasn’t changed, your dog could still have developed an allergy or intolerance to foods due to “overexposure.” The same thing happens to humans.

If you think it might be the food, switch to a high-quality dog food that free from additives and preservatives. Look at some of the ingredients in the food – dogs most commonly have trouble with corn, wheat, soy, dairy, beef, chicken, lamb, fish, and chicken eggs. Yes, we know that if you tried to eliminate all of these, you would be left with virtually no choices for dog food. However, your dog probably isn’t allergic to all of them (just like people aren’t), and you can look at the ingredients in dog foods to try to eliminate one or two of them at a time. Try to avoid dog foods with all of the common allergens, plus a huge long list of more ingredients, as this probably means there are a lot of additives and preservatives.

With those two ruled out, you can move on to environmental allergies. These may be seasonal or in your house (dust mites, etc.). They are the usual cause of coughing, sneezing, wheezing, runny noses, and irritated eyes. If it’s in your house, an air purifier may prevent many of your dog’s allergic reactions. If it’s outside, try to recognize patterns of where and what time of year your dog is having issues, so that you can prevent exposure and prepare for reactions as much as possible.



  • Essential Fatty Acids
  • Vitamins A, C, and E
  • Echinacea
  • Garlic
  • Benadryl – 1 mg per pound of body weight. Only use this after consulting your veterinarian.

Flea prevention and treatment (topical):

  • Pennyroyal
  • Catnip
  • Chinchilla Dust made for pets
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Rosemary water – add dried rosemary leaves to hot water. Let cool about 15 minutes, then you can pour over your dog or spritz them with it.


  • Oatmeal bath – Add a handful of oatmeal to water and wash your dog with it.
  • Green tea rinse – Steep 2-3 teabags in 2 cups of hot water. Cool and pour over your dog.
  • Calendula – Add 10 to 15 drops of calendula tincture to a cup of water. Put in a spray bottle and spray the affected area. They also make a calendula ointment you can apply to the affected area.
  • Baking soda – Make a paste with baking soda and water. Cover affected area in the paste.
  • Aloe Vera – Rub over affected area. Mineral oil – Use a cotton ball to apply to affected area. Especially helpful for the ears.
  • Aspirin – Dissolve aspirin in water. The dose should not be more than 30mg per pound of body weight. Apply to affected area. You should also consult your veterinarian on this method, especially if your dog has special conditions or takes any other medications.


  • Saline – Wash your dog’s eyes out the way you would wash your own.
  • Chamomile tea – Steep a bag of chamomile in 2 cups of hot water, then let cool to lukewarm. Use a dropper, syringe, or water bottle to gently wash your dog’s eyes with the tea.

Our Story

Owned by Chris & Nicole Van Ruler, Outdoor K9 is a pet store based out of Steamboat Springs, CO, that specializes in outdoor products for your canine companion.  The Van Rulers moved to Steamboat Springs, Colorado, in the spring of 2012. In Steamboat they found a a community that was both family- and dog-friendly, with endless outdoor recreational opportunities. This inspired the family, in their latest adventure, to move to Steamboat Springs, a place they wanted to both raise their family (currently two dogs and a little girl) and share their love of dogs and adventure with the community they love.

Contact Us


685 Marketplace Plaza,
Steamboat Springs, CO 80487


(970) 761-2278 

Email us directly!