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Dogs Get Fall Allergies, Too — Here’s an Easy Way to Treat an Itchy Ear (Plus Other Pet Tips)

Use these tricks when you're in a pinch, but always get your vet's opinion first.


Did you know that fall allergies are common in dogs? Just like us, they can suffer from watery eyes, itchy skin, and itchy ears. What makes matters worse is they can’t tell us exactly what’s wrong. To help your pup recover from an itchy ear (and other seasonal stressors), check out these tips below. Plus, find out how to treat dehydration caused by diarrhea and how to create a safe space when your sweet Fido is scared of thunderstorms.

Use this quick trick to nix your pal’s itch.

Notice your dog is constantly scratching her ears or rubbing them against the floor? Fall allergens like ragweed pollen, dust mites, and more can cause dry, itchy, and irritated skin, especially in a dog’s ears. Vitamin E oil to the rescue! Simply prick a vitamin E capsule, place a few drops in each of her ears and gently massage for 10 seconds. The oil’s moisturizing and antioxidant properties soothe and heal ear skin so your pup will be comfortable in no time. (Just make sure you check with your vet before trying — if your dog has an infection, she will need antibiotics.)

Soothe hot spots with a simple spray from your cabinet.

Is your pup also suffering from hot spots? Those scabby, itchy skin patches happen when your dog’s skin gets irritated, and she can’t stop licking and biting it. Try spraying the area with apple cider vinegar four times daily. To keep your furry friend from gnawing at it while it heals, get a soft doggie cone. They don’t look wonderful, but they’re comfortable for your pup and easy to get on and off. One we tested that we like: Zen Pet Soft Recovery Collar (Buy from Petco, $34.99).

Try this Rx for Rover’s dehydration.

Your poor pup had a bout of diarrhea after he ate something he shouldn’t have, and now he’s curled up in a ball and barely drinking his water. To ensure he doesn’t become dehydrated, vets recommend offering your pal 2 to 4 milliliters of Pedialyte per pound of body weight every two hours. (But check with your vet first.) The drink will ensure he gets the electrolytes he needs to help get him back on his feet and feeling better fast. Note: If your sweetie still seems off after 24 hours, it might be time for a vet visit.

Create a safe space for your pup.

When thunderstorms, construction or other loud noises scare Fido, he seems to pace and whine long after the noise has stopped. A simple way to help ease his jitters: Next time frightening noises begin, place his bed, a favorite toy or a piece of clothing that smells like you in a nearby bathroom. Then turn on the bathroom fan and lure him into the room. The combination of the white noise from the fan, the familiar scent of the item and being in an enclosed space will help Fido feel more secure until the commotion is over, when he’ll emerge anxiety-free.

Get the doggy odor out with a simple spritz.

Sweet Lucy loves her dog bed, but she loves it so much that it gets smelly quickly. Combined with the smell of damp fall leaves and other musty scents coming out as we turn on the heat and the temp outside drops, it’s a terrible mix. The simple solution: a spritz of Pet Pourri (Buy from Target, $14.99, prices vary depending on location). It works instantly, and the ingredients are safe to use around pups.

Related: Out of Dog Shampoo? Why You Should Never Use People Shampoo + What To Use Instead

Get cooperation for Halloween costumes.

You’ve always wanted to dress up your pup for Halloween, but he hates costumes! Make sure you find a costume that offers plenty of breathing room and doesn’t pinch anywhere. We love this adorable dinosaur costume (Buy from Petco, $11). Bonus: Petco’s Bootique collection is half off until Halloween.

Can’t get any cooperation whatsoever? Consider making your costume match your dog. German Shepherds, Huskies, Samoyeds, and dogs with similar faces pair perfectly with a little red riding hood. Terriers make for a great companion to a Wizard of Oz theme, and chihuahuas look ever so good in pink for a Legally Blonde costume.

This article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.

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