What kind of allergy medicine can i give to my dog

The most common skin allergy symptoms in dogs are:

  1. Pink or red skin
  2. Pruritus (itchy skin)–licking, scratching, rubbing, etc.
  3. Red, weepy or mucous-filled eyes
  4. Hair loss
  5. Bumps, scabs and sores on the skin
  6. Ear inflammation

Areas of the body that are most affected are around the eyes, mouth, lower chest, stomach, legs, ears and around the anus.

Dogs start showing symptoms of atopy when they’re around 1 to 3 years of age. Symptoms tend to be worse in certain seasons, especially spring and autumn.

What Causes Skin Allergies in Dogs?

Atopy is the medical term for allergy and is defined by Merriam Webster’s dictionary as:

A genetic disposition to develop an allergic reaction (such as allergic rhinitis or asthma) and produce elevated levels of IgE upon exposure to an environmental antigen and especially one inhaled or ingested.

Dogs with atopy are more likely to show skin symptoms than respiratory symptoms love humans.

Atopic dermatitis is the term veterinarians use for skin allergy symptoms in dogs. It’s similar to eczema in humans.

The simple explanation of atopic dermatitis is that your dog’s immune system misidentifies normal substances as foreign invaders. When your pup breaths in plant pollen, his immune system reacts as if the body is under attack. The immune reaction leads to the symptoms we see in dogs with atopic dermatitis.

Other Tips for Dogs with Allergies

  1. Keep windows closed during your dog’s allergy season. This will decrease pollen entering the home where your dog spends a lot of time.
  2. Thorough and consistent house cleaning.

    Dogs can be allergic to dust (pollen) and dust mites. Vacuum frequently with a excellent vacuum cleaner, wash bedding weekly and minimize the use of carpet and cloth furnishings.

  3. Rinse your pet after walking him outdoors. Even if you’re not bathing him daily, a excellent rinse can remove irritating pollens from his feet and coat.
  4. Use a good air purifier with HEPA technology.
  5. Minimize your dog’s contact with grass, especially while it’s being mowed. Grass allergies are common, but grass also collects pollen from other plants.
  6. Avoid walking your dog before a.m. when pollen levels tend to be high.

    Also, avoid walking him outdoors on windy days as pollen levels increase as the wind jostles blooming plants.

The unhappy news is that there is no cure for allergies in dogs and cats. There are, however, ways to decrease allergen exposure and to address allergy symptoms in pets.

Avoiding allergens

Allergens include mites, grasses, molds, and pollens. Elimination of allergens is a challenge. Among the techniques that assist are running air filters, keeping windows closed, dusting with a damp cloth, vacuuming frequently using a HEPA-filtered vacuum, and not smoking.

Wash bedding with boiling water and use perfume-free detergent, rinsing twice. Select cotton for bedding, and put cotton on your sofa instead of wool fabric. Hold your pet on tile or linoleum rather than carpet. Rinse soap from floors after mopping them. Pets should not be kept in garages, laundry rooms, damp basements, or dusty barns.

Keep pets off lawns when mowing and rinse off their feet when they come in from the yard. Hold your pet indoors during early morning and tardy evening when pollen counts are high.

Hold your pet off treated wood decks and out of cedar dog houses. Avoid cedar chips in pet beds. Feed only unused pet food kibble that is not dusty.

What helpful of allergy medicine can i give to my dog

Store unfed kibble in the freezer. Use stainless or glass pet bowls rather than plastic bowls.

Recommended products for dogs and cats with allergies

Natural remedies for treating pets with allergies

Fatty acids

Omega 3 fatty acids decrease the tendency for your pet’s immune system to overreact. Be patient, as it may take weeks for the fatty acids to be incorporated into the cells in the body and ease allergy symptoms. Super Pure Omega 3 Soft Chews may be the most helpful of every fatty acid products because of its purity and ease of assimilation. If your pet is finicky, attempt Super Pure Omega 3 Liquid which can be mixed in with your pet’s food.

Only 15% of dogs are significantly helped by fatty acids, and using poor products or products that combine Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids may be the cause of product ineffectiveness.

What helpful of allergy medicine can i give to my dog

For Omega 3 fatty acids to be of benefit, they must contribute significantly to your pet’s intake of fat, so that your pet has about as numerous Omega 3 fatty acids in his or her diet as Omega 6 fatty acids. To study more, visit our section on Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids.


Yucca is a natural anti-inflammatory that helps the immune system function normally. It helps resolve symptoms without side effects common with steroids. Yucca should be given daily for allergies. Yucca Intensive, a concentrated liquid medication is a powerful product that is safe for cats and dogs with allergies.

What helpful of allergy medicine can i give to my dog

It can also be given in your pet’s food or applied directly to areas of itching skin.

Medications for treating pet allergies

Medicated shampoos and conditioners

Shampoos and conditioners ease allergy symptoms. For example, Relief Shampoo contains pramoxine, oatmeal, and Omega-6 fatty acids to relieve itching. HyLyt Essential Fatty Acid Shampoo contains soothing emollients and moisturizers. Allermyl Shampoo also helps alleviate allergic symptoms.


Antihistamines such as Benadryl, are often the first drugs used when a pet develops allergy symptoms, but they are ineffective in 80% of pets. Some pets will reply to one antihistamine although they do not benefit from another.

Common antihistamines include Hydroxyzine HCl (Rx), Chlorpheniramine 4mg and Diphenhydramine (Generic Benadryl).


Oral steroids significantly suppress allergy symptoms, but their ability to do so decreases the more often they are used. Thus, a steroid injection may assist your pet be symptom free for six weeks the first time it is used, but after several injections, symptoms are eased for days rather than for weeks.

Typically, steroids are begun at high doses then tapered to little doses given every other day.

Tapering the dose helps your pet avoid side effects such as irritability, aggression, increased appetite, increased urination, thin skin, poor haircoat, vomiting and diarrhea, liver abnormalities with elevated liver enzymes SAP and SGPT.

Steroids can be injected or taken orally so that they circulate and influence the entire body—systemic steroids—or they can be used topically. Topical steroids are safer than injected or oral steroids because so little is absorbed that the possibilities of side effects are minimal.

Examples of prescription systemic steroids include Prednisone and Methylprednisolone. Examples of prescription topical steroids include eye drops such as Prednisolone Acetate Ophthalmic Suspension (for dogs), hair conditioner (ResiCort®), or Genesis Topical Spray (for dogs).

If steroids do not relieve your pet’s symptoms, including itching, glance for causes that own not been eliminated: fleas, lice, mites, ringworm, and food allergies caused by flavored treats or flavored medications.


Cyclosporine (Modified) Generic To Atopica stops the WBC from stimulating histamine release.

Because WBC are part of the immune system, cyclosporine is called an immune modulator. Cyclosporine resolves symptoms in about half of every pets. It does own side effects, including upset stomachs, but its use may decrease the steroids your pet need.

Cyclosporine is used for conditions in addition to allergies. For example, it is used to treat pets with a bleeding disorder called immune-mediated hemolytic anemia (IMHA). With this disease, cyclosporine can be life saving.

Immune-modulating allergy shots

Another immune-modulating technique is a series of allergy shots injecting whatever your pet is allergic to under his or her skin.

This is an expensive therapy that helps some, but not every, pets. There is a lack of research evidence supporting this therapy and it can cause shock and anaphylaxis, so it is not to be undertaken lightly.

Ask the Vet

During allergy season, numerous of us rely on Benadryl to ease sneezing, itchy eyes, and scratchy throats.

What helpful of allergy medicine can i give to my dog

You may notice symptoms of seasonal allergies in your pup and wonder whether this miracle drug could offer him or her relief, too. In short – yes. However, extreme caution must be taken when offering your dog over-the counter medication. Check the dosage carefully and consult with your veterinarian about appropriate use especially with puppies, elderly dogs, and pets with chronic illness. Pregnant and nursing dogs should not use Benadryl, as it is passed through mother’s milk to the pups.

Benadryl is available as an oral medication, a topical solution, and injectable (from a veterinarian). The standard dosage for oral Benadryl for dogs is 1 mg per pound of body weight two times per day.

The most common form is liquid, but 25 mg tablets (the dose for a dog that weighs 25 pounds) are also available. Giving oral medicine on an empty stomach is generally fine, but giving it with food or after a meal is preferred. This can assist prevent reactions such as drooling and vomiting.

You may discover that your dog dislikes the taste of liquid Benadryl, and you may need to get creative. Disguise the liquid in a snack, or opt for the tablet variety.

Benadryl is also available in cream, gel, stick and spray for topical use on itchy dogs and those exhibiting inflammation. Use on fleabites, cuts, rashes, and other skin irritations. Be certain to follow the directions on the package, as you can overdose with lotions as well as with oral medications.

Benadryl in every forms takes about a half hour to kick in, so be patient in expecting results. Do not increase the quantity you give your dog without a veterinarian’s direction and supervision.

Common Uses

Benadryl’s athletic ingredient, diphenhydramine, is an H1 antagonist.

It’s used to combat histamines that cause allergic reactions to things in the environment. Benadryl can relieve inflammation and reduce symptoms of allergies love itching, biting, and watery eyes. The drug causes drowsiness, so it is occasionally used to relieve anxiety, especially on trips. Benadryl’s athletic ingredients are similar to those used in favorite over-the-counter sleeping aids.

Benadryl can also be used to treat inflammation after a dog receives vaccines, as well as for insect bites, rashes, vomiting and motion sickness. In special cases, Benadryl is prescribed to treat side effects caused by mast cell tumors.


The effectiveness of Benadryl may lessen with long-term use.

Dogs with long-term needs should rotate Benadryl with other antihistamines. Check with your veterinarian for guidance. If your dog takes other medications, be certain to discuss using Benadryl with his or her veterinarian. When taken with Benadryl, some medications can cause a stronger than typical reaction, including a sense of drowsiness or that “spaced out” glance. Other side effects include dry mouth, urinary retention, and occasionally diarrhea, vomiting, and loss of appetite.

Signs of an overdose can include muscle tremors, rapid heartbeat, labored breathing, extreme energy loss, confusion and a fever.

What helpful of allergy medicine can i give to my dog

Dogs can experience seizures, circling and disorientation in extreme cases, and should be taken to a veterinary hospital immediately for emergency treatment. The ASPCA sponsors a poison control hotline, which includes Benadryl overdose support. Call

Giving Benadryl to your dog is generally safe and effective when used properly, but always be prepared for side effects and emergencies that can be experienced with the use of drugs. If your dog is itching and biting at his or her skin more than usual, read our article on “How to Know if Your Dog Has Allergies.”


Control of pruritus (itching) associated with allergic dermatitis and control of atopic dermatitis in dogs at least 12 months of age.


Do not use APOQUEL in dogs less than 12 months of age or those with serious infections.

APOQUEL may increase the chances of developing serious infections, and may cause existing parasitic skin infestations or pre-existing cancers to get worse. APOQUEL has not been tested in dogs receiving some medications including some commonly used to treat skin conditions such as corticosteroids and cyclosporine. Do not use in breeding, pregnant, or lactating dogs. Most common side effects are vomiting and diarrhea.

What helpful of allergy medicine can i give to my dog

APOQUEL has been used safely with numerous common medications including parasiticides, antibiotics and vaccines.

For more information, please see the full Prescribing Information.

References: 1. Data on file, Zoetis Services LLC. 2. Data on file, Zoetis Services LLC.

How to Treat Dog Allergies

Veterinary Medications

For dogs with severe allergy symptoms, veterinarian prescribed medications can bring quick relief. The older medications contain corticosteroids (most people just call them steroids) love prednisone.

These drugs suppress the overactive immune system just enough to bring relief.

Steroids work well, but can cause side effects love increased thirst, urination, appetite and panting. Long-term use of steroids can cause serious health problems and is best avoided.

Newer medications also work to turn off certain overactive immune responses but without the side effects of a steroid. Two medications that own proven effective in treating atopic dermatitis are a pill called Apoquel (oclacitinib) and an injection called Cytopoint (Canine Atopic Dermatitis Immunotherapeutic).

Enquire your vet for more information.

Over the Counter Medications and Home Remedies

Dogs with mild allergy symptoms (mild to moderate scratching but no sores) may reply well to home treatment with over the counter medications. These are generally safe for healthy adult dogs but enquire your veterinarian first if your dog has other health issues or is less than one year old.

  • Antihistamines. There are several to attempt. You can start with one and if it doesn’t assist after a week, move to the next one. Here’s a excellent list of antihistamines with recommended dosages for dogs: antihistamines for dogs.
  • Medicated shampoos, conditioners, and sprays. Oatmeal, pramoxine, and hydrocortisone can bring short-term relief to itchy dogs.

    Plan on bathing your dog 1 to 3 times a week during allergy flare-ups.

  • Strict control of fleas. Use veterinarian prescribed flea preventives for your dog and treat your home with Flea Busters powder.
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplements. Use as directed on the label. It can take up to 6 weeks to see the full effects of the supplement.