Allergies in Dogs and How to Treat Them: 10 Working Remedies for Allergic Dogs


allergy medications for dogs

Allergies are one of the most common problems that veterinarians treat. They can be caused by a number of things, including environmental allergens like pollen or dust mites, food allergies, or even reactions to certain medications. Dogs can also be allergic to flea bites, which is why it’s so important to use a good flea preventive.

There are a number of allergy medications available for dogs, both over-the-counter and prescription. Antihistamines like diphenhydramine (Benadryl) or cetirizine (Zyrtec) can be helpful in relieving allergy symptoms. Your veterinarian may also prescribe corticosteroids like prednisone or dexamethasone to help reduce inflammation caused by allergies.

If your dog has severe allergies, you may need to consult with a veterinary dermatologist for more specialized treatment options.

1. Antihistamines

A person standing next to a dog

One of the most common allergy medications given to dogs is diphenhydramine, which is also known by the brand name Benadryl. Diphenhydramine works by blocking histamine receptors, which reduces allergy symptoms.

The usual dose of diphenhydramine for dogs is 1-2 mg/kg body weight given every 8-12 hours. Be sure to check with your veterinarian before giving any medication to your dog, as there can be side effects, particularly at higher doses.

Cetirizine (brand name Zyrtec) is another antihistamine that can be used in dogs. It has a similar mechanism of action to diphenhydramine and can be given at the same dosage.

2. Corticosteroids

A dog standing on grass

Corticosteroids are a type of anti-inflammatory medication that can be helpful in treating allergies. They work by suppressing the immune system, which can reduce allergy symptoms.

Prednisone and dexamethasone are two common corticosteroids that are used in dogs. The usual dose of prednisone is 0.5-2 mg/kg body weight given every 12-24 hours. Dexamethasone is usually given at a dose of 0.1-0.2 mg/kg body weight given every 12 hours.

Recommended just for you:
Veterinary Medicine as a Career

As with any medication, there can be side effects associated with corticosteroid use, so it’s important to check with your veterinarian before starting your dog on one of these medications.

3. Cytopoint

Cytopoint is a new allergy medication that was recently approved for use in dogs. It’s a monoclonal antibody that works by targeting and binding to cytokines, which are proteins that play a role in allergy symptoms.

Cytopoint is given as an injection and the effects can last for 4-8 weeks. It’s usually given once every 4-8 weeks as needed.

4. Apoquel

Apoquel is a newer allergy medication that works by blocking the action of histamine at receptors in the skin. It’s available as tablets or an oral suspension and can be given once or twice daily.

The usual dose of Apoquel is 0.4-0.6 mg/kg body weight given once or twice daily.

5. Atopica

Atopica is an immunosuppressive medication that is used to treat a variety of conditions, including allergies. It’s available as capsules or an oral solution and is usually given once daily.

The usual dose of Atopica for dogs is 2.5-5 mg/kg body weight given once daily.

6. Allergy shots

Allergy shots (immunotherapy) are another option for treating allergies in dogs. They work by exposing the dog to small amounts of the allergy-causing substance (allergen) so that they can build up immunity to it over time.

Allergy shots are usually given once or twice weekly for a period of 3-6 months, followed by monthly maintenance injections.

7. Change in diet

A change in diet can also be helpful for dogs with allergies. This means switching to a food that does not contain the allergy-causing substance (allergen). For example, if your dog is allergic to beef, you would switch to a lamb and rice formula.

Recommended just for you:
Certificates In Animal Health Services

It’s important to work with your veterinarian when making a dietary change for your allergic dog, as some dogs may require a prescription diet.

8. Fatty acids

Fatty acids are a type of natural anti-inflammatory that can be helpful in treating allergies and other skin conditions. They’re available as capsules or an oral suspension and are usually given once or twice daily.

The usual dose of fatty acids for dogs is 20-40 mg/kg body weight given once or twice daily.

9. Allergy desensitization

Allergy desensitization (hyposensitization) is another option for treating allergies in dogs. This involves injecting the dog with small amounts of the allergy-causing substance (allergen) over time so that they can build up immunity to it.

Allergy desensitization is usually done by a veterinary dermatologist and requires monthly injections for 6-12 months, followed by maintenance injections every 2-4 weeks.

10. Home remedies

There are a few home remedies that may help relieve allergy symptoms in dogs. These include:

Apple cider vinegar: Add 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to your dog’s water bowl.

Oatmeal: Cook oatmeal and let it cool, then apply it to your dog’s skin.

Coconut oil: Apply coconut oil to your dog’s skin.

Aloe vera: Apply aloe vera gel to your dog’s skin.

When it comes to allergies, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Work with your veterinarian to figure out the best allergy treatment plan for your dog.

Subscribe to our monthly Newsletter
Subscribe to our monthly Newsletter