Is Allergy Medicine Safe For Dogs

For a number of reasons, it is always preferable to consult your veterinarian before giving your dog any over-the-counter drugs.

You must first determine the proper dose to deliver because there are differences between the doses for humans and canines. In order to prevent any negative outcomes, your veterinarian should check your dog’s medical history. Drug combinations can be harmful. Third, many over-the-counter (OTC) drugs should not be used on canines. Making the assumption that a medicine is safe for your dog simply because you can buy it over-the-counter might have harmful implications.

Antihistamines. Common antihistamines include diphenhydramine (Benadryl), cetirizine (Zyrtec), and loratadine (Claritin), which reduce allergy symptoms or prevent allergic responses. Antihistamines are mostly safe, however some dogs may become drowsy or hyperactive when taking them. OTC antihistamine medications could also have unsuitable components for dogs, including decongestants. Verify that the product solely includes antihistamine by carefully reading the label. Make sure the antihistamine you have is appropriate for your dog by consulting the medical staff at your local animal hospital.

Antidiarrheals/Antinauseants. For stomach problems, bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol) is frequently stored in medicine cabinets and can be given to your dog. Consult your veterinarian healthcare team before administering if your dog has never taken it before. To treat both diarrhea and vomiting, a dose of 1 teaspoon for every 5 to 10 pounds of body weight may be used. However, contact your veterinarian if your dog throws up the Pepto-Bismol. Another anti-diarrheal that calms unsettled stomachs and is normally harmless is kaopectate. A large dog, however, requires a lot of Kaopectate at a dose of 1 ml per pound. You can get a dog-specific medicine from your vet.

Loperamide (Imodium). If given to your dog at a dose of 1 mg per 20 pounds of body weight, it should be safe to treat diarrhea in an emergency. Give just one dosage. Contact your veterinarian if the diarrhea does not stop. The condition can only be effectively treated if the cause of the diarrhea is correctly identified.

Cimetidine plus famotidine (Pepcid AC) (Tagamet). These drugs can be used to treat or prevent heartburn in humans, and they also function in canines. These drugs can improve a dog’s condition by reducing the generation of stomach acids. For dietary transgressions, it is acceptable to use them sometimes; nevertheless, if your dog continues to experience gastrointestinal problems, consult your veterinarian to identify the underlying cause.

creams, gels, and sprays containing steroids OTC steroid formulations are often quite safe and have a lower percentage of active components than prescription steroids. They have the advantage of making hot areas and bug bites less itchy. Steroids have the drawback of delaying healing, particularly if the incision is infected. Have your dog’s wound examined by your veterinarian if it still doesn’t appear to be healing after a few applications.

antibacterial topical cream. A typical topical antibiotic used on minor wounds and scrapes is neosporin. Every first aid kit should contain this ointment because it is generally safe for dogs. Check to be sure the cream only contains antibiotics and not steroids, which can actually slow healing. Before administering the antibiotic ointment, make sure your dog’s wound is clean. Cover the wound to prevent your dog from licking the lotion off.

Sprays, gels, and creams that are anti-fungal. The majority of fungal infections are too complex to be effectively treated with over-the-counter medications, but you can use them while you wait to take your dog to the vet. It’s crucial to rapidly and successfully treat these diseases since some fungal infections can spread from pets to people.

Peroxygenated water. If your dog consumes something he shouldn’t have, hydrogen peroxide can be administered orally to cause vomiting in addition to being applied topically to wipe out a superficial flesh lesion (i.e., your medications, rodenticides, toxic plants). However, vomiting can do more harm than good, so speak with your veterinarian or an emergency veterinary hospital PRIOR to giving your dog an oral dose of hydrogen peroxide to find out how much to give.

a mineral oil There are several applications for this generally safe liquid. To prevent soap stinging your dog’s eyes, put a few drops in his eyes before bathing him.

synthetic tears Your dog may have dry eyes or may have some dust or debris in his eyes if he blinks or squints too much. The smallest speck in your eye or dry eyes can irritate you. Sometimes all that is required to clean junk out is a tiny amount of lubricating eye drops. Take your dog to the vet straight soon, though, if he continues to blink or squint. He might need to have a foreign body removed, have a scratch on his cornea, or have an eye infection. Contact your veterinarian right away if you observe a discharge or if your dog’s eyes appear red or inflamed. A prompt treatment helps ease your dog’s discomfort and could perhaps save permanent visual loss.

OTC Medications

Using an over-the-counter product on your dog who has a skin infection, external parasites, or food allergies may not help and even make things worse. Consult your veterinarian if your dog doesn’t seem to be responding.


Most drug stores sell over-the-counter (OTC) human allergy medication, which is effective in treating many dogs. Diphenhydramine is the most used antihistamine for canines (brand name Benadryl). Diphenhydramine, which is also present in ProSense Dog Itch & Allergy Solutions Tablets, is safe for the majority of dogs when administered orally in the recommended dosage of 1 mg of diphenhydramine per pound of body weight. For instance, if your dog weighs 25 pounds, you would administer 25 milligrams of diphenhydramine.

offering dogs Not all dogs can safely take benadryl because it can make some energetic and some sleepy. Therefore, consult your vet before administering it to your dog.

Other over-the-counter antihistamines are available if Benadryl is ineffective for your dog, including hydroxyzine, loratadine (brand name Claritin), chlorpheniramine, clemastine, fexofenadine, and cetirizine (Zyrtec). Discuss which choice is ideal for your dog as well as the appropriate dosage with your veterinarian.

Anti-allergy Wipes and Shampoos

Giving your dog oral antihistamines along with wiping or washing allergens off of your dog will greatly assist to stop itching if your dog suffers from seasonal allergies. If your dog goes outside and rolls in the grass, you can wipe them off with a pet wipe like TropiClean Oxy Med Allergy Relief Wipes, or you can give them a regular bath using a hypoallergenic shampoo like Vet’s Best Hypo-Allergenic Shampoo for Dogs or Perfect Coat Gentle Hypoallergenic Shampoo.

You might also give a shampoo made to lessen itching, like Nootie Medicated Anti-Itch Dog Shampoo, a try. Itching and dryness are promptly alleviated with veterinary shampoos and conditioners, such as Virbac Epi-Soothe Shampoo and Cream Rinse.

When shampooing a dog for allergies, it’s crucial to completely rinse the shampoo with cool water after letting the suds sit on your dog for five to ten minutes. Avoid using hot water on them because it will dry up their skin and exacerbate the irritation. To control itching, aim to bathe scratchy dogs no more than once or twice a week.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Supplementing with fish oil can help certain dogs who have seasonal allergies. that fish oil supplements, such as Nordic Naturals Omega-3 Pet Soft Gels, aid in reducing the swelling brought on by skin allergies and aid in the maintenance of the skin cells’ effective defense against allergens. Fish oil is not recommended for all dogs, and you can give a dog too much of it. So, before administering fish oil to your dog, discuss the proper dosage with your veterinarian.

Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are omega-3 fatty acids that benefit dogs with allergies (docosahexaenoic acid). Dogs can metabolize GLA (gamma-linolenic acid) and ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) (found in flaxseed and evening primrose oil, respectively), although they do it poorly. As a result, they benefit most from fatty acid supplementation from fish or krill oil. Additionally, many over-the-counter fish oil supplements do not contain enough omega-3 fatty acids to be effective in treating allergies. For your dog’s dosage, ask your veterinarian.


Inflammation and an excessively hypersensitive immune system are the causes of allergies. The GALT, which is located in the gut, is the body’s biggest immune system. Probiotic supplementation may help reduce inflammation in the body and regulate the gut immune system in an allergic dog. Unhealthy or inflamed intestines with aberrant gut bacteria can lead to allergies.

Probiotics for humans should not be given to dogs as canine gut bacteria differs from that of humans. Use a product designed specifically for dogs, such as FortiFlora Powder Digestive Supplement for Dogs by Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets.


Similar to how antihistamines work, quercetin may help dogs with allergies. When combined with bromelain, quercetin has a stronger anti-inflammatory impact that helps dogs with seasonal allergies by reducing inflammation and histamine release. Therefore, seek out a supplement that has both.

The recommended dosage is 5 to 10 milligrams twice daily per pound of body weight. A 20-pound dog, for instance, would require 100 to 200 milligrams twice daily.

Quercetin is available wherever supplements are sold. Simply check the ingredients list to make sure it doesn’t include anything poisonous to dogs, like xylitol. When in doubt, seek the advice of your veterinarian’s care team regarding safe supplements.

Prescription Medicine

Home cures for dog allergies may not always be effective, and you may require a prescription-strength medication from your veterinarian to relieve the itching. Fortunately, there are lots of items on the market that may be used independently or in conjunction with natural treatments for dog allergies to provide your dog the proper level of comfort, such as:

  • Home cures for dog allergies may occasionally fall short, and you may require a prescription-strength medication from your doctor to get the itch under control. For your dog to receive the appropriate level of relief, there are a variety of items available that can be used either alone or in conjunction with home cures for dog allergies, such as:

Always be important to let the vet know what over-the-counter medications and complementary therapies you are currently providing your dog because they may interact with prescription drugs.

Topical Treatments

Animax Ointment (a prescribed topical medication that includes a corticosteroid, an antifungal, and an antibiotic) may be helpful if your dog develops an itchy, red hot spot. Additionally, doctors frequently prescribe topical sprays with steroids, such as Genesis Spray by Virbac, for localized hotspots of itching.

Oral Treatments

It’s time to look into prescription dog allergy treatments if over-the-counter oral antihistamines, fish oils, and topical medications aren’t working to relieve your itchy dog’s symptoms.

Steroids including prednisone, prednisolone, triamcinolone, and betamethasone were the only oral prescription choices back then. The side effects of these drugs, which included increased appetite, increased water consumption and urination, increased susceptibility to infections, and many more, outweighed the fact that they stopped allergic symptoms. In cases of food allergies, steroids are also less effective.

In some dog allergy cases, oral and injectable steroids are still used and prescribed, however there are new treatments that still eliminate itching without the unfavorable side effects.

  • Although it is generally regarded as safe, some dogs may experience vomiting, diarrhea, or appetite loss. By storing Atopica in the freezer, you can reduce the likelihood of unpleasant side effects.
  • One to two hours before or two hours after eating, you must administer Atopica.
  • To complete this prescription, the majority of vets demand yearly bloodwork and an examination.
  • Steroids may be provided to your dog in the interim to reduce allergy symptoms as atopica takes four to six weeks to start working as a pain reliever.

Another more recent prescription allergy medication for canines is called Apoquel, and it boasts even less adverse effects than Atopica.

  • To stop itching, take Apoquel, which starts working in four hours and can be stopped at any time.
  • It functions by focusing on and suppressing the signaling pathway for itch and inflammation.
  • It can be given for an extended period of time with a minimal frequency of side effects. It is delivered twice daily for up to 14 days.
  • Dogs with pre-existing tumors or parasite skin infections shouldn’t be administered Apoquel.

Temaril-P, an oral prescription allergy drug that combines the antihistamine trimeprazine with the steroid prednisolone, may also be suggested by your veterinarian.

  • Seasonal or flea allergies can be controlled with the use of this medicine.
  • Prescription-strength medications should only be taken under a veterinarian’s supervision because they may have unintended side effects and raise safety issues for humans.

Allergy Shots

You might want to discuss giving allergy injections, also known as allergy shots, with your veterinarian if your dog cannot handle oral medications or if you do not want to provide oral meds to your dog over an extended length of time.

The two most popular allergy injections are as follows:

  • conventional allergy injections made after a skin or blood test
  • Cytopoint, a generic prescription option

Although less frequent, platelet rich plasma (PRP) and stem cell therapy are still options you might want to investigate with your veterinarian.

Traditional Allergy Shot

For allergy testing in order to receive the standard allergy injection, you must accompany your dog to either your neighborhood vet or a veterinary dermatologist. Both a blood test and a skin prick test are used to diagnose allergies. The skin prick test is normally only performed by veterinary dermatologists and is thought to be more accurate.

An allergy serum is made when the test is finished. This allergy serum is injected into your dog in a series, with the goal of gradually desensitizing them to the allergens that bother them. The only effective technique to lessen allergy symptoms is with allergy injections. The goal of all other treatments is to manage symptoms.


Another choice that is given as an injection is called Cytopoint. It begins to relieve symptoms the following day and stops allergic itching for four to eight weeks. It functions by concentrating on and destroying interleukin 31 (IL-31), a chemical messenger that causes itchiness in your dog.

Only your local veterinarian can get you Cytopoint, and it rarely causes negative effects. If your dog cannot take oral meds, is not responding to oral treatments, or has additional conditions that prevent the administration of other allergy medications, it can be a viable alternative.

Platelet Rich Plasma and Stem Cell Therapy

Both stem cell therapy and platelet rich plasma, which have long been used to treat canine joint problems, have been proven to be effective in treating seasonal allergy-affected dogs. Ask your veterinarian about these innovative treatments.

What dosage of allergy medication is safe for my dog?

Asking your veterinarian for advice is the safest way to determine the right dosage for any medication. Make sure Benadryl tablets only contain diphenhydramine because many formulations often contain other drugs, like Tylenol.

Additionally, there are many Benadryl dosage forms, including tablet, liquid, time-release, chewable tablets for kids, and children’s liquid formula.

Benadryl Tablets

The recommended dosage of Benadryl is between 0.9 and 1.8 milligrams (mg) per pound, or 2-4 milligrams per kilogram of body weight, according to the Merck Veterinary Manual.

A straightforward and useful dosage is therefore 1 mg of Benadryl per pound of your dog’s weight, administered two to three times daily. A 10-pound dog, for instance, may get three doses of 10 mg in the morning, midday, and nighttime.

The majority of diphenhydramine (Benadryl) tablets are 25 mg, which is the right dosage for a dog that weighs 25 pounds. You will need to cut or divide these 25-mg pills for smaller pets. Children’s Benadryl in the form of chewable pills might be an excellent choice in this situation. These come in 12.5 mg quantities.

Time-Release and Liquid Benadryl

Other dosage forms of diphenhydramine are also offered, such as liquid Benadryl and various time-release varieties.

Do not feed your dog time-release pharmaceuticals because they may breakdown faster in your dog’s stomach than in human stomachs, which could result in an overdose.

Before giving your dog liquid Benadryl, consult your veterinarian. Given that liquid drugs are not as well absorbed as pills, you may need to alter the dosage.