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Front Of The Pack

What Can I Give My Dog for Allergies?

Written by

FOTP Team

Last updated

Allergies in dogs are pretty common, presenting in several different ways. From itchy, inflamed skin to hair loss, stomach upset, and ear infections, it’s never nice to see your pup struggle. Whether it’s due to flea bites, food intolerances, or the environment in general, it’s only natural that you want to do something about it.

If you want to learn more about dog allergies, we delve a little deeper into their types, causes, and symptoms in this guide. However, in this post, we’re focused on helping you bring a bit of much-needed relief to your itchy and scratchy pooch. 

What can you give your dog for allergies? Let’s find out. 

How to Spot Dog Allergies

Vets tend to split dog allergies into three main groups: skin, food, and environmental.

  • Skin allergies affect about 10% of dogs. Usually caused by contact with something irritating, like an insect bite or sting, symptoms include red, inflamed, or flaky skin; sores; hair loss; excessive scratching and licking; intense rubbing of ears or face, and biting or chewing the skin.
  • Food allergies aren’t all that common, with only around one in 500 dogs affected. However, many pups can develop an intolerance to certain foods. This may result in diarrhea or vomiting. According to a 2016 study, beef, dairy products, chicken, wheat, and lamb are the most likely to cause an adverse food reaction.
  • Environmental (or “seasonal”) allergies include reactions to pollen, mold, dust, mites, and pollution. Like us, your dog is likely to suffer from sore, itchy eyes, itchiness, and sneezing when exposed to environmental allergens. 

So, What Can I Give My Dog for Allergies?

Tackling your dog’s allergy will depend on the type and severity. The best place to start is usually with a trip to the vet to pinpoint the root cause of your pup’s discomfort. 

Skin allergies tend to be the easiest to identify. Symptoms are usually localized, and they’re typically traced back to a single cause: fleas. Along with a standard allergy test and a blood test, your vet will want to rule out flea allergies before digging deeper. 

Meanwhile, where food allergies are concerned, your vet will probably recommend putting your dog on an elimination diet where food allergies are concerned. This means dropping certain foods and ingredients from your pet’s diet for 6-8 weeks (until their symptoms clear). Only then should you slowly reintroduce those foods one at a time to see how your dog reacts.

But what can you give your dog to reduce allergy symptoms?

The good news is, with environmental allergies, there are several things you can use to help your four-legged friend find some relief. Online and over-the-counter medications, products, and supplements make treating your dog for allergies at home easy and effective. These include: 

  • Probiotic supplements
  • Antihistamines
  • Shampoos
  • Natural remedies

Let’s take a look at each of these in a little more detail.

1. Probiotic Supplements

Giving your pup a probiotic supplement is a great way to reduce the symptoms of allergies as they present themselves and keep allergic reactions at bay going forward.

FOTP’s The One boasts a unique mix of twelve clinically proven active ingredients, two of which have been carefully selected for their allergy-fighting, anti-inflammatory properties. 

The first is krill oil (a fish oil made from those small crustaceans whales and sea lions like to eat) simply because it’s so incredibly rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 can help reduce inflammation, giving your dog a healthier skin and coat. You can read more about the benefits of krill oil here

And we’ve also included Methylsulfonylmethane or “MSM,” which helps reduce pain and inflammation, prevent allergic reactions, and maintain healthy immune cells in your dog’s body. 

2. Antihistamines

There’s evidence to show that the same allergy medicines you might take to fight the symptoms of seasonal allergies also work for dogs. Antihistamines, like diphenhydramine (brand name Benadryl), cetirizine (Zyrtec), and loratadine (Claritin), are safe and effective for most dogs — so long as you give them the correct dosage and check with your vet first. 

The rule of thumb is 1 mg of diphenhydramine per pound of body weight when given by mouth. So that means if you have a 15-pound pup, you’d give them 15 mg of diphenhydramine. 

Although Benadryl and other oral antihistamines can help counteract allergic reactions, there is a risk of negative side effects. Some dogs get drowsy while others get a bit hyper, so always talk with your vet before giving it to your pet.

3. Hypoallergenic Shampoos

Giving your dog an antihistamine can relieve the itchiness from the inside out, but you can also help them escape the discomfort by occasionally bathing them with a hypoallergenic shampoo.

If your pooch likes rolling about or running through grass and they’re displaying symptoms of a pollen allergy, washing the allergens off their coat and skin can prevent excessive scratching and licking. 

Just remember, when you’re bathing your dog, gently work the shampoo into a lather around the affected area and let it sit on their skin for around 5 minutes before rinsing with cool water. Avoid using hot water as this can dry out their skin and make things worse. 

4. Natural Remedies 

Natural supplements like quercetin (sometimes referred to as “nature’s Benadryl”), bromelain, yucca, and coconut oil are often accompanied by claims of “natural” relief for itchy skin and allergies. These are generally considered safe for pets, although more research is required.

Meanwhile, studies have shown that aloe vera and oatmeal can also help soothe skin irritation in dogs — however, before you embark on any type of natural remedy with your pup, make sure you talk with your vet first. 

When Does an Allergy Become an Emergency?

If your dog takes a nasty allergic reaction to a bite, sting, or a particular food type, this could send them into anaphylactic shock — and this can be life-threatening. 

Keep your eyes peeled for the following symptoms, and seek immediate veterinary treatment if you notice any of them: 

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Excessive drooling
  • Swollen face
  • Bluish tongue or gums
  • Sudden diarrhea

Finally, Can Dog Allergies Go Away On Their Own? 

Unfortunately, no, a dog allergy won’t simply vanish on its own. Once your pet develops an allergy to something, you’ll need to seek treatment to minimize the symptoms and reduce the chances of it coming back.

Let’s Recap: How to Help When Your Dog Has an Allergy

Seeing your dog struggle with allergies can be tough to watch. The excessive licking, scratching, whining, sneezing — you just want to help. Thankfully, you can. Taking your pup to the vet is the obvious first step, but you can also wash away any allergens with specialist shampoo; give them an antihistamine to relieve the itching, and top up their diet with clinically proven ingredients, in the form of an immune-boosting supplement. 

The One supplement is an allergy product backed by science. Its combination of proven ingredients helps ease the symptoms of allergies and intolerances, including itchy skin and digestive problems. Simply sprinkle the recommended number of scoops onto your dog’s food once a day. You could see positive improvements in just four to six weeks.