Dog Allergy Medication Top Picks

Dogs are frequently affected by allergies, but their signs are usually different from allergy signs seen in humans.

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Dog Allergy Medication Top Picks

Dogs are frequently affected by allergies, but their signs are usually different from allergy signs seen in humans.

The Daily Dog is reader-supported. This page contains affiliate links; read more here.

Rx, Tablet

  • FDA-approved as a safe and effective drug to treat dog allergies
  • Most dogs experience relief from itchiness in 4-24 hours
  • Can be administered safely for long-term allergy relief
  • Can be used safely with antibiotics, NSAIDs, and allergen-specific immunotherapy

Vet’s Best Seasonal Allergy Soft Chews

Also Great: Non-Rx, Soft Gel

  • Formulated by a veterinarian
  • Drug-free and can be used safely in combination with other allergy medications to manage your dog’s allergies
  • Do not need a prescription to obtain
  • Much less expensive than many other dog allergy treatments

Zesty Paws Allergy Relief

Also Great: Non-Rx, Liquid

  • Drug-free
  • Contains several quality ingredients to support your dog’s skin health and decrease inflammation
  • Contains human-grade EpiCor® to support your dog’s immune function
  • No prescription needed

Also Great: Non-Rx, Spray

  • Dermabliss Anti-itch and Allergy Relief Spray is veterinary-formulated.
  • Dermabliss Anti-itch and Allergy Relief Spray contains veterinary-strength ingredients to decrease itching and inflammation and provide temporary numbing relief from allergies.
  • Dermabliss Anti-itch and Allergy Relief Spray is approved by the NASC.
  • No prescription is needed to purchase Dermabliss Anti-itch and Allergy Relief Spray.

Information as of 6/30/22

The Daily Dog does not provide veterinary advice. All information is general in nature and for informational purposes only. Always consult your veterinarian.

Dogs are frequently affected by allergies, but their signs are usually different from allergy signs seen in humans. Dogs typically have itchy skin, hair loss, and recurrent ear infections, whereas humans sneeze and have itchy, watery eyes. In some cases, dogs may have gastrointestinal signs, including diarrhea, vomiting, and excess gas. Humans have allergy medication that helps alleviate these symptoms. Numerous dog allergy medications are on the market, and choosing the proper one for your dog can be difficult. Our buyer’s guide will help you determine your four-legged friend’s most appropriate dog allergy product.

Dog Allergies

Dogs are most commonly allergic to fleas, food, and environmental irritants. A veterinary professional’s expertise is required to determine the cause of your dog’s signs, but general information includes:

  • Flea allergies — Many dogs are allergic to the flea’s saliva, and a single flea bite can cause a significant allergic reaction, resulting in excessive scratching, biting, chewing, licking, and rubbing. Affected dogs frequently exhibit hair loss from the middle of their back to their tail base and may also have red papules (i.e., bumps) on their belly and inner thighs. Because of dogs’ excessive grooming, you may not find a flea in their coat, and veterinarians will often administer flea preventive medication to an itchy dog before trying other treatment options.
  • Food allergies — Food allergies affect only about 0.2% of dogs. Dogs who react to their food are usually allergic to a protein source, such as beef, chicken, or dairy ingredients. Signs include itchy skin, most notably affecting the face, ears, feet, and groin regions, and secondary ear infections. Some dogs also have gastrointestinal upset like vomiting, diarrhea, and excessive gas. Dogs allergic to food do not typically respond well to steroid therapy. The only way to definitively diagnose a dog’s food allergy is a food elimination diet for about eight weeks to determine the offending ingredient and then eliminate that ingredient from the dog’s diet forever.
  • Environmental allergies — Dogs can be allergic to environmental irritants, such as pollen, dust, weeds, molds, and pet dander. This condition is called atopy, which can affect dogs seasonally or year-round. Allergy testing can determine the allergen responsible for the dog’s reaction and the information used to create hyposensitization treatments to desensitize the dog to the allergen. This process can take six months to a year to be effective. Other management strategies include bathing the dog to remove allergens from their skin and coat, prescription anti-inflammatory medications, prescription anti-itch medications, over-the-counter remedies, and omega-3 fatty acid supplementation.
omega 3 pill

Choosing the Best Dog Allergy Medicine

Over-the-counter allergy medications for dogs inundate pet supply stores, but not all products are created equal. How do you choose the medication that will best help your four-legged friend? Keep reading to learn the specifications you should look for when researching dog allergy medications.

  1. Look for Veterinary-Approved Dog Allergy Medications
    According to the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), a statistically sound scientific survey of veterinarians must be conducted, and the majority of veterinarians must approve the product before the item label can include  “veterinary approved” or “veterinary recommended.” This label means veterinarians have researched the product and determined it is safe. The product receives bonus points if a veterinarian is involved in formulating the medication.
  2. Look for Dog Allergy Medications With Omega-3 Fatty Acids
    Omega-3 fatty acids have numerous potential benefits for allergic dogs. Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), reduce inflammation, improve the skin’s general health, and create a natural barrier against allergens to minimize the dog’s reaction. Omega-3 fatty acids are safe and have other potential health benefits, such as improving mobility issues in dogs suffering from joint disease or cognitive decline.
  3. Ensure the Dog Allergy Medication is Effective
    Reputable reviews can save you time and money when shopping for an effective product and can provide insight into the product’s quality and the company’s reliability. Read customer reviews to ensure the product is rated well and effectively decreases dogs’ allergy signs. Ensure that the dogs who responded positively have the same allergy type as your dog since flea, food, and environmental allergies are managed differently.
  4. Ensure the Dog Allergy Medication is Easy to Administer
    A product that your dog will not take cannot be effective. Ensure the medication is palatable and comes in a formulation that your dog will likely accept. In addition, check the daily dose quantity to ensure you don’t have to give your dog a large amount. Medication forms include:
    • Soft chews — These medications are soft and often flavored to appeal to dogs. Ensure your dog likes the flavors.
    • Tablets — Tablets are typically not flavored and may not be the best choice if your dog is a picky eater. But, if your dog tends to eat anything thrown their way, you can easily hide the tablets in treats to ensure they get the medication.
    • Liquid — Liquid medication can be administered via a dropper directly into your dog’s mouth or mixed in their food. Liquids with strong scents or flavors may deter some dogs.
dog taking treat from hand

If your dog suffers from an allergy, consult your veterinarian to determine the best treatment. Hopefully, this information will help you find the right allergy medication to alleviate your dog’s discomfort. Never administer any medications to your dog before clearing the product with your veterinarian.

 

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THIS POST WAS WRITTEN BY:

jenny DVM

Jenny Alonge, DVM

Jenny Alonge received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Mississippi State University in 2002. She then went to Louisiana State University, where she completed an equine medicine and surgery internship. After her internship, she joined an equine ambulatory service in northern Virginia, where she practiced for almost 17 years. In 2020, Jenny decided to make a career change in favor of more creative pursuits and accepted a job as a veterinary copywriter for Rumpus Writing and Editing in April 2021. She and her husband adopted two unruly kittens, Olive and Pops, in February 2022.

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