Allergy Medicine for Dogs

Allergy Medicine for Dogs


    What do you think the single most common reason is for taking a dog to the vet? If you guessed itchy skin, you’re 100% correct! But itchy skin is only one sign of allergies—you may see anything from ear problems to diarrhea. 

    The hardest part is that there’s a lot of “information” online that’s simply wrong. If you’re looking to get smarter about your pet’s allergies and, perhaps, to purchase the best in proven supplements to help your dog, you’re in the right spot. Welcome! 

    Why you need supplements for dog allergies

    Just like people, allergies can really get in the way of dogs leading happy, healthy lives. They can make them uncomfortable, if not downright miserable! But if your dog is suffering, they’re not alone. Here are a few basic facts to keep in mind:

    • Allergies are common in dogs of all breeds, so don’t feel bad if your dog is affected! Allergies are very common, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t help with them!
    • Skin allergies are the most common in dogs. They often experience rashes and itchiness, which can seem minor at first. If untreated, though, your dog could scratch themself raw, leading to a skin infection (a.k.a. “hot spot”).
    • There are many ways to treat allergy symptoms in dogs, ranging from lifestyle to supplements to OTC drugs and prescriptions. The key to selecting the best approach to your pet’s allergies is the severity of their symptoms. We can help you with this, so let’s get cracking!

    How to diagnose your pet’s allergies

    First off, because there’s so much misinformation online, here’s what you need to know about your dog’s allergies and their causes. 

    1. Dietary allergies can cause everything from ear infections to itchy skin, along with the dreaded dog farts, vomiting, and diarrhea. They can usually be diagnosed with blood allergy tests, but the gold standard remains dietary trials.  Remember that it’ll take every bit of 2 months before your pet shows a response to their dietary change.
    2. Contact allergies occur when your pet rubs up against or lays down on something they’re allergic to. This can be an indoor phenomenon—think new carpet or detergent—or an outside problem like plants. If you want to test what might be a problem for your pet, try rubbing them down with your best guess.
    3. Inhaled allergies are less common in dogs than humans, who are commonly affected by “hay fever.” They do occur, though, and can cause the same sneezing, congestion, and runny eyes that we all know and love—one phenomenon in dogs specifically is “reverse sneezing.” To see if they have an inhaled allergy, restrict them to “all inside” or “all outside” for 3-5 days, though you’ll probably need a blood allergy test for an exact diagnosis.
    4. Flea allergies are actually caused by flea saliva, so dogs only develop symptoms after being bitten. Where do you see an itch? Over your dog’s hips, and that’s a guarantee—if your dog is chewing over their tail or hips, they either have fleas or a flea allergy.

    How allergy supplements for dogs can help

    The best way to treat your dog’s allergies is to work with your veterinarian to learn what your pet is allergic to. In a perfect world, you can simply avoid the allergen, but desensitization therapy has come a long way and can now solve your pet’s allergies in 60-70% of cases. Prescription medicines from your vet can often solve a pet’s symptoms in just a day.

    What can you do at home? If your pet has itchy skin or feet, a simple lukewarm bath and an oatmeal shampoo can make a huge difference for them. You can also try “over the counter” antihistamines like Benadryl or Zyrtec.

    Now, here are the best allergy supplements for dogs, recommended by a vet with over 30 years of experience and supported by numerous scientific studies (which I’m always happy to share):

    • Longevity Plus is our proprietary blend of high potency curcumin, boswellia, and ashwagandha. It works by not only interrupting the pathways that cause allergic symptoms, but also reducing inflammation and helping to decrease stress. There is no better natural supplement for reducing allergic symptoms on the market… anywhere.
    • VisBiome is a prescription-grade probiotic that has more CFUs (Colony Forming Units) than any other probiotic on the market. Studies show that normalizing the GI microbiome is a huge help in treating allergies anywhere in the body.  
    • Mushroom supplements can help calm an overactive immune function through a variety of mechanisms. They have been used for hundreds of years by multiple cultures to fight allergies. We use a variety of mushroom extracts to treat specific allergies or immune conditions and are happy to work with you.

    We also offer a handout for absolutely free: YOUR ITCHY PET -- A Checklist on how to help them.

    FAQs about allergies in dogs

    The two most common ways are skin and blood allergy tests. For skin testing, a small area of fur is clipped to inject tiny amounts of allergens into the skin and then you wait for a reaction. For blood testing, a small blood sample is taken, and the lab looks for antibodies to allergens. These tests are most effective for environmental allergies which usually cause skin or respiratory symptoms. For dietary allergies, blood tests may help, but the best diagnosis is still the use of dietary trials. While skin and blood tests offer results within just a day or two, dietary trials can take up to two months to see benefits.

    While some puppies develop allergies as early as 3-4 months of age, the frequency of allergies continues to increase as dogs approach middle age. After middle age, the most common reason to see allergies is when you make a change, like a geographic move or a new food in the house.

    Besides allergy supplements, OTC antihistamines and prescription drugs—like steroids or Apoquel—are used to treat allergies. 

    While antihistamines are the first drug of choice for humans since our allergies are mediated by histamines, dog allergies aren’t generally mediated by histamines, meaning these only work in about 30% of dogs. As for prescriptions, they will stop allergies immediately, but they’re immune suppressants that have quite a few potential side effects. Questions? Get in touch with me.

    Zyrtec is my recommendation between the two. Again, though, these are antihistamines and aren’t as effective in treating dogs as they are for treating humans. Dosing recommendations for Zyrtec (or its generic equivalent) are 1 mg per 2 lbs body weight given once daily. Dosing recommendations for Benadryl and its generic are 1 mg per lb body weight given twice daily. 

    Always! If you have a simple question, feel free to email me at For more complicated questions or treatment plans, I am happy to work with you on a concierge consult basis. 

    Other collections you may be interested in

    If you’re interested in more ways our supplements can help your dog live longer, browse our other collections!