13 Best Apoquel Alternatives

Apoquel is a popular medication that is used to treat allergies in dogs. It is effective at reducing the symptoms of allergies, such as itching, redness, and swelling. However, like all medications, it can have side effects and may not be the right choice for every dog.

Is there an alternative to Apoquel for dogs?

Alternative to Apoquel for dogs

If you are looking for an alternative to Apoquel, it is important to consult with a veterinarian. Your veterinarian can help determine the underlying cause of your dog’s allergies and recommend the best course of treatment.

1. Antihistamines

These medications can help reduce itching and inflammation caused by allergies. Some common antihistamines for dogs include Benadryl and Chlorpheniramine.

Pros:

  • Antihistamines are generally well-tolerated and have few side effects.
  • They are usually inexpensive and widely available without a prescription.
  • They can provide quick relief from allergy symptoms such as itching, sneezing, and watery eyes.

Cons:

  • Some antihistamines can cause drowsiness, which may not be ideal for all dogs.
  • They may not be as effective at controlling severe allergy symptoms as other options such as Apoquel.
  • They may need to be taken multiple times a day to maintain their effectiveness.

2. Allergy shots

Also known as immunotherapy, allergy shots work by exposing your dog to small amounts of the allergens that trigger their allergic reactions. Over time, this can help your dog build up a tolerance to the allergens and reduce their symptoms.

Pros:

  • Allergy shots can be effective at reducing or eliminating allergic reactions to specific allergens, such as pollen, dust, or animal dander.
  • They may provide long-lasting relief, as the benefits of allergy shots can persist even after treatment is stopped.
  • Allergy shots can be used to treat a wide range of allergies, including seasonal allergies and allergies to insect stings.
  • They may help to reduce the need for allergy medications, such as antihistamines and corticosteroids.

Cons:

  • Allergy shots can take several months to take effect and may require regular injections for a period of three to five years.
  • They may cause side effects, such as redness, swelling, or itching at the injection site, as well as more rare but serious reactions, such as anaphylaxis.
  • Allergy shots may not be suitable for everyone, including those with certain medical conditions or those taking certain medications.
  • They may not be covered by insurance or may have high out-of-pocket costs.

3. Quercetin

Quercetin is a plant-based antioxidant that has anti-inflammatory properties. It is found in a variety of fruits and vegetables, including onions, apples, and berries.

Pros:

  • Quercetin is a natural flavonoid that can be found in various fruits and vegetables, making it a more natural alternative to Apoquel.
  • It has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce inflammation and swelling associated with allergies.
  • Quercetin can also act as an antioxidant, helping to protect cells from damage caused by free radicals.
  • It has been shown to have some effectiveness in reducing the symptoms of allergies in dogs, including itching and sneezing.

Cons:

  • Quercetin may not be as effective as Apoquel at reducing the severity of allergy symptoms.
  • It can take longer to see results with quercetin, as it takes time for the body to build up sufficient levels of the flavonoid.
  • Some dogs may not tolerate quercetin well, as it can cause digestive upset in some cases.
  • It may not be suitable for all dogs, as it can interact with certain medications and may not be recommended for use in pregnant or nursing dogs.

4. Chamomile

Chamomile is a herb that has been used for centuries to treat a variety of conditions, including allergies. It has anti-inflammatory and soothing properties that can help to relieve allergy symptoms.

Pros:

  • Chamomile is a natural herb that has been used for centuries to treat a variety of ailments, including anxiety, insomnia, and digestive issues.
  • It has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that can help to reduce redness and swelling caused by allergies.
  • Chamomile is generally well-tolerated by pets and has few side effects.
  • It is inexpensive and easy to find in various forms, such as tea, capsules, or essential oils.

Cons:

  • Chamomile may not be as effective as Apoquel for severe allergy symptoms and may require more frequent dosing.
  • Some pets may be allergic to chamomile, so it is important to monitor for any adverse reactions.
  • Chamomile may interact with certain medications, so it is important to consult with a veterinarian before using it.

5. Green tea

Green tea is rich in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. It can help to reduce allergy symptoms and boost the immune system.

Pros:

  • Green tea contains antioxidants, which can help reduce inflammation and strengthen the immune system.
  • It has anti-inflammatory properties that can help alleviate allergy symptoms such as itching, redness, and swelling.
  • Green tea is a natural, plant-based alternative to pharmaceutical drugs like Apoquel, which can have side effects.
  • It is easy to find and inexpensive, making it a cost-effective option for managing allergy symptoms in dogs.

Cons:

  • Green tea may not be as effective as Apoquel in controlling severe allergy symptoms.
  • It can take longer to see results with green tea compared to Apoquel.
  • Green tea can cause side effects in some dogs, such as upset stomach or diarrhea.
  • It may not be suitable for all dogs, especially those with certain health conditions or sensitivities.

6. Calendula

Calendula is a flowering plant that has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. It has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that can help to soothe allergy symptoms and improve skin health.

Pros:

  • Calendula is a natural herb that has been used for centuries to treat a variety of skin conditions, including allergies, cuts, scrapes, and burns.
  • It has anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and antibacterial properties that can help reduce inflammation, kill bacteria, and prevent infection.
  • Calendula is generally considered safe for dogs, with few reported side effects.
  • It can be used topically or internally, depending on the severity of the condition.

Cons:

  • Calendula may not be as effective at controlling allergies and skin irritation as Apoquel, especially in severe cases.
  • Some dogs may be allergic to Calendula, leading to further irritation and inflammation.
  • It may take longer to see results with Calendula, as it works more slowly than pharmaceutical options.
  • Calendula is not always readily available and may need to be purchased online or through a natural pet store.

7. Oatmeal baths

Oatmeal has soothing and anti-inflammatory properties that can help to relieve allergy symptoms and improve skin health. Adding oatmeal to your dog’s bath can help to reduce itching and redness.

Pros:

  • Oatmeal baths are a natural and safe option for dogs with sensitive skin or allergies.
  • Oatmeal contains anti-inflammatory properties that can help soothe and calm irritated skin.
  • Oatmeal baths can be a cost-effective alternative to prescription medications like Apoquel.
  • Many dogs enjoy the relaxing and soothing effects of an oatmeal bath.

Cons:

  • Oatmeal baths may not be as effective as Apoquel at controlling severe allergies or skin irritation.
  • Oatmeal baths may need to be given more frequently than Apoquel to maintain the desired effects.
  • Some dogs may not enjoy being bathed, which can be a challenge for owners.
  • Oatmeal baths may be messy and require more time and effort to clean up compared to other options.

8. Omega-3 fatty acids

Fish oil is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help to reduce inflammation and improve skin health.

Pros:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids are a natural and safe option for managing allergies in dogs. They have anti-inflammatory properties and can help reduce the symptoms of allergies such as itching, redness, and swelling.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids are easily available in supplement form and can be added to your dog’s diet in the form of fish oil or flaxseed oil. They can also be found in certain types of fish, such as salmon, and can be fed as part of a well-balanced diet.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to have a variety of other health benefits for dogs, including improving coat and skin health, reducing the risk of heart disease, and supporting brain and eye development.

Cons:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids may not work as quickly as Apoquel in relieving allergy symptoms. It may take a few weeks or months for the effects to be fully noticeable.
  • Some dogs may not respond well to omega-3 fatty acids and may require additional treatment or a different alternative to manage their allergies.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids can interact with certain medications and may not be suitable for all dogs. It is important to consult with a veterinarian before starting any new supplements or treatments for your dog.

9. Probiotics

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can help to support a healthy immune system and improve digestive health. They can be found in fermented foods, such as yogurt, or in supplement form.

Pros:

  • Probiotics are natural and non-toxic, making them a safe option for long-term use.
  • They can help improve the overall health of the digestive system, which can have a positive impact on overall health and immune function.
  • Probiotics can help balance the microbiome, which can reduce inflammation and improve immune function.
  • Some studies have shown that probiotics can be effective in managing allergy symptoms in dogs.

Cons:

  • Probiotics are not as fast-acting as Apoquel, so they may not provide immediate relief for severe allergy symptoms.
  • Probiotics may not be as effective in managing allergies as Apoquel in some cases.
  • Some dogs may not respond well to probiotics, or may have digestive issues when taking them.
  • Probiotics can be expensive, especially if they need to be taken long-term.

10. Honey

Local honey contains small amounts of the allergens that are found in your area, and it can help to desensitize your dog’s immune system to those allergens.

Pros:

  • Natural and organic: Honey is a natural and organic product that is easily digestible and safe for dogs to consume.
  • Anti-inflammatory properties: Honey contains antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce swelling and irritation caused by allergies.
  • Boosts immune system: Honey is known to boost the immune system, which can help improve the overall health and well-being of dogs with allergies.
  • Versatility: Honey can be used in a variety of ways, such as mixed with food, applied topically to the skin, or used as a natural sweetener in homemade dog treats.

Cons:

  • Limited effectiveness: While honey may help alleviate some allergy symptoms, it may not be as effective as prescription medications like Apoquel.
  • Risk of contamination: Honey can potentially be contaminated with pesticides and other harmful chemicals, especially if it is not sourced from a reputable and trusted supplier.
  • Allergic reactions: Some dogs may be allergic to honey and may experience adverse reactions when consuming it.

11. Pet Honesty Dog Allergy Relief Chews

Pros:

  • All natural ingredients: Pet Honesty Dog Allergy Relief Chews are made with a blend of natural herbs, enzymes, and probiotics that work together to support your dog’s immune system and reduce allergy symptoms.
  • Safe for long-term use: Unlike Apoquel, which has some potential side effects and is not recommended for long-term use, Pet Honesty Dog Allergy Relief Chews are safe for ongoing use to help manage your dog’s allergies.
  • Multi-symptom relief: These chews not only help reduce itchiness and inflammation, but they also support healthy skin and coat, and can help with digestive issues that can be caused by allergies.

Cons:

  • May not work for all dogs: While Pet Honesty Dog Allergy Relief Chews have helped many dogs with their allergy symptoms, they may not work for all dogs. It’s important to note that every dog is different, and what works for one may not work for another.
  • May take longer to see results: Some users have reported that it takes a few weeks or even longer to see improvement in their dog’s allergy symptoms when using these chews. This is because they work to support the immune system and address the root cause of the allergies, rather than just providing temporary symptom relief like Apoquel.

12. Vet’s Best Seasonal Allergy Relief

Pros:

  • It is a natural, herbal formula made with quercetin, bromelain, and butterbur extract to help alleviate allergic reactions and reduce inflammation.
  • It is safe for dogs of all sizes and can be used along with other medications.
  • It is easy to administer and can be given as a chewable tablet or mixed into food.
  • It is a more cost-effective option than Apoquel.

Cons:

  • It may not be as effective as Apoquel for severe allergies.
  • Some dogs may not respond well to the herbal formula and may require additional treatment.
  • It may take longer to see results compared to Apoquel.

13. PetLab Co. Itch Relief Chews

Pros:

  • Safe and effective: PetLab Co. Itch Relief Chews are made with natural ingredients like quercetin, bromelain, and omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to be effective in reducing inflammation and itching in pets. They are also free of any harsh chemicals or additives that can potentially harm your pet.
  • Convenient and easy to administer: The chews are easy to administer and your pet will love the tasty chicken flavor. They can be given as a treat or mixed into your pet’s food, making it convenient for you to give them the relief they need.
  • Suitable for long-term use: Unlike some other alternatives, PetLab Co. Itch Relief Chews can be used for long periods of time without any negative side effects. This makes them a great option for pets with chronic skin conditions that require ongoing treatment.

Cons:

  • May not work as quickly as Apoquel: While PetLab Co. Itch Relief Chews are effective at reducing inflammation and itching, they may not work as quickly as Apoquel. This means that it may take longer for your pet to see results and their symptoms may not completely disappear.
  • May not be suitable for all pets: While PetLab Co. Itch Relief Chews are generally safe and well-tolerated, they may not be suitable for all pets. Some pets may have an allergic reaction to one or more of the ingredients in the chews, so it’s important to closely monitor your pet’s reactions after starting treatment.

Is there a generic substitute for Apoquel?

Apoquel is a brand-name medication, and there is currently no generic substitute available.

A generic medication is a medication that is identical to a brand-name medication in terms of safety, quality, and efficacy, but it is available at a lower cost.

Generic medications are typically less expensive than brand-name medications, but they are not available for every medication.

Why should I not give my dog Apoquel?

Here are some reasons why you may not want to give your dog Apoquel:

Side effects: Like all medications, Apoquel can cause side effects. Some common side effects of Apoquel include vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and lethargy.

Allergies to the medication: Some dogs may be allergic to Apoquel or its ingredients, which can cause a severe allergic reaction.

Cost: Apoquel is a brand-name medication, and it can be expensive. If you are looking for a less expensive option, there are other medications that can be used to treat allergies in dogs.

Long-term use: Apoquel is not intended for long-term use, and it is not recommended to use it for more than 14 days at a time. If your dog’s allergies are not well-controlled with Apoquel, your veterinarian may recommend a different medication or treatment plan.

Natural alternatives: Some pet owners prefer to use natural remedies to treat their dog’s allergies, rather than medications. There are many natural remedies that can be effective in relieving allergy symptoms, including omega-3 fatty acids, probiotics, and herbal remedies.

Apoquel for dogs reviews

Pros:

  • Apoquel is a fast-acting medication that can provide relief from the symptoms of allergic skin disease in dogs within a few hours of administration.
  • It is an alternative to corticosteroids, which can have significant side effects when used long-term.
  • Apoquel has been shown to be effective in reducing inflammation and itching in dogs with allergies.

Cons:

  • Apoquel is not a cure for allergies and must be taken long-term to control symptoms.
  • It can be expensive, especially if used long-term.
  • Some dogs may experience side effects, such as vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite.

Side effects:

  • The most common side effects of Apoquel are vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite.
  • Other potential side effects include lethargy, hives, and increased liver enzymes.

Toxicity:

  • Apoquel has a low potential for toxicity when used as directed. However, it is important to follow the recommended dosage and frequency of administration as prescribed by a veterinarian.

Drug interactions:

  • Apoquel may interact with other medications, including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), corticosteroids, and certain antibiotics. It is important to inform your veterinarian of all medications your dog is taking before starting Apoquel.

Contraindications:

  • Apoquel should not be used in dogs with known hypersensitivity to the drug or any of its ingredients.

Research and study:

  • Apoquel has been the subject of several clinical trials and has been shown to be effective in reducing inflammation and itching in dogs with allergic skin disease. However, more research is needed to fully understand the long-term effects of the drug.

What are the side effects of Apoquel in dogs?

One of the most common side effects of Apoquel is an upset stomach, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Other side effects may include loss of appetite, lethargy, and changes in behavior. In rare cases, Apoquel may also cause liver damage or other serious health problems.

What is safer than Apoquel?

It is not accurate to say that one medication is “safer” than another, as the safety of a medication depends on many factors, including the underlying health of the patient and the potential risks and benefits of the medication. What may be safe for one dog may not be safe for another.

Antihistamines, such as diphenhydramine, can also be used to control allergy symptoms in dogs. These medications work by blocking the action of histamine, a chemical produced by the body in response to allergens. They can have side effects such as drowsiness and dry mouth.

Allergen-specific immunotherapy, also known as allergy shots, can be effective in treating chronic allergies in dogs. This involves administering small amounts of the allergens to the dog over time, gradually increasing the dose to help the dog build immunity to the allergens. This treatment can take several months to work and requires regular visits to the vet.

Natural remedies, such as omega-3 fatty acids and probiotics, can also help to control allergy symptoms in dogs. Omega-3 fatty acids can help to reduce inflammation and improve the immune system, while probiotics can help to balance the gut microbiome and support healthy digestion.

Avoiding exposure to allergens, such as dust, pollen, and mold, can help to prevent allergy symptoms in dogs. This may involve keeping the house clean, using air filters, and limiting outdoor activities during peak allergy season.

Conclusion of alternatives to Apoquel

Pros:

  1. Natural remedies: Some alternatives to Apoquel, such as herbal remedies or homeopathic treatments, are derived from natural sources and may have fewer side effects.
  2. Long-term benefits: Some alternatives, such as dietary changes or allergy shots, can potentially provide long-term benefits and address the root cause of the allergies rather than just managing symptoms.
  3. Reduced risk of liver damage: Apoquel has been linked to an increased risk of liver damage in some dogs, while some alternatives may not have this risk.

Cons:

  1. Effectiveness: Some alternatives may not be as effective at managing allergy symptoms as Apoquel.
  2. Length of treatment: Some alternatives, such as allergy shots or dietary changes, may require a longer treatment period compared to Apoquel.
  3. Cost: Some alternatives, such as allergy shots or special hypoallergenic diets, may be more expensive than Apoquel.

Overall, it is important to discuss the pros and cons of different treatment options with your veterinarian to determine the best course of action for your dog’s specific needs and allergies.

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Hannah Elizabeth is an English animal behavior author, having written for several online publications. With a degree in Animal Behaviour and over a decade of practical animal husbandry experience, Hannah's articles cover everything from pet care to wildlife conservation. When she isn't creating content for blog posts, Hannah enjoys long walks with her Rottweiler cross Senna, reading fantasy novels and breeding aquarium shrimp.

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