If your dog suffers from allergies, there are a few medicines that may provide some relief. Not all human allergy medications can be used for dogs. Here is an expert’s guide for what types of human allergy medication are safe for your pet.
Can you give dogs human allergy medicine?
The answer is yes, but with some caveats. As with any medication, it’s important to consult your veterinarian before administering any over-the-counter or prescription drugs. Some human allergy medications are safe for dogs, while others can be extremely dangerous—even fatal—if given to an animal.
What human allergy medicine is safe for dogs?
There are many different types of allergy medications on the market today, including antihistamines and steroids.
Oral antihistamines like Benadryl (diphenhydramine) and Zyrtec (cetirizine) may help relieve itching caused by a mild allergy. Oral steroids like prednisone may be prescribed for severe allergies that cause intense itching and skin lesions.
Check with your veterinarian before giving any medication to your dog. Some medications may react negatively with other medications or supplements that you give your dog, so it’s important to discuss this with them first.
How much allergy medicine can I give my dog?
The dose for Benadryl is 1 mg per pound of body weight, twice a day. So if your dog weighs 20 lbs, you can give him 20 mg of Benadryl. If he weighs 50 lbs, you can give him 50 mg of Benadryl.
Antihistamines may be given in conjunction with corticosteroids (steroid pills or shots) to treat dogs with severe allergies. Oral antibiotics are not usually recommended for dogs that have an allergic reaction unless a bacterial infection is present along with allergies.
If your dog has an allergy, you can find relief by using a variety of natural and man-made substances. These include:
Antihistamines block the activity of histamine, a chemical that causes many allergic reactions. You can buy over-the-counter antihistamines designed for people, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl). Or you can get prescription medications such as hydroxyzine (Atarax).
These drugs may cause drowsiness and other side effects in some dogs. Your veterinarian will help you decide whether to give your dog an antihistamine and which one is best for him or her.
2. Ice pack
Ice packs can help reduce swelling and itching caused by hives or insect bites. Apply them for 10 minutes and repeat as necessary until your dog shows improvement, or as directed by your veterinarian. You can buy an ice pack or make one out of a bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel.
3. Aloe or oatmeal shampoo
Aloe vera and oatmeal are both gentle, natural ingredients that can help soothe itchy skin. If you have dry skin yourself, you know how soothing aloe vera can be, and the same goes for dogs. Oatmeal is also a soothing ingredient that helps relieve itching in dogs with allergies.
You can find these shampoos at most pet stores and even at some grocery stores. Be sure to follow the directions on the bottle. Some dogs will need to be bathed twice a week, others only once a month or so.
4. Omega-3 supplements
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential nutrients that aid in normal skin and coat development. They also play an important role in immune system function, as well as helping to maintain normal skin and coat health.
Fish oil supplements containing EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) are especially helpful for dogs with allergies because they contain anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce itchiness and inflammation associated with allergic reactions.
Ask your vet about the correct dose for your dog’s weight. If you are feeding a high-quality food, this may not be necessary.
5. Flea medication
Fleas are one of the most common causes of allergies in dogs. They can cause itching, irritation, and inflammation on your dog’s skin. Flea medication should be used year-round to prevent fleas from biting your pet and causing irritation that leads to scratching and chewing on the skin.
6. Preventing contact with allergens
If your dog has an allergy to something like pollen or dust mites, then you can try keeping him indoors during certain times of the year when there is more pollen in the air or if he spends a lot of time outside.
Regularly vacuum carpets and furniture because dust mites thrive in these places. Wash bedding once a week in hot water if possible. Change air filters monthly, or more often if needed.
7. Raw meat-based diet
You can try a raw meat-based diet, which is sometimes the best option for dogs with food allergies. It’s not a cure-all, but it can be helpful. A raw meat diet consists of uncooked meat (such as chicken or beef), bones and organs. This diet is beneficial because it contains no grains and other fillers that are found in most commercial dog foods.
This type of diet may also help with digestion issues since the natural enzymes in raw meat help break down food particles more easily than cooked meat does.
Raw diets don’t contain any artificial additives or preservatives, so they’re a good choice if your dog has food sensitivities that cause vomiting or diarrhea after consuming commercial dog food.
8. Elimination diet
Many pets have food allergies and sensitivities that cause them to react negatively to certain foods. An elimination diet can be used to determine which foods trigger an allergic response. We recommend consulting with your vet before starting an elimination diet as they will be able to provide guidance and recommendations based on your pet’s specific needs.
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that live in our gut and help keep us healthy by increasing immunity and improving digestion. They also help repair the lining of the large intestine after antibiotics have damaged it.
If you’re feeding an all-natural raw food diet then you don’t need to give your dog any additional probiotics because they’re already in his food. However, if you’re feeding a commercial kibble then I recommend giving him some probiotics daily in addition to his kibble because this will help him better digest his food.
Conclusion of giving dogs allergy medicine
Giving dogs allergy medicine is not an easy task; however, if you follow the above tips and guidelines, then treating your dog’s allergies will become easier for you.
Prevention: The best way to prevent allergies in dogs is by keeping them away from triggers or allergens that cause an allergic reaction. This may include avoiding flea bites, vacuuming regularly, and washing bedding frequently.
Treatment: Treatment will generally involve identifying and removing the source of the allergen and then treating symptoms with medications.
- If your dog has flea allergy dermatitis, you should start by treating him for fleas.
- If your dog has a food allergy, you should look at what he’s eating and try to switch his diet.
- If one of these doesn’t work, talk to your veterinarian about other options for treating allergies.
The most common over-the-counter medication is an antihistamine. These medications work by blocking histamine receptors in allergic dogs’ bodies. This reduces itching and swelling in their skin. Antihistamines include Benadryl® and Zyrtec®, both of which come in tablet form or liquid form.
Giving your dog human allergy pills can help manage symptoms, but they shouldn’t be used as a substitute for veterinary care. If your dog is having severe reactions, you should contact your veterinarian immediately.