Types of Allergens
Did you know that dogs have allergies like humans? Dogs can be more allergic than humans are to certain allergens. Some dogs are extremely allergic to the common mold aspergillus. This mold is found in many climates throughout the world. Aspergillus causes allergies from contact with the skin or inhalation. Aspergillus is made up of mold spores which are found in the air. These allergies can cause itching which can result in excessive scratching leading to sores and open wounds. Some allergens can cause respiratory issues making it difficult for your dog to breathe. Luckily, there are solutions that you can try to see if they work for your dog. Unfortunately as with many medical issues, there is a trial and error period where you’d have which option works best for your dog.
Solutions for Dog Allergies
Atopica works for many dogs. Atopica is given to your dog in capsule form. This medicine works for skin allergies, also known as contact dermatitis. If your dog has respiratory allergies then this may not be the best medicine for them. If your dog has occasional episodes you may consider a backup form of medicine.
A more aggressive form of allergy prevention is a process in which a series of allergy shots are administered to your dog over a 3 month period. These allergy shots expose your dog to allergies that are causing issues but in a controlled environment. When administering shots, your dog may have a severe reaction to the shots throughout the 3 month period. If this happens, you must immediately bring your dog to the vet so they can stop the reaction. Dogs exposed to allergens in the shots will develop antibodies against the allergens. Eventually their body will adjust to the allergens. Their reactions will diminish. New medicine or experimental testing should be done gradually. This allows you to manage any major reactions. As always, all forms of treatment and medicine should be consulted and approved by your vet.
Benadryl & Administering Medicine to Your Dog
Allergy medicine administered daily will keep your dog’s allergies under control. Did you know that you can give dogs Benadryl? You can view our home remedies & medicines discussing common medicines that you can give to your dog. Cut Benadryl in half, thirds, or quarters, depending on the weight of your dog. When allergies are bad, likely in the spring and summer, you may need to administer Benadryl multiple times a day. It may be difficult to get your dog to take medicine. Try hiding the pill in a treat or peanut butter. Hopefully your dog will consume the pill while eating their treat.
Alternative to Benadryl
Some dogs don’t do well with Benadryl because it is an antihistamine. This can make them lethargic. Some dogs react better to Apoquel. Apoquel targets the cause of itching and reduces inflammation of the skin. The active ingredient is oclacitinib and it does not contain steroids. Since this medicine does not have the same active ingredients as Benadryl, the two can be combined for optimal allergy relief. Again, consult your vet before administering or combining any medicines.
The one remaining question you may have is: “How do I know if my dog is having severe allergies?” If your dog excessively rubs his head and body, is sneezing, has watery eyes, constantly licking, biting his paws, or his bum area, they likely have allergies. Read our article discussing seasonal dog allergies. Please consult your vet for further examination and treatment.
Written on May 10th, 2018
Updated on June 12th, 2019
Kim is the co-owner of DogLoverStore with her husband, John. She earned her BS in operations management at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. She enjoys walking in nature, gardening in the sun, eating sour candy, going on drives, yoga, and reading.