What over the counter medicine can you give your dog for allergies

Dog food allergy treatment boils below to one underlying principle: identify foods your dog is allergic to and avoid feeding those.

«What most people ponder of as a dog food allergy is more appropriately called an cutaneous adverse food reaction, or CAFR,» says Dr. Justin Shmalberg, a DVM and NomNomNow’s own veterinary nutritionist. «It basically means there’s some association between a food and a certain group of symptoms—usually skin problems or gastrointestinal problems.»

In a true dog food allergy, according to Shmalberg, the culprit is often a food protein that triggers an adverse immune response, which then causes cells in the body to release histamines, or compounds that lead to itching and numerous other allergic signs.

A dog food intolerance, on the other hand, doesn’t involve an immune response—but the signs of dog food intolerance can glance beautiful similar to the signs of a food allergy.

One example is a lactose intolerance, which happens when a dog’s body just doesn’t process lactose in milk products well, leading to gastrointestinal problems (often diarrhea).

Both allergies and intolerances drop under that category of CAFRs, or, in more general terms, adverse food reactions.

What over the counter medicine can you give your dog for allergies

So, how prevalent are adverse food reactions in dogs? One 2017 research review published in BMC Veterinary Research examined just that. The findings propose that, of dogs seeing vets for any diagnosis, 1 to 2 percent own food intolerances or allergies; among dogs with skin diseases, the number jumps up a bit, to about 6 percent. For dogs with itching and allergies, even more—about one in five—show signs of adverse food reactions.

Still, true allergies, in which the immune system is attacking a food protein, are definitely less common than food intolerances.

What over the counter medicine can you give your dog for allergies

The takeaway, says Shmalberg, is this: «If your dog is otherwise normal, even if he’s scratching a lot, a food allergy is unlikely. That said, diet can certainly frolic a role in helping to manage skin conditions and diseases, regardless of whether or not your dog has a food allergy.» We’ll discuss more about how you can tell the difference below.

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Treating specific allergic conditions

Use the links under to discover information about how specific allergies and related conditions are treated:

Sheet final reviewed: 22 November 2018
Next review due: 22 November 2021

You’ve probably seen this while driving: a canine friend hanging his head out the window catching the breeze.

Many dogs love to go for a ride in the car; however, some dogs experience motion sickness (which we humans do not love).

Longer trips may be more hard than shorter ones on your canine friend. Trips on a boat can trigger sea sickness, too, especially in puppies.

Some vets might recommend these OTC products, but at specific doses used only in dogs:

Do not use these products in digs with glaucoma, prostate gland enlargement, and certain stomach, thyroid, seizure, or heart disorders.

Both drugs are human motion sickness medicines.

What over the counter medicine can you give your dog for allergies

As with so numerous human medicines, doses are based on your dogs weight, so ask your vet. These drugs may cause drowsiness, too, so beware about dog safety in the car, especially if your friend is fond of hanging out the window.

Prescription products love Cerenia (maropitant citrate) are also available for motion sickness in dogs, and your vet may prefer this product specifically for dogs.

Picture this: Your dog is constantly itching, scratching, and biting fur, and you can’t figure out why.

Maybe you’ve tried everything from changing grooming routines to special shampoos, to medications. But own you tried changing your dog’s diet?

Food is one culprit behind allergic reactions in dogs that owners often overlook.

What over the counter medicine can you give your dog for allergies

In fact, there are dog food allergies and dog food intolerances. Just love us, canines can suffer from either or both. And food allergies in dogs can cause not only digestive problems love vomiting and diarrhea, but also skin issues, and even behavioral problems. If you or your vet suspect your pup may own be having an adverse reaction to certain foods, and you’re wondering what it every means, you’re in the correct place.

We talked to Dr. Justin Shmalberg, a DVM and NomNomNow’s own veterinary nutritionist, to collect what you need to know.

We’ll cover the following:


Allergy medicines

Medicines for mild allergies are available from pharmacies without a prescription.

But always enquire a pharmacist or GP for advice before starting any new medicine, as they’re not suitable for everyone.

Antihistamines

Antihistamines are the main medicines for allergies.

What over the counter medicine can you give your dog for allergies

They can be used:

  1. as and when you notice the symptoms of an allergic reaction
  2. to prevent allergic reactions – for example, you may take them in the morning if you own hay fever and you know the pollen count is high that day

Antihistamines can be taken as tablets, capsules, creams, liquids, eye drops or nasal sprays, depending on which part of your body is affected by your allergy.

Decongestants

Decongestants can be used as a short-term treatment for a blocked nose caused by an allergic reaction.

They can be taken as tablets, capsules, nasal sprays or liquids.

Do not use them for more than a week at a time, as using them for endless periods can make your symptoms worse.

Lotions and creams

Red and itchy skin caused by an allergic reaction can sometimes be treated with over-the-counter creams and lotions, such as:

  1. moisturising creams (emollients) to hold the skin moist and protect it from allergens
  2. calamine lotion to reduce itchiness
  3. steroids to reduce inflammation

Steroids

Steroid medicines can assist reduce inflammation caused by an allergic reaction.

They’re available as:

Sprays, drops and feeble steroid creams are available without a prescription.

Stronger creams, inhalers and tablets are available on prescription from a GP.


Avoiding exposure to allergens

The best way to hold your symptoms under control is often to avoid the things you’re allergic to, although this is not always practical.

For example, you may be capable to help manage:

  1. animal allergies by keeping pets exterior as much as possible and washing them regularly
  2. food allergies by being careful about what you eat
  3. mould allergies by keeping your home dry and well-ventilated, and dealing with any damp and condensation
  4. hay fever by staying indoors and avoiding grassy areas when the pollen count is high
  5. dust mite allergies by using allergy-proof duvets and pillows, and fitting wooden floors rather than carpets


Immunotherapy (desensitisation) 

Immunotherapy may be an option for a little number of people with certain severe and persistent allergies who are unable to control their symptoms using the measures above.

The treatment involves being given occasional little doses of the allergen, either as an injection, or as drops or tablets under the tongue, over the course of several years.

The injection can only be performed in a specialist clinic under the supervision of a doctor, as there’s a little risk of a severe reaction.

What over the counter medicine can you give your dog for allergies

The drops or tablets can generally be taken at home.

The purpose of treatment is to help your body get used to the allergen so it does not react to it so severely.

This will not necessarily cure your allergy, but it’ll make it milder and mean you can take less medicine.


Treating severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis)

Some people with severe allergies may experience life-threatening reactions, known as anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock.

If you’re at risk of this, you’ll be given special injectors containing a medicine called adrenaline to use in an emergency.

If you develop symptoms of anaphylaxis, such as difficulty breathing, you should inject yourself in the outer thigh before seeking emergency medical assist.

Find out more about treating anaphylaxis


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