Best Dog Allergy Medications

Best Antihistamines For Dogs With Skin Allergies

The most common type of allergic reaction in dogs is contact dermatitis (skin rash). If your pet suffers from any kind of skin disease or irritation, then it may cause symptoms like itching, scratching, licking and/or sweating. These are all signs that your pet is suffering from a severe allergic reaction. Contact dermatitis can be caused by many things including insect bites, poisons such as poison ivy and even other animals.

Antihistamines are medications used to treat allergic reactions. They work by blocking the effects of histamine which causes the body’s immune system to react. A common type of antihistamine is diphenhydramine (Benadryl) but there are others too. There are two main types: non-sedating and sedative.

Sedatives block the effect of histamine while non-sedating ones don’t have this side effect.

In general, non-sedating antihistamines are better than sedating ones because they do not affect sleep. However, some pets will still need to take medication if their symptoms persist after taking the non-sedating antihistamines. Some examples include cats and rabbits. While these animals are usually able to tolerate sedation well enough, they still require medication when their symptoms get worse.

How Much Claritin Can I Give My Dog?

In the category of over-the-counter drugs, you can find many kinds of antihistamine drugs. Many of them are available as both tablets and liquids, including loratadine (Claritin), which can be used for dogs’ allergies such as skin issues or itching. The usual dosage is 5mg per pound of your dog’s weight. Since each product is different and has different indications, be sure to follow the instructions on the package for claritin.

You should also keep in mind that antihistamines can cause drowsiness, so don’t be surprised if your dog doesn’t seem himself for the next couple of hours after you give him this medication. And since it’s an non-prescription drug, it is not tested for interactions with other drugs. If your dog has other allergies or medical issues, talk to your veterinarian and vet about possible interactions with his other medication.

What Can I Give My Dog For Allergies

There are several over-the-counter drugs that can be used to treat allergic reactions in dogs. Antihistamine drugs such as Benadryl (diphenhydramine) are given to dogs to stop the reaction which is basically an extreme reaction of the immune system. These drugs block the effects of a chemical called histamine, which is released during an allergic reaction causing things like itching, rashes and hives.

While these drugs are helpful for allergies that cause itching such as atopic dermatitis or food allergies, they can also be used to stop other allergic reactions including stings from insects such as bees and wasps, or even an allergic reaction to the antibiotic penicillin. These drugs are available over the counter without a prescription.

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It is important to give your dog the correct dose. The usual adult dose of Benadryl for an animal is 1 mg per pound of body weight. So a 60 lb dog would get 60 mg (1 mg per 10 lbs of body weight). This dose can be given every 8 hours as needed.

These drugs can make your dog sleepy, so don’t be alarmed if your dog seems a bit loopy. Also, these drugs are not to be used in dogs who are having an allergic reaction that is causing difficulty breathing. If your dog is having an anaphylactic reaction, he needs to be taken to a veterinarian immediately.

When it comes to drugs, even over-the-counter ones, it is always best to check with your veterinarian before giving any medication to your pet. Your veterinarian may have specific instructions about the drug that you need to follow, or he may have specific medications that he wants you to give instead. As with any medication, always be careful about how and when you give it to your pet and any potential side effects that may occur.

Always check for allergies BEFORE administering ANY drug of any kind (over-the-counter or prescription). It is possible that the itching might get worse. If this happens, stop immediately and contact your veterinarian.

In addition, Benadryl has the potential to interact with other drugs, so if your pet is on any prescription medications, always check with your veterinarian before giving Benadryl.

These drugs are not recommended for use in animals less than 6 years of age. In addition, these drugs should not be used during pregnancy or while nursing.

Benadryl (diphenhydramine)

Preventic (imidacloprid and moxidectin)

Revolution (selamectin)

Trifexis (spinosad and milbemycin oxime)

Dexdomitor (dexamethasone)

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Sentinel (fluralaner)


Although these are often used by veterinarians, they have not been approved for use in pets and there is little information on their safety and effectiveness in them. Always check with your veterinarian before using any medications on your pets.

Be aware that no drug is specifically labeled by the FDA to kill mange mites on animals. The active ingredients that have been found to be effective in killing mites are: fipronil, amitraz, imidacloprid (in Advantage and Advocate), and selamectin (in Revolution). All of these are meant to be applied topically on your pet’s skin.

Sources & references used in this article:

Pet dander and perennial allergic rhinitis: Therapeutic options. by DV Wallace – Allergy & Asthma Proceedings, 2009 –

Are you allergy Reddy? by AHA Kits, B Allergies –

Molecular allergy diagnostics refine characterization of children sensitized to dog dander by U Käck, A Asarnoj, H Grönlund, MP Borres… – Journal of Allergy and …, 2018 – Elsevier

The Best Guide to Allergy by ND Schultz, AV Giannini, TT Chang, DC Wong – 2013 –