Allergy Hives Treatment for Dogs

Allergy hives, also known as urticaria, may sometimes appear on your dog's skin. Hives are caused by negative reactions to some forms of medication, foods that have preservatives, insect bites, dust, pollen or vaccines. The condition could also stem from something that has been ingested or through contact with allergens in the environment.


Hives start out as an itch that the dog tries to deal with by scratching or licking the affected parts. If the hives are ignored for a while, the condition becomes acute and the dog might start chewing the affected areas repeatedly. Hives in general appear as rashes or lesions on the skin, lips, tongue and areas around the pet's face. The symptoms you have to look for vary. They could be anything from a small bump or wart on the skin to extreme dryness of the skin. This in turn leads to hair loss or yellowing skin in patches. You may also notice swollen areas around the face. Besides this, watch for irritation, scratching, shaking of the head and breathing problems.

Diagnosis of Hives                                                                              

Treatment of hives starts with correct diagnosis. The vet will perform a series of tests based on the symptoms. Your dog will have to undergo either an intradermal skin test or a blood test. Both of these tests can be performed at the vet's office and the allergen can be isolated and further analyzed. While blood testing has also become popular, the intradermal test is still considered the best. To perform the intradermal test, the vet will shave a small patch of skin and inject a dose of antigen. The vet will then monitor the effects of the injection, in order to isolate the antigen that causes the allergic reaction.

Treatment Options:

  • Antihistamines such as Benadryl or Corticosteroids can be given for immediate relief.
  • Milk of Magnesia may also be given for hives associated with food allergies.
  • Bathing the pet with cold water and aloe vera or a few drops of eucalyptus oil helps remove allergies caused by topical insecticides or medicated shampoos.
  • Certain commercial remedies like Excel Hydrocortisone Spray and Yucca Intensive are often used to relieve the itching and heal the hives.
  • Black or green tea that's cooled can be applied to the hives to soothe and heal the pet's skin. Alternatively, use Be Soothed Tea Tree Oil Skin Relief that's formulated for use in pets.
  • Diets that consist of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids generally help your dog, because they work to improve his immune system and fight allergies.


Injecting small doses of the allergy-causing antigen in the form of a vaccine will increase your pet's resistance level to the allergens. This is a course of treatment that's of a longer duration. It will have to be continued consistently for a few weeks until the pet has developed a strong immune system.

Preventing Allergies

An itchy skin condition that breaks out in hives can be distressing to your dog and should be treated immediately. It's also possible to prevent the recurrence of allergies by taking some careful measures. Avoid using products that your dog is allergic to or feeding your pet foods that are known to cause a negative reaction. Make sure you bathe and rinse the dog well. Groom your pet with a brush that reaches the skin, as it will remove fleas and flea droppings. 

Your dog's paws must be cleaned frequently to get rid of any allergens he may have stepped on. Remember to choose your pet's diet carefully so that he develops strong immunity to allergies.