Dog Allergy Treatments Compared

Fortunately, there are a few dog allergy treatments available. The treatment will depend on the type of the allergy, whether it is seasonal or permanent and how the dog responds to the treatment. Obviously, reduced exposure is the best treatment, but it may not be possible in many situations.


An allergic dog produces histamines in excess and these histamines will cause the allergy symptoms such as sneezing, itchiness, rashes, scaly skin or difficulty in breathing.

The administration of antihistamines is effective in the majority of cases in reducing the allergy symptoms. Antihistamines may be prescribed to dogs with any types of allergies.

The drawback of antihistamines is that after a few months of treatment (i.e. 2 to 4 months) the dog may build up immunity and won't respond to the medication anymore. This is why the histamines need to be alternated with other types of histamines or a different treatment should be applied after a few months of antihistamines.

Antihistamines may have side effects such as drowsiness, upset stomach and behavioral changes.


Steroids are efficient in reducing swelling and irritation caused by allergens. However, being hormones, are not recommended for long term use.

Steroid creams are efficient in alleviating the itchiness.

Common side effects of steroids include irritability and behavior changes, vomiting, diarrhea, changes in skin and coat condition, elevated blood pressure and even liver damage.


Immunotherapy consists of the administration of shots containing the allergen. The allergen must be isolated, so that the therapy can be applied.

The allergy shot therapy is presently the best cure for allergies, as many dogs may be completely cured after 6 to 12 months of treatment.

During the therapy the dog will receive periodical shots. After the therapy, the dog will receive a booster every 6 months to make sure the allergy symptoms won't reoccur.

Allergy shots are efficient in over 75% of dogs with inhalant and contact allergies.

However, immunotherapy cannot be applied to dogs with food allergies.

Homeopathic Remedies

Flaxseed oil or fish oil contain fatty acids, which are good in strengthening the skin's immunity.

Bathe your dog frequently and use apple cider vinegar when rinsing, which will reduce the itchiness.

Tone your pet's immune system with herbal extracts of dandelion or echinacea.

The licorice root is extremely effective in reducing allergy symptoms; it contains glycyrrhizin that stimulates the adrenal glands to produce corticosteroids. So, a few drops of licorice root in your dog's food may have the same effect as steroids, but with no side effects.

Homeopathic remedies may be effective in light cases of allergies or if none of the other treatments work.

The efficiency of dog allergy treatments depends on each dog in part. Some dogs may respond well to immunotherapy, while others will do well with a few dietary changes and homeopathic remedies. Antihistamines and steroids are only recommended as short term treatment; however if the dog doesn't respond well to other treatments, antihistamines or steroids can be administered with caution.

Food allergies may only be treated by finding the culprit and eliminating from the dog's diet for life.

Consult your vet, let him know about your dog's medical history and the vet will find a good treatment for the allergies. In some cases, several treatment options will be tested before finding the right one.