Home pet health Can antihistamines help dogs with seasonal allergies? Here's what to know

Can antihistamines help dogs with seasonal allergies? Here’s what to know


Allergy season comes to people. Just as gorgeous as flowers, they carry allergens like pollen onto our clothes and shoes and, in turn, enter our homes. These allergens not only cause us to cough and sneeze, but can also affect our dogs.

Antihistamines like Benadryl are an over-the-counter solution for people with allergies. Sometimes parents give their dogs antihistamines if they notice they have allergy symptoms.

“Very little and far is that a dog with a seasonal allergy will actually respond fully to an over-the-counter antihistamine,” said Dr. Lara Wilson, DVM, said Dr. Lara Wilson. Firehouse Animal Health.

But that doesn’t mean never give antihistamines to your dog. Dr. Wilson says there are a few situations where they can be helpful, but not as much as what she feels that the general public thinks. Dr. Wilson shared when to need Benadryl or asked your veterinarian about different solutions for dog allergies.

When can I give my dog? Benadryl?

Antihistamines have a place in the health of dogs.

“They are helpful with acute allergic reactions, such as when a pet is vaccinated and lethargic, or if they are out in the yard and bitten by an ant or bee sting,” Dr. Wilson said.

They can also help treat mild seasonal allergic symptoms.

“If it’s just a sneeze or a tear, I can use Benadryl,” says Dr. Wilson.

Related: Is Benadryl safe for dogs? Things to know about Benadryl for dogs

Why are antihistamines ineffective in chronic allergies in dogs?

With seasonal allergies, they often sneeze, watery eyes and develop hay fever. Dogs can also experience these, but chronic seasonal allergies often manifest differently in our poodle.

“More often, they will experience severe skin itching, which can lead to a bacterial or fungal infection due to anything they are allergic to, such as pollen,” Dr. Wilson said. “In that case, an over-the-counter antihistamine doesn’t really help. They do not reduce the degree of itching. “

Photo: Shutterstock.

How Should I Treat My Dog’s Seasonal Allergy?

If you notice your dog shows signs of a seasonal allergy, which may include sneezing and persistent itching, contact your veterinarian. Dr. Wilson recommends telling your veterinarian:

  • How old is the pet when symptoms begin.
  • Which part of the body is the pet experiencing the symptoms?
  • Whether it seems seasonal or 24/7/365.
  • What medications pets are taking, especially for fleas and ticks.

Your veterinarian will then be able to diagnose and prescribe treatment. Dr. Wilson believes that the treatment of seasonal dog allergies has come a long way recently.

“Over the past five to seven years, we have seen more oral and injectable drugs to relieve itching and treat infections,” said Dr. Wilson.

Dr. Wilson often prescribes Apoquel to patients who are her children. The oral medication label has some scary-sounding side effects like lethargy, loss of appetite, and vomiting, but Dr. Wilson advises patients not to be overly concerned. She has never let a dog get sick from drugs and she feels they are safer than steroids, are incompatible with every medication a puppy might need and increases the risk of muscle / joint changes and Cushing’s Disease .

“When you read the Apoquel label, it might look terrifying, but the safety studies are really extensive,” said Dr. Wilson.

Your veterinarian can also give you prescription topical treatments, such as shampoos and wipes, that can alleviate itching. Sometimes, an over-the-counter solution can be effective.

“For mild dry / itchy skin, aloe and oat shampoos are great,” says Dr. Wilson.

She recommends that you keep the shampoo on your skin for 5 to 10 minutes.

“Think of it as using a masking beauty product for ourselves,” said Dr. Wilson.

Featured photo: Shutterstock.

Continue reading: Can you give your dog aspirin? Are human pain relievers safe for dogs?



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