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What Can I Give My Dog For Allergies If They Have a Rash, Cough, or are Sneezing?

Posted by Dr. Jessica Herman on December 31, 2020

Medical Advice
Wellness Care
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Suffering from allergies is not fun. It might be surprising, but pets are just as susceptible to allergies, allergic reactions, and many other conditions as humans are. Allergic reactions in animals are not always obvious. If you feel your dog may be showing symptoms of an allergic reaction and you’re asking yourself ‘what can I give my dog for allergies’ Fuzzy - The Pet Parent Company has a few suggestions - over-the-counter and otherwise. 

Understanding Canine Allergies

The first step to alleviating a pet’s allergies is to determine what kind of allergic reaction it is having. Are they having a reaction to fleas or animal bites, or something they ate? Is pollen terrorizing them and making them sneeze, wheeze, or have inflammation? It’s important to hone in on the root cause of the allergy by tracking symptoms to know the best type of treatment. 

Pet allergies often break down into three categories: 

  • fleas

  • food

  • environment

Identifying which one is afflicting a pet will help ensure adjustments can be made and that they’re receiving the proper care they need. Be sure to contact a veterinarian for any questions if their symptoms seem to be causing pain or discomfort lasting longer than a couple of days. The Fuzzy app and website offer 24/7 Live Vet Chat for all dog allergy issues, big or small. 

What Can I Give My Dog For Allergies

Once it has been determined a dog is in fact having an allergic reaction, now what? Good news - many items to treat canine allergies may already be in the pantry or medicine cabinet. 

Most dogs respond well to over-the-counter antihistamines (aka medicines that relieve allergy symptoms) for food and environmental allergies. The most commonly prescribed one is Benadryl. Yep, good ‘ole Benadryl! 

Benadryl, otherwise known as diphenhydramine, works the same way in dogs as humans. It blocks the receptors receiving histamines, thereby relieving your furry friend of symptoms like itching, swelling, runny nose, sneezing, and hives. It should be noted that Benadryl works best in mild to moderate cases, so if your pet is experiencing a serious allergic reaction, it’s best to contact a Fuzzy veterinarian for advice. The dosage will, of course, vary by weight. A general rule of thumb is 1 mg of diphenhydramine per pound, to be given orally or with food. 

Like in humans, Benadryl side effects like drowsiness may occur. This means it serves a double effect to calm anxious pups. Other side effects may include increased heart rate, inability to urinate, or excessive drooling so be sure to monitor your dog for a few hours after administering. 

If a pet is suffering from a flea allergy the most logical step is, of course, to treat the fleas. However, preventing their return is just as important. We’ve written extensively about the flea lifecycle and ridding your home of pests. Topical treatments can be used to kill fleas and ticks. Aloe lotions can soothe the irritated skin where fleas have bitten and a dog may have scratched extensively. We wouldn’t like it if parasites were gnawing on us 24/7, it’s only natural our pets wouldn’t either. 

Have more questions about your pet’s allergies, or how to help them? Contact a Fuzzy veterinarian via the 24/7 Live Vet Chat to ask your questions via chat or in a video call with your dog. They’ll be able to offer specific recommendations for what to give your dog for allergies. 

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