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Which allergy medicines for dogs are best?

Dogs have allergies too, you know. They have itchy eyes and skin and sneeze just like us. With some dogs it can be so severe they require a prescription, but most are just fine with an over-the-counter solution. There are a few types of medication that can be most beneficial depending on your dog’s situation.

The best allergy medicine for dogs is Apoquel Tablets For Dogs. This medication treats the most common form of dog allergies, skin irritation, quickly and with minimal-to-no side effects.

What to know before you buy an allergy medicine for dogs

Common causes of dog allergies

Dogs face allergic reactions from three sources: flea bites, airborne allergens and food.

  • Flea bites: According to PetMD, flea bite allergies are among the most common skin conditions in dogs. Some reactions occur after a single bite. Common reactions are itching and inflammation of the skin. Depending on the severity of the itch, dogs can scratch until they lose hair or even draw blood.
  • Airborne allergens: Dogs can suffer from airborne allergies just like humans. Also like humans, these can be seasonal or year-round. Most dogs develop itchy skin in reaction but sneezing and coughing/wheezing can sometimes occur. According to PetMD, common sources are pollen, mold and dust mites.
  • Food: Dogs can also suffer from food allergies. Common symptoms are breathing and digestive issues, ear infections, itchy faces and sneezing. According to PetMD, most reactions come from proteins such as lamb and fish. Some dogs also react to grains.

OTC vs. prescription

In most cases, dog allergies can be safely and easily treated with over-the-counter medications rather than prescriptions. Issues such as light, but noticeable, itching or excessive sneezing are commonly treated with OTC meds. You should still call your veterinarian before administering any medications.

Prescription meds are only prescribed for severe cases or if OTC meds fail. They are equally likely to cause severe side-effects as they are to treat allergies, which is why OTC meds are usually attempted first.

What to look for in a quality allergy medicine for dogs


A prescription medication, immune-modulators affect the immune system directly by limiting the release of histamines. These medications are likely to cause digestive issues, including vomiting and appetite loss. Cyclosporine is commonly used to treat long-term airborne allergies as it has less severe side effects; however,  it takes several weeks of dosing to see relief. Oclacitinib covers all three allergy sources immediately, but it can’t be taken for longer than 2 weeks.


An OTC medication, antihistamines also limit histamine release. Diphenhydramine HCI (Benadryl) is the most commonly used. The same Benadryl you take can be given to your dog, at 1 milligram per pound. The only downside is most dogs don’t react to antihistamines, positively or negatively. 

Fish oil

Fish oil, or more accurately the omega-3 fatty acids it contains, doesn’t directly tackle allergens. Instead, it helps to boost the health of your dog’s skin. This can reduce the severity of symptoms over time. Many dog owners also like that it isn’t a chemical.

How much you can expect to spend on an allergy medicine for dogs

The cost of allergy medication for dogs depends on how many tablets you buy at once and whether it’s a brand name or not. You can pay fewer than $10 or up to $100 depending on these factors.

Allergy medicine for dogs FAQ

Are there any dog breeds more likely to have allergies?

A. All dog breeds are equally prone to most allergies. However, certain breeds are more likely to suffer from airborne allergens, including the following:

  • poodles 
  • pugs 
  • dalmatians 
  • fox terriers 
  • any variety of retrievers 
  • boxers 
  • chihuahuas 
  • miniature schnauzers

Can a dog be tested for allergies?

A. A dog can be tested using one of two methods for skin-related allergies, but not for food- or flea-related allergies. The most common method is a blood test, orderable by any veterinarian. Alternatively, minute quantities of common allergens can be applied to your dog’s skin to observe possible reactions. This test must be performed by a dermatological specialist.

What’s the best allergy medicine for dogs to buy?

Top allergy medicine for dogs 

Apoquel Tablets For Dogs

Apoquel Tablets For Dogs

What you need to know: This prescription medication covers common symptoms with minimal side effects.

What you’ll love: It is nonsteroidal. It mainly covers skin-related allergies like itching and inflammation. It provides quick relief. It is small enough to easily hide in soft treats. It is available in three-dose sizes and in either single- or 30-tablet orders. 

What you should consider: The most common side effect is an upset stomach. However, it is rarely reported and repeated doses decrease the chances of it occurring.

Where to buy: Sold by Chewy

Top allergy medicine for dogs for the money


Prednisone Tablets

What you need to know: This generic prescription medication is a tenth of the cost of similar meds.

What you’ll love: It covers most skin-related allergies like inflammation and can minimize breathing difficulties. The pills are small but can be broken in half for easier administration. It is available in five-dose sizes and in single-, 30- or 60-tablet orders.

What you should consider: It is steroidal. Common side effects are high blood pressure, weight gain and excessive thirst and urination. It can worsen certain health conditions, including diabetes.

Where to buy: Sold by Chewy

Worth checking out

Temaril P Tablets For Dogs

Temaril-P Tablets For Dogs

What you need to know: This prescription medication is effective, but it may cause unpleasant side effects.

What you’ll love: Besides treating skin allergies like inflammation and itching, it also treats seasonal symptoms such as coughing and sore throat. The pills are small and easy to hide in food. It’s available in single-, 30- or 60-tablet orders. 

What you should consider: It is steroidal. Common side effects are high blood pressure, weight gain, excessive thirst and urination, difficulty breathing and drowsiness. It can worsen certain health conditions, including tuberculosis.

Where to buy: Sold by Chewy


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Jordan Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.


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