5 best antihistamine for dogs with skin allergies in 2023

By Amber SmithJun 23, 2023 4:00 AM
Pupper Skin Relief Spray


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Is your furry friend constantly scratching, biting, or licking their skin? It's heartbreaking to see them suffer from skin allergies. But here's the good news – antihistamines can provide much-needed relief! These medications are specifically designed to alleviate the discomfort caused by allergic reactions in dogs.

Understanding how antihistamines work is key to managing your dog's allergy symptoms effectively. By blocking histamine receptors, these drugs help reduce itching and inflammation, allowing your pup to enjoy a happier, itch-free life.

We'll explore different types of antihistamines, such as hydroxyzine, and discuss their administration methods. We'll cover over-the-counter options and popular brand names that you should be aware of.

So let's dive in and discover how antihistamines can bring relief to your beloved canine companion!

5 best antihistamine for dogs with skin allergies in 2023

  1. Pupper Skin Relief Spray

  2. Diphenhydramine (Benadryl)

  3. Cetirizine (Zyrtec)

  4. Loratadine (Claritin)

  5. Hydroxyzine

Understanding Dog Allergies and Identifying Symptoms:

If you're a dog owner, you know how important it is to keep your furry friend healthy and happy. Unfortunately, just like humans, dogs can develop allergies too. From pollen to dust mites and certain foods, there are various substances that can trigger allergic reactions in our canine companions.

Dog Allergies:

Many dog owners are surprised to learn that their beloved pets can have allergies. Just like humans, dogs can experience allergic reactions when their immune system overreacts to certain substances known as allergens. These allergens can be found in the environment or even in their food.

Common Symptoms:

Identifying whether your dog has allergies is crucial in managing their condition effectively. Here are some common symptoms of dog allergies to watch out for:

  1. Itching: One of the main symptoms of dog allergies is itching. You may notice your pup scratching excessively or biting at certain areas of its body.

  2. Redness and Rashes: Dogs with skin allergies often develop redness and rashes on their skin. These irritated areas may be accompanied by hair loss or scabs.

  3. Excessive Licking or Scratching: If you find your dog constantly licking or scratching itself, it could be a sign of an allergic reaction.

  4. Allergic Itch: An allergic itch is different from regular itching caused by fleas or dry skin. It tends to be more intense and persistent.

Identifying the Specific Allergen:

Pinpointing the specific allergen causing your dog's reaction is essential for the effective management of their skin allergies. While some allergens may be obvious, others require further investigation through allergy testing conducted by a veterinarian.

  1. Environmental Allergies: Dogs can develop allergies to environmental factors such as pollen, grass, dust mites, or mold. If you notice your dog's symptoms worsen during certain seasons or in specific environments, it may be an indication of environmental allergies.

  2. Food Allergies: Just like humans, dogs can have food allergies too. Common food allergens for dogs include beef, dairy products, wheat, and chicken. If you suspect your dog has a food allergy, consult with your veterinarian about conducting an elimination diet or allergy test.

Identifying the specific allergen causing your dog's skin allergies is crucial because it allows you to take appropriate measures to minimize their exposure to the allergen and provide them with relief.

Understanding dog allergies and identifying the symptoms is the first step toward helping your furry friend lead a comfortable life. By being aware of the common signs of dog allergies and working with a veterinarian to identify the specific allergen, you can ensure that your pup receives the necessary care and treatment they need to manage their skin allergies effectively.

Types of Antihistamines for Dogs with Skin Allergies:

Antihistamines can be a game-changer. These medications work by blocking the effects of histamine, a chemical released during an allergic reaction that causes itching and inflammation. But not all antihistamines are created equal. Let's explore the different types of antihistamines available for dogs with skin allergies.

Diphenhydramine: A Classic Choice

Diphenhydramine is one of the most commonly used antihistamines for dogs. You might recognize it by its brand name, Benadryl. This medication is readily available over the counter and can provide relief from itching caused by allergies, insect bites, or even mild rashes. However, it's important to note that diphenhydramine may cause drowsiness in some dogs. So if your pup needs to stay alert and active throughout the day, you might want to consider other options.

Cetirizine: Non-Drowsy Relief

If you're looking for a non-drowsy alternative to diphenhydramine, cetirizine might be worth considering. Commonly sold under the brand name Zyrtec, cetirizine is an effective antihistamine that doesn't typically cause drowsiness in dogs. It can help alleviate the itching due to various allergies and has been known to provide long-lasting relief. Remember to consult with your veterinarian regarding the appropriate dosage for your dog based on their weight and condition.

Consult Your Veterinarian

While diphenhydramine and cetirizine are popular choices there are several other types available as well. Each dog is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. That's why it's crucial to consult with your veterinarian before starting any medication. They will be able to assess your dog's specific needs and recommend the most suitable antihistamine.

During your consultation, your vet may consider factors such as your dog's age, size, overall health, and the severity of their skin allergies. They may also take into account any other medications or health conditions your dog has to ensure there are no potential interactions or contraindications.

Remember that while antihistamines can provide relief for dogs with skin allergies, they are not a cure-all solution. It's essential to address the underlying cause of the allergies and develop a comprehensive treatment plan that may include dietary changes, environmental modifications, and other recommended therapies.

Safety Considerations and Dosage Guidelines for Antihistamines in Dogs:

Administering antihistamines to dogs with skin allergies requires careful consideration of safety guidelines and proper dosage. Here are some important points to keep in mind:

Follow Proper Dosage Guidelines:

  • It is crucial to follow the recommended dosage guidelines when giving antihistamines to your dog. Giving too little may be ineffective while giving too much can lead to adverse effects.

  • Consult your veterinarian for the correct dosages based on your dog's weight, age, and overall health condition.

  • The dosage schedules may vary depending on the specific antihistamine being used, so it's essential to adhere to the instructions provided by your vet.

Breed-Specific Considerations:

  • Certain dog breeds may have different sensitivities or reactions to specific types of antihistamines. Consult your veterinarian about any breed-specific considerations before starting any medication regimen.

  • Breeds such as Greyhounds, Collies, and Shelties are known to be more sensitive to certain medications due to genetic factors. Your vet can provide guidance on which antihistamines are safer for these breeds.

Inform Your Veterinarian:

  • Before starting an antihistamine regimen for your dog, inform your veterinarian about any other medications they may be taking or any underlying health conditions they have.

  • Some medications can interact negatively with antihistamines, causing unwanted side effects. Your vet will ensure there are no potential drug interactions or contraindications.

Caution with Concurrent Use:

  • If your dog is already taking other medications, it is important to exercise caution when administering antihistamines concurrently.

  • Certain drugs may enhance or diminish the effects of antihistamines, so it's crucial that you consult your vet regarding any potential interactions.

Correct Dose Calculation:

  • Antihistamine dosages for dogs are typically expressed in milligrams per pound of body weight.

  • Your veterinarian will determine the appropriate dosage for your dog based on their weight, and it's important to administer the correct dose accordingly.

  • Always use a reliable measuring tool, such as a syringe or dropper, to ensure accurate dosing.

Remember that these guidelines provide general information. It is crucial to consult your veterinarian for personalized advice regarding antihistamines and their proper usage for your dog's specific needs. By following safety considerations and adhering to the correct dosage guidelines, you can help alleviate your dog's skin allergies effectively and safely.

Choosing the Most Effective Antihistamine for Your Dog's Skin Allergies:

It's important to understand that not all medications work the same way for every dog. Each dog has unique allergy triggers and individual responses to different antihistamines. To help you make an informed decision, we've put together a guide on choosing the most effective antihistamine for your furry friend.

Factors Considered by Veterinarians:

Your veterinarian plays a crucial role in recommending the most suitable antihistamine for your dog's skin allergies. They consider several factors such as the severity of symptoms and potential side effects before making their recommendation. Here are some key points they take into account:

  1. Symptom Severity: The intensity of your dog's skin allergy symptoms, such as itching, redness, or inflammation, will influence the choice of antihistamine. More severe symptoms may require stronger medication.

  2. Allergy Triggers: Identifying the specific allergens that cause your dog's skin allergies is essential in determining which antihistamine will be most effective. Common allergens include flea bites, pollen, dust mites, and certain foods.

  3. Side Effects: Different antihistamines can have varying side effects on dogs. Your veterinarian will consider any pre-existing health conditions and potential drug interactions before selecting an appropriate medication with minimal side effects.

Common Antihistamines for Dogs with Skin Allergies:

Several antihistamines are commonly prescribed by veterinarians to manage skin allergies in dogs effectively. Let's explore some options:

  1. Diphenhydramine (Benadryl): This over-the-counter medication is often recommended for its effectiveness against itching caused by insect bites or seasonal allergies.

  2. Cetirizine (Zyrtec): Known for its long-lasting effects, cetirizine is effective in relieving itching and inflammation associated with atopic dermatitis or hives.

  3. Chlorpheniramine: This antihistamine is frequently used to manage skin allergies caused by environmental factors such as pollen or dust mites.

  4. Loratadine (Claritin): Commonly used to treat human allergies, loratadine can also be prescribed for dogs with itchy skin and other allergy symptoms.

  5. Clemastine Fumarate: Often recommended for dogs with inflamed skin due to allergies, clemastine fumarate provides relief from itching and reduces redness.

Regular Monitoring and Adjustments:

Once your veterinarian has prescribed an antihistamine for your dog's skin allergies, regular monitoring is essential. Keep an eye on your dog's response to the medication and watch out for any adverse reactions. If the chosen antihistamine does not effectively manage your dog's symptoms, consult your veterinarian for adjustments or alternative options.

When Not to Use Antihistamines on Your Dog:

Certain Medical Conditions Can Make Antihistamines Unsuitable for Dogs:

If your furry friend has certain medical conditions, it may not be safe to administer antihistamines. For instance, dogs with glaucoma or heart disease should avoid these medications. Glaucoma is a condition that affects the eyes and can lead to increased pressure, while heart disease puts strain on the cardiovascular system. Giving antihistamines to dogs with these conditions could worsen their symptoms or even cause serious harm. Therefore, it's crucial to consult your veterinarian before considering antihistamine treatment.

Pregnant or Nursing Dogs Require Veterinary Guidance:

Extra precautions should be taken before giving them antihistamines. These medications can potentially affect both the mother and her puppies. It's essential to seek veterinary guidance in such cases since experts will assess the risks and benefits associated with using antihistamines during pregnancy or lactation. Remember, what may be safe for an adult dog might not be suitable for a pregnant or nursing one.

Severe Side Effects Call for Immediate Veterinary Consultation:

While antihistamines are generally considered safe for dogs when used appropriately, some can experience severe side effects. If you notice any adverse reactions after administering antihistamines to your dog, it's crucial to consult your veterinarian immediately. Common signs of severe side effects include excessive drowsiness, vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, or irregular heartbeat. Your vet will evaluate the situation and advise you on how best to proceed.

It's important always to prioritize your dog's well-being and consult a professional if you have any doubts about using antihistamines as part of their allergy treatment plan. Remember that every dog is unique and may react differently to medication.

By following these guidelines regarding when not to use antihistamines on your dog, you can ensure their safety and prevent any potential complications.

Side Effects of Antihistamines in Dogs:

Common Side Effects of Antihistamines in Dogs

It's important to be aware of the potential side effects. While these medications can provide relief from itching and inflammation caused by histamine release, they can also cause some unwanted effects. Here are some common side effects to watch out for:

  1. Drowsiness: One of the most common side effects of antihistamines in dogs is drowsiness. Just like humans, dogs may feel sleepy or lethargic after taking these medications. It's important to monitor your furry friend closely, especially during the initial days of starting the antihistamine regimen.

  2. Dry Mouth: Another possible side effect is dry mouth or increased thirst. Antihistamines can reduce saliva production, leaving your dog feeling parched. Make sure to provide plenty of fresh water for them to stay hydrated.

  3. Gastrointestinal Upset: Some dogs may experience gastrointestinal upset when taking antihistamines. This can manifest as vomiting, diarrhea, or a loss of appetite. If you notice any digestive disturbances, consult with your veterinarian for guidance.

Paradoxical Reactions and Other Concerns

While most dogs tolerate antihistamines well, there are a few additional considerations to keep in mind:

  1. Paradoxical Reactions: In rare cases, dogs may exhibit paradoxical reactions to antihistamines. Instead of becoming sedated, they may become hyperactive or agitated. If you observe any unexpected behavior changes after administering an antihistamine, contact your vet immediately.

  2. Overdose Risks: It's crucial not to exceed the recommended dosage when giving antihistamines to your dog. Overdosing can lead to serious side effects such as respiratory depression or cardiovascular effects. Always follow your veterinarian's instructions and never give your dog medication intended for humans.

  3. Motion Sickness: Some antihistamines can be used to alleviate motion sickness in dogs. However, it's important to note that these medications may cause drowsiness, exacerbating the symptoms of motion sickness during car rides or travel. Consult with your vet to determine the best course of action for managing both allergies and motion sickness.

5 best antihistamine for dogs with skin allergies in 2023

Pupper Skin Relief Spray

As pet owners, seeing our furry friends suffer from skin allergies is heartbreaking. Fortunately, there are steps we can take to alleviate their discomfort. Pupper Skin Relief Spray is an antihistamine specifically designed for dogs with skin allergies. With a simple spray, the itching and scratching that can accompany allergies will be relieved, easing your pet's discomfort and making them feel more comfortable. As a pet owner, you know how important it is to take care of your dog's health and wellbeing. Pupper Skin Relief Spray is an excellent tool in your arsenal to help reduce the symptoms of skin allergies and keep your pet happy and healthy.

Diphenhydramine (Benadryl)

Diphenhydramine, commonly known as Benadryl, is an antihistamine that is often prescribed for dogs with skin allergies. As a medication that is typically used to reduce the symptoms of hay fever and allergic reactions in humans, it is also very effective in dogs. By blocking histamines, which are responsible for causing itching and inflammation, Diphenhydramine can provide much-needed relief to dogs that are suffering from skin allergies. However, it is important for pet owners to speak with their veterinarian about appropriate dosages and any potential side effects before giving their dog this medication. With the right guidance and care, Diphenhydramine can be a life-changing treatment for your four-legged friend.

Cetirizine (Zyrtec)

Cetirizine, commonly known as Zyrtec, is an antihistamine medication that has been found to be effective in treating skin allergies in dogs. This medication works by blocking the release of histamine in the body, a compound that triggers allergic reactions. Skin allergies in dogs can lead to severe itching, redness, and rashes, causing distress and discomfort for both dogs and their owners. Fortunately, cetirizine has been proven to be an effective treatment option for this condition, offering relief from symptoms and improving the overall quality of life for dogs affected by skin allergies. If you suspect your dog is suffering from a skin allergy, it's important to consult with your veterinarian to determine the most appropriate course of treatment, which may include the use of cetirizine or other medications.

Loratadine (Claritin)

Loratadine, also known as Claritin, has become a go-to antihistamine for dogs suffering from skin allergies. As a histamine blocker, loratadine works to fight off symptoms such as itching, redness, and swelling caused by various irritants. While it may not entirely cure the underlying allergy, loratadine can provide significant relief to our furry friends. It is always important to consult with a veterinarian before giving any medication to your dog, as the dosage and potential side effects can vary based on the individual animal's needs. With proper care and attention, loratadine can be a crucial tool in treating skin allergies in dogs and improving their quality of life.


Hydroxyzine, an antihistamine commonly prescribed for dogs with skin allergies, can provide much-needed relief for our furry best friends. This medication works by blocking the effects of histamine, a chemical produced by the body in response to an allergen, which leads to inflammation, itching, and other uncomfortable symptoms. Hydroxyzine can be especially helpful in treating canine atopic dermatitis, a chronic skin condition caused by environmental allergens such as pollen, dust mites, and mold spores. Dogs suffering from this condition often experience intense itching, scratching, and biting, leading to skin infections and other complications. With the help of hydroxyzine, these symptoms can be greatly reduced, improving our dog's quality of life. As with any medication, it's important to consult with a veterinarian to determine the appropriate dosage and to monitor your dog for any potential side effects.

Alternatives to Antihistamines for Managing Dog Allergies:

Allergen Avoidance and Immunotherapy

In addition to antihistamines, there are other effective treatment options for managing dog allergies. One approach is allergen avoidance, which involves minimizing your dog's exposure to the substances that trigger their allergic reactions. This can include keeping your home clean and free of dust mites, regularly washing your dog's bedding, and using air purifiers to reduce airborne allergens.

Another option is immunotherapy, also known as allergy shots. This involves exposing your dog to small amounts of the allergen over time, gradually increasing the dosage. The goal is to desensitize their immune system and reduce the severity of their allergic reactions. Immunotherapy can be a long-term solution that provides lasting relief for dogs with skin allergies.

Topical Treatments for Localized Symptoms

For localized allergy symptoms on your dog's skin, topical treatments can provide relief. Medicated shampoos containing ingredients like oatmeal or hydrocortisone can help soothe itchiness and reduce inflammation. These shampoos are specifically formulated for dogs with allergies and can be used regularly as part of a skincare routine.

There are medicated creams or ointments available that can be applied directly to affected areas on your dog's skin. These topical treatments may contain antihistamines or corticosteroids that help alleviate itching and redness.

Dietary Changes and Supplements

Making dietary changes and incorporating supplements into your dog's routine may also help alleviate allergic reactions. Some dogs with skin allergies benefit from hypoallergenic diets that exclude common allergens such as beef, chicken, wheat, or soy. Consult with your veterinarian to determine if a special diet is suitable for your furry friend.

Certain supplements have been found to support canine skin health and reduce allergic symptoms. Omega-3 fatty acids derived from fish oil, for example, have anti-inflammatory properties that can help alleviate itching and improve the condition of your dog's skin. Probiotics, which promote a healthy gut microbiome, may also play a role in reducing allergy symptoms.

To summarize alternative options for managing dog allergies:

  • Allergen avoidance: Keep your home clean, wash bedding regularly, and use air purifiers.

  • Immunotherapy: Consider allergy shots to desensitize your dog's immune system.

  • Medicated shampoos: Soothe itchiness and reduce inflammation with specialized products.

  • Topical creams or ointments: Apply directly to affected areas on your dog's skin.

  • Dietary changes: Consult with your vet about hypoallergenic diets that exclude common allergens.

  • Supplements: Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil and probiotics may help alleviate allergic reactions.

By exploring these alternatives to antihistamines, you can find the best approach to manage your dog's skin allergies and provide them with much-needed relief. Remember to consult with your veterinarian before making any significant changes to your dog's treatment plan.

Conclusion: Antihistamine for Dogs with Skin Allergies

In conclusion,Antihistamines can be a valuable tool. By understanding the symptoms of dog allergies and identifying them early on, you can take proactive steps to provide relief for your furry friend.

There are different types of antihistamines available for dogs with skin allergies, each with its own set of benefits and considerations. It is important to consult with your veterinarian to determine the most suitable option for your dog's specific needs.

Safety is paramount when administering antihistamines to your dog. Following proper dosage guidelines and considering any potential side effects are crucial in ensuring their well-being. Your veterinarian will be able to provide you with accurate information regarding dosing instructions and any precautions that need to be taken.

When choosing an antihistamine for your dog's skin allergies, it is essential to consider effectiveness. Not all antihistamines work the same way for every dog, so finding the right one may require some trial and error under professional guidance.

However, there are instances where antihistamines should not be used on your dog. If they have certain medical conditions or if they are pregnant or nursing, alternative treatments may be necessary. Always consult with your veterinarian before making any decisions about using antihistamines on your pet.

While antihistamines can bring relief for dogs with skin allergies, it is important to be aware of potential side effects that may occur. These can include drowsiness, dry mouth, or gastrointestinal issues. Monitoring your dog closely during treatment will help ensure their well-being.

In some cases, alternative treatments may be considered as well. Options such as hypoallergenic diets or natural remedies could complement or replace the use of antihistamines in managing your dog's allergies effectively.

To make an informed decision about using antihistamines for your dog's skin allergies, it is crucial to consult with a veterinarian who can provide personalized advice based on your dog's specific situation. They will be able to guide you in selecting the most suitable antihistamine and dosage for your furry friend.

Remember, your dog's well-being should always be the top priority. By working closely with your veterinarian and following their recommendations, you can help alleviate your dog's discomfort caused by skin allergies and improve their overall quality of life.


Q: Can I give my dog human antihistamines?

A: It is not recommended to give your dog human antihistamines without consulting a veterinarian. Human medications may contain ingredients that are harmful or ineffective for dogs. Always seek professional advice before administering any medication.

Q: How long does it take for antihistamines to work on dogs?

A: The time it takes for antihistamines to work in dogs can vary depending on the individual and the specific medication used. Some dogs may experience relief within a few hours, while others may require several days of consistent treatment. Your veterinarian can provide more information about what to expect based on the chosen antihistamine.

Q: Are there any natural alternatives to antihistamines for managing my dog's allergies?

A: Yes, there are natural alternatives that can help manage your dog's allergies. These include hypoallergenic diets, herbal supplements, and topical treatments such as oatmeal baths or coconut oil applications. However, it is important to consult with a veterinarian before using any natural remedies to ensure their safety and efficacy for your specific pet.

Q: Can I use antihistamines as a long-term solution for my dog's skin allergies?

A: Antihistamines can be used as a long-term solution under veterinary guidance. However, they may not be suitable or effective for all dogs in the long run. Regular reassessment of your dog's condition and consultation with your veterinarian is essential to determine the most appropriate long-term management plan for their skin allergies.

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