15 Tips for Springtime Allergies in Dogs
Ah.. springtime. A time for budding flowers, chirping song birds, and allergies. When your dog starts that itch scratch cycle, you’ll do anything to calm their irritation.
Recently we asked our 4 million followers on Facebook to share their top tips for dealing with springtime dog allergies. Here’s some of the best responses we received:
I prefer Cytopoint injections at the vet over Apoquel. A natural vet told me any treatment at skin level is safer than when ingested. They are expensive but really help my goldendoodle’s allergies. – Linda
Cytopoint and apoquel. My boy has so many allergies that he can’t have most treats as they have wheat, lentils, chickpeas, yeast in them. I watch what he eats, wash hands and feet when he comes inside from outside, limit outside exposure, have him lay on a cot outside (allergy to grass). he wears clothes to limit scratching. Constantly checking for hot spots. Have antibiotics on hand for flair ups and drops for ear infections, and saline to rinse eyes. – Amber
Our fluffy English Mastiff started itching bad in the summer. He would get hot spots and itchy ears. Going grain free helped his ears but was still scratching bad to the point Nic losing fur. Vet was going to put him on Apoquel, which I was trying to avoid because of long term use possibly being linked to cancer. Switched him to Chewy’s brand grain free salmon and sweet potato food and he has been great the last few years. And his coat is beautiful. His ears flair up once in a while if he eats grain in a treat Zymox knocks the inflammation right out. – Linda
Our vet prescribed apoquel. After a few months our chihuahua started having trouble with his ears, including wax buildup. He would shake his head frequently. Took him back to the vet several times. The treatments provided temporary relief. I looked up side effects for epoquel on the manufacture website. Wax buildup and ear issues were listed as potential problems. We stopped the epoquel. The wax buildup and ear issues stopped. We are giving him low dose Benadryl for allergies.
We have a good vet, but he should have known about the wax buildup and other ear issues associated with epoquel. – John
I keep a package of baby wipes by the front door and use them every time he’s been outside. He chews his feet in the spring to the point that they rip open. If I miss it and he gets to that point, rubbing alcohol and polysporin does the trick. – Cory
Don’t overgroom or medicate. In 50 years of being a pet owner and trial and error the ones we had more problems with allergies with are the ones we over fussed with like continuous baths or cuts and treating every sniffle or symptom with every vet prescribed drop, cream or pill or special shampoo. We stand by a weekly small container of plain yogurt and if it is dusty or right after mowing a regular water spray down. – Candi
Just be careful with Apoquel. My white American bulldog was diagnosed with cancer last year and had surgery. The first thing the vet told me was to stop Apoquel. Said that if dog has cancer can speed it up. Luckily Cytopoint had worked for him. – Erin
After keeping food journals for years and process of elimination we discovered it wasn’t food allergies, but environmental. I have found a quick hosing off in the sink with just water to remove dust and pollen resulted in a happy healthy dog. I shampoo once a week and wash the pet beds in scent and dye free laundry soap weekly too. – Cathy
My dachshund is allergic to grass in the summer, and with two inch legs, that means his stomach is most affected and he scratches until he bleeds. I literally tried everything, and have found the Apoquel is the only thing that works for him. I only keep him on it during the bad months. – Donna
Allergies are predicted to be really bad this year. Benadryl can help but it really only helps few dogs and you need a lot of it depending on the size of the dog. Zyrtec is safe and can be given (talk to your vet to confirm that this an option that’s best for your pup and dosage). Apoquel and cytopoint work great too. Environmental allergies are tuff to be keep on top of. However, the top reason dogs have full allergic skin reactions is because of flea bites. Using a good flea/tick product year around is very important. I’ve seen this many times, One flea bite can cause a dogs skin to flare and lead into a skin infection. – Emily
We used to deal with such bad seasonal allergies with our old lab that it started to turn into steroid shots. Which we were not a fan of, so we started washing her feet and belly every time she came inside , we used Reactine once in a blue moon (prescribed by the vet) and LOCAL honey , the local honey did wonders as it was made from bees that pollinated the local flowers that caused her allergies . Just mix the honey with a bit of cream cheese/peanut butter/ mix in blue berries or strawberries stuff it in a Kong and freeze , the doggos love it – April
Local Honey! It has changed my dogs lives! – Rachelle
Brewer’s yeast sprinkled on their food is what my vet suggested, and it worked beautifully. My Ubu suffered horribly. That stuff worked for her. – Deborah
My golden had grass allergies, and we used to make a rinse of 4 green tea bags and 4 tbsp of dried mint or a handfull of fresh. Steep in boiling water, and when cool add to a bucket of tepid water and pour onto dog, paying attention to stomach and underarms….hot spots. Do not rinse off, let dry naturally. OK for this allergy as it is a spring and summer thing. – Carol
If you’re looking to go the natural route, there is nothing more powerful than Quercetin, commonly referred to as “Nature’s Benadryl”. Quercetin fights inflammation caused by allergies. Supplement below contains it, as well as Omega-3 fish oil which is also a big allergy fighter – iHeartDogs Team
A huge thanks to our community for submitting these answers. Remember, ALWAYS speak to your dog’s veterinarian before making changes, they know your pup best!