Antihistamines are frequently used to reduce allergic reactions. For dogs’ allergies, it is usually necessary to combine multiple treatment items to get them under control, such as food, shampoos, omega 3 fatty acids, and sometimes stronger medications.
Antihistamines may reduce your reliance on more aggressive drugs. They often do not control allergic itching alone but help when combined with your other treatment strategies. I’ve seen them work extremely well in some dogs and then have little effect on others. Most importantly, I’ve seen one particular antihistamine not work, but then when the owner switched to another, it worked well. So if you use an antihistamine, be sure to try it consistently at the full dose for about 7-14 days before evaluating its effectiveness. If it didn’t help, move on to another one and use it for the same duration of time. It can be frustrating to go through this trial and error process, but if you hit on one that works, it can be very beneficial.
It is vital that you check with your veterinarian before you start using one of these medications. The antihistamines listed here are licensed for humans so when we use them in our pets, it is considered ‘off-label’ and you should clear this with your veterinarian before going ahead.
What antihistamine can I give my dog? Be sure to get the pure product as many are sold in combination with decongestants and even acetaminophen, which can be toxic. The negative side effects of antihistamines are drowsiness, sedation, diarrhea, vomiting, and anorexia. If you see any of these signs in your dog, call your veterinarian. Use only the products, dosages and intervals listed below and report any adverse effects immediately. To view and download the Antihistamine Therapy Chart for dogs, please click on the green button.
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