Managing Allergy Flare-ups in Dogs: Everything You Need To Know!

May 29, 2023
Amber LaRock - LVT & Vetted Vet Pro

If your little one suffers from seasonal allergies, then they likely experience multiple flare ups anytime they are exposed to their allergen. This can lead to a constant cycle of itching and discomfort, leading you to look for the best ways to manage their symptoms. 

Vetted wants to offer you the tools needed to combat your pet’s allergy flare ups, so let’s discuss everything you need to know about allergy management in dogs. Ranging from medical care to at home care, let’s break it all down!

Before we get started, we suggest downloading the Vetted app so you can gain access to our 24/7 pet parent guidance center. The chat is run by skilled Vet Pros that are ready to answer questions about your pet’s allergies at any time!

1.  Identify the Allergen 

The first step in managing allergy flare-ups is to identify the allergen triggering the reaction in your little one. By understanding your dog’s probable allergen, you can better understand when their allergen is most abundant, and you can potentially decrease their exposure to the allergen. 

Common allergens for dogs include pollen, dust mites, fleas, or environmental factors like mold or cigarette smoke. If you are unsure of what your dog is allergic to, you can always consult with your veterinarian on conducting allergy tests. This can help to pinpoint the specific allergen causing your dog's symptoms, and help you minimize their exposure moving forward.

2. Minimize Exposure

If you are aware of your dog’s allergen, then you can work to decrease their exposure to the allergen moving forward! This can include brushing your dog after each trip outdoors to remove any allergens in their fur, using HEPA air filters in your home to reduce airborne allergens, limiting outdoor time when plant pollens are high, and even putting booties on your dog’s feet if their paws are sensitive to plant material. 

Every dog will need a unique plan, so it may require a bit of trial and error to see what's best for your little one!

3. Support the Immune System 

A strong immune system can better handle allergies, which is why we always want to support a strong immune system in our little ones with allergies. You can do this by offering them a balanced diet that is approved by your veterinarian, offering them omega fatty acid supplements that support immune health, and offering them plenty of mental and physical stimulation each day. 

4. Symptom Management 

During allergy flare-ups, it's essential to alleviate your dog's discomfort. This is not only necessary to keep your pup comfortable and happy, but constant itching can be damaging to their skin. Limiting their itchy skin and inflammation is key, so here are a few options for symptom management. 

  • Cytopoint or Apoquel: Prescription medications like Cytopoint and Apoquel are designed to block the proteins that cause the itching response, which ultimately decreases your dog’s need to constantly scratch their skin. This is often essential for dogs with seasonal allergies.
  • Antihistamines: If your dog has to be exposed to their allergen for whatever reason, then you can speak with your vet about offering them antihistamines during this period. Antihistamines can target the inappropriate immune response to your dog’s allergen, but it is not ideal for long-term allergy treatment. 
  • Soothing baths: Soothing baths can be beneficial for your dog’s itchy skin if they are experiencing an allergy flare up. Be sure to use products that contain soothing elements like oatmeal, aloe, hemp, or coconut.
  • Paw balms: Applying a paw balm regularly can not only provide moisturization to dry and cracked paws, but it can also create a protective barrier against allergens their paws are exposed to. Look for natural ingredients like beeswax, shea butter, and coconut oil that are safe if ingested.

Final Thoughts On Managing Allergy Flare Ups

Managing allergy flare-ups in dogs often requires a comprehensive approach that involves identifying the allergen, minimizing exposure, supporting the immune system, and symptom management. Every dog is unique, so it may take some time to determine which management route is best for your little one!

If you need any guidance on managing your dog’s allergy flare ups, feel free to reach out to our Vet Pros in our 24/7 pet parent guidance center! We are always here to support you and your little one.