The 7 Best Antihistamine For Dogs Australia: Tested & Evaluated 2023
Did you know that dogs can have allergies too? It goes beyond rashes and itchy bums. Your pup can have allergies to food, pollen, dust – even fleas. If your pup is suffering from an allergic reaction, you’re in the right place.
Today we’ll tackle dog allergies and how to treat them. We’ll discuss the types of allergy treatments out there before reviewing the best antihistamines for dogs Australia has to offer.
Let’s dive in!
Quick Picks - The Top 3
Our Number 1 Pick -
Pro-Sense Itch and Allergy Solutions
- Fast acting
- Great value for money
- Perfect dose of diphenhydramine for dogs
Runner Up -
Native Pet Allergy Chews
- Emphasis on gut health
- Completely natural formula
- Chicken flavoured chews
Third Choice -
Vet’s Best Seasonal Allergy Relief
- All natural formula
- Great reviews
- Holistic ingredients for digestion and immune health
Australia's Best Antihistamines For Dogs Reviewed
Now you know how antihistamines can work for dogs and the different options out there, let’s get into the products you can find on the Australian market.
I’ve focused on items that are formulated for dogs in this section. As we’ve discussed, you can use human pharmaceuticals with caution. These would be readily available from your local pharmacist.
But if you want allergy medications that are safe for dogs to consume, this is the round-up for you!
What sets this product apart from the rest?
"I really like Pro-Sense Itch and Allergy Solutions listed as the best option. It's made from a reputable brand, provides strong relief and is great value for money compared to a lot of other options that are nearly as good."
If you want an antihistamine for dogs that has the power of human medicine, this is the one.
Introducing the Pro-Sense Itch & Allergy Solution.
It’s perfect for acute allergic reactions because it contains 25mg of pure diphenhydramine. This drug is fast acting and works for all kinds of allergies.
This product is excellent value for money with over 100 tablets in the pot. However, these aren’t flavoured chews like the others on this list. So you may have a trickier time getting your pooch to swallow them!
If your pup is suffering from an allergic reaction and you’re seeking relief for them fast, this is the perfect place to start. The other options on this list are great as supplements for ongoing allergy relief.
Native Pet Allergy Chews have a holistic formula that works against all types of allergies.
The formula contains colostrum, prebiotics, probiotics, and spirulina which helps regulate your dog’s allergy response and soothe active itching.
The chews are chicken flavoured which dogs love.
By balancing the gut flora and supporting immune health, Native Pet has created a product that attacks allergens on all fronts.
It takes around 30 days to see actionable results, but those who love it, swear by it!
For dogs with seasonal allergies, Vet’s Best is a great holistic option.
The unique formula has nettle leaf, rosemary, ocean kelp and added vitamin E to help manage your dog’s immune response to seasonal allergies.
The chewable tablets also improve the quality of your dog’s digestive tract and skin barrier to prevent itching.
This is one of the best-reviewed seasonal allergy tablets for dogs on the market, and it comes at a great price!
Hydrocortisone cream for dogs? Zymox has you covered. This veterinary strength cream has powerful, rapid results.
It’s a no-sting solution for instant gentle relief. It contains aloe vera which helps with healing and calming the itching sensation.
As the formula is made for dogs, you can ensure that the dosage is perfect for your pup. (With hydrocortisone cream for humans, the dosage is more of a guessing game!)
Best of all, if your dog licks it off, you know it won’t hurt them!
Zymox has thousands of 5 star reviews. Although it’s not the cheapest cream on the market, it is one of the best.
Vet’s Best strikes again with this super effective itch and shedding relief tablet for dogs.
These inexpensive chewable tablets are formulated to target itchy skin and excess shedding that dogs get when having an allergic reaction.
Methylsulfonylmethane is the main compound which is an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.
The formula also contains nettle for extra soothing properties and omega fatty acids for a healthy skin barrier.
Some reviewers claim that they saw results within just a week – so give it a go!
If your pup suffers from allergies and you want a daily supplement to combat them, the gentle yet effective formula by Zesty Paws is a winner.
The formula has prebiotics and probiotics for a healthy digestive and immune system. The
The added wild salmon oil helps promote a strong skin barrier that is less prone to irritation and dryness.
Colostrum, apple cider vinegar and licorice extract all provide additional support for a well-rounded supplement. It covers immune health, gut health and anti-allergy health.
That said, this is not the treatment you want if your dog is having an acute flare-up. The Zesty Paws chews are best taken as daily supplements to prevent bad flare-ups as opposed to immediate treatment.
Try to keep a straight face now. We’re talking about itchy bums!
I didn’t touch on this one when going through the types of allergies because an itchy anal gland can be caused by lots of things.
“Scooting” is the polite term for when your dog drags his bottom across the floor to give it a good scratch.
So what’s going on? The most common reason is fo
od allergy. But it could also be skin irritation, clogged anal glands, or intestinal parasites. Delightful. (8)
The best way to solve an itchy bottom is to learn the root cause of the issue. But while you investigate, these chews by Glandex will provide temporary relief.
These peanut butter-flavoured chews are easy to eat and built to support your dog’s digestive system.
The patented formula contains pumpkin seeds, probiotics, flaxseeds and more to promote a healthy digestive tract. It’s also formulated to help the natural emptying process of the anal glands, preventing them from clogging.
The formula is all natural with no pharmaceuticals. Glandex promises that your dog will stop scooting within 3 to 5 weeks of regular consumption of the supplements.
While the product may be pricey, the tens of thousands of good reviews don’t lie! These chews are slow to act but pack a punch.
Do Dogs Need Antihistamines?
It’s funny. Some dog owners are incredibly cautious with their dogs. They will take their dogs to the vet at a drop of a hat and will acquire any medications to fix what’s ailing them.
On the other hand, there are more casual pet parents that believe that their dogs will solve their own issues. Allergies are just sniffles after all. Why medicate them?
There’s no true right or wrong here unless your pooch is fatally allergic to something. Though, if your dog is having a severe allergic reaction, it’s likely you’ve taken them to the vet already.
So for the sake of this article, let’s assume your pup is having a mild to moderate reaction to a typically harmless stimulus. (1)
Your dog might have an allergic reaction if they suffer from:
Now, does your dog need antihistamines if they are suffering from these symptoms?
There are no known cures for allergies in dogs or humans. However, allergy symptoms can make a dog miserable.
Imagine how it feels to have itchy skin, sinuses and anal glands – the worst.
Many vets would suggest anti-allergy tablets or chews to help alleviate symptoms.
Giving your dog allergy medication is about easing their suffering so they can have a more fulfilling daily life.
If you don’t want to give your pooch full-on medication, there are other allergy treatments for your loveable canine that we’ll go through later.
In a nutshell, it’s your decision whether you decide to give your dog anti-allergy medication or not, but it can help to lessen the symptoms. As always, consult your vet first!
Which Allergies Are Common For Dogs?
Before we get into the types of antihistamines for dogs, let’s briefly discuss what we’re treating. Here are the most common types of allergies that dogs suffer from.
Yep, humans are not the only ones allergic to pollen and dust mites!
Dogs can have seasonal allergies that cause as much trouble to them as it does to us.
Sneezing, coughing, ear itching, wheezing – the works.
Antihistamines or immune system boosts can work wonders for pups with seasonal allergies.
Dogs can be allergic to food too!
No, I’m not talking about poisonous foods. I mean allergies to seemingly innocuous foods.
The prime suspects are typically lactose and grain. Lactose is easy to avoid and easy to spot – just stop feeding your dog cheese as a treat! It’s not that great for them anyway.
Grain is trickier to avoid. Many dog food brands use grain as a base for dry dog food.
If your dog is eating simple dry dog food and is suffering from diarrhoea, they could be allergic to grain.
PRO TIP: Try grain-free dog food if you suspect your pup is allergic to regular dog food.
I have a dog with extremely sensitive skin.
If he sunbathes a little too much it’ll flare up his dermatitis. Every couple of months he gets
itchy rash on his belly.
Skin allergies can be solved from the inside out with antihistamines or with soothing topical creams.
PRO TIP: Aloe vera or tea tree-based creams work wonders for itchy skin!
Does this sound familiar?
You take a family break to Bali and forget to smother one cubic centimetre of your skin with mosquito repellent. A mozzie bites you and the next morning, your foot is the size of your face.
You, my friend, are allergic to mosquitoes! The same can happen to dogs.
Dogs can have a severe reaction to flea or mosquito saliva.
And guess what? Antihistamines are a normal course of treatment for these suckers.
“Treatment is based on the type of insect bite, the number of bites, and the severity of clinical signs. Treatment typically consists of removing the stinger or other insect parts and administering antihistamines." - VCA Hospitals (2)
PRO TIP: If you know your pup is allergic to insect bites, make sure you stay on top of their anti-flea and tick treatment.
What Are The Types Of Allergy Treatments For Dogs?
Let’s move on to the treatments! To keep things simple, I’m going to split the types of treatments into two categories: medicated and non-medicated.
Antihistamine medications for humans often work for dogs. So you'll probably recognise the names of these drugs as they are widely available.
Important disclaimer: Please check with your vet before giving your dog any human antihistamines to ensure you give them the correct dosag
Benadryl or Diphenhydramine is widely used as an antihistamine for cats and dogs. It’s fast
However, because of how the drug works, it can have more side effects than others.
The most common side effect is drowsiness.
Side effects are most likely to happen in the first hour so keep a close eye on your dog after they’ve taken it. (3)
Loratadine is a personal favourite of mine because it doesn’t cause the drowsiness that other antihistamines do. It’s effective against allergies of all kinds.
That said, you need to be extremely careful not to give your dog loratadine with decongestants. Decongestants are dangerous for dogs. Therefore, seek out pure loratadine tablets. (4)
I would also steer clear of the syrup. Claritin syrup tends to have xylitol in it which is toxic to dogs.
Cetirizine is good for dogs with skin allergies or insect bites.
You can give it to your dog with food to make it easier to swallow. There are also syrups without sweeteners available from the chemist.
Fortunately, it only takes 1 to 2 hours to work and is not common to have any serious side effects. (5)
Hydroxyzine is effective against itchiness in particular. It’s also a mild sedative for anxious dogs. (6)
It usually works quite quickly and is available in many forms – capsules, tablets, liquid solutions.
Common side effects include drowsiness, dry mouth, constipation and loss of appetite. These will present in the first couple of hours of giving your dog the drug so pay attention.
Again, make sure you only use products where hydroxyzine is the active ingredient to avoid any other complications.
You’re probably most familiar with this one. The ultimate anti-itch and bite cream for humans is also hugely effective for dogs. (7)
Luckily, it’s incredibly easy to find pure hydrocortisone cream. It only takes a thin layer to provide your dog with instant relief.
That said, when it comes to creams, you should keep from licking the area. Invest in a cone or doughnut to help. Also, make sure you rub in the cream thoroughly, so it absorbs into the skin.
Natural allergy treatments
If you prefer to avoid giving your dog pharmaceuticals when you can, no problem! There are plenty of holistic, herbal, or natural allergy treatments on the market.
Natural or holistic allergy treatments come in many forms:
The good thing is that pet care brands select herbs, oils and supplements that are perfect for dogs. So there’s no fear of poisoning your dog. The chances that your dog will have side effects are also far lower because the formula is specifically catered to dogs.
That said, some say that holistic treatments are less effective than pharmaceutical treatments. But this is up for debate. If your dog has mild to moderate allergy symptoms, holistic or natural treatment should be fine.
If your dog has more severe or recurring allergies, you might want to take things up a notch and try medication.
My Final Thoughts
To wrap up, if your dog is having an active reaction, the Pro-Sense tablets are perfect. They’re fast, cheap, and formulated specifically for dogs. However, if you want a natural option that provides ongoing allergy relief, the Vet’s Best chews are excellent. These complex supplements will keep your dog’s allergies at bay!
And those are the best antihistamines for dogs: Australia edition!
Let us know what allergies your dog suffers from in the comments section below.
Yes, you can give dogs human antihistamines, but you must proceed with caution. Some antihistamines can make dogs drowsy so you should consult your vet regarding the dosage.
“Antihistamines are usually safe but can make some dogs drowsy and others hyperactive.”- VCA Hospitals (9)
Decongestants are also harmful to dogs. Look for medications that are 100% made of the drug you are giving them, e.g loratadine, cetirizine, etc.
- “Signs your pet has seasonal allergies — and what you can do to help”. Animal Humane Society. Retrieved April 10, 2023. https://www.animalhumanesociety.org/resource/signs-your-pet-has-seasonal-allergies-and-what-you-can-do-help
- Llera, R. Ward, E. Hunter, T. “Insect Bite Reaction in Dogs”. VCA Hospitals. Retrieved April 10, 2023. https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/insect-bite-reaction-in-dogs
- Burke, A. April 23, 2021. “Benadryl for Dogs”. American Kennel Club. Retrieved April 10, 2023. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/benadryl-for-dogs/
- Pope, C. July 19, 2022. “Can you give loratadine to dogs?”. Drugs.com. Retrieved April 10, 2023. https://www.drugs.com/medical-answers/you-give-loratadine-dogs-3569201/
- Gollakner, R. “Cetirizine”. VCA Hospitals. Retrieved April 10, 2023. https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/cetirizine
- Gollakner, R. “Hydroxyzine”. VCA Hospitals. Retrieved April 10, 2023. https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/hydroxyzine
- Gollakner, R. “Hydrocortisone Topical”. VCA Hospitals. Retrieved April 10, 2023. https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/hydrocortisone-topical
- Nelson, J. September 12, 2022. “Why Is My Dog Scooting?” American Kennel Club. Retrieved April 10, 2023. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/why-is-my-dog-scooting/
- Weir, M. Buzhardt, L. “Over-the-Counter (OTC) Medications That Can be Safe for Dogs”. VCA Hospitals. Retrieved April 10, 2023. https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/are-over-the-counter-medications-safe-for-my-dog