Can I Give My Dog Allegra?

Can I Give My Dog Allegra?Skin irritations, runny eyes and sneezing are all allergy signs for both people and their dogs. You may be considering Allegra for such a situation. Some pets, when exposed to certain allergens, are hypersensitive and can develop allergic symptoms.

How to safely treat them? While humans rely on popular antihistamines to reduce the effects of allergies, use for dogs isn’t so clear cut. So is it also safe to give dogs something like Allegra? Let’s learn more.

This drug can reduce the effects of histamine including itching, watery eyes and sneezing due to certain allergens. Allergens are mostly harmless substances found in our surroundings but, if symptoms are persistent, allergies should be addressed. A professional diagnosis is preferable to starting out with Allegra.

Can I Give My Dog Allegra? Answer: With vet approval

It’s sometimes given to dogs with allergies, under strict guidelines, and it has been proven effective.

Allegra, the brand name for Fexofenadine or Fexofenadina, must be given for the right purpose and at the correct dosage. You should take your dog to the vet when persistent allergic reactions arise for which you cannot trace the source. They may conduct a thorough examination to identify what’s causing the allergy. This way you’ll get the best treatment option which is probably not Allegra.

Veterinarians do give dogs antihistamines such as Allegra, Benadryl or Claritin but they do so with proper training and knowledge. They can be very dangerous but they do actually work to block the effects of a substance or chemical that trigger certain allergies. Allegra in particular, according to some sources, shows no evidence of toxicity at oral doses up to 2 mg per kilogram in dogs. It is, however, not a cure.

Causes & Symptoms

Some of the most common allergens in dogs are dander, mold spores, dust, feathers, cigarette smoke, some food ingredients and harmful prescription drugs. Dogs prone to allergies are affected in many ways. The good news is that it’s fairly easy to identify when your dog is having an allergic reaction due to the obvious symptoms.

Canine allergies are not uncommon. They can experience symptoms such as red and itchy skin, watery eyes, increased scratching, sneezing, vomiting, diarrhea and constant licking. If you see your pup struggling with any of these then they are most likely showing signs of allergies.

Dogs deal with allergies in many different forms depending on what causes the allergy. The source can originate from the environment or from their food as well as other external factors. The bad news is that it can be difficult to trace the source of the problems. This is why taking them to a vet for a thorough check-up will help you identify what your dog is allergic to and how you can best treat them.

Allegra’s Side Effects

Among all antihistamines sometimes prescribed to dogs with allergies, Allegra is considered to have the fewest side effects. Your dog may get a mild stomachache and dizziness, but this is rare when given medication under proper administration. If your dog has severe side effects after taking Allegra, such as coughing and vomiting, stop use and contact your vet right away.

Fight the Source

When your dog has an allergy, it might be time for you to evaluate your home. Make a strong effort to clean your house by sweeping and mopping the floors, and vacuuming rugs and furniture. Pet dander can reach every part of your home and so try to eliminate them to the best of your ability.

Also, consider getting an air purifier with a HEPA filter to help catch the allergens that cannot be eliminated with routine cleaning. These are things that can actually cure your dog’s allergies, something Allegra certainly cannot do.

Some Home Remedies

Skin irritations cause itching and scratching. Get rid of that by mixing baking soda in water. Then pour it on your dog’s itchy parts. Try bathing your dog in oatmeal dissolved in cool water for about ten minutes to reduce itching. Mineral oil might also help to reduce itchiness. Just pour it on a cotton ball and swab it in and around the affected area.

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{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

Marlo October, 2015

I have a Bichon. He’s all white and has the tear stains. I have tried everything. Many other Bichon owners avoid corn in their food and buy bottled water. I’ve changed his food accordingly and also bought a filter for my tap water. Yet he still has those tear stains. I clean them with wipes but they drain within 2 hours, then more tear stains. I read that Clear Eyes is loaded with antibiotics which isn’t good. I would love to clear this up. Now I’m trying a small does of Allegra. Does anyone have another idea?

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Johnny Morales November, 2015

Marlo’s tear stains, without any other problems, are a result of dogs like yours and mine (Japanese Chin) having eyes that bulge out. They must tear all the time to keep their eyes wet to keep them clean and free of infection and disease. While it is possible that your dog has allergies, clearing them up will not stop the tear stains.

Heaven forbid you find something that stops your dog from tearing. Dogs with dry eyes have the same issues humans with dry eyes have. They are extremely injury and infection prone without all that tearing. It could blind the dog.

A typical Bichon show dog will have to live with constant bleach and peroxide treatments around their eyes. Bottom line is part of having a Bichon is having to accept that you’ll likely have a dog that has tear stains, which are harmless by themselves.

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Colleen April, 2015

My vet gave me this info:

Zyrtec – 5mg once daily @ approx 30 lb
Claritin – 5 mg once daily @ approx 30 lb
Benadryl – 25mg tab 1.5 tab twice daily @ 30 lb
Omega 3’s (fish oil) – 600mg EPA/DHA total daily

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Maggie August, 2015

Thank You! The expensive scripts from our vet caused too many side effects. She never suggested human OTC drugs for him.

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Judy September, 2015

Hi Maggie. Colleen has provided a very nice bit of information relative to dosing of specific OTC drugs. However, the information does not specifically provide dosing on a per pound of body weight basis. From my own experience with dogs, it’s critical to understand that dogs metabolize drugs very differently than humans. As an example, last year my dog was prescribed a dose of 25mg of Atarax three times a day. The human dose is usually 10mg.

Consistently, throughout the posts, you will note that many of us with dogs have done well with the dose of 180mg. You will find reports of doses people have used with smaller dogs. Someone made a suggestion of using the children’s preparation. If your dog is small, perhaps starting with the children’s dose would suffice. You can always increase the dosage gradually.

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Al March, 2015

You didn’t give us dosage levels for small, medium and large dogs by weight. Our dog is 8 lbs…

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Judy November, 2014

Your experience confirms what so many of us have found with using Allegra. Certainly it works better than all the meds prescribed by vets for the problems described. Thanks for the affirmation.

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Jennifer November, 2014

Many years ago I had a Cocker Spaniel that had severe allergies. We tried everything, changing her food, steroids and childrens’ Benadryl per the recommendations of our vet. The Benadryl worked better but not great and I had to give it to her several times a day which never went well because she struggled with me every time. She was not good at taking the pill and hiding it in peanut butter never worked, she was always suspicious of what I was giving her.

That said, we had a human prescription for Allegra. I was desperate and split the pill in half to give her (the dog weighed approximately 30 pounds). She was always scratching at her ears and toes and tummy, licking till they were red. I basically thought to myself, this is ether going to help her or kill her but either way she will be better off. Luckily it helped her, dramatically.

The itching and scratching and licking stopped. Her ears became fine and her skin cleared right up. An added bonus was I only had to fight with her once a day to take a pill and if I missed a day it didn’t seem to wear off right away. She has since passed away, but it worked well for her when she was with us. It didn’t have any adverse effects, and I would say that they are able to metabolize it pretty well from her experience. Made her existence so much better. She was always crying and whimpering as she scratched at her ears, otherwise without it, and I felt so sorry for her.

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Thomas May, 2015

I found that giving a small amount of peanut butter is a very helpful way to give a dog a pill. The first time that I went to give my Lab a pill, he gave me a deep growl. So knowing that his treats are made of peanut butter, I got a spoon and put some on it with the pill. That was several years ago and I’ve been doing it ever since. This has made our life easier.

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Maggie September, 2015

My dog rejects peanut butter unless it is on something. I have gotten good at hiding pills in various things. Cheese or ham is his favorite. I started using the children’s chewable tabs, often breaking them in half as they can be large. This way they don’t get a nasty taste if they bite the pill itself. It’s also harder for him to spit out. The ones that dissolve quickly are the best.

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