Itchiness is more than an annoyance. Persistent itching can lead to a great deal of inflammation, pain, and even sores that can quickly become infected and difficult to treat over the counter. If your dog is suddenly itchy, consider the following:
- Have you changed his food?
- Have you used a new shampoo?
- Did you play somewhere new?
- Could your dog have been exposed to fleas? (the answer is likely yes)
- Is it spring or summer/ is pollen in the air?
Narrowing down why your dog is itchy will help you to formulate the most appropriate treatment plan. Remember that while you can effectively treat the symptoms of an illness with a range of medications, when you neglect the underlying cause, the problem will always be recurring.
The antihistamine diphenhydramine is a great solution for dogs who have mild-to-moderate allergies. Allergies can occur from the environment, from insect bites but also from food, so if you've recently switched foods we recommend eliminating the potential for food allergies before starting a treatment.
Diphenhydramine has very few adverse effects when compared to other types of antihistamines. It can be used for dogs and cats to treat allergies, itching, sneezing, runny eyes, inflammation, coughing and hives.
Diphenhydramine is also a great affordable treatment for anxious dogs. Because its main side effect is drowsiness, it can be used to combat mild to moderate anxiety or motion sickness on car rides or air travel, during thunderstorms or on holidays that are especially noisy such as the 4th of July or New Years.
We recommend keeping diphenhydramine in your pet's emergency or travel kit so it's always on hand when you need it.
Be sure to check with your vet to rule out any underlying conditions that may mimic eye or skin allergies but be signs of a larger problem requiring medical attention.