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Advice for a Dog With Allergies

My pit mix Malcolm started to chew his feet last month. We went to the vet and the vet said he has allergies. He has been on 6-7 (25 mg) Benadryl a day for a month. The Benadryl has been making him really sleepy so we think it would be best to stop the pills.


My vet said that he doesn't know what Malcolm is allergic to and he said to put him on an allergy free diet. We have started him on sweet potato and venison dog food today. Is there something that is not going to make my dog sleepy if changing his food doesn't help?

By Jennifer from Springfield, IL

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March 18, 20100 found this helpful

I had a Cairn terrier with food allergies. He chewed himself wherever he could reach. I kept changing his diet and every time 6 months later he would begin to chew again. I was considering heading to a local meat market that had exotic meats to try again when I tried brown rice and canned salmon. Charlie ate that until he died at 17 years old. He never chewed again. dont give up. I always cooked for him once a week. I never used commercial food.

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March 18, 20100 found this helpful

The one thing I always suggest in cases such as this, is don't give a dog commercial food, either canned or kibble. Google something like 'Canned dog food problems' and you will get some idea of what I mean. Good luck.

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March 19, 20100 found this helpful

To be honest, having a dog on that much Benadryl for a month seems like a long time; we had a dog with similar problems and our vet did a blood workup and a variety of skin scrapings for allergy tests.

In our case, it ended up being that the dog was allergic to fertilizer in our flower beds; he didn't eat it--it was "contact dermatitis". He got it just from walking on it. She gave us medicated shampoo that helped immensely, and we stopped using that garden product.

If your vet hasn't done a workup similar to this to try to get to the bottom of things with your pup, I think I'd get an opinion from another vet.

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March 19, 20100 found this helpful

Our vet suggested loratidine (Claritin) for our dogs' allergies. I give them one pill a day and it does seem to help a bit without making them sleepy. I get the Walgreen's brand on sale and it's not too expensive. One of our beagles seems to have seasonal allergies (he gets much more itchy in the late summer) and he needs to go on steroids for a few weeks during that time, which help tremendously. Our dogs did get blood tests that showed they were allergic to many plants. They also used to get allergy shots, but they became too expensive for us.

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March 19, 20100 found this helpful

Raw diet only. Athletes foot spray on feet. No grocery store dog food. No vaccines. That is what brought it on.

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March 22, 20100 found this helpful

Our lab/chow mix has had skin allergies all his life. We give him a prescription antihistamine called hydroxyzine. It works well and doesn't make him sleepy. When his allergy season is bad, in August & September, he takes another prescription drug that is a steroid and antihistamine mix, Temaril-P. It is made especially for dogs and the mixture allows it work very well with a smaller amount of steroids, that have side effects and cannot be given for a long period of time. We had Toby tested for food and plant allergies and went through a couple of years of giving him shots, but it never helped him at all. So now we just try to maintain him through the worst of the year. Good luck!

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March 25, 20100 found this helpful

Make sure the dog food does not have any byproducts, hormones, antibiotics, salt, BHA/BHT, artificial flavors, fillers, wheat, flour, corn, soy or sugar. My dogs stopped biting their feet after I started feeding them good quality food. I give my dogs blue berries, pealed apples, bananas, cooked carrots, raw broccoli (the stalk only). Also wash your dog's feet after walks because they will pick up poisons and weed killers people put on their grass. Your dog will then come home and lick their feet.

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