5 Supplements EVERY Itchy, Allergic Dog Should Be Taking

5 Supplements EVERY Itchy, Allergic Dog Should Be Taking

Chronically itchy dogs make up a large portion of my practice.

Many people come to me for alternative ways to help control the itch. Here, I have compiled a list of five supplements that can help support allergic dogs.

 

It is important that you work with your veterinarian to help diagnose and treat your dog properly. These supplements alone will most likely not be enough to stop your dog’s itch. Combined with diet and regular veterinary care, these supplements can help improve your dog’s itch.

 

1. Omega Fatty Acids. This is a no brainer. Every dog should be on an omega 3 fatty acid supplement. Omega 3 fatty acids have been shown to help decrease inflammation and benefit organ function. For some itchy dogs, this all they need to drastically improve their itch. Giving your dog omega 3 fatty acids can significantly reduce the amount of steroids that it will take to eliminate biting, scratching and chewing. Fish oil, krill oil, and green-lipped mussel are all great sources of omega 3 fatty acids.

 

Dose: 25 mg/kg EFA + DHA per day

 

Recommended Brand: Ultra EFA from RxVitamins

2. Probiotics. While probiotics don’t directly stop your dog from scratching, they do promote gastrointestinal health. Having a good population of healthy bacteria in the gut of your dog can drastically reduce and prevent allergies.

 

Dose: 10 billion CFU (Colony Forming Units) per day minimum

 

Recommended Brand: Bacillus CoagulansVET or RxBiotic

3. Quercetin. This is a bioflavonoid and is often referred to as ‘nature’s Benadryl’. This supplement is usually paired with bromelain and is thought to have synergistic effects when used together.

 

Dose: 125 mg once daily for small dogs (0-20 lbs); 250 mg once daily for medium sized dogs (25-50 lbs); 375 mg once daily for large dogs (>50 lbs)

 

Recommended Brand: Quercetin by Pure Encapsulations

 

4. Magnesium. It is thought that magnesium can help reduce allergic inflammation. While this may or may not be true, magnesium’s real benefit is calming the nervous system and reducing anxiety. Many dogs with chronic allergies suffer secondarily from anxiety. I generally recommend magnesium citrate. However, magnesium glycinate may also be used.

 

Dose 10 mg/kg given once daily.

 

Recommended Brand: While I personally use Pure Encapsulations, there is an abundance of options for this particular supplement.

 

5. L-theanine. This is another great supplement to control anxiety. L-theanine works by increasing serotonin and therefore increasing your pup’s overall sense of well-being. Many dogs continue to bite, lick and chew past the resolution of their allergies due to chronic stress and anxiety.

 

Dose: Dogs up to 25 lb = 10.5 mg once daily; dogs 25-50 lb = 21 mg once daily; dogs 50-100 lb = 42 mg once daily; dogs over 100 lb = 63 mg once daily

 

Recommended Brand: Nutricalm by Rx Vitamins for Pets

Remember to work with your veterinarian before starting your dog on any new supplement or diet. I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment below!

 

With Love,

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Anne
Guest
Anne

What weight is considered small and medium?

Dr. Angie Krause, DVM

Hi Anne! I have updated my article to reflect these parameters!

Karren
Guest
Karren

I was wondering if you can get these supplements in one pill?

Dr. Angie Krause, DVM

That would be great! I don’t know of any formulations with all of these together. I am so sorry!

meems
Guest

my shih tzu is a crazy itchy dog..has had allergy shots..but, I don’t like them..How do I get all these pills down my little dogs throat…it’s a battle getting benydrl down

Dr. Angie Krause, DVM

Can you put them in something tasty like a slice of turkey or cream cheese?

Mariangela
Guest
Mariangela

Can these supplements help my 5 year-old cat that has developped red bumpy scabs on his tummy and hind legs? He’s scratching and licking all the time. He was precribed prednisolone which helps but not for long and I don’t much like giving it to him.

Dr. Angie
Guest
Dr. Angie

Hi there,

I am so sorry to hear about your kitty! I find that kitties that have itchy skin are often allergic to food. Have you tried any food trials?

Amy Z
Guest
Amy Z

I gave my dog Quercetin and after a few days he started immediately throwing up while eating it in his food. Needless to say, I am not giving it to him anymore.

Claire Primo, Veterinary Nurse for BHV

Hi Amy,

I am so sorry to hear that your pup did not tolerate the Quercetin well! Definitely a good idea to discontinue it!

Warmly,
Claire

Cris
Guest
Cris

Hi! Would Mag Ionized be a good choice for dogs? I found An Ionized Mag solution containing 300mg Mag and 400mg Malic Acid … Pls advice. Thanks!

Dr. Angie Krause, DVM

Hi Cris,

Magnesium can be helpful it certain situations. It can cause diarrhea when given in too high of a dose, so always start small.

Warmly,
Dr. Angie

Cris
Guest
Cris

I know that … from own experience. Thanks! I was just wondering whether the other ingredients might be toxic to dogs and which kind of Mag would be better absorbed.

Leanne
Guest
Leanne

My Dalmatian rescue is itchy, and has a cough/reverse sneeze in the morning after waking. He does not have kennel cough and has been on Apoquel for 2 weeks, which has helped the itching, but not the cough. After reading about Apoquel side effects I don’t want him to continue on that. He gets cod oil and a good probiotic, and he’s on Fluoxetine because of excessive fear and anxiety. I recently ordered some Beta Thym and am interested in adding the Quercetin and Magnesium – would it be OK for him to be on all 3 of those supplements?… Read more »

Jacquie Edie, Veterinary Nurse for BHV
Member
Jacquie Edie, Veterinary Nurse for BHV

Hi Leanne, Your Dalmatian is lucky to have you to take such good care of him! I’m sorry to hear of his itching, sneezing and anxiety. The cod oil and probiotic are great supplements to help with his allergies. Do you think the Fluoxetine is helping with his anxiety? Quercetin and Magnesium are fine to give in conjunction with his other medication and supplements. Dr. Angie has not used Beta Thym in her practice so we cannot speak to it’s efficacy. Are you using it as an anti-inflammatory? If you try it, keep us posted as to how it works!… Read more »

Jan
Guest
Jan

Thank you so much for this article. My 80lb doodle has environmental allergies and though I am already incorporating some of these supplements into his system, I want to try the others that I am not. I have been battling his allergies for 3 1/2 years now and I don’t want to do the shots. I have 3 questions. 1 – The dosage of the Magnesium, it says 10mg. Is that for all size dogs, and how do you measure just 10mg? 2 – I already give my dog Vetionx Omega 369, is this different from Omega Fatty Acids 3… Read more »

Jan
Guest
Jan

Update… I did order the Nutricalm, but it seemed to make him worse in so far as his excitability when people or vehicles walked/drove by our place.

Dr. Angie Krause, DVM

Hi Jan,

Oh no! I am so sorry to hear this!

How have things been going since this post?

Warmly,
Claire

Jan
Guest
Jan

Thanks for asking. Oak season is coming earlier this year here. It doesn’t help when Dietrich goes outside and starts rolling the yard. About 3 weeks ago, he had another bout with allergies, licking and chewing his side next to groin till it was bleeding and the hair matted, then chewing the back of his back legs. Every time he licked, it smelled so bad. All the while he has been wearing a cone on his head, but he still can reach that area if he really wants to. He sleeps in our room and one day he woke up… Read more »

Dr. Angie Krause, DVM

Hi Jan,

Oh my goodness, I am so sorry. I know that this is so stressful for you both.

I’m so glad that the medications did help rescue your pup from the extreme itching. Another thought is to visit a veterinary dermatologist. If these allergies are largely environmental, they may be able to help with immunotherapy!

I’m hoping you find a solution that not only helps your dog’s allergies, but also feels like the right approach. Managing allergies can feel so overwhelming, and you are doing a great job!

Warmly,
Claire

Warmly,
Claire

Annie Butler
Guest
Annie Butler

My dog is currently on prednisone: 20 mg , a half tablet every other day. I feed her sweet potatoes, kale, blueberries, and salmon twice a day with coconut oil and 1 tsp of “Missing Link, The Original Superfood Supplement” for each meal. She’s been on a pre/probiotic since last May (2018) and I’ve ordered a different variety. She is 6 years old. When we first got her she did not have allergies. This started about 3 years ago. My vet put her on apoquel. After reading what some of the long-term problems could be, the vet agreed to switch… Read more »

Dr. Angie Krause, DVM

Hi Annie,

Great question!

We do not know of any negative interactions with using Prednisone and Quercetin together. It may take up to a couple of weeks to see the Quercetin begin working.

I hope this helps!

Warmly,
Claire

Annie Butler
Guest
Annie Butler

Thank you so much for your help. Will get her started on the quercetin!

Dr. Angie Krause, DVM

Hi Annie,

You are so welcome! Keep us posted on everything!

Warmly,
Claire

Charity
Guest
Charity

Ugh. I just wanted to share that NOW brand vitamins has recently added xylitol to their magnesium citrate supplement. So make sure you check any supplements for additives that would be toxic to dogs. Why they would even add xylitol is beyond me.

And thanks for this article Dr. Krause! It was very informative. 🙂

Dr. Angie Krause, DVM

Hi Charity,

Wow! Thank you SO much for this information!

Warmly,
Claire

Deni
Guest
Deni

Hi, I have a 102lb German Shep. who has a very itchy face. It seems to be just her face and digs at it constantly. We had her on Apoquel but can ‘t afford keeping it up. Other than the list of 5 things do you have any other thoughts why the itch would just be on her face? I’m getting everything on your list and really hope it gives her some relief, I also give her vitamin E daily as I read somewhere that it might help with itch in dogs. Thanks

Dr. Angie Krause, DVM

Hi Deni,

Oh, I am so sorry to hear about your pup’s extreme itchiness! That is so frustrating and distressing for you both.

How are the supplements helping?

Scratching around the face is most often food. Have you tried an amino acid based diet? Dr. Angie discusses these diets in her blog here.

Keep us posted!

Warmly,
Claire

Sam
Guest
Sam

My dog weighs 22 lbs. Can I give her a 250mg capsule of quercetin? Or should I find a powdered form so I can give her less?

Dr. Angie Krause, DVM

Hi Sam,

For your girl’s size, we’d recommend starting with 125 mg once daily. Are you able to sprinkle half of the contents into her food (maybe even something extra tasty, like a bit of wet food?)?

Keep us posted!

Warmly,
Claire

Sam
Guest
Sam

Thanks for the response. I can probably figure out a way to do half. And thanks for the article, too.

Dr. Angie Krause, DVM

Hi Sam,

You are so welcome! Keep us posted!

Warmly,
Claire

Deni McDonald
Guest
Deni McDonald

Hi, when I was out looking for the right mg of vitamins I was having a hard time. For instance I can’t seem to find a magnesium C. that I will be able to do only 10mg a day. And is that 10mg no matter how big the dog? Also, L-the anime doesn’t seem to come in mg that I can give of only 63mg. Also, if I tried the amino acid diet feeding her the prescription food and if her itching goes away, I’m suppose to reintroduce foods back in her diet correct? We supplement with green beans and… Read more »

Dr. Angie Krause, DVM

Hi Deni, Thank you for reaching out! These are great questions! For the Magnesium dosing, it is 10mg/kg once daily for pups. How much does your pup weigh? To figure out how much she weighs in kg, take her weight in lb and divide by 2.2. Then multiple her weight in kgs by 10 to get her Magnesium dose! I’m happy to help too, if you’d like! For l-theanine, we recommend the Nutricalm supplement through our online store. You can find it here. This is an excellent blend of herbs that promotes well-being and reduces anxiety (and includes l-theanine!). The… Read more »

jill roeder
Guest
jill roeder

I just wanted to tell people that I just found a website called HemoPet that does allergy blood tests for environmental and good allergies. I haven’t tried it yet, but Dr Dodd who started it is well respected. I recognize her from the Dog Cancer Series. Anyway, it looks expensive, but I am thinking of trying that. My 13 yr old little pom/papillon ish mix that I rescued in January is crazy itchy. I have been trying so many different natural things, limiting food ingredients, rinsing off after walks, and have been using cbd, benadryl for a couple weeks, the… Read more »

Dr. Angie Krause, DVM

Hi Jill,

We love HemoPet and Dr. Dodds!

You may be talking about the Nutriscan test- Dr. Angie has used this test for patients in her own practice, and has found some success for certain patients!

Allergies are so frustrating, and itt sounds like you are doing a really incredible job. Has your pup been seen by a veterinary dermatologist?

If you try Dr. Dodd’s allergy testing, keep us posted on the results and how they help!

Warmly,
Claire

Cathy
Guest
Cathy

The dosage of the Magnesium says 10mg per day. The brand you suggested comes in 180 mg capsules. How do you measure just 10mg? My dogs weighs 70lbs.

Dr. Angie Krause, DVM

Hi Cathy,

Great question!

The dosing for Magnesium for our pups is 10mg/kg once daily. For your 70lb (32kg) pup, that would be approximately 320mg once daily.

I hope that this helps!

Warmly,
Claire

Deborah Beavers
Guest
Deborah Beavers

I have just learnt that my German Shepherd has quite a few alergies to food and environmental. The vet has prescribed Apolquel which we have accepted very short term. He has 10 days left at 16mg, my question is can I give him quercetin with Apolquel? I was thinking whilst still on the Apolquel then give him a half dose of the quercetin until the course finishes. Just not certain what to do. He will be having a raw diet in a couple of weeks and we give him Keifer, Salmon Oil and Coconut oil daily, Thank you for your… Read more »

Dr. Angie Krause, DVM

Hi Deborah,

You should absolutely be able to give Quercetin and Apoquel at the same time.

Let us know how he is doing!

Warmly,
Claire

Maka
Guest
Maka

Hi! Thanks for the information! I’m trying to find a suitable Quercetin supplement that includes Bromelian, do you have any recommendations? The Pure Encapsulations formula unfortunately doesn’t have it. ThankS1

Dr. Angie Krause, DVM

Hi Maka,

Good question! It looks like Thorne makes a product like that here (and we love Thorne!).

Hope this helps!

Warmly,
Claire

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