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
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!