Vitamins for Dogs With Allergies

The four-footed family member has replaced his regular exercise with constant scratching and his favorite chew toys with his own paws. His once enthusiastic appetite is dwindling away, and his boundless energy has bounded out the door. Doggie's yips of welcome are now interrupted by bouts of sneezing. If any of these behaviors are affecting your pooch, you may be dealing with a canine allergy. Only your vet can tell for sure, and prescribe whatever treatment he thinks necessary. It may be as simple as changing your pet's food or giving him antihistamines during allergy season. Then ask about vitamin supplementation.

The Need for Vitamins

Your allergic dog needs vitamins not only to help her stave off allergic reactions; she needs them to help recover from the effects of an allergic breakout. Severe itching is the classic allergy symptom, and not just from fleas. Dogs with inhalant allergies itch when exposed to pollen, dust mites, mildew, and mold, according to the Nelson Animal Hospital. Flea and inhalant allergies take a tremendous toll on a dog's skin and coat, and the right vitamins can help restore them. Inhalant allergies, of course, also produce sneezing, a runny nose, and watering eyes.

Food allergies also cause itchy skin and respiratory problems just like inhalant allergies, but will frequently surface as ear inflammation. The Pet Lover's Guide to Natural Healing for Cats and Dogs lists Vitamins A, B complex, C, and E as being helpful for dogs with allergies.

Vitamin A

Dr. Susan Gayle Wynne, DVM, says that beta carotene, the precursor of vitamin A, is an antioxidant useful in treating canine allergies. Like all vitamins, it can be added to your pet's food.

B Vitamins

Taken together, the B complex of vitamins will protect your dog's skin by enhancing his immune system function, making it more resistant to allergens. The University of Florida School of Veterinary medicine advises that B vitamins work synergistically. Give them to your dog as a B complex supplement unless your vet instructs otherwise. The UF dosage recommendation is regular strength B complex for small dogs; high potency, or B 50, for medium dogs; and B 100 for large animals. Add them to your pet's food twice a day.

Vitamin C

A 1992 study Arizona State University study supports the claim of vitamin C's antihistamine effects. Healthy adults who were given 2000mg of vitamin C for two week had an average 38 percent drop in their blood histamine levels, compared to levels in the weeks when they were given placebos. The Nelson Animal Hospital advises giving your dog 100mg for each 10 lbs. of body weight once each day.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E, like vitamins A and C, is a powerful antioxidant. It's also a good anti-inflammatory. A recommended daily dose is 100IU for each 10 lbs of a dog's body weight.


Vitamins A and E are fat soluble vitamins, so excessive amounts of them aren't excreted in your dog's urine like the B complex and vitamin C are. They could potentially accumulate in your pet's cells in toxic amounts. Be sure you give your dog only the recommended dosages of these vitamins.

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