What Do You Feed a Dog with Food Allergy?

Your dog loves you more than you love yourself. So, how can you let your furry pal suffer from food allergies? Here in this following piece of article, I decided to share some foods that are used for pets (especially dogs) who have been diagnosed with food allergies.

But before that, you folks must know the difference between food allergy and intolerance.


Food Allergy in Dogs

It has been said by the veterinarians and the dog experts that usually pets (especially) dogs don't get or develop the symptoms of food allergies before they reach 12 months of age (or become one year old).

Food allergies in dogs develop when the immune system (defense system of a body) misjudges a foreign (food) substance/ingredient as a threat to the body. Usually, proteins are the main culprit of developing these kinda allergies in pets.

Below are the common foods that (usually) cause allergies in canines;

  • Beef
  • Dairy Products (e.g; Milk)
  • Chicken
  • Lamb
  • Mutton
  • Grains
  • Wheat

Food Intolerance in Dogs

In efforts of distinguishing food allergy from food intolerance, this paragraph is so important. If allergies in dogs develop because of the immune system response, this is called food allergy. While, if the allergies develop because of eating soiled/dirty/germ-rich foods then it's called food intolerance.

The symptoms of both are the same but their treatment is different.

Some Common Signs or Symptoms of Food Allergy in Dogs

Below are some indicating signs for you that your furry friend is suffering from a life-threatening condition, i.e. Food allergy.

  • Swelling or inflammation on the skin
  • Itchiness
  • Skin irritations
  • Redness on the dermis
  • Rashes
  • If your pet is licking his paws/tale/skin (persistently)
  • Certain digestive disorders (Gas, bloating, flatulence, GERD, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, nausea, etc)

Only an experienced veterinarian (veterinary doctor) can diagnose a food allergy in dogs (precisely). Because your dog may have the same symptoms with environmental allergy, seasonal allergy, atopic dermatitis (hereditary: genes level mutation), and others.

However, sometimes it becomes hyper difficult to diagnose this disease. If the veterinarian has a suspect that your pet is suffering from food allergies, then the vet may recommend "Eliminating diet" treatment for two to three months.

The word "eliminating diet" could be unknown or new for some of you (pet owners) but this is the highly used technique for diagnosing food allergy in dogs, cats, and other small animals.

Elimination Diet

What is eliminate diet technique and is it used for? Probably, this is the question (now) arising in your minds or if not must be so.

In eliminate diet method, your pet's veterinarian prescribes a hypoallergenic diet (prescription food) plan for your pet (for 10 to 14 months or longer depending on the conditions and the feedback) that could only be available on prescription and is not available over the counter (like limited diet).

In that period of time (02 to 03 months), your pet is not allowed to eat food other than (just) a prescription diet (hypoallergenic food: that rarely causes any side effects or adverse reactions).

Usually, if the cause of symptoms is food allergy then (by using a hypoallergenic diet) the signs or indications must vanish and your pet must feel better over 2 weeks.

Keep in mind that it's all about diagnosing the main culprit, i.e. protein (complex molecules of amino acids).

Consuming hydrolyzed protein diet for a certain period of time usually removes or clears symptoms but this treatment is quite expensive as you can't buy a prescription diet (hypoallergenic foods for pets) without your vet prescription and it's expensive though.

So keep in mind that giving hypoallergenic food to a pet is a temporary treatment, just to figure out the main cause behind the symptoms.

Using hydrolyzed protein diet for 2 weeks will make the condition better and the symptoms caused by food allergy will suppress down. After that, you can re-visit your vet's clinic and may consult about the current condition of your dog.

Now, when the symptoms and signs have gone or are suppressed you may add the regular diet of your pet step by step.

Warning; Your pet must use (consume) a hypoallergenic diet for at least 2-3 months (regularly) without adding regular food to the diet until unless the veterinarian suggests that. Add a certain food to your pet's diet and use it for at least one or two weeks and see whether it causes side effects or not. Then try another food source.

For instance, you may try lamb to your dog diet (by the recommendation of a vet) and should notice whether it causes the reoccurrence of the symptoms or not. If lamb doesn't cause allergies then try to add another source of food (protein) like chicken, venison, mutton, beef, dairy products, grains, wheat, etc.

Warning: Don't add these foods simultaneously to your pet's diet. Try to give the specific source of protein diet for a certain period of time and see whether it's causing any adverse reactions or not. If not then move forward to another source unless you find the main culprit that's causing the food allergy in your dog.

Eliminating diet helps to identify the specific type of food (source of protein) which is responsible for developing the symptoms of allergies in dogs.

The one and only treatment of food allergy in dogs is to remove a specific kind of food (diet) from your pet's life.

For example, if your pet is allergic to Beef (protein) you must avoid all those foods that possess beef. However, a pet may be allergic to more than one kind of protein source (beef and dairy products at the same time).

Limited Ingredients Dog Food

You may also try limited ingredient dog foods that contain only one source of protein with carbohydrates (single source).

It helps to find the allergen that is causing allergies in your dog's body. Now, in the following piece of article, I'm not gonna recommend any kinds of products (or promoting Brands). So you may visit your nearby pet supply store offline or may look around online.

Limited ingredient foods are available over the counter (OTC) and you must try them by comparing their prices and reviews.

Can a dog suddenly be allergic to his food?

No! some researches yielded that food allergy in dogs is hereditary or because of genes mutation. Usually, dogs don't develop the symptoms of allergies, i.e. itching, skin irritations, digestive problems, swelling or inflammation on the skin, etc before the age of 12 months. But it could be active at any stage of their life.


Simplifying article in a few pieces of words...

If you're worried about what to feed a dog with food allergies? You must need to visit a vet clinic and the vet may decide whether your dog has a food allergy or not. If the vet suspects that your pet is suffering from a food allergy (Disease) then he may prescribe an elimination diet (hypoallergenic food or hydrolyzed protein diet) for your pet (for two to three months).

An elimination diet helps to figure out the main source of protein (diet) that is responsible for causing the symptoms of food allergy in dogs.

By removing the specific food (that could be lamb, beef, milk, chicken, wheat, etc) from your pet's life could solve the problem.

Using medicines like Apoquel (oclacitinib maleate) may treat the symptoms of food allergy but it's temporary. Once you discontinue the medication, symptoms may re-occur.

Can Apoquel be Purchased Over the Counter (OTC)?

Today, in the following piece of article I am going to talk about Apoquel Tablets for dogs and will answer a commonly asked question that most pet owners asked me, i.e. "Can we buy Apoquel over the counter?" and "How to get Apoquel without a vet prescription?". Stay read...

The short answer is, NO!. You can't buy Oclacitinib maleate (the generic name for Apoquel medication) without a solid prescription issued by a veterinarian.

You are not allowed to get these kinda immunosuppressant drugs without a vet prescription. Apoquel (Oclacitinib maleate) is not an over-the-counter (OTC) medicine. So you will need an authentic prescription before buying it.


Why Do I Need a Prescription for Buying Apoquel?

Apoquel is a trademark of Zoetis pharmaceuticals. It contains the active ingredient, "Oclacitinib maleate" which is an immune system suppressant drug that is used for the treatment of severe allergies in dogs.

It can treat chronic allergic disorders, i.e. atopic dermatitis (eczema). It starts working within a few hours of oral intake and has a huge number of satisfied clients.

So because of its high efficacy and good feedback. Most vets prescribe for the treatment of allergies in dogs.

One thing that I allowed you to keep in mind is that Apoquel is not an over-the-counter drug and is only available on prescription.

Oclacitinib maleate suppresses the immune system of the body (to some extent) and blocks JAK-1, 3 cytokines. Unnecessary or non-suggested use of Apoquel may result in life-threatening outcomes. FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved oclacitinib maleate for dogs just by the recommendation of a veterinarian.

Is there an over-the-counter equivalent to Apoquel?

In this section of the article, I would share some over-the-counter alternatives of Apoquel (Oclacitinib maleate) tablets for dogs. Apoquel is used to treat skin allergies in dogs. Below are some highly recommended alternatives to Apoquel for dogs;
  • Zyrtec (Generic name: Cetirizine)
  • Benadryl (Generic name: Diphenhydramine)
  • Loratadine
Above are three anti-histamine drugs. They work by blocking the histamines that are released by the immune system.

Antihistamines don't suppress the body's defense system but show good results. The good thing is that you don't need a prescription for buying these drugs. They can treat skin allergies in dogs effectively.

We don't recommend or suggest any kinds of medicines. Please consult a healthcare provider before giving any kinds of medicines to your pet. 


Apoquel is only available on a valid vet prescription and you can't buy (or get) it over the counter. FDA-approved oclacitinib maleate for skin allergies in dogs. It is an immune system suppressant drug and may have life-threatening side effects when is not used with the recommendation of a doctor.

How to Treat Dog Dermatitis at Home? - Instant Relief Secret

Treating dogs dermatitis at home is not an easy job. Dermatitis (prefix: dermis, meaning "Skin" & suffix: titis, meaning "swelling or inflammation") causes moderate to severe swelling on a dog's body which becomes more irritating and unpleasant over time.

In the following piece of article, I decided to share some effective home remedies for the treatment of skin allergies in dogs.


Home Remedies for Dermatitis in Dogs

Plain Yogurt

Yogurt possesses anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. You may apply plain yogurt on your pet's skin and rinse off after 10-15 minutes. It soothes the itchy, flaky, irritating, and sore skin.

Chamomile and Herbal Tea Soaks

Simply dip some tea bags or chamomile into a water (bath) tub and put your furry friend into it. Let the pet's skin soaking the positive effects of the chamomile and tea bags for some minutes.

You may repeat the procedure after 12 hours or as needed. This will definitely relieve the symptoms of allergic dermatitis for a short period of time.

Tea Tree Oil

It soothes dry, irritating, scaly, itchy, and inflamed skin in dogs. Simply put few drops of tea tree oil onto a (sterilized) gauze or cotton piece and place it on the affected (swollen) area for a few seconds (30 seconds).

Tea tree oil is oil-based, so it cannot dissolve into the water. So you can't add it into a water tub and have your pet a tea tree oil bath.

Apple Cider Vinegar

One of the best home treatments for allergic dermatitis in dogs at home (without going to a veterinarian).

ACV possesses incredible anti-bacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial properties. It fights against the germs of bacteria, viruses, and fungi, etc. Hence may be used to treat or prevent secondary infections caused by allergens.

It contains anti-inflammatory properties, so would be a great choice when considering using dog dermatitis treatment at home.

It relieves the symptoms, i.e. itchiness, irritations, swelling or inflammation, redness, and dryness of the skin within a few minutes of use.

Just pour some drops of pure apple cider vinegar into a bath tube (containing clean water) and put your dog into the tub for a while (10 to 15 minutes). Let the dog's body soaking the magical effects. Now take your pet out of the tub and dry him (completely).

You may also give apple cider vinegar to a dog orally. Simply put some drops in drinking water and give them to your pet. It will help in the healing process of the wounds and help dogs to fight against the germs of harmful microbes.

Coconut Oil

It also possesses anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties. Put some drops of coconut oil onto a sterilized (germ-free) cotton ball or gauze and place it onto the affected area.

Keep the cotton ball or sterilized gauze piece (that was dipped into the coconut oil) onto the affected area of your dog's skin for a while.

After twenty to thirty minutes (20-30 mins), you may rinse it off with clean (sterilized) water. Don't forget to dry your dog.

Coconut oil may help in treating dermatitis in dogs at home (without visiting a pet clinic). It soothes dry, irritating, itchy, swollen, red, and scaly skin.

Oatmeal Bath

If your dog is feeling irritated and he is scratching, chewing, or licking his body parts (that could be paws, legs, abdominal area, etc), continuously. It has been suffering from allergic disorders.

An oatmeal bath may definitely help him to relieve the symptoms of skin disorders that are making him miserable.

Add some oatmeal into the water tub (containing pure water). Put your dog into the tub and let him soaks the good effects of oatmeal (that has been added into the water tub). Wait for 10 to 15 minutes and take your pet out. Dry and clean him properly.

Keep in mind that home remedies or treatments are temporary. They cannot treat allergies or severe skin diseases in dogs, i.e. dermatitis, atopic dermatitis (eczema, a chronic hereditary disease), etc permanently. Visiting a vet clinic is the better solution and way to minimize complications.

How Does a Vet Treat Dermatitis in Dogs?

First of all, if a dog is continuously itching, licking, or chewing his skin and making it is prone to infections. An animal doctor may suggest some anti-pruritis or anti-allergic medicines to him.

Anti-allergy medicine may include, steroids, immunosuppressants, antihistamines, etc.


A vet may prescribe steroids, including dexamethasone, prednisolone, betamethasone, triamcinolone, etc for instant relief from allergic symptoms.

Steroids like prednisolone show high effectiveness when used for treating skin allergies in dogs. It starts giving results after the first fours hours of oral intake.

Hydrocortisone (steroid) is available in topical forms, i.e. lotion, cream, and solutions, etc. It can be applied topically and it surely gives results (no debate).

Immunosuppressive drugs

Other options include immune system suppressive drugs. An immunity suppressant drug blocks the cytokines (small proteins) that are released when a body encounters a foreign allergen (pollen, dust, dirt, smoke, smog, food, soap, shampoo, etc).

Apoquel is the best example of an immunosuppressant medication for dermatitis in dogs. It treats swollen, red, irritating, itchy, flaky, dry, and crusty skin very well.


Ebastine, loratadine, cetirizine, pheniramine, hydroxyzine, and fexofenadine are examples of some anti-allergy drugs that can be used (off-label) to relieve the symptoms of allergies in canines.

They are less effective than steroids or immunosuppressants but also have less percentage of side effects, adverse, or unwanted consequences than them.

A vet may also go with NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) if dermatitis has been severe and causing pain.

What If I Left Dermatitis Untreated?

Dermatitis or skin swelling (inflammation) happens when a pet's body encounters an allergen. Their body's immune system (or defense system) releases specific small proteins (called cytokines) and in response to these allergens.

The cytokines cause swelling and increases the blood circulation to that (specific) area. This is an alarming situation that locates the area that has been affected by the invader (or allergen). This swelling triggers a dog to lick, chew, or scratch the area (for the sake of feeling comfortable).

Scratching the inflamed area initiates the development of bacterial, fungal, or both of these infections. Within a short period of time, it converts into a wound which turns into a hot spot (if left untreated).

A hot spot on a dog's body may cause hair loss and is a very severe skin disorder.

Antibiotics or antifungal medications are used for the treatment of secondary bacterial or fungal infections caused by scratching, licking, or chewing of dogs.

Dermatitis (skin inflammation) with a bacterial or fungal infection is a complicated (complexed) skin disorder and is probably impossible to remedy by applying simple (grandma's) home treatments.

Giving a good combination of anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-allergy drugs is the best and fastest way to treat all kinds of allergic disorders in dogs.

Conclusion: [Summarizing all Content]

Home remedies like apple cider vinegar, coconut oil, tea tree oil, plain yogurt, chamomile, and herbal tea soaks are used to treat dermatitis in dogs at home (without visiting a pet clinic).

These grandma's remedies may provide short-term or temporary relief from itchy, scaly, dry, irritating, red, and swollen (inflamed) skin. But for permanent and instant relief you must take your dog to a veterinarian.

In most cases, dermatitis leads to secondary bacterial or fungal infections that make it more complex to be treated at home.

A veterinarian may prescribe antihistamines, immunosuppressive drugs (oclacitinib maleate), steroids, antibiotics, dog dermatitis shampoo, or antifungal medicines to treat skin infections in dogs.

Medicines and home remedies are used only to relieve the symptoms of the primary disorder (allergy). They don't treat allergy itself. The only way to treat allergy in dogs is to identify or diagnose the root cause (main reason) which triggers the allergic response in dogs. Eliminated that (allergen) from a canine's life.

Apoquel Uses - Best Treatment for Allergies in Dogs

Today, in the following piece of article I am going to share with you the uses of Apoquel tablets. Apoquel (generic: Oclacitinib maleate) is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (located in the United States of America) to treat certain kinds of allergies in dogs.

It is available in three different strengths, i.e. 3.6mg, 5.4mg, and 16mg, respectively. Apoquel is used for the treatment of itchy skin in canines.


Apoquel Uses

Indicated for the treatment of dermatitis (swelling on the skin), atopic dermatitis (Eczema: a severe & chronic skin disorder), contact dermatitis, hives, Psoriasis, etc.

It can be used in treating food allergies, environmental allergies, contact allergies, and seasonal allergies.

Apoquel starts working (showing results) within the first 4 hours of intake and reduces itching, skin irritations, redness, swelling, or inflammation on the skin.

It works by inhibiting the selective cytokines (small proteins) that are released by the immune system against allergens. Apoquel blocks (inhibits) the action of Janus Kinase 1 or JAK-1 cytokines and relieves the symptoms of skin allergies in pets.

Apoquel Use in Dogs

Oclacitinib maleate is FDA-approved to treat skin allergic disorders in dogs. It effectively relieves the symptoms of dermatitis, atopic dermatitis, and psoriasis.

Apoquel is indicated for the treatment of red, swollen, itchy, irritating, scaly, dry, and cracked skin. It relieves the symptoms of eczema in dogs and is safe to use for the long term.

Apoquel Use in Cats

Oclacitinib is not recommended to use in cats. Although, many veterinarians prescribe it as an off-label or extra-label drug.

It has been found highly effective in treating allergic skin disorders in canines.

But it should never be used in cats that are below 12 months or one year old. It suppresses the immune system and may increase the chances of getting an infection.

Apoquel Use in Horses

It is not an FDA-approved drug to use in horses. But many veterinarians suggest it for treating severe itch in horses.

Oclacitinib maleate (brand: Apoquel) can treat certain allergic conditions in horses, i.e. atopic dermatitis, dermatitis, allergies caused by insect bites, contact allergies, food, or environmental allergies, etc.

It doesn't treat allergies but helps to relieve the symptoms (redness, swelling, itching). Proper diagnosis, finding the root cause of allergy in horses, is the only (permanent) solution to treat allergies in horses.

Apoquel Use in Humans

Humans should not take dog (pet) medicines because most veterinary drugs are specifically designed for animals.

In the case of Oclacitinib, you are not allowed to take it because it may cause some serious side effects. By using Apoquel, you may feel digestive disorders, i.e. gas, bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), vomiting, nausea, flatulence, etc.

Also, there are no proven benefits of Apoquel tablets for humans. This medication is just approved to treat certain allergic disorders in dogs.

What Types of Allergies Apoquel Treat in Dogs?

Apoquel contains the active ingredient, "Oclacitinib maleate" which is an immunosuppressant drug that works by suppressing the defense system.

It relieves redness, swelling, itchiness, skin irritations, hives, dryness, and inflammation on the skin.

It can treat allergies caused by;

  • Foods  (wheat, beef, chicken, cheese, fish, turkey, carrot, corn, eggs, grain, bread, dairy products)
  • Environment (dust, dirt, smoke, smog, grass)
  • Insect Bites (flea, mites, tickles, bees, mosquitoes, lice)
  • Contact (soaps, shampoo, lotion, harness)
  • Pollen (plants)
  • Respiratory (it may cause swelling of the lungs and breathing problems)
  • Seasonal changes (allergic rhinitis, swelling in the nose, sneezing, runny nose)
  • Medicine (antibiotics and other medications can cause allergies)

Signs and Symptoms of Allergies in Dogs

Your dog is suffering from an allergic disorder if it has the following symptoms;

  • Redness
  • Swelling or inflammation on the skin
  • Itchiness (or itchy skin)
  • Dry, scaly, and cracked skin
  • Bumps or blisters
  • Hives
  • Crusts on the dermis
  • Skin irritations
  • Rashes
  • Other signs may include sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion, etc
Anyhow, Oclacitinib medication is used to treat allergic skin disorders in dogs. But as an immunosuppressant drug, it can be used for purposes that are not described in this piece of article. You may consult your pet's doctor for more details.

Apoquel Use with NSAIDs

Oclacitinib maleate medication can be used with NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) with the recommendation of a veterinarian.

This medication treats allergic disorders in dogs while non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are used to relieve the symptoms of pain and swelling (inflammation).

Apoquel Use as Needed

This medicine has a short half-life that means the dose could be adjusted or be taken as needed.

Apoquel Use with Steroids

This is not recommended to take oclacitinib (immune system suppressant) drug in combination with steroids, i.e. prednisolone, dexamethasone, betamethasone, hydrocortisone, triamcinolone, etc.

But a veterinarian may decide whether it is beneficial or not. A vet may prescribe it with steroids if the advantages outweigh the risks associated with steroids.


The above article emphasizes the importance of Oclacitinib maleate in treating itchy skin in dogs. Apoquel is used to treat certain allergic disorders in dogs. It can treat dermatitis, atopic dermatitis (eczema), psoriasis, hives, and other skin diseases that cause redness, swelling (inflammation), itchiness, irritations, bumps, dryness, blisters, crusts, and scales on the skin.

Apoquel Side Effects | Things to Consider Before Using

Apoquel tablets (generic: Oclacitinib maleate) are used to treat chronic allergic disorders in dogs, cats, and other small animals. It is a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved immunosuppressive drug that has very good feedback when is used for treating eczema (severe skin allergic disorder), psoriasis, and other allergies in dogs.

It works by blocking JAK-1 cytokines in the body (released by the immune system). Oclacitinib relieves swelling, itching, irritations, redness, on the skin, etc very fast.

It starts showing (good) effects within the first 4 to 6 hours of oral intake. So, it has become very popular and is the top choice of veterinarians for treating severe allergies.

But as an immune system suppressant, Oclacitinib (brand name: Apoquel) shows some negative side effects in dogs.


For Puppies

Apoquel is not recommended for puppies and dogs that are below one year old (< 12 months). Veterinarians discourage its use in small pets because the ratio of side effects is sky-high in young dogs, as well as in old ones (who have a compromised or weak immune system).

In the following piece of article, I decided to share all possible side effects of Oclacitinib maleate (an immunosuppressant drug) or Apoquel tablets in pets. By reading this article, you will become fully aware of the good and bad of this allergy medicine.

Negative Side Effects of Apoquel in Dogs

General adverse reactions by using immunosuppressants in dogs may include neurological or mental disorders, upset digestive system, urinary tract problems, certain skin diseases, cancer, allergies, swelling, pancreatitis, bacterial or viral infections, weight gain, and bleeding, etc.


Apoquel in dogs (in care cases) may cause certain brain disorders. Consult a veterinarian, if your pet is facing the following behavior issues

  • Anxiety
  • Drowsiness
  • aggression
  • Panting
  • behavior changes
  • drooling
  • seizures
  • barking so bad

Digestive Disorders

Apoquel rarely causes digestive tract disorders in dogs. However, if you see the following adverse reactions by using Oclacitinib maleate medication in dogs. Immediately discontinue the medicine and seek a veterinarian's advice.

  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • gas
  • vomiting
  • increased thirst
  • bad breath
  • loss of appetite (anorexia)


Apoquel increases the risks of cancers as it suppresses a body's defense system which helps to fight against harmful pathogens, i.e. bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other microbes, etc.

It contains the active ingredient, "oclacitinib maleate" which belongs to immunosuppressants, i.e. cyclosporin. It works by influencing the job of a defense system, so a pet becomes more vulnerable to diseases such as infections.

It worsens the pre-existing condition, such as a bacterial infection, a viral infection, pancreatitis, hepatitis, etc. Some of the major defects of using oclacitinib in dogs are listed below (that could be fatal and life-threatening);

  • Lymphoma
  • Neoplasia
  • Tumor
  • Head tremor

Urinary Tract Disorders

Apoquel tablets may cause urinary tract infections in dogs. A urinary tract is consists of kidneys, bladder, ureters, urethra, penis (in males), uterus, and vagina (in females), etc.

Commensals bacteria and fungi remain present in a dog's urinary tract without causing any harm to their bodies. They don't develop an infection because their replication (growth or population) is controlled by the defense system of the body, i.e. immune system or called immunity.

An immune system suppressant drug may cause (not always but in some cases) over-population or over-growth of these microbes that result in a severe infection.

FDA-approved drugs (antibiotics) are used in the treatment of bacterial infections of the dog urinary tract (UTI).

Cefpodoxime proxetil, Enrofloxacin, Co-trimoxazole, Amoxicillin, Levofloxacin, Doxycycline, Sulfadimethoxine, Cefovecin, Cefalexin, etc are the examples of some broad-spectrum, highly effective, and powerful antibiotics (fights against the germs of bacteria).

Some general urinary tract side effects of Apoquel (Oclacitinib maleate) in dogs are listed below;

blood in urine
blood in the stool

Consult a veterinarian, if you observe any of these adverse reactions after using the medication.


As said above, all immune system suppressant drugs increase the risks of getting or developing a bacterial, viral, or fungal (yeast) infection very high. So, if this is the case you must observe your pet carefully. Because a bad breath after Apoquel medication could be a sign of dental infection in dogs.

Limit the treatment and try to consult a doctor first, if you see the following unwanted consequences;


Apoquel is available in three different potencies or strengths, i.e. 3.6mg, 5.4mg, and 16mg, respectively. Apoquel tablets are effective and in the majority of cases, they provide outstanding and reliable results.

But they do not always work if some cases a dog doesn't feel better by using this treatment.

So if the pre-existing condition, i.e. dermatitis, atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, swelling (inflammation) on the skin, etc gets worsen. There is no need to continue this remedy.

Some veterinarians recommended Apoquel (0.4-0.6mg per one kilogram) twice a day (disclaimer: it's not recommended by the FDA to take it twice a day, anyhow you must follow your veterinarian prescription).

Skin Disorders

These immune system suppressants' side effects are very rare but surely possibles. Apoquel is used to treat skin disorders, i.e. redness, swelling, inflammation, itching, irritations, dryness, and discomfort of the skin neither for triggering it.

But for a few unfortunate pets, it may worsen the existing condition and may increase the severity. Apoquel side effects for skin in dogs are the following;

  • Bleeding
  • Dermal masses
  • Dry skin
  • hair loss

Apoquel Causes Weight Gain

A few pet owners reported that they see a visible increase in their pet's physical weight after using this FDA-approved allergy medicine. Anyhow, it is not something that is inter-related.

In rare causes, apoquel (oclacitinib) may damage the liver, heart, kidneys, etc, and may indirectly cause weight gain or loss.

Using Apoquel for Long Term

Apoquel is (generally) recommended for long-term use for chronic diseases, i.e. eczema, psoriasis, etc. Some studies have been performed on this topic and they suggested that Oclacitinib is safe for long-term use and it doesn't cause any side effects when used for more than 2 years (continuously).

The studies were performed with healthy dogs, those who were physical and mentally strong. Also, they were young and don't have any liver, heart, or kidneys complications.

Anyhow, the long-term or persistent use of Oclacitinib medication in dogs is not completely understood and more studies should be performed to better understand its long-term effects in pets.

It weakens the immune system and increases the chances of developing infectious diseases, which also may increase the risks of cancers.

This costly treatment suppresses the symptoms of allergies, doesn't treat allergy (on a permanent basis). So, your pet's vet must diagnose the root cause of allergy in your pet to permanently relieve the symptoms.

Apoquel During Pregnancy

Apoquel medication is not recommended to use for pregnant, lactating, or nursing (female) dogs. The chances of side effects are sky-high in dogs that are undergoing pregnancy.

Apoquel Duration

The treatment is usually for the long term (for more than a year) unless the veterinarian succeeds in diagnosing the root cause of allergies in your pet.

Food, dust, pollen, dirt, smoke, smog, specific clothes, rubber, are some common allergens that trigger allergies in pets.
Figuring out the main cause of allergy and eliminating it from a pet's life is the only solution to treat allergies in dogs. Consult a veterinarian for more details or contact us for more details.


The recommended or suggested dosage for Apoquel medicine is 0.4mg to 0.6mg per KG (kilograms) or 0.18mg to 0.27mg per Pound.

A veterinarian may suggest taking this medicine twice daily (or BD) but FDA doesn't recommend taking Oclacitinib twice daily for more than two weeks or 14 days.

Taking Apoquel in high doses may cause serious adverse reactions in dogs, including certain digestive problems, infections, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, weakness, loss of appetite, etc.

In the case of Apoquel overdose, immediately visit a veterinarian. In severe cases, you can lose your furry friend for the rest of your life.

Stopping Apoquel Suddenly

Unlike steroids, oclacitinib could be stopped suddenly. But it is always suggested to stop or discontinue the use of Apoquel medication in dogs with the recommendation of a doctor or veterinarian.

Conclusion [Summarizing all in few Lines]

Apoquel is an immune system suppressant drug that is FDA-approved. This JAK (Janus Kinase)-1, 3 inhibitor works on certain cytokines (released by the immune system) that cause itchy skin. It is highly effective and rarely causes any side effects. It is not recommended in puppies and dogs below 12 months old or those who have a weak, compromised immune system.

Common Side effects of Oclacitinib (brand name: Apoquel) in dogs include some neurological disorders (anxiety, behavior changes, & enhance drooling), infections (caused by bacteria, fungi, or viruses), cancer (including neoplasia, lymphoma), and other.

In the case of side effects or adverse reactions, immediately discontinue the use and seek a piece of veterinarian advice. Apoquel may cause fatal and life-threatening reactions (in rare cases) that if left untreated may cost death.

Apoquel and Benadryl - Interactions, Safety, & Effectiveness

Both Apoquel and Benadryl are used for the treatment of allergies which could be food allergies, environmental allergies, seasonal allergies, or allergies caused by insect bites.


Apoquel Tablets

Apoquel contains the active ingredient, generic Oclacitinib maleate which is an immune system (a body's defense system) suppressant drug. It is FDA (Food and drug administration) approved medicine for treating chronic allergies in dogs.

Benadryl Tablets

However, Benadryl contains the active ingredient or generic Diphenhydramine which is an antihistamine drug that works on certain histamine receptors and could treat the symptoms of seasonal allergies (allergic rhinitis), i.e. hay fever, watery eyes, sneezing, cold, flu, coughing, skin irritations, itching, or runny nose, etc.

So, in this article, I decided to answer some questions related to both of these drugs. Like both are FDA-approved anti-allergy medicines for dogs and are being used by thousands of pet owners for their furry friends.

Is Apoquel the Same as Benadryl?

It is a very interesting question to answer for me because many pet owners remain confused about choosing the best medication for their furry friends, especially when it comes to deciding between Apoquel and Benadryl medication.

NO, Both drugs (chemically) are different from each other but are used for the same purpose (for allergies).

Apoquel contains Oclacitinib while Benadryl contains diphenhydramine. Both's chemical structure, molecular formula, drug class, mechanism of action, and ability to treat skin allergies in pets are different.


Apoquel can work far better than Benadryl when it comes to treating atopic dermatitis (eczema) in dogs. Eczema is a chronic disease that causes severe redness, itching, flaking, irritations, and dryness on the skin. It may cause hair loss in your pet and is difficult to treat with common antihistamines like Diphenhydramine, Loratadine, Chlorophinaramine, Ebastin, Cetirizine, etc.

Benadryl (diphenhydramine) medication can be used for treating mild to moderate symptoms of seasonal allergies in pets but has low efficacy in treating severe allergic disorders, i.e. Dermatitis, Atopic dermatitis (eczema), etc.

Can a dog take Benadryl and Apoquel together?

There is no need for a dog to take these two drugs together. The studies on their interactions are limited. However, the oclacitinib maleate rarely causes any interactions with antihistamines.

You may give Apoquel and Benadryl together to a dog by the recommendation of a veterinarian. If a veterinarian thinks that the benefits of taking these drugs together outweigh the risks of complications, then there is no problem.

Side Effects

Both drugs are safe, Food and drug administration approved, and effective when are used in the recommended dose. They rarely cause any side effects or adverse reactions. But if you observe the following adverse reactions by using any of these drugs then it is suggested to immediately discontinue the use and consider getting a veterinarian (Doctor) help;

  • Inflammation or swelling on any part of the body
  • Infection
  • Digestive system problems like vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, etc
  • Mood or behavior changes, i.e. Continuous barking, sleepiness, lethargy, etc
  • Or if it worsens the pre-existing illness

Apoquel is an immunosuppressant drug that works by suppressing the immune system which helps our body to fight against harmful pathogens, i.e. bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other microbes. Continues, persistent, and long-term use of oclacitinib maleate may increase the risks of other problems (infection).

Benadryl is an antihistamine drug that doesn't suppress the immune system. Also, it is highly recommended for treating mild to moderate allergic disorders in dogs, cats, and other small animals.

It doesn't increase the risks of infections, cancers, or other disorders that are associated with a weak immune system.

A doctor of animals (veterinarian) may decide which one drug is better for a dog when considering treating allergies in dogs.

No doubt, Apoquel tablets have more than 90% satisfied clients all over the globe and are the only JAK-1 cytokines inhibitor medication.


If I Summarize all things I shared in this piece of article in a few lines, I would say Benadryl (diphenhydramine) and Apoquel (Oclacitinib) both are different in their chemical structure, molecular formula, drug class, and effectiveness.

Apoquel works by suppressing the immune system and can be used for severe allergic disorders in dogs, i.e. dermatitis, atopic dermatitis, or eczema, etc. Doctors suggest that long-term use of oclacitinib doesn't cause any harm but the risks factors are linked with long-term use of Apoquel are cancer and infections, etc.

Benadryl works by block histamines (released by the immune system) in the body. It is also very effective in treating mild to moderate symptoms of allergic rhinitis or seasonal allergies, i.e. hay fever, runny nose, watery eyes, skin inflammation, swelling, or irritations, etc.

Both can be used together (however, there is no need to use them at the same time). There are no interactions reported between them. However, consult a doctor or veterinarian if you observe any adverse reactions, i.e. inflammation, digestive disorders, behavior changes, etc.

Is Yogurt Good for Dogs with Yeast Infection?

In the following article, I decided to emphasize the importance of natural remedies that could be helpful in treating certain types of fungal infections in dogs. A pet may develop yeast infection (caused by a fungus) very easily because it remains present in their body (without causing an infection).

These micro-organisms (fungi) could be found on the dog's skin (surface) as well as in the urinary tract, ears, paws, nose, eyes, and other surfaces that remain often wet.

The microbes of fungi replicate vigorously in the wet environment, so the chances of developing a yeast infection increase if a dog remains wet (because of playing in the soil, water, etc).

No doubt, there is effective FDA-approved medicine are available in the market that could treat these kinds of infectious disorders in dogs but here we're going to talk about proven natural remedies that could help treat yeast infection in dogs.

Yogurt for Yeast Infections in Dogs

This could be strange for those who didn't know that yogurt is one of the best solutions for candidiasis and other infections caused by fungus.

Yogurt has anti-fungal properties as it contains probiotics. Studies support that certain types of probiotics found in yogurt i.e. lactobacillus rhamnosus and lactobacillus acidophilus restrict (stop) the growth of fungi. Hence helps to treat fungal infections.

Yogurt and Honey Mixture

This is a very useful combination when we think to treat yeast infection in dogs at home. Both of these ingredients help to stop the overgrowth of fungal cells.

Honey has been using for centuries to treat various kinds of infectious diseases in living organisms. It has a powerful antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties.

When used with yogurt, it soothes itchy, red, swollen, irritating skin. The effect is fast and you could see results within minutes.

Take a certain amount of yogurt and honey in a bowl and mix it. The lap that mixture onto your pet's skin (on yeast infection), wait for 5-10 minutes, and rinse with pure water and see magical results.

This natural remedy is used for a long time 2-3 months to completely withdraw an infection. But the symptoms become down within minutes of using it (Honey and Yogurt Mixture).

Yogurt and Apple Cider Vinegar

ACV possesses antimicrobial properties which could help to treat bacterial infections in dogs.

Fungal infections in dogs may cause secondary bacterial infections. So, just yogurt (sometimes) fails to treat yeast infection especially when there is a secondary bacterial infection is present.

So applying apple cider vinegar topically on the infection may help to kill bacteria and to get rid of an infection.

You could give ACV to a pet orally in a controlled amount (3-5ml diluted in water for 10 pounds dog).

How much yogurt to give a dog with a yeast infection


Dogs can eat yogurt. You could give 1-2 tablespoons of plain yogurt to a dog (at least 12 months old) once or twice daily.


For external use, you could apply an adequate amount of yogurt to the area occupied by fungi. Rinse it after 5-15 minutes of application. You may repeat the procedure every 4-6 hours.

Topical Antifungal Cream for Yeast Infection in Dogs


Topical (clotrimazole) cream can treat a wide range of infectious disorders of skin in dogs caused by fungi. It prevents fungal cells from growing and restricts their replication. Hence may help to treat yeast infection in dogs.

Ear Drops

Clotrimazol ear drops are also available in drugstores that could be helpful in treating ear yeast infections in dogs.


Another effective generic for infectious disorders of dogs. Terbinafine effectively treats yeast infections in pets. It works by discouraging the replication of fungal cells and restricts the growth of fungal cells. It kills fungi and treats yeast infection (caused by certain types of fungi) in dogs effectively.


This is also available in topical cream form and has good feedback when used to treat yeast infections in dogs.


Yogurt can treat fungal infections in dogs because it contains probiotics i.e. lactobacillus. It prevents fungal cells from replication and inhibits their (unusual) over-growth. Yogurt could be used with other natural products like Honey and Apple cider vinegar when consider treating yeast infection in dogs at home. 

Yogurt, honey, and apple cider vinegar can be applied topically on the infected area and also could be taken orally (in a small amount). Medicinal generics like clotrimazole, terbinafine, and miconazole are available worldwide and can treat fungal infections effectively. Clotrimazole ear (otic) drops to treat ear yeast infections in dogs.

How Fast Does Apoquel® (Oclacitinib) Medication Work for Dogs?

Apoquel (oclacitinib maleate) medication starts working in dogs within the first four hours of oral intake. Most pet owners start seeing relief from itchy skin within two (02) to three (03) days of treatment. 

It's a highly effective immunosuppressant medication that is used for the treatment of atopic dermatitis (eczema) in dogs. It treats skin inflammation or swelling, caused by cytokines.

Atopic dermatitis is a chronic disease that causes redness and swelling on the skin of a dog. It's hard to treat this condition with antihistamines, home remedies, anti-allergy medication, or any kind of other natural treatment.

Some anti-allergy veterinary formulations provide temporary relief from the itchy, irritating, red, or swollen dermis. But the symptoms persist after the drug is eliminated from the body (through kidneys).

Although, a huge range of antihistamines fails when used to treat eczema. Because anti-histamine drugs just block the histamine from attaching with histamine receptors while the main cause of eczema is unknown.


Does Oclacitinib Work Against Eczema in Dogs?

It will not be wrong if I say Apoquel® (generic name: oclacitinib maleate) film-coated tablet is the first choice of veterinarians when consider treating chronic eczema disease. The root cause of eczema is unknown. Some researches suggested that specific genes play an important role in developing this severe condition.

Food, pollen, or other allergens could trigger it but they are not the main (root) cause of eczema in dogs. It's an immune system disorder (autoimmune disease), as the defense system releases cytokines continuously whether the triggers are eliminated or not.

Apoquel (oclacitinib maleate) is found magically effective in treating this autoimmune disorder. Oclacitinib is an immuno-suppressant drug that blocks cytokines that causes skin allergies in dogs. It inhibits (Janus kinase) JAK-1 (cytokines) and has a great impact on other cytokines as well.

Oclaitinib gets Cmax (peak plasma concentration) levels within one (01) hour following oral administration and has a half-life (t1/2) in between 3.5 to 4.1 hours.

Its absolute bioavailability is 89% and has a low protein binding i.e. 66.3% to 69.7%.

Can You Crush Apoquel® Tablets for Dogs? Quick Answer

If you want to crush or break a film-coated tablet i.e. Apoquel® and wondering whether it is allowed (permissible) or not, you're in the right place. Because in the following piece of article I answered your queries related to the topic, i.e. The advantages or disadvantages of crushing Apoquel tablets for dogs.


What If You Crush Apoquel®?

Apoquel (oclacitinib) tablets are used for the treatment of pruritus in dogs and can be crushed. The packing of 3.6mg, 5.4mg, and 16mg film-coated tablets effectively treat dogs allergic conditions such as atopic dermatitis, allergic dermatitis, and other skin disorders including rashes, redness, inflammation (swelling) on the skin, etc that are caused by food allergies, contact allergies, flea allergies, etc.

The recommended dose of Apoquel medication is 0.18 to 0.27mg per pound and 0.4 to 0.6mg per kg.

A thin layer of an inactive agent is applied on these tablets that protect this medication from the environment. For example, a film coat on the Apoquel tablet may protect it from light, and moisture.

Side Effects

Although, crushing these tablets doesn't affect the efficacy of the medication. However, it may result in a bitter (unpleasant) taste & can increase the rate of degradation.

Film coating protects the medicine from light, moisture, and other environmental factors. Crushing the (film-coated) tablets (medicine) breaks that thin layer which causes bitter, unpleasant, and unacceptable taste.

You may like to read: Is Apoquel (oclacitinib) tablet time-released (XR)? & Half-life


Crushing or breaking a film-coated tablet doesn't affect the efficacy of the medication. That's means crushing doesn't affect the way a film-coated tablet releases within the body.

Apoquel film-coated tablets are taken through the mouth, they are broken down by the saliva and stomach acid. Hence, releases in the body.

Applying a thin layer of inactive material keeps this medicine stable in an unpleasant environment. However, Apoquel tablets should be stored below 25-degrees Celsius temperature. Protect from light, heat, direct exposure to sunlight, and moisture.

Is Apoquel® an Antibiotic? Bacterial Infections in Dogs

Antibiotics are those drugs that are used for the treatment of infectious diseases (caused by bacteria: single "bacterium") of ears, eyes, urinary tract, respiratory tract, digestive system, liver, kidneys, in fact, for the whole body parts.

Apoquel contains an active ingredient "Oclacitinib maleate" which is an FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved drug for the relief of itchy skin in dogs.

Basically, oclacitinib is an immunosuppressant medication that works by suppressing the body's immune system (defense system).


Is Apoquel for Dogs an Antibacterial Medication?

A big NO! Apoquel belongs to immunosuppressants and doesn't treat the bacterial infections of dogs, cats, or any other animal.

It's the best treatment available for the treatment of atopic dermatitis (inflammation of the skin) at the moment.

Bacteria is present everywhere even though inside a dog's body. Germs of bacteria are present in a dog's oral cavity (that may cause tooth infection), digestive system, the skin surface (especially staphylococcus bacteria that cause staph infection in dogs), urinary tract, environment, food, toys, floor, in fact, everywhere.

A dog's immune system (immunity) helps him against bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other harmful microbes.

If a body's defense system is weak, because of any reason that could be medications (such as steroid or immunosuppressant treatment), injury, etc the chances of bacteria grow become high.

So if the immune system fails to restrict the over-replicating germs (cell), a bacterial infection may develop.

Hence, antibiotics are the medicines used for controlling the bacterial cell's replication and treatment.

Broad-spectrum Antibiotics for Dogs

There are huge numbers of generic (antibacterial) drugs available in the market (drug stores). But only a few are FDA-approved for the animals i.e. dogs.

List of strong antibiotics for the bacterial infections of dogs;


It is a broad-spectrum, FDA-approved medication that is effective against a broad range of bacterial infections of teeth, urinary tract, respiratory tracts, pneumonia, and soft tissues.

Cefpodoxime proxetil

A third-generation cephalosporin (a class of antibiotics) drug, FDA-approved for pets, and used for the treatment of respiratory tract infections, soft tissue infections, including wounds and abscesses.

Amoxicillin trihydrate

It treats a broad variety of bacterial infections in pets.

Amoxicillin trihydrate and Clavulanic acid combination

It is effective against resistant bacteria (whose cell walls don't allow penicillins type antibiotics i.e. " amoxicillin" to enter inside the cell and destroy it).


It belongs to fluoroquinolones (a class of antibiotics) and is useful in treating a big range of infectious diseases. It treats bacterial infections of the ears, eyes, soft tissues, urinary tracts, paws, etc.


A cephalosporin antibiotic that is used to treat soft tissue infections in humans and animals.


It's a strong (powerful) antibiotic medication that is available in injection form. Cefovecin comes with the brand name "Convenia" and treats infections effectively.


A broad-spectrum antibiotic is used to treat all kinds of gram-positive and gram-negative
bacteria and the infectious diseases caused by them.

Can Apoquel Cause Infections

The short answer is Yes! Oclacitinib maleate suppresses the body's defense system which fights against harmful germs cells (that could be bacteria, virus, fungi, or another microbe). Hence increases the chances of developing an infectious disease.

This is the number one reason that veterinarians don't suggest Oclacitinib medications for dogs that are under 1 year old (below 12 months of age). For pooches that are under twelve months and facing itching skin, you should try to think about Apoquel alternatives.

Summary [Conclusion]

Apoquel doesn't treat bacterial infections in dogs. It's an immunosuppressant used to treat atopic dermatitis (a skin allergic disorder). Antibiotics are used to treat infectious diseases that are caused by bacteria. Apoquel may increase the risk of developing an infection.