Pet owners often ask: What can you do to help with your dog’s allergies? Here, I’ll export if there’s any safer options than Apoquel.
Drug-based alternatives to Apoquel include Cytopoint®, Atopica®, Temaril-P® as well as other corticosteroids. Non-drug alternatives include immunotherapy injections, allergen avoidance and regular bathing.
Natural alternatives to Apoquel include:
- Omega-3 supplements
- Air purifiers
- Herbal topical treatment
- Baking soda
- Apple cider vinegar
- Green tea
Apoquel is commonly used for allergies and dermatitis in dogs. However, it isn’t cost-effective. Below, you’ll find cost-effective alternatives to this drug. Although Apoquel is highly effective, it’s not the only way to alleviate your dog’s allergies. Next, you’ll read on about some of the other purchasable remedies and remedies that you can prepare at home. Finally, you’ll learn about what else you can do for your dog with allergies.
What is Apoquel?
Apoquel is a brand name of oclacitinib, which is an FDA-approved, immune suppressant drug. It’s used to treat chronic itching, allergies, and severe skin conditions. It is also usually prescribed atopic dermatitis, which is a chronic skin disease that has no cure.
Apoquel suppresses itching and allergies by binding with the protein receptors in your dog’s skin and blocking out the proteins that cause itching. It relieves the common symptoms of allergies with minimal effects on the immune system. It is a fast-acting drug with short-term effects, so it is usually prescribed at a daily dose.
This drug was developed by Zoetis, a global health company that creates medicines and vaccines for animals. They developed Apoquel as an alternative to steroids, which most pet owners use to treat allergies but have several negative side effects. Apoquel provides quick relief for your dog’s itching symptoms and is said to have long-term itch reduction.
Reasons for Trying Apoquel Alternatives
Since you’re looking for alternatives for trying, you probably have a reason for doing so. Here’s three reasons as to why you might want to try an alternative to Apoquel:
- Side Effects
- Links to cancer
- Expensive pricing
1. Side Effects
Although Apoquel offers immediate relief for what could be a lifelong disease that your dog has been facing, it also has its own set of negative side effects. Like most medications, its side effects include vomiting and diarrhea, but it also has special side effects. How Apoquel works can make your dog prone to other health issues.
The most common medical problems that Apoquel can make your dog prone to include ear infections, mange, and pneumonia. Apoquel is also known to reduce the white blood cell count in dogs after long-term use which leads to extreme weight loss, lethargy, and high cholesterol.
2. Links to Cancer
The most serious problem with Apoquel is that studies have shown that it can be linked to cancer in dogs. As listed among its side effects, Apoquel can exacerbate neoplastic conditions. During its lab testing phase of development, it was found that this drug can make pre-existing cancer conditions worse. This is because it affects your dog’s immune system, which in turn makes its body’s ability to fight cancer weaker.
If your dog has genes that make them prone to cancer, or already has cancer, then Apoquel would be a terrible choice for alleviating any itching or allergies. While there is no direct link between Apoquel and cancer, it can’t be denied that your dog is more prone to cancer while taking it. A long-term study has even found that 5% of dogs developed cancer within a year of taking Apoquel.
3. Expensive Pricing
Apoquel costs nearly $3 dollars per tablet and nearly $100 for a bottle. This is what usually leads pet owners to look for alternatives to this drug. Since its development, the price for Apoquel hasn’t changed much. It has dominated the market for allergy and itching treatments for dogs. Before Apoquel was developed, the go-to medication for pet itching and allergies was prednisone which is 800% cheaper.
Apoquel has easily beat prednisone and steroids due to its strong effectiveness despite its expensive price. However, when pet owners realize that their dogs will need to be on Apoquel for the rest of their lives, they become more averse to purchasing the expensive drug.
Fortunately, there are cheaper, safer, and more natural alternatives to Apoquel. The next few sections of this piece will give you important information on the other medications you can try for your dog or topical treatment that can help with chronic itching symptoms.
Omega-3 is found is a great dietary supplement for dogs. It supports positive health in your dog’s skin, fur, hearts, and joints. Before deciding to give your dog omega-3, you should consult with your veterinarian to make sure that it’s safe for your dog.
Omega-3 is available in tasty flavors for pets that’ll make your dog love taking its supplements. It can help treat and prevent skin and coat conditions like inflammation, itching, flaking, and hot spots. At the same time, it also protects your dog’s heart, immune system, and joints.
You can give your dog omega-3 supplements once a day to help prevent and relieve them of skin irritation symptoms. It might not work as rapidly as Apoquel, but if your veterinarian recommends it, these supplements don’t pose any dangerous side effects for your pup.
Skin allergies and irritation in your dog are commonly caused by environmental and inhalant allergens. It’s possible that your dog is allergic to dust or pollen that’s present in your home. These allergens can cause your dog to show common skin irritation symptoms.
If you find that your dog has allergies caused by its environment, a great way to turn things around is by purchasing an air purifier. An air purifier can easily eliminate any harmful substances in the air like dust, germs, pollen, and smoke.
Keep in mind that you should only consider an air purifier once you’ve confirmed that your dog’s skin problems are caused by environmental or inhalant allergens. You can figure this out by taking your dog to the vet and getting them tested to rule out other possible causes for their allergies or dermatitis.
Topical treatment is a solution that you can use to reduce itching and redness on your dog’s skin. This is a great alternative to Apoquel because it’s made of natural herbal ingredients that are totally safe for your dog.
Topical treatment is made to combat a certain type of yeast that exists on all dogs’ skin. When that yeast overgrows, it causes several skin problems. Apoquel, among other medical treatments, can cause a number of negative side effects trying to solve that yeast infection. On the other hand, topical treatments target the imbalances caused by the yeast and lessen unwanted symptoms without affecting your dog’s organs.
This treatment is simply applied to the affected areas of your dog’s skin. The dose will depend on your dog’s weight but over time, the symptoms will lessen and improve. Topical treatment can lessen chronic itching, sores, skin inflammation, redness, and fur loss.
4. Baking Soda
One of the ways that you can treat your dog’s skin problems with a baking soda solution. Baking soda is readily available in any market or grocery store. Instead of using Apoquel and worrying about its side effects, you can mix baking soda with warm water to create a paste and apply it to the affected areas on your dog’s skin.
Baking soda is a natural antiseptic that has safe antibacterial properties. It can soothe itching and redness in your dog’s skin by killing the germs and bacteria that cause it. It can also combat yeast infections, fungal infections, and other allergic reactions on your dog’s skin.
Baking soda pumice does not heal any inherent diseases that might be causing your skin problems. Before deciding to use this alternative, you must consult with your veterinarian to find out what is causing any kind of health issue on your skin.
Another natural skin treatment for your pup is apple cider vinegar. Much like baking soda, this is a topical treatment that soothes the different symptoms an allergy can cause, rather than cure. Apple cider vinegar contains a natural acid and healthy bacteria that can neutralize any imbalances in your dog’s skin that cause inflammation, redness, and irritation.
You can use apple cider vinegar to treat your dog’s skin problems by using it to dampen a cotton pad and applying it to the affected areas of your dog’s skin. It will take several days or weeks of consistent application to see any improvement but it does not pose any harmful side effects like Apoquel.
6. Green Tea
Green tea is rich in antioxidants and nutrients that can improve your dog’s skin condition. It’s rich in various properties that are anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal. It is widely used by people to treat skin problems, and it works just as well for dogs!
You can use green tea to treat your dog’s allergic reactions such as inflammation, redness, irritation, and sores. To use green tea as a topical treatment, simply steep some green tea in boiling water for 3-4 minutes. After the tea cools down, use it to dampen a cotton pad then wipe the cotton pad on the affected areas of your dog’s skin.
Apoquel is a fast-acting medicine that shows great results for relieving allergies and other skin problems that dogs face. It was developed to be the best solution for dogs that struggle with disease and infections that cause nasty symptoms. When it hit the market, it was well-received and loved by pet owners.
However, Apoquel isn’t perfect. It has been found to have a number of serious side effects and it isn’t budget-friendly. It might be better for your dog’s skin but worse for your dog’s overall health. Studies have shown that it negatively impacts a dog’s immune system and can even make it more prone to cancer. Fortunately, there are plenty of safer and more natural alternatives to Apoquel.
If your dog is experiencing allergies and skin problems, you can try out supplements to improve its immune system and skin health. You can also make improvements by using an air purifier to get rid of airborne allergens or topical treatment to soothe your dog’s skin. You can even use at-home solutions like baking soda, apple cider vinegar, or green tea. The best way to find an alternative is by consulting with a veterinarian and weighing out all your options.
Hey there! I’m Matt and I’m a content writer from the Philippines. I’ve raised over 10 dogs and 5 cats. I love taking care of my rescue dog Kewpie and my two rescue cats, Misty and Rosy.