Is Apoquel the Best Allergy Medicine for Your Dog?

From itchy skin to red eyes and constant sneezing, allergies are never fun. It doesn’t affect humans alone, as dogs suffer from allergies too. And when left untreated, these allergies can cause various health problems, and pet owners won’t recognise them in the first place as the dogs are covered in fur. Meanwhile, veterinarians usually prefer Apoquel for dogs as it remains a reliable medication.

Apoquel – An Overview

Apoquel is a vet-prescribed allergy medication for dogs and is the brand name of an oral medication (oclacitinib). It’s going to be a decade since the drug got FDA approval. And after its approval, it became one of the most popularly prescribed anti-itch medications for dogs. So, whether it is flea allergies, contact allergies, or atopic dermatitis, you can go for Apoquel. Meanwhile, atopic dermatitis or atopy is a common skin allergy in dogs that sprouts due to environmental factors.

You can buy Apoquel for dogs in three different strengths, costing around two hundred dollars per 100 tablets. This drug is a selective Janus Kinase inhibitor (JAK1 and JAK3 enzymes) in the dog’s body. When these enzymes are blocked in the dog’s body, it reduces the allergic reaction to itching and inflammation. The immunosuppressant provides relief within four hours, and the drug’s effectiveness can last nearly a day.

So, you may eliminate itchiness in your dog by providing Apoquel twice a day and may treat any form of allergic reaction. It is essential to know that dogs are allergic to several things, like pollen, dust mites, animal dander, and more. Moreover, the symptoms of allergies in dogs are pretty identical to human beings. You might notice signs like bald spots in the fur, hotspots, scratching due to constant itch, runny nose, sneezing, red skin, head shaking, discharge from the eyes, and body odour.

Know Why Your Dog Is Scratching Continuously

Dogs with atopy commonly scratch due to itchiness, but there are other reasons. From fleas to dog ticks and mosquitos, your dog may experience itchiness for several reasons. Besides this, an underlying health issue can be the cause. Anxiety in dogs is considered the leading cause of hot spot development in dogs, and those are infected lesions or tears in the skin, and they fall prey to severe infections.

Perks of Taking Apoquel for Allergic Reactions in Dogs  

As specified earlier, the dogs will find relief within four hours and keeps the itch away for at least 24 hours. So, whether your dog is healing or needs relief, this drug can be an immediate choice to treat the allergic reaction.

Apoquel is the most popular choice and is not a steroid-based medication. Meanwhile, many allergy medications will contain some type of steroid, so pet owners go for a better alternative without steroids. Also, it is a known fact that steroid-based medicines can result in harmful side effects like excessive thirst, urination, and problems in the immune system.


Apoquel is usually prescribed twice a day for two weeks; subsequently, the dosage will be decreased to once a day. As such, you can gradually cease its usage, and you can give this medication with or without food. However, the dosage is based on the dog’s weight, usually around 0.4 – 0.6 milligrams per kg of the dog’s body weight.

Apoquel is one of the best medications to treat allergic reactions in dogs and is considered safe. There are little to no side effects, and can be used with other medications. But, you must consult the dog’s veterinarian and ensure the drugs suit the pet’s allergic reactions. Also, you must buy the medications from reliable drugstores as there are a plethora of fake pharmacies on the internet.