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What If Your Dog’s Allergies Are Triggered While You’re Traveling?


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Are your dog’s allergies threatening to derail your epic road trip? What should you do? Fortunately, there are some ways to manage his reaction so it doesn’t ruin your vacation.

Dog has allergies on a trip? Here's how to help. Itching Shiba Inu in bed


As you set out on a road trip, you probably won’t give much thought to your dog’s allergies. But once you spend a few sleepless nights listening to your pooch scratch, his condition will likely move to the top of your priority list!

If your pup has lived her entire life in one climate, you might not even know that she has environmental allergies. For example, a desert dog might never have encountered germinating grass. Or your lakeside-living pup might not have experienced the dust common in the desert.

As we traveled around the U.S., we were surprised to find that our dog, Buster, was allergic to something (or everything!) in the Pacific Northwest. Hopefully, our experience helps you.

Dog has allergies - Buster in T-shirt


Discovering Your Dog’s Allergies

Perhaps it was a particular plant that flourished in the Northwest. Or maybe a mold or fungus that thrived in that rainy and humid environment that irritated Buster. Whatever the cause, allergies seriously got under Buster’s skin. And soon we were all irritated.

The poor boy scratched himself raw. And, if you’ve ever had a dog with allergies, you know that the fact that Buster was miserable was enough to drive us all crazy.

Fortunately, wearing his Thundershirt (Amazon) during the day and a long-sleeved t-shirt at night, kept Buster from hurting himself. Slowly, the big red scratch marks disappeared. But that didn’t solve the underlying problem.

Ty and Buster at the Deepest Lake in the US

So, we called Buster’s veterinarian. Based on our description, he concurred that allergies where the likely culprit and suggested an over-the-counter allergy medication. Buster took it for a few days, but we didn’t see any improvement.

What the heck, we haven’t done the emergency animal hospital thing in a while … who wants to go to the vet?!

READ MORE ⇒ What You Should Know About Emergency Vets (Before You Need One)

Buster the German Shepherd Dog laying on the floor in the veterinary clinic


Seeking Allergy Relief On The Road

Buster might have been desperate for some relief. Or perhaps he just forgot what the word “vet” means. Either way, he was ready to go … immediately!

Ty and Buster in RAV4

Seeing An Emergency Vet

At the hospital, Buster was super-friendly – even more than his usual happy-go-lucky self. I suspect he was manipulating the other pet owners in the waiting room to scratch under his Thundershirt where he couldn’t reach. He was not above using people.

Dog has allergies - Buster sleeping at Vet in Thundershirt


The doctor was great, and agreed that Buster was likely suffering from environmental allergies. She prescribed a one-week course of steroids to help relieve the itching. And we got an oatmeal shampoo to help sooth his inflamed skin.

She also suggested a different over-the-counter antihistamine to see if it gave him better results. The vet did warn us that, until we knew how drowsy the allergy medication would make him, Buster shouldn’t be driving the motorhome.

As soon as we got back to camp, Buster got a bath with his new shampoo – which he loved!

Buster getting a bath


Allergy Treatment Results

The new medication and the shampoo did the trick for Buster! The itching cleared up quickly. And believe me, he was not the only one who felt relieved!

Be Prepared In Case Your Dog Has Allergies

Are you planning to be a full time nomad with your pets? Taking your dog on an epic road trip? Or just planning a vacation to a setting that’s different from your dog’s usual home? Learn from our experience with Buster and be prepared in case the environment triggers your dog’s allergies.


Before You Leave

You might not think to contact your vet before a two-week vacation. But hopefully our story shows that it’s a good idea!

Make sure to ask your veterinarian which allergy medications (and other over-the-counter drugs) are safe to give to your dog. And make a note of the proper dosages.

Once you have the information, add those medications to your travel first aid kit. Use a piece of masking tape and a pen to put your dog’s dosage on the bottle so you aren’t scrambling for the info when you need it.

And don’t forget to pack a good anti-itch shampoo in your dog’s travel bag. It could be hard to buy on the road if you’re camping in a remote area.

Note: It can take two weeks or more for some medications to have an impact on skin allergies – so it’s normal not to see immediate improvement.

READ MORE ⇒ How To Make A Pet First Aid Kit For Your Car

Dog has allergies? Man holding pill with dog in background.


Additional Things You Can Do To Relieve Your Dog’s Allergies

There are some things you can do while you’re traveling to lessen the chance that your dog’s allergies will be triggered in a new vacation spot.

  • Use a wet paper towel or wet wipes to remove any pollen from your dogs feet, legs, and belly after every outing.
  • If your dog is showing mild signs of allergic reaction, use a Lunatec pressurized spray bottle (Amazon) to rinse him off after walking through vegetation.
  • Consider bathing your dog when you return from longer walks or hikes that might have exposed him to allergens.
  • Search for veterinarians in your travel area on GoPetFriendly.com and bookmark them on your phone in case you need one.

Giving your dog a through once-over after hikes is also a great opportunity to look for ticks, fox tails, or small injuries.

READ MORE ⇒ Getting Veterinary Care While Traveling With Pets

Rinse after a hike if your dog has allergies - Dog biting water stream


All of this might feel like overkill if your pup has never had allergies. But believe me, no one will get any rest if your dog’s allergies act up!

Unfortunately for Buster, his people were a little slow on the uptake. We hope your dog can benefit from our experience!

Visit our Amazon store to learn about more products we rely on to make traveling with pets easier, safer, and more fun!

Amazon Affiliate Disclosure: GoPetFriendly.com LLC is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide
a means for website owners to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com, audible.com, and any other website that may be affiliated with Amazon
Service LLC Associates Program. As an Amazon Associate, the owner of this site earns a commission from qualifying purchases.

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