How to Treat Hives on a Dog

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Things You'll Need

  • Antihistamine

  • Hydrocortisone spray

  • Milk of Magnesia

  • Aloe vera gel (not pure aloe vera from the leaf, as this can be harmful to dogs)

  • Tea tree oil


Your veterinarian may change your dog's food to a brand that is higher in the concentrations of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to improve his immune system and fight allergic reactions.

Take note of what your pet was doing before the appearance of hives. This will help your vet determine the cause of the condition and what treatments to administer.

Immediate hypersensitivity occurs as an allergic reaction to an inhalant, something in your dog's environment or food. It manifests itself in an intense, itchy rash, called hives, or urticaria. The allergic reaction causes red, swollen areas to appear on your dog within minutes or hours. The hives are usually on his legs, eyelids, neck, back or flanks. If hives occur from a bee sting, your precious pet may experience swelling around his face and lips, resulting in anaphylaxis, which can lead to death. As soon as you see hives on your dog, get him to the veterinarian immediately to determine the course of treatment, which may be antihistamine or corticosteroid injections.


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Step 1

Follow your veterinarian's directions when giving your canine friend antihistamine pills or applying it in a spray form to your pet. The dosage and frequency will depend on your dog's circumstances and diagnosis.

Step 2

Use hydrocortisone spray as prescribed by your veterinarian on your dog's hives. This type of spray decreases itching so he does not continue to scratch and eventually cause the lesions to become infected.


Step 3

Administer the amount of Milk of Magnesia to your dog as recommended by your veterinarian for food allergies. Milk of Magnesia will coat his stomach to lessen the effects of hives and decrease itching.

Step 4

Give your dog a bath in cool water with the addition of aloe vera gel, or tea tree oil as directed by your vet. This decreases the redness, swelling and itching of hives.


A word of caution: aloe vera gel is fine to use on your dog, but never apply aloe straight from the aloe leaf, as this could be harmful if the dog licks it. Pure aloe contains saponins, which can be toxic if ingested by the dog.

Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.