Atopy in Dogs – Contact or Inhalant Allergy in Canines

What’s that to you? Just an itchy dog with foot licking and pink ears and who spits up foam every once in a while, after some alarming sounding  gacking and hacking.

I am a believer that Atopy is principally (if not entirely) CONTACT irritation or allergy to ground level micropollution. Smog and pollen plus hot air, plus atmospheric nitrogen:: SMOGGENPOLLEN sounds like a sinister German childrens book monster. It’s really just a VERY irritating concoction that gets on dogs and cats fur and lights it up with tingling and itching. It’s not “technically” allergy but all the same inflammatory components are in play. But inhaled?

It’s maintained by doctors who know a lot more than me, that Atopy is an inhaled allergy except I think they thought that initially because they started documenting it when airborne allergens were profuse. Figured the pets were inhaling it?

Managing atopy is all about keeping the dust off of, and out of the dogs.

Managing atopy is all about keeping the dust off of, and out of the dogs. Wet wash cloths and baby wipes form the underpinnings of the dermatology of Atopy. My daughter has a severely atopic dog, and hers is maintained without medicine by a baby wiping every day and the paws after walking outside. But lots of people don’t have that kind of time, or that kind of good luck.

The basics of Atopy are:

  • Antihistamines
  • Baby Wipes or Wet Wash Cloths for feet and belly as needed
  • Moisturizers for the coat / skin (Pantene)
  • Foot wiping on the daily


  • Steroid (lots of thirst)
  • Apoquel (cancer)
  • Cytopoint (no cancer)


  • CBD Cannabidiol


Print this document about how to make a spray using Pantene Pro V Conditioner and some water in a spray bottle. Everything is explained with images too.

Pantene Conditioner Spray (Home Made) Controls the “Dry Skin” aspect of dog itchy skins. 

Dr Erik Johnson is a Marietta, Georgia Veterinarian with a practice in small animal medicine. He graduated from University of Georgia with his Doctorate in 1991. Dr Johnson is the author of several texts on Koi and Pond Fish Health and Disease as well as numerous articles on dog and cat health topics.