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Nobody wants to see their dog scratching all the time. It doesn’t matter whether your dog has atopic dermatitis, food allergies, or something else; scratching can just make the situation worse. Furthermore, no one has the time to sweep up all of that stray hair or stay up all night consoling their pooch.

Don’t let those annoying itches ruin your day all of the time. Apoquel is capable of resolving the itch! Apoquel provides a promising cure for itchy dogs by targeting the source of the problem.

Let’s take a closer look at Apoquel to learn more about it.

What is Apoquel?

Apoquel is an anti-itching product that works well against skin allergies. It begins to relieve allergic dog itch within 4 hours and controls it within 24 hours. Apoquel is administered twice daily for up to 14 days, followed by once-daily maintenance treatment. This is especially important for dogs suffering from atopic and allergic dermatitis. Apoquel is classified as a “selective Janus Kinase Inhibitor(AKA JAK).

JAKs serve a variety of vital roles in the body. They not only regulate the body’s inflammatory response, but also protect the body from tumor formation, promote development and growth, and aid in the formation of red and white blood cells.

Apoquel contains the immunomodulator oclacitinib as an active ingredient (a chemical agent that affects the activity of the immune system). Oclacitinib is essential because it prevents Janus Kinases from being activated. Apoquel inhibits JAKs, reducing itchiness and inflammation in dogs with allergic and atopic dermatitis.

How Does Apoquel Work?

Apoquel, a Zoetis product, is a Janus Kinase Inhibitor (JAK inhibitor) that works by inhibiting the immune system’s response to signals that cause itchy allergic reactions. In allergy studies, the JAK inhibitor was shown to chemically modify the brain in order to control the itch.

Apoquel, taken twice daily, may be used to treat all types of allergic reactions by reducing itching: allergic dermatitis, atopic dermatitis, skin infection, irritant touch dermatitis, food allergies, pruritus, and external parasite-related reactions.

[Also Read: One Thing All Dogs Should Have – Healthy Skin and Coat]

Benefits of Apoquel for Dogs

  • Apoquel is suitable for both short and long-term use.
  • The effects begin immediately.
  • Using this treatment will not damage your dog’s immune system. At best, the effect is negligible.
  • Comes in easily digestible tablets.
  • It only takes 24 hours for your dog to be free of pruritus.
  • You are not required to discontinue any other ongoing treatments. Apoquel is safe and compatible with antibiotics, vaccines, and parasiticides.

Apoquel Dosage

Apoquel is typically administered in tablet form at 0.4-0.6mg per kilo of body weight, or 0.18-0.27mg per pound of body weight, every 12 hours or twice a day. Apoquel can be administered to dogs over the age of 12 months for 14 days, during which the veterinarian would most likely decrease the dose to once a day.

The 14-day mark is noteworthy as it is clinically not permitted to administer more than two applications of a drug per day after 14 days, so use Apoquel only once a day when the time comes.

This is because Apoquel suppresses the dog’s immune system, which we don’t want to maintain at a low level for too long. We may expose our dogs to diseases such as ear infections and parasites by suppressing their immune systems.

Apoquel is taken as a tablet and comes in three sizes: 3.6mg, 5.4mg, and 16mg. It can be administered with or without food. Consult your veterinarian to determine the proper dose and course of treatment.

Apoquel’s Common Side Effects

All treatments can pose a risk to your dog, but some pose a greater risk than others. Although certain conventional treatments, such as Apoquel, have minor side effects that make the risk worthwhile compared to others.

It is not difficult to prevent the side effects associated with conventional treatments such as Apoquel when used twice daily for a limited period of time.

Apoquel has been shown in clinical trials to inhibit the immune system and Janus Kinase enzymes; thus, it is only recommended for use up to 14 days. Although short-term immune suppression can benefit dogs, long-term immune suppression can have disastrous consequences. Our precious pup may become victims of neoplastic or infectious diseases such as demodicosis.

When giving Apoquel to your dog, keep a close eye on your pup and contact your veterinarian right away if you see any concerning signs.

Preventing Apoquel Side Effects

It’s one thing to recognize that your dog is having an Apoquel reaction, but it’s quite another to avoid it from occurring in the first place.

All Apoquel side effects can be minimized by taking precautionary steps before taking a dose.

Before starting Apoquel, dogs should have blood tests done. This is especially important for owners of older dogs, who are more likely to suffer from kidney or liver disease.

Apoquel can be extremely harmful to the liver. As a result, it is strongly recommended that a chemistry profile and blood count be performed after the first month, and then once a year after that.

What Sets Apoquel Apart From Other Treatments?

You may have tried other approaches to alleviate your dog’s allergic itch. Getting your dog the right treatment as soon as possible can help relieve their problems and save you money on treatments that don’t work.

Find out what sets Apoquel apart from other treatments.


  • Can help with allergies in humans, but they aren’t always effective in reducing allergic itch in dogs.
  • Since they don’t treat the underlying cause and the itch persists, they can put your dog at risk for allergic itch development and secondary skin infection.
  • In the majority of dogs with the allergic itch, they have little to no benefit in terms of handling flare-ups.


  • While it can provide temporary relief, it is not a good choice if your dog needs long-term care.
  • 50 percent of dog owners experience steroid side effects.
  • Even when used briefly, it can cause side effects such as heavy drinking and urination, increased appetite, and behavioral changes such as increased anxiety.

Home remedies

  • Although oatmeal baths, lotions, and other locally made topical treatments can provide temporary relief, they do not address the underlying cause of the allergic itch.

Can Apoquel be Combined with Other Treatments?

Apoquel is not contraindicated when combined with antibiotics, antifungals, anti-arthritic treatments, allergy shots or drops, any flea/tick/heartworm preventive, thyroid supplements, or seizure treatments. Without consulting your veterinarian, do not take the following treatments at the same time as Apoquel: Atopic or cortisone-type drugs

If your lovely furry friend is itchy or you think they might be allergic to something, make an appointment with your veterinarian and ask if Apoquel is the right treatment to use for them.


Jesse McDaniel is an animal activist that raises concerns and spreads awareness regarding pet health issues. She is also a self-proclaimed pet lover who tends to support many pet shelters, assisting them with supplies and medical aid on a regular basis.