This study evaluated the efficacy of PhytopicaTM, a proprietary blend of standardised plant extracts, in canine atopic dermatitis (AD). One hundred twenty dogs with perennial AD were recruited on the basis of history and clinical signs, and a positive intradermal allergen test or rFcεRIα serology to perennial allergens. Other pruritic dermatoses were eliminated by antimicrobial treatment, skin scrapings, Sarcoptes serology, flea control and a 6-week food trial. Exclusion criteria included antimicrobial therapy within 7 days, antihistamines within 14 days, oral/topical glucocorticoids or cyclosporin within 28 days, and parenteral glucocorticoids, essential fatty acids or immunotherapy within 56 days of entry into the study. Dogs [minimum Canine Atopic Dermatitis Extent and Severity Index (CADESI) = 25] were randomly allocated to receive placebo, 100, 200 or 400 mg/kg PhytopicaTM daily for 12 weeks. Their CADESI was assessed every 4 weeks. A modified intention-to-treat population was analysed. The mean reductions in CADESI scores at the end of treatment compared to baseline were 4.4% (100 mg/kg; n = 30), 23.4% (200 mg/kg; n = 29, P < 0.01), 8.5% (400 mg/kg; n = 29) and 3.9% (placebo; n = 29). For more severely affected dogs (minimum CADESI ≥ 50 at baseline), there was significant reduction in mean CADESI score (29.3%, P = 0.038) only in the 200 mg/kg treatment group (n = 14). In conclusion, this study demonstrates that PhytopicaTM is an effective nonsteroidal treatment for canine AD.