If your dog suffers from allergies or has an allergy, the solution can be found in your medicine cabinet or your neighborhood drugstore. We’re talking about Benadryl. While other human drugs should NOT be used on our canine companions, Benadryl is safe to use with the right dosage.
Benadryl, also known by its active ingredient diphenhydramine, is an antihistamine that alleviates both human and dog allergy symptoms.
Benadryl has a variety of uses when it comes to your dog’s health. In this article, we explain how to give your dog Benadryl, the proper dosage according to body weight, and its potential side effects. We also have suggestions for natural alternatives to Benadryl, which is dog food for allergies.
What Is Benadryl Used for With Dogs?
Benadryl is often prescribed to treat some of the common problems due to environmental allergies, allergic reactions to stings, and insect bites. Benadryl for dogs is also used as a precaution against reactions from vaccinations. Additionally, Benadryl is effective in preventing motion sickness in dogs, and also acts as a mild sedative.
Diphenhydramine, which is one of the ingredients of Benadryl, is a first-generation antihistamine and is known as highly effective but can also enhance the risks of adverse effects when it is compared to some of the milder second-generation antihistamines, which are available on the market.
Veterinarians, despite not being approved by the FDA, consider Benadryl safe for use with dogs and cats. It is widely prescribed in veterinary clinics throughout the United States.
Dogs that are suffering from mild or moderate allergies will find relief from Benadryl because it is an effective medication. Benadryl also provides relief against seasonal, environmental, and food allergies apart from allergic reactions caused by snake bites. It is in most cases used as a medication to deal with itchiness in the dog which may be caused by skin allergies.
Benadryl for dogs has the potential to reduce other symptoms of allergies which include the following:
Anxious dogs can easily be calmed when Benadryl is administered because of the drowsiness it causes. The veterinary manual issued by Merck mentions that diphenhydramine has the potential to relieve symptoms of mild or moderate anxiety which is generally associated with pets during travel and may also help to relieve symptoms of motion sickness during rides in vehicles and aircraft.
Veterinarians also prescribe diphenhydramine as a form of treatment for heartworms because it can help to prevent allergic reactions associated with treatment therapies for heartworm. A pet emergency kit will not be complete without adding Benadryl and pet owners who do not have an emergency kit must consider having one without delays. Infographic: Top tips when using Benadryl with Dogs
When dog Benadryl is used as prescribed by the veterinarian it is an effective and safe medication for dogs. However, pet owners are advised to observe their dogs closely after Benadryl is administered to ensure that the dog does not suffer from any adverse reactions. Pet owners who are not certain about the reactions or have further questions should not hesitate to contact their veterinarian for advice.
Benadryl should not be used without advice from a veterinarian, especially if a dog has any of the following conditions:
Side Effects of Benadryl for Dogs
The common side effects associated with the use of Benadryl with dogs include the following:
Some much rarer side effects also exist in the form of:
The side effects mentioned generally occur within the first hour of exposure to Benadryl and therefore it is advised that the dog is monitored during the initial stages.
Despite recommendations being made by the veterinary manual from Merck that 2 to 4 mg of Benadryl is safe for every kilogram of the dog’s body weight 2 to 3 times every day, information has also been published that the dosage can differ depending on the existing medical condition of the dog.
The best method to accurately ascertain the dosage of Benadryl for dogs will be available from the veterinarian. Administering the proper dosage is extremely important to derive the maximum benefits of Benadryl. The veterinary manual from Merck recommends the administration of 2 to 4mg of Benadryl for every kilogram of the dog’s body weight, about 2 to 3 times every day. However, differences in the dosage can be witnessed depending on any existing medical condition in the dog, as well as its overall fitness.
Just because Benadryl is available over-the-counter pet owners cannot consider it absolutely safe. They need to understand that an overdose can occur and affect the central nervous system and can also be fatal if administered incorrectly. The warning signs, which should be monitored, are the following:
Very rarely, dogs may develop allergic reactions to Benadryl apart from overdosing on the medication when it is administered incorrectly. Benadryl is a medication, which is used to treat allergies in dogs and they should be monitored closely after Benadryl has been administered initially to ensure that the symptoms do not worsen. Contacting the veterinarian or a hospital for veterinary care is essential if dogs are exhibiting signs of an overdose of Benadryl.
Time-release capsules for dogs are not advised because they are absorbed differently in animals when compared to humans and have the potential to affect the dosage of the dog. Time-release capsules can also break open when being chewed and put the dog at the risk of receiving excess medication on a single occasion and exposing it to the risk of an overdose.
Pet owners who decide to use liquid Benadryl for dogs are advised to use liquid formula prepared for children because alcohol is not used as an ingredient despite containing sodium. Benadryl pills that are manufactured for children are also appropriate for use with dogs of a small variety.
It must be understood that there is a difference between the dosage of Benadryl pills and liquid Benadryl and therefore a consultation must be had with the veterinarian for the appropriate dosage to be administered. Pet owners can easily increase the ease and the accuracy of the administration by using a syringe, which will prove effective.
Can I Give My Dog Benadryl?
Cetirizine Cetirizine is sometimes prescribed by vets for the treatment of itching. Cetirizine doesn’t cross the blood-brain barrier in large amounts, meaning there are generally fewer side effects (including less chance of drowsiness). However, dogs with kidney or liver disease are at a higher risk of complications.
Always consult with your vet before giving medicine to your pet, and avoid using time-release capsules made for humans. Because of a dog’s anatomy these capsules are not usually digested fully when swallowed whole. To help the vet decide whether your pet is suitable for treatment, be sure to tell them:
Avoid using with other anticholinergic drugs (which includes tricyclic antidepressants), as this could lead to symptoms of toxicity. Combining diphenhydramine with depressants is likely to cause stronger sedation. There are also a few other medicines that can react with diphenhydramine. Pregnancy & Nursing Warning: Diphenhydramine is not recommended for use during pregnancy (especially when the animal is near term), though your vet may advise otherwise under specific circumstances. It is to be avoided or used with caution in nursing dogs, especially with newborn pups, as the drug is passed in milk.
Can I give a Benadryl capsule to my dog?
How much gel Benadryl can I give my dog?
According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, the safe dosage is 2-4 milligrams of medication per kilogram of weight, or 0.9 to 1.8 milligrams per pound. This amount can be administered two to three times daily, depending on your dog’s symptoms.
What liquid Benadryl can I give my dog?