Note: The following suggested dose is for Benadryl formulations containing diphenhydramine as the only the active ingredient. The usual dosage of Benadryl for dogs is 1 mg/lb every 8 to 12 hours (two to three times daily). In certain situations (e.g. following a snake bite) 2 mg/lb per dose may be given instead. When used for allergies, it is best if the medicine is given before exposure to the allergen. Don’t give any amount to your dog without checking with your vet first, as the dosage can differ depending on several factors including your dog’s medical history. It’s also important to determine the cause of symptoms before administering the medicine. When treating a small dog it’s better to use the children’s formula which contains smaller amounts of active ingredient, making it easier to measure out an accurate dose. The chart and calculator below will help you find the usual dosage for your dog.
When used on a long-term basis (which is often the case when treating allergies), the effectiveness of Benadryl can diminish, so it’s best to rotate through different antihistamines in this case. Cetirizine, loratadine and chlorpheniramine are just a few examples of common antihistamines which work well for allergies. In medical settings, diphenhydramine will sometimes be injected, either intravenously, into muscle, or under the skin (although subcutaneous injection is not recommended in humans). When this route of administration is used, the dosage usually ranges between 0.25 – 0.9 mg/lb. How long does it take to start working? Diphenhydramine takes about 30 minutes to start working when taken orally. If you’re using it to treat anxiety in dogs or to prevent motion sickness, administer the medicine 30 minutes before the stressful event or journey is expected.
Some formulations may use a concentration of 6.25 mg per 5 mL, which means you will have to use twice as much as normal.
Topical: Benadryl is also available in the form of cream, gel, stick, or spray, usually containing 1% diphenhydramine (or 2% in the extra strength formula), which can be applied topically 2 – 3 times daily. The local anesthetic properties of the drug can help to reduce itching. Many people forget that they are using medicines when applying topical products, but even though little is absorbed meaning side effects are rare, applying far too much can lead to overdose symptoms just as though you had used too many tablets or too much liquid. This danger can soon add up if you have also given your dog Benadryl tablets/liquid, or other antihistamine products. There are several topical diphenhydramine products made specifically for animals including Atopicream® and Benasoothe®. The gels and creams are often applied up to three times a day, while the shampoos and the conditioners are usually only used once a day or once a week. If you are using shampoo/conditioner you should leave it on your dog for at least 10 minutes before washing it off. Keep in mind that using topicals can sometimes cause irritation or sensitivity at the application site(s), especially through prolonged use. Topicals should never be applied to blistered patches of skin. Warning: Avoid the Benadryl “Itch Cooling Gel” which contains camphor, as this substance is poisonous to dogs.
Formulations containing cetirizine are indicated for use in the treatment of dermatitis. The dosage per day is typically as follows:
According to one study, a dosage of 0.45 mg/lb (1 mg/kg) once daily was sufficient to control itching in 18% of treated dogs. Because cetirizine rarely causes sedation, it is not as effective for preventing anxiety during storms, fireworks or other stressful events. Acrivastine Formulations containing acrivastine also contain pseudoephedrine which can be dangerous in high doses. For this reason, products containing acrivastine should be avoided.
The temptation to reach into our medicine cabinets to treat our pets can be dangerous. Humans and dogs react very differently to medications, which is why veterinarians caution dog owners against making independent decisions about how to medicate their animals. However, some human medications are safe for use with dogs, as long as they are used appropriately.
Veterinarians use diphenhydramine, commonly known by the brand name Benadryl, for dogs on a regular basis to treat allergies, travel anxiety, and motion sickness. While you should always consult with your veterinarian before giving your dog a human medication, here is what you need to know about using Benadryl for dogs.
Benadryl is the brand name for the active ingredient diphenhydramine HCl. Diphenhydramine is a first-generation ethanolamine-derivative antihistamine, which is the scientific way of classifying antihistamines that can cross the blood-brain barrier – making them very effective but also increasing risks of adverse side effects. While Benadryl is not yet FDA-approved for veterinary use, it is considered safe for use in dogs and cats and is commonly used in veterinary practices across the U.S.
Diphenhydramine works by blocking the receptors that receive histamines in the body. This relieves many of the symptoms associated with allergies, like itching, sneezing, and hives. The body still produces histamines, but the receptor antagonist blocks the receptors from registering the histamines.
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 you break open a Benadryl capsule?
Do not crush or chew extended-release tablets or capsules. Doing so can release all of the drug at once, increasing the risk of side effects. Also, do not split extended-release tablets unless they have a score line and your doctor or pharmacist tells you to do so.
Keep them small enough to swallow without chewing. Press the gel capsule into the center of one. … Feed three without the capsule to your dog quickly, then give her the one containing the capsule, then follow it with the last two plain bites to mask any taste from the capsule.
Can dogs have Benadryl softgels?
How much Benadryl liquid gel can I give my dog?
A small dog will need much less than a big dog to receive the same positive effects. 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.
Does Benadryl liquid gels contain xylitol?
How much Benadryl capsule can I give my dog?
According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, the standard dose for Benadryl is 2-4 milligrams per kilogram of body weight, or 0.9-1.8 milligrams (mg) of Benadryl per pound. Therefore, a simple and practical dose is 1 mg of Benadryl per pound of your dog’s weight, given 2-3 times a day.