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.
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 Dogs Take Benadryl for Anxiety?
Benadryl has some efficacy in the prevention of motion sickness in dogs and as a mild sedative, but the effects are not the same as with people. Some dogs and cats can actually have the opposite reaction to Benadryl, causing hyperactivity instead of sedation.
If your dog has anxiety, or they get nervous while traveling, talk with your veterinarian to determine a course of treatment. It might involve making changes to your dog’s environment, behavioral training, or tools such as anxiety vests and pheromones.
When to Avoid Giving Your Dog Benadryl
Benadryl may negatively interact with other medications. Do not use Benadryl with any central nervous system depressants, or on a pet with high blood pressure, seizures, bladder issues, lung disease, or glaucoma. If your dog is having difficulty breathing or swelling in the facial area, take them to the vet ASAP. It is always important to monitor how your dog reacts to medicine or supplements to make sure that your dog is reacting well to the ingredients. This is especially important if your dog has a known health history or if it is the first time you are giving this medication to your dog.