Dogs are curious and energetic, so itâs inevitable that some of them will wind up in some sticky situations. From running through some poison ivy to getting stung by a bee, there are plenty of problems that can lead to your dog feeling itchy, uncomfortable, and swollen from an allergic reaction.Â
Your dog doesnât need to suffer, though. With a vetâs guidance, you can use diphenhydramine (Benadryl) to ease the worst of their allergy symptoms. Hereâs how Benadryl can be given to dogs safely.Â
Benadryl overdose. Ignoring any of these guidelines can lead to an overdose of diphenhydramine, with symptoms ranging from seizures to respiratory failure to a coma, depending on the size of the overdose. If you believe your dog has overdosed on Benadryl, contact your vet immediately and follow their instructions for emergency treatment.
Benadryl dosage for dogs. The correct dosage of diphenhydramine for dogs depends on their weight. 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. This amount can be administered two to three times daily, depending on your dogâs symptoms.Â
Risks of Benadryl for dogs. While the right dose of Benadryl is safe for most dogs, occasionally a dog may be allergic to the medication itself. An allergy to diphenhydramine will have similar symptoms to other allergies, including:
How do I calculate liquid Benadryl dose for dogs?
To calculate the liquid Benadryl (12.5 mg/5 ml) dose:
Benadryl and Dog Anxiety
We’ve answered the questions, “How much Benadryl can I give my dog?” and “Can I give my dog Benadryl for allergies?” But there are some other instances where diphenhydramine HCL is used for dogs. Here’s what you need to know.
Due to its side effect of drowsiness, some pet parents use Benadryl as a mild sedative for anxious dogs in overwhelming situations like vet visits, car rides, fireworks, or thunderstorms. The Merck Veterinary Manual states that Benadryl may relieve symptoms of mild-to-moderate anxiety in dogs, especially during travel.
If you have a pooch with anxiety, you might also want to consider a natural calming supplement. Calming hemp-based chews, for example, can help make stressful situations less of an anxiety-inducing process. Look for a dog supplement that has soothing active ingredients such as chamomile, ginger root, passion flower, and hemp oil. These ingredients work together to curb your dog’s anxiety by creating a calming effect.
Benadryl Dosage For Dogs Guide
Last updated Feb. 15, 2022. Reviewed for accuracy on Dec. 11, 2019 by JoAnna Pendergrass, DVM
Benadryl is not yet FDA-approved for veterinary use, but it is generally considered safe for use in dogs with mild-to-moderate allergies. Benadryl is a brand name for an antihistamine (diphenhydramine HCl) that can help alleviate symptoms of allergic reactions and even anxiety. Histamine is a substance released by mast cells (a type of immune cell) and is responsible for inflammation and other allergy symptoms. The active ingredient in Benadryl is diphenhydramine, which works by blocking histamine receptors on a cell’s surface, meaning that the receptors cannot ‘accept’ histamine that tries to attach and trigger an allergic reaction.
Symptoms of allergic reactions that can be treated with Benadryl include hives, swelling, and itching. Severe reactions, like anaphylaxis, can be life-threatening and should be treated by a veterinarian (who may give an injection of diphenhydramine along with other emergency injections).
Many veterinarians approve Benadryl for home use as a regular go-to treatment. It may be suitable for: