Benadryl for Dogs – Giving Dogs Benadryl & Benadryl Dosage for Dogs

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If you suffer from motion sickness or allergies, you may have consumed benadryl in the form of a syrup or a tablet. While this product is primarily useful for relieving the symptoms of allergic reactions on humans, it can also be used for curing allergic conditions in dogs (such as itchiness and inflammation). It needs to be noted that without prior consultation with your vet, you should avoid administering this medication to your pets. Here we will discuss facts on the safe usage of Benadryl for dogs.

Benadryl for Dogs, Is it safe to give my Dog Benadryl?

benadryl for dogs

What is Benadryl?

Benadryl is an antihistamine that is primarily used to treat hey fever and allergies in humans. With cetrizine, pseudoephedrine and acetaminophen being its prime ingredient, benadryl is readily available at local pharmaceutical stores. The prime drug used in this medicine is diphenhydramine.

What is it used for treating?

As mentioned above, it is an anti-allergic medicine that is primarily used for curing hey fever in humans. It is also used for curing itchiness and swelling in pets, which too is a resultant of pet allergies. This drug is also used for treating symptoms related to vomiting, stress, swelling, sleeplessness, motion sickness, hives and hypertension in pets.

Is Benadryl safe for Dogs?

While this drug works as an effective anti-allergic medicine for humans, if your chosen drug contain pseudoephedrine and acetaminophen then, it should not be administered to your beloved pet (as these two ingredients are harmful for your pets). These two active ingredients can prove toxic for pets if administered and may lead to increased blood pressure, increased heart rate and damage the liver.

Even cetrizine (an active ingredient of benadryl) may not be useful for treating your beloved pet’s ailments and should therefore be avoided. If your vet recommends benadryl to your ailing dog, choose the drug that contains diphenhydramine. Read the ingredient list carefully before administering benadryl to your beloved pet. Always seek your vet’s permission before giving this medicine to your dog.

Can my Benadryl be given to my Dog?

Yes, you can give the pet your benadryl medicine, as there is no pet-friendly variety of this drug available in the market. While the FDA has yet to approve the administration of this anti-allergic medicine on dogs, vets usually prescribe benadryl as it is effective in controlling allergic reactions in dogs. Besides, it does not cause any adverse side effects.

It is good to know that benadryl in its capsule form is not recommended for pets. Tablets are ideally meant to release the medicine in a phase-wise manner. If your dog chews it then he would end up consuming excessive dose of benadryl. If he swallows it then, the medicine may not be properly digested, resulting in it being ineffective for treating the ailment.

How does Benadryl work?

Benadryl reduces swelling and itchiness caused by allergic reactions. It reduces the actions of the histamine chemical present in our body. Histamine is responsible for providing relief to the human body from an allergic reaction. This chemical attaches itself to either the H1 or the H2 receptor.

When histamine attaches itself to the H2 receptor, it causes increased heart rate and excessive acid secretion in the abdominal region. When histamine attaches itself with the H1 receptors, it causes inflammation, itching and may hamper normal breathing. Dogs too have H1 and H2 receptors but their reaction quotient towards histamine is different from the reaction quotient present in humans.

This anti-allergic medicine is given to both dogs as well as humans to block the action of histamine and provide relief from its side effects. Please note that benadryl is ideal for treating the reactionary H1 receptor side effects (such as swelling and itchiness) and it does not help to combat H2 receptor side effects (high acid production or increased heart rate).

Benadryl Dosage for Dogs

How much is enough?

An ideal dose for a dog is 1 milligram of benadryl per pound of your pet’s body weight. Only use benadryl that contains diphenhydramine. Nonetheless, if your pet has been bitten by an insect that has led to an allergic reaction, you may increase the dose but only after consulting the doctor. In certain cases, you can even double the dose (2 milligrams per pound of your pet’s body weight).

How often is enough?

The ideal dosage is twice daily and in extreme cases thrice daily but no more. A minimum gap of 8 hours needs to be maintained between two doses. Always follow the dosage as prescribed by the vet. Avoid giving benadryl to your pet way too often else its effectiveness would reduce with time. In the case of prolonged administration of this medicine, take a periodical break or administer your dog with another anti-allergic medicine.

When shouldn’t you give your Dog Benadryl?

If your beloved pet is suffering from certain ailments then, you should avoid giving him this antihistamine. Some of the common ailments include heart diseases, lung diseases, enlarged prostrate, glaucoma, allergy to diphenhydramine and high blood pressure. In case your pet is pregnant, you need to seek the advice of a certified vet before administering benadryl. This is basically to safeguard the health of your pregnant pet and the unborn puppies.

Are there any Side Effects to Benadryl for Dogs?

Yes, in certain cases, benadryl may lead to adverse side effects in pets. Some of the common ones include dryness in the mouth, insomnia, lower amounts of urine, lack of appetite, an upset stomach and general illness. It is important to make note of the fact that each dog has a different sensitivity level to benadryl. In case of a severe reaction (which is highly unlikely and a resultant of your pet’s hypersensitivity to this antihistamine), consult your vet effective immediately.

How does Benadryl help Dogs?

  1. First and foremost, this drug is mainly used for treating any food related allergies.
  2. It is administered to your canine friend when the pet needs to be transported via an airplane or via road transport (as it combats motion sickness).
  3. It helps dogs recover from hives.
  4. As this medicine has sedative qualities, it helps soothe your pet during fireworks display or a thunderstorm.
  5. This antihistamine allows your pet to recover from an insect bite.

Benadryl for dogs: Pills, Syrup and Overdosing

Administering Benadryl for Dogs in the form of Pills or Liquid – Which is Better?

Both forms of benadryl are suitable for your canine friend. Liquid form is preferred as it is alcohol free. While administering liquid benadryl, please ensure that the dose should not exceed 0.4ml per pound of your dog’s weight. The diphenhydramine content should not exceed 12.5mg. Even pills are good and an ideal dose for a dog is 1 milligram of benadryl per pound of your pet’s body weight.

How to Administer Benadryl for Dogs?

You can hide pills in the dog’s food. Alternatively, you can hide these pills within treats. Throwing treats in the air for your pet to catch is ideally the best way to administers this drug without the dog even knowing what is present inside the treat.

Liquid forms of this medicine should be administered into the pet’s mouth using a syringe. This allows you to administer the correct dose. To make your dog get used to drinking the medicine using a syringe, start by administering drinking water via syringes before moving on to the liquid medicine.

What to do in case of an Overdose?

If you mistakenly administered an extra dose of benadryl, seek a vet’s advice. You can detect whether your pet has been administered an overdose by noticing the following symptoms – muscle spasms, tiredness, irregular heartbeat, difficulty in breathing, high blood pressure or increased body temperature. In case of a high overdose, your dog may suffer from a seizure, so take him to a vet immediately.

Benadryl for Dogs – Concluding Words:

It is highly recommended that you first consult your vet before administering this medication to your beloved pet. While this anti-allergen is considered safe for pets, it should not be given to your canine friend without the prior approval of your vet. While administering this medicine, it is important that you stick to the prescribed doses. An overdose may lead to serious side effects, which in turn may require medical treatment.

As is the case with any other medicine, benadryl takes half an hour to forty five minutes to show its effects on your pet. After an hour of administering the drug, you should find your pet in a much better state.

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If you would like to find out more information regarding Benadryl for Dogs, be sure to check out this article on PetMD.

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