The desire to reach into your medicine closet to cure your dog is natural but potentially hazardous. Several human drugs may be safely administered to dogs if appropriately handled. Talk to your vet before giving your dog any over-the-counter medicine like Benadryl.
To treat dog allergies, travel jitters, dry mouth, high blood pressure, or motion sickness in dogs, veterinarians often prescribe diphenhydramine, better known by its trade name Benadryl to canines.
Read on to get complete details about Benadryl for dogs.
Do vets prescribe Benadryl?
Benadryl contains the active ingredient diphenhydramine HCl. Ethanolamine-derivative antihistamines, which may traverse the blood-brain barrier, are effective, but they also carry a high risk of side effects and allergic reactions.
Diphenhydramine is a first-generation antihistamine drug that falls into this category. Benadryl is FDA-approved for veterinary use and is widely used in veterinary offices throughout the United States to treat allergic reactions.
Diphenhydramine acts by inhibiting the body’s ability to process histamines. This treatment alleviates the itching, sneezing, and hives associated with an acute allergic reaction. However, the body continues to manufacture histamines, but the receptor antagonist stops them.
Can dogs take liquid Benadryl?
Benadryl often alleviates the allergy symptoms of seasonal allergies, food allergies, environmental allergies, and even allergy symptoms to snake and bug or insect bites.
When prescribed in the correct dosage, Benadryl can help settle agitated dogs. The medication also helps alleviate and relieve motion sickness.
Veterinarians also give Benadryl to dogs with mast cell tumors to reduce the consequences of mast cell degranulation-induced histamine production.
And Benadryl is a great item to keep in your first-aid kit in case your dog has a severe allergic reaction. The medication helps ease itchy skin, usually caused by allergies.
If you give your dog liquid Benadryl, avoid the adult formula because it often contains alcohol, which is toxic for dogs.
When to consult your vet about Benadryl for dogs?
Ask your veterinarian about your dog’s allergy symptoms before using Benadryl. There could be drug interactions, so before giving it to your dog, be sure to mention any other medications your dog takes.
If you notice signs of itchy or red eyes, your dog could have an allergy, leading to more significant health issues.
But beware, the medication could make your dog’s health worse in certain circumstances. The medication does not treat glaucoma or red, goopy eyes, indicating allergies.
Benadryl may lead to an overdose if you give your dog too much. For example, a hyper-excitable central nervous system might lead to death.
Other warning signs include:
- Anxiety-inducing heart rate
- Dilated eyes
- Extreme lethargy
Contact your veterinarian or emergency veterinary hospital immediately if you fear your dog has ingested too much Benadryl.
What’s the correct dose?
Consult your dog’s veterinarian to get the most accurate dose based on your pet’s weight. You can give your dog 1 mg of Benadryl per pound, so if your dog weighs 10 pounds, you can give your dog a 10 mg dose up to three times per day.
Jerry Klein, a chief veterinary officer for the American Kennel Club, recommends not giving a puppy Benadryl without consulting your vet. Puppies can be particularly susceptible to some drugs. In addition, the medication is not safe for pregnant or lactating dogs.
Be cautious about using time-release capsules for your dog because the dose may be affected. Also, avoid using capsules, which can burst open and release an excessive amount of medicine, putting your dog in danger of an accidental overdose.
If you use liquid Benadryl, check to determine whether it contains salt, which can potentially be dangerous for your dog. And avoid giving your dog any medication that contains alcohol.
Common side effects
Dogs may experience any of the following adverse effects after taking Benadryl:
- Rapid heart rate
- Dry mouth
- Excessive drool
- Decreased appetite
- Rapid breathing
Is Benadryl safe for dogs?
When administered following a veterinarian’s recommendations, Benadryl is a generally safe and effective treatment for dogs. Always keep a watchful eye on your dog after giving it any new medication to watch for harmful side effects.
Benadryl for dogs is safe but before you give your dog any medication, consult with your veterinarian. You also need to be careful that your dog can’t get into your medications without supervision.
You may provide your dog up to 1 mg per pound two or three times per day. Benadryl pills come in 25mg and 50mg dosages, so be prepared to cut the pills before you give the medicine to your dogs.
Is it safe to give my dog 50 mg?
Your dog’s weight determines the Benadryl dose. If your dog weighs 50 pounds, a 50 mg dose up to three times per day is safe. Be prepared to cut the pills to meet your dog’s needs.
Is children’s Benadryl safe for dogs?
Yes. You can give children’s Benadryl to dogs. But avoid giving your dog adult liquid Benadryl because it commonly contains alcohol, which is hazardous for dogs.
As with any flavored human medication, check the ingredients for the artificial sweetener xylitol, also known as birch sugar. This sweetener is toxic for dogs.