How much Benadryl can I give my dog?” You are likely to ask this question if your dog is suffering from allergy symptoms. People use over-the-counter Benadryl to treat allergies all the time. However, is it safe to give to your dog – and if so, how much should you give your pooch?
Fortunately, you can give Benadryl to your dog if your veterinarian recommends it, but the correct dosage will depend on a few factors. You must consult your veterinarian before giving your dog Benadryl or any other medication, even over-the-counter medications.
Here are some things to know when giving Benadryl to dogs.
What does Benadryl treat in dogs?
Benadryl is an over-the-counter antihistamine that reduces allergic reactions to environmental allergens, insect bites or stings, and certain vaccine reactions. It was also used as a sedative and to prevent motion sickness.
Although it is a human medicine and is not FDA-approved for dogs or other animals, it can be safely administered with the approval of your veterinarian.
Benadryl is the brand name, not the name of the medicine that treats allergies. Diphenhydramine is the active ingredient in the drug that is safe for dogs when given in the correct dosage.
There are many other brands making similar products and there are other drugs under the Benadryl brand that you should use with caution to avoid this. Read the ingredients of the medication before giving it to your dog and ask your veterinarian before giving him any medication.
When is Benadryl Bad for Dogs?
In some situations, Benadryl can be very harmful to dogs. This is why it is so important that you consult your veterinarian before giving it to your doctor.
Here are a few cases in which Benadryl can be dangerous to dogs:
Benadryl can make certain conditions such as glaucoma, heart disease, or high blood pressure worse.
- Other drugs
Other drugs, including those available over the counter, in combination with Benadryl, can cause a dangerous reaction.
- Allergic reaction
Ironically, some dogs can be allergic to Benadryl.
- Side effects
Sedation is the most common, but breathing, heart rate, and urination can also change in dogs. On rare occasions, some may vomit or have diarrhea.
- Different formulas, brands, or products
Read the ingredients. Paracetamol and pseudoephedrine are not safe for dogs and are found in some allergy medications. There are many Benadryl products available. Ask your veterinarian to make sure you are using the correct one.
Overdosing can be fatal. If your dog eats too much Benadryl, call an ambulance or poison information line at (888) 426-4435 right away. Symptoms of overdose include dilated pupils, constipation, rapid heartbeat, behavior changes, and seizures.
- Pregnant or breastfeeding
Pregnant or nursing dogs should almost never be given medication without close veterinary supervision.
How much Benadryl can I give my dog?
The general dosage guideline for dogs is 1 mg of Benadryl per pound of body weight. You must always consult your veterinarian as there are a number of factors that can change this dosage recommendation.
The average dosage in a tablet is 25 mg, so one tablet should be given to a 25-pound dog. Check the dosage on the packaging and don’t assume that every product is the same.
Stick to the pill form as the liquid form contains alcohol, which is toxic to dogs.
For small dogs, you may want to use the children’s formula, which has fewer active ingredients and may be easier for you to measure. Liquid Benadryl’s children’s formula does not contain alcohol.
There is also a topical form that can help with itching. Follow your veterinarian’s guidelines for creams or gels.
You can give your dog Benadryl every eight to twelve hours, around two to three times a day. If you use the product frequently, it may become less effective over time.
In most cases, it is better to give medication before exposure to allergens. Follow your veterinarian’s guidelines. If a regimen is recommended, stick with it for the duration of your veterinarian’s advice, even if symptoms seem to go away.
Keep in mind that some formulas contain ingredients that are toxic to dogs, such as acetaminophen and pseudoephedrine. Read the ingredients carefully.
What are Benadryl alternatives for my dog?
Different types of treatment may be available depending on what your dog is allergic to. One of the easiest ways is to limit exposure to allergens.
If your dog suffers from allergies to dust, pollen, or anything else they may be tracking down from outside the house, make sure you wash your dog’s bedding regularly and keep your home clean.
Occasional bathing, as recommended by your veterinarian, and frequent brushing can also help keep allergens out of your dog’s fur. An oat bath can also relieve itching and remove allergens.
Some dogs suffer from food allergies. These can be difficult to see. However, if you suspect a food allergy, contact your veterinarian. There are some dietary recommendations you can make that can help alleviate some of your dog’s symptoms.
If your dog has seasonal allergies, there are several natural remedies that may work. Apple cider vinegar, coconut oil, and aloe vera can help relieve itching, and some supplements can also help relieve symptoms. Click here to see some more natural remedies that can reduce allergic reactions in dogs.
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