Benadryl For Dogs: Dosage, Uses, And Side Effects

Just like humans, dogs too can suffer from various allergies that can be “cured” with common over-the-counter meds like Benadryl. Of course, you should always ask your veterinarian for proper dosage and other guidelines. Some dog owners also use this popular drug as a sedative and give it to their furry best friend for celebrations or holidays that include a lot of fireworks.

However, Benadryl is still a drug and your dog can have all sorts of side-effects to such medication so it is absolutely pivotal that you consult your vet for proper dosage and potential side effects.

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What Exactly Is Benadryl?

Benadryl is a popular allergy medication that can be bought in pharmacies with no special prescription and it eases allergic reactions to different allergens, stings, insect bites, or even allergic reactions to vaccines. This medication was primarily made for humans and the FDA has not approved its usage on animals, veterinarian practice often prescribes this medication to dogs.

Benadryl is a brand, not the drug itself so you have to be cautious when getting a specific drug and getting it for your dog. You absolutely must read the list of ingredients before you give it to your dog and keep in mind that diphenhydramine is the ingredient you are looking for. One other popular active ingredient in medications like that is called cetirizine and though it may be safe for your dogs to use, there is no need to expose your pet to it.

We cannot stress enough how important it is that you keep a close eye on the ingredient list, Some of these medications contain ingredients like pseudoephedrine or acetaminophen that are highly toxic for your dog, and in some cases, may cause death.

When Should I Give My Dog Benadryl?

Benadryl has many positive effects and can help with a lot of problems both in humans and dogs. Some of these problems might be headaches, the sensation of inflammation, watery and red eyes, itching, and many other allergy symptoms.

Sometimes, it is best for your dog to get the medication before it is exposed to whatever is causing them allergies or stress. So if your Labrador is scared of fireworks, make sure you give him the medication at least 2-3 hours before the fireworks will start.

This popular drug contains a chemical called diphenhydramine that directly effects the histamine uptake. Histamine causes allergy symptoms in both humans and dogs. Diphenhydramine is one of the active ingredients in sleep medication and if your vet gives you their blessing, it is okay to give it to your dog for various reasons.

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How Much Benadryl For A Dog?

“How Much Benadryl Can I Give My Dog?” is one of the top 10 Most-Googled Dog Questions. As a general rule, the dose of Benadryl for dogs is 1 milligram for every pound your dog weighs.

That, of course, is most cases but it is important that you consult your vet and avoid potential problems. There are many different factors that can affect your dog’s prescribed dosage such as body weight, sex, age, and activity levels.

Benadryl also comes in tablets and your average tablet is 25mg. That means that your 25 lb Poodle should get one tablet. There can be different packages or different drugs, so do not just assume that the tablet dosage is 25mg, make sure you check it.

It would also be better that you go for the tablet form as the liquid version of this drug can contain alcohol that is highly toxic for canines.

You can also find this drug in gel form and also make sure that you ask your vet on how to apply it or is it safe for your dog.

Dogs can usually take this drug about 2 or 3 times a day, depending on what your vet says and that means either every 8 or every 12 hours.

Is Benadryl Safe For Dogs?

Although Benadryl is generally safe for dogs, however, you need to give this drug to your dog with extreme caution. The active ingredient in Benadryl we mentioned earlier, diphenhydramine, is the active ingredient in many sleeping aids and if the dosage is wrong, you can potentially euthanize your dog. Your dog will become sleepy and might not wake up at all.

That would be the absolute worst scenario and we are sure you will not be able to forgive yourself for that. That is why we always recommend extensive veterinary consultations before any kind of drug is given to your pet. Make sure that you learn as much as you can about the drug so that even if your vet is not cautious, you can be!

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Symptoms of Benadryl Poisoning in Dogs

Dogs and have a severe reaction to this medication and it is important to know which symptoms may indicate that a reaction like that is happening. Some of the most severe symptoms are:

  • Elevated heart rate
  • Your dog will get agitated easily
  • Might suffer from constipation
  • Your dog will have dilated pupils
  • In extreme cases, seizures can happen

It is important that you know these symptoms so that you may react to them and possibly save your dog’s life. Your dog can be allergic to Benadryl itself so make sure you keep a close eye on the dog first time you give them this medication.

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