What kind of allergy medicine can you give a dog

Most dog owners own likely heard of Benadryl. It is an incredibly favorite medication that is used primarily for alleviating seasonal allergies.

Scientifically speaking, Benadryl is an antihistamine that blocks the H1 receptors on the blood vessels and smooth muscle.

What helpful of allergy medicine can you give a dog

H1 receptors are histamine receptors that frolic an significant role in the allergic response. By blocking this receptor, Benadryl reduces symptoms of allergic reactions.

Additionally, Benadryl has been used to treat motion sickness in dogs and provide mild sedation.

Although numerous veterinarians consider Benadryl to own a wide safety margin, there are still dangers and adverse reactions associated with the drug that pet owners should be aware of.

What is Diphenhydramine

Benadryl is the brand name for the athletic ingredient diphenhydramine HCl.

Diphenhydramine is categorized as a first-generation antihistamine, meaning that it can cross the blood-brain barrier.

The blood-brain barrier protects the brain from harmful foreign substances, such as bacteria or viruses. This barrier does permit some substances, such as diphenhydramine, to pass through.

Diphenhydramine’s ability to cross the blood-brain barrier means that it is typically extremely effective. However, this abilityincreases the risk of potential adverse reactions.

Benadryl Ingredients

Diphenhydramine is the most athletic ingredient found in Benadryl.

As an antihistamine, diphenhydramine reduces the effects of the chemical histamine within the dog’s system.

What is Benadryl Used For?

As most pet owners know (due to their own use of Benadryl), the drug is most commonly used to alleviate allergies.

However, what some individuals may not realize is that this favorite medication has several other uses.

Benadryl for Motion Sickness

Many pet owners may not know that Benadryl is often recommended for dogs who experience motion sickness.

Treating Mast Cell Tumors with Benadryl

Mast cells are white blood cells that frolic a role in allergic reactions.

When a dog has mast cell tumors, there is a mast cell degranulation, which causes a massive histamine release.

If your dog has a mast cell tumor, your veterinarian may recommend Benadryl to alleviate symptoms from the histamine release from the tumor cells.

Benadryl for Anxiety

A major side effect of diphenhydramine, the athletic ingredient in Benadryl, is drowsiness.

What helpful of allergy medicine can you give a dog

If your pup has anxiety, your veterinarian may prescribe Benadryl to assist ease symptoms of anxiety and effectively assist your anxious pup calm down.

Benadryl for Hives

Benadryl is also known to effectively treat hives in both dogs and humans. In dogs, most cases of hives are merely due to allergic reactions of one helpful or another.

In humans, hives can be a symptom of several underlying medical conditions, so treating it with a medication such as Benadryl will work for the immediate relief, but not as a long-term treatment and certainly not as a cure.

Although pets with hives may glance beautiful miserable, we desire to implore pet owners not to panic if Fido breaks out in hives, as the hives can be treated, typically without any complications.

Benadryl in Heartworm Treatment

Heartworm treatment involves the killing of adult heartworms.

The death of the heartworms can trigger a serious allergic reaction. If your pup has to undergo heartworm treatment, your vet may recommend Benadryl to ease the symptoms associated with the treatment.

Benadryl for Allergies

We’ll start with the basics.

When we ponder about allergies, we typically ponder about red and itchy eyes, a runny nose, sneezing, etc.

Dogs own diverse symptoms when experiencing allergic reactions. In most cases, dogs show allergy symptoms on the skin’s surface. Although it is possible for Fido to show signs of allergies that are similar to those of humans, you’ll desire to make certain that your pup doesn’t own a more serious condition at hand.

Nasal discharge, coughing, and inflamed eyes can be a sign of a slew of conditions in dogs, including respiratory infections.

Therefore, it is significant not to automatically assume that allergies are causing these symptoms.

The bottom line is that your dog can absolutely suffer from allergies. Your veterinarian may recommend Benadryl to alleviate your dog’s allergy symptoms.

Allergies in dogs include:

  1. Environmental allergies
  2. Food allergies
  3. Allergic reactions to snake bites
  4. Seasonal allergies
  5. Allergic reactions to insect bites

Unfortunately, despite how badly we wish it were possible, we aren’t exactly capable to communicate with our dogs in a clear, concise way.

They can’t let us know when something in the air, or in their food, is making them feel funny.

We also can’t describe to them how badly ant bites feel and tell them to avoid those fun-looking mounds in the grass.

For this reason, knowing that Benadryl is safe for dogs (to a degree) makes numerous dog owners feel at ease if their adventurous pup is prone to itchy situations.

With that said, we desire to stress that, as in humans, allergies and other conditions can be mistaken for one another.

For example, you’ll desire to ensure that your pup is suffering from allergies and not a skin infection, as Benadryl is not an effective way to treat skin conditions.

What helpful of allergy medicine can you give a dog

Your veterinarian will be capable to determine whether your dog has an allergy or skin infection.

When to Call The Vet — Allergic Reactions

Many veterinarians and pet owners discover Benadryl to be an effective antihistamine for mild to moderate allergic reactions.

However, if your pup is having an acute allergic reaction with facial swelling or difficulty breathing, it is imperative that you go straight to the vet.

Benadryl is not effective in serious cases of allergic reactions.

Seeking medical intervention in a timely manner is extremely significant for your dog’s life if he’s having a serious allergic reaction.

Benadryl for Dogs — Is It Safe?

What helpful of allergy medicine can you give a dog

Although Benadryl has been deemed to be safe when used appropriately, there are a few things that dog owners should be aware of.

When to Avoid Benadryl

Dogs with glaucoma, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease should avoid Benadryl, as it can worsen their condition.

Furthermore, dogs with the following conditions should not get Benadryl:

  1. Prostatic hypertrophy
  2. Pregnancy
  3. Heart failure
  4. Nursing
  5. Hyperthyroidism
  6. Bladder neck obstruction
  7. Allergic lung disease
  8. Angle-closure glaucoma
  9. Seizures

Benadryl Dosage for Dogs

We desire to note that Benadryl is typically istered in the tablet form when prescribed for dogs.

Liquid Benadryl can be mixed in with your dog’s food only if your vet deems it safe to do so. Dog owners should consult with their vet first.

Benadryl dosage is based on the dog’s body weight. We own included a general guide for istering Benadryl.

For dog owners who desire a more precise dose, experts tell that 1mg of Benadryl per 1lb of body weight is the way to calculate the quantity of Benadryl that will be safe and effective.

How Much Benadryl Can I Give My Dog

WEIGHT OF THE DOG                    


30lbs or smaller                                

10mg per dose

30 – 50lbs                                         

25 mg per dose

50lbs or over                                     

50mg per dose

The quantity of times you can give the medication to your pet is typically around 2 – 3 times a day, 8 hours apart.

Benadryl typically takes effect within 30 minutes of istration.

We don’t own to tell you that no two dogs are the same. Every dogs reply differently to new medications in their lives.

Therefore, it is incredibly significant to talk to your veterinarian about the dose that is correct for your specific pooch.

Benadryl Side Effects

As with every medications, Benadryl comes with fairly a few unpleasant side effects.

Additional (More Uncommon) Benadryl Side Effects

  1. Decreased appetite
  2. Vomiting
  3. Increased appetite
  4. Diarrhea

Benadryl Overdose

Benadryl causes hyperexcitability of the dog’s central nervous system.

What helpful of allergy medicine can you give a dog

It is critical to seek proper medical attention if you ponder that your dog may be experiencing an overdose.

Additional signs of a Benadryl overdose include:

  1. Irregular heartbeat
  2. Agitation
  3. Confusion
  4. Rapid heart rate
  5. Constipation
  6. Seizures
  7. Dilated pupils
  8. Muscle tremors

Common Side Effects of Benadryl

  1. Increased heart rate
  2. Sedation
  3. Urinary retention
  4. Hypersalivation
  5. Dry mouth
  6. Rapid breathing

Diphenhydramine Side Effects

Again, we desire to reiterate that diphenhydramine, as the athletic ingredient of Benadryl, comes along with the same risks and potential adverse reactions as Benadryl.



Benadryl For Dogs

JoAnna Pendergrass, DVM

JoAnna Pendergrass, DVM is a veterinarian and freelance medical author in Atlanta, GA.

After earning her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, she pursued a non-traditional career path as a veterinarian.

JoAnna completed a 2-year postdoctoral research fellowship in neuroscience at Emory University’s Yerkes National Primate Research Middle, then became a medical author.

What helpful of allergy medicine can you give a dog

As founder and owner of JPen Communications, a medical communications company, JoAnna is passionate about educating pet parents about pet care and responsible pet ownership.

Although she does not currently own any pets to call her own, she loves living vicariously through other pet parents and watching Nat Geo!

“I swear this just started a few hours ago. He was fine yesterday! What happened?”

The nice lady was clearly worried about her beautiful Golden Retriever, Boomer. He sat in front of me, panting and trying to rub a sore on the side of his neck about the size of a little dinner plate.

The sore was sticky and red. I noticed Boomer had little scabs and pink spots on his stomach, too.

“Boomer has skin allergies,” I told his surprised owner.

She shook her head in disbelief. “I can’t believe this could happen so fast! He’s three years ancient and has never had any problems. What can I give my dog for allergies?”

Home Remedies For Dog Allergies

Luckily, as a pet owner, you own options!

There are some extremely effective and safe alternatives to Benadryl that may support skin health and other ailments.

In fact, the alternatives we are about to list come with virtually no side effects. Take a look!

Oatmeal Bath

Oatmeal can serve as a soothing home remedy for irritated and itchy skin, provided that your dog isn’t allergic to oatmeal (wouldn’t that be a mess). Every you own to do is stir plain oatmeal and water and apply to irritated skin. Or, you can draw a bath (we recommend using our Bath Assistant if your dog is not a fan of the tub) and add the oatmeal directly to the water. Let your pup soak for 10 minutes to put their itchy skin at ease.

Benadryl for Dogs: The Bottom Line

One of the worst feelings that a dog owner can experience is watching their beloved furry companion suffer.

On top of that, sifting through the seemingly endless lists of medication and drug options can be incredibly frustrating.

What is safe? Which option has the least quantity of side effects? Is it possible to ease symptoms without the potential for additional problems and adverse reactions?

We understand how stressful it can be.

What helpful of allergy medicine can you give a dog

Although medications love Benadryl may be «safe» for short-term treatment, it is comforting to know that it’s not the only solution. We urge our readers to explore all-natural options love CBD.

Fido will thank you for it!