Can I Give My Dog Benadryl?

Can I Give My Dog Benadryl?If your dog is showing signs of allergies, you may be thinking of giving them some of your Benadryl. Normally, giving your pets antihistamines isn’t a great idea, as over the counter drugs aren’t designed for canines and can contain harmful elements.

Certainly the use of Benadryl isn’t as preferable as allergy medications that your vet can prescribe, many of which are specifically formulated for dogs. However, lots of people do successfully treat their four-legged friends using this popular histamine-blocking medication.

Make no mistake though, trying to guess the proper Benadryl dosage for your dog isn’t recommended. Vets are most qualified to advise on how much to give and in what intervals. Many factors go into calculating the right dose including your dog’s breed, medical history, weight and current symptoms.

Can I Give My Dog Benadryl? Answer: Yes, careful though!

You must first confirm dosage with a vet. Also, don’t give your dog Benadryl on a daily basis.

Dogs who are constantly suffering from allergies, either from seasonal factors or from other recurring problems, should be taken to the veterinarian for evaluation.

You can’t simply mask the problem with Benadryl over and over. There are methods for long-term care and your dog doesn’t have to suffer from ongoing allergic reactions.

Itching, Sneezing & Swelling

If your dog has been outside getting into trouble, they may have come upon something that they’re allergic to. For sneezing, some dogs do so at the slightest irritant. Others, only when a certain foreign agent really bothers them. Remember, every living thing will sneeze when they’ve developed a cold.

Benadryl is an effective allergy medication for humans suffering from all types of common symptoms such as sneezing, swelling and itching. But this doesn’t mean its use is routine for dogs. If you suspect that your dog’s issue is a sign of more to come, schedule an appointment to have them checked out. Don’t just start giving them pills from your own medicine cabinet. You may seriously regret it later!

Diphenhydramine is Safer

It’s very unfortunate but allergy medicines likely kill many dogs yearly because of confusion regarding which ones are safe. Benadryl contains Diphenhydramine which is generally non-lethal for canines in very low doses. However, you must watch for OTC meds containing pseudoephedrine or acetaminophen as they are toxic and often deadly.

For Sleep and Mood

Visibly shaken dogs, either from thunderstorms or some other nerve-racking experience, shouldn’t be given Benadryl. It causes drowsiness and you may assume it’s having a soothing effect on your pet.

The truth is that Benadryl could cause an even worse condition especially when misused. The potential side effects in dogs are very real. It’s just too dangerous to treat your dog like a lab rat.

Another View on K9 Allergies

There are usually better ways to treat allergies especially those which are recurring. Your vet can give you solid advice on what to do. Better yet, if you know the specific reason for their bad reaction; whether it be from a certain food or from something they rubbed up against, you should try to address the underlining problem instead.

Accidental Ingestion Help

If your dog accidentally consumed some Benadryl, you should call your vet right away. Try to determine how many pills they ate and provide that information to the doctor. They may need to be brought in. Just stay calm, because they’ll most likely be alright. Often times, dogs just end up vomiting things that don’t sit well with their stomachs. In any case, keep them under close observation.

Conclusion on Benadryl

Benadryl, often misspelled Benedryl, can be used on dogs but one must be very careful. It’s best to have a good vet to advise with when using it. They can also run tests to see what they are likely allergic to. This way you can prevent them from being around those specific stimulants which will reduce the need to treat your dog with harmful drugs. Many people swear by Benadryl for treating a variety of allergy issues for humans and dogs, alike. Yes, it can do the trick, but it’s a pretty strong antihistamine and must be used with great caution.

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Add Your Own Answer to the Question Can I Give My Dog Benadryl? Below

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Alix October, 2015

I am taking a 6 hour road trip with my 6 pound Dorky (Dachshund/Yorkie) and she doesn’t do well in the car. Is there something I can give her that will help calm her nerves and maybe sleep? I was told Benadryl, but I don’t feel comfortable giving her that. My vet is out on vacation and will not be back before I leave. What can I give her that is over-the-counter and safe?


James October, 2015

Hi Alix. Consider a low dose of Melatonin. It usually does the trick.


Toni June, 2015

I have a 20 pound Westie and I was wondering if I can give him Benadryl. Actually, I have the generic pink and white pill. Can I give him one of them or does he need the all pink pill?


Jakomos August, 2015

Yes, you can and I recommend the generic pink tabs. They’re approximately $2 a box at most places. I asked my vet to be sure. The dose is 1mg per pound, 2-3 times daily. For instance, I have a 16 pound Miniature Pinscher and he is neurotic during car rides. We aim for a weekend of camping with a four hour round-trip. I’ll give him a little over half a tablet and do so well before the trip as well as during the trip.


Rebecca February, 2015

Just yesterday my vet recommended Benadryl for my dog’s allergies. They advised half a tab of the kind without a decongestant. My dog is 7 years old and weighs 11 pounds.


Lorraine July, 2015

Half a tab of Benadryl, how often?


Jakomos August, 2015

1mg per pound, 2-3 times a day as needed according to our vet.


Debbie December, 2014

Our vet said you give more Benadryl to dogs than humans. It works for so many things from stress to fireworks. My rule of thumb is 1mg per pound. He weighs 75 pounds so he gets 75mg, which is 3 pills. My 12 pound puppy gets 1/2 a pill.


Lidia October, 2014

The prescription medicine that my dog was given for her allergy problem didn’t help much and the vet recommended to give her Benadryl. I don’t know why you say it is not a good idea.


Kathi October, 2014

My dog’s vet offered to give him a Benadryl shot after he had his vaccinations. She told me that I could just give him plain Benadryl (with dyphenhydramine as the only active ingredient). So I don’t know why you insist that pets can’t have it! I trust my vet to make good decisions about my dog’s health.


Brian November, 2013

Our local vet told us to give our dog over the counter Benadryl when she had some allergic reaction.


Wendy May, 2015

Did you give your dog over-the-counter Benadryl? If so, how many? Does it give your dog side effects? I have a Jack Russell.


Anna November, 2012

The family dog, Odo, has an allergy problem and receives it as needed such as when he has hives.


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