The question of whether or not it’s okay to give your dog Claritin to stop their allergic reactions is an important one. It’s a good thing you are researching this topic before just popping them this popular OTC antihistamine and hoping for the best.
Dogs, just like us, sometimes get tripped up by things like sneezing, coughing, wheezing and various other allergic reactions. But the truth is they don’t need a fix for every little thing bothering them. In most instances you can just leave them alone and, in time, things will resolve themselves. In other words, try not to medicate your dog with potentially dangerous drugs such as Claritin because often the risks outweigh the benefits.
Before administering this product, or any other meds, keep an ongoing record of how often you observe that your dog is having such allergy related problems. An objective account regarding the severity of the condition will help to determine many things, including if it’s getting worse or improving. This strategy can help you make more informed decisions. It will also help determine the need for a professional diagnosis which will lead to safer treatment options.
Can I Give My Dog Claritin? Answer: Not Recommended
This strong and potentially harmful allergy medication is not appropriate for dogs.
Claritin, also known as Loratadine, was originally available by doctor prescription only. It was only recently approved to be sold over-the-counter. This gives you an idea of how powerful it can be, even for humans.
Sharing drugs between species is typically not a good idea because it leads to many pet deaths year after year. Most vets, sometimes in emergency situations, are quite good at knowing which human medicines are appropriate for dogs. That’s why you shouldn’t give Claritin or any other antihistamines without consulting a veterinarian first. It’s simply not worth the risk!
Claritin vs. The Real Cure
The best way to deal with allergies, for dogs as well as for people, is to find out exactly what’s causing them in the first place. If your dog is spending a lot of time outside, it can be hard to nail down just exactly what’s getting into their nose. The possibilities are too numerous.
However, if they spend most of their time indoors, it’s a good idea to go around your home to see if there’s anything that could potentially be causing the allergic reaction you’re trying to weed out (no pun intended).
This strategy will eventually solve their annoying allergy situation, something that Claritin certainly cannot do. If successful, you may also avoid having to take them to the vet. Trying to treat a dog yourself, using people medicine, can be very tricky and highly dangerous. Use of this drug, in particular, is a textbook case.
Safer Drug Alternative
Simply put, Claritin or similar drugs aren’t going to solve any of your dog’s real underlying allergies or associated symptoms. If your dog is experiencing a particularly persistent allergy, in the form of itchiness, try getting a prescription for Apoquel. This drug, compared to Claritin, is a much better and safer choice for your four-legged friend.
In most instances common allergies aren’t life-threatening. But if you notice that your dog is seriously wheezing or having trouble breathing, for any considerable amount of time, please call your vet immediately. In this sort of situation, they may advise you to provide your dog with some Claritin. This would only be to give them immediate relief so you can bring them in for more suitable treatment.
Conclusion on Claritin
The use of Claritin or Zyrtec for allergic dogs isn’t recommended because they’re potentially dangerous. Cases where a dog is sneezing or has some chest congestion, or perhaps has itchy and/or watery eyes shouldn’t be treated without a proper diagnosis. K9 allergies are never something that you should attempt to treat on your own.
Instead, make a serious attempt at eliminating the source of these problems. This is the best way to address it rather than medicating your pet to cover-up a persistent allergy. Trying to treat your dog with something as powerful as Claritin can be very risky and even fatal.