Can I Give My Dog Claritin?

Can I Give My Dog Claritin?Know that Claritin carries higher risks for dogs compared to routine human use. Not to be alarmist but researching this over the counter antihistamine could mean the difference between life and death.

You want a safe solution when your best buddy is sneezing, coughing, wheezing or is showing similar allergic reactions. But, in many instances, these symptoms will resolve themselves. Medicating a dog, with some types of Claritin, can create risks that may outweigh the benefits.

To reduce risks, talk with a vet before providing this med to your dog. Consider a proper diagnosis because it can go a long way towards actually curing canine allergies. In any case, never provide Claritin-D because it contains a very dangerous drug called pseudoephedrine.

Can I Give My Dog Claritin? Answer: Only with vet approval

Again, Claritin-D can be extremely harmful for pets.

But in reality, any kind of Claritin is potentially dangerous for your dog. Also known as Loratadine, this drug was originally available by prescription only. Make no mistake, it is powerful. It’s true that Claritin can successfully be used on a dog, but sharing your drug supply with a pet is risky and unfortunate deaths occur every year. So never administer antihistamines without professional guidance. It’s just not worth the risk!

Certain skin allergies can be safely treated with a quality organic cream made specifically for dogs.

Side Effects of Claritin

If your dog doesn’t take well to Claritin then you can expect an upset stomach, an increase in thirst and your pooch may not be able to fully empty their bladder. More serious side effects are drowsiness, behavioral changes, fever, gum discoloration and even seizures. That’s why we worry about people giving it to their dogs without vet guidance.

Never give a pregnant dog any Claritin!

Claritin Dosage Information

A typical dose of Claritin for a dog is largely based on body weight. Do not exceed 0.25mg for each pound. So small to medium sized dogs may be given approximately 5mg over a 24-hour period. A large breed could go to 10mg over the course of a day. Always check with your vet beforehand!

An Alternative Medication

If your pet dog has a persistent allergy, itchiness in particular, try getting a veterinary prescription for Apoquel. This drug is known to be effective and a much safer choice. While it may be more expensive, your dog won’t be exposed to the risks that come with Claritin and some other popular brands.

The Real Solution

Claritin, or similar drugs, can’t actually solve your dog’s underlying allergies. The best way to cure allergies 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 exactly what’s getting into their nose.

Make a good effort to investigate what could be causing the allergic reaction that you’re trying to weed out (no pun intended). This strategy should eventually solve your dog’s pesky allergy situation, something that Claritin definitely cannot achieve. Whatever you do, don’t medicate your dog without a vet in your corner.

Hit or miss use of Claritin is a textbook example of playing a dangerous game with your pet’s life.

For Emergency Situations

In most cases, 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, call your vet immediately. They may advise you to provide Claritin for immediate relief. But often times, it’s necessary to bring them in for a full diagnosis and more suitable treatment.

If your dog somehow, accidentally, got into a bunch of Claritin then bring them to a vet ASAP!

Conclusion on Claritin

Using Claritin, and especially Claritin-D, for canine allergy relief can carry substantial risks. However, your vet may advise you that it’s okay. You are encouraged to try to determine and eliminate the true source(s) of your dog’s problems. Too often pets are hastily medicated with human products to cover-up allergies. Make no mistake about it, something as powerful as Claritin can be a bad idea.

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

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Mo February, 2016

Claritin D can kill a dog because it has the stimulant Pseudoephedrine in it. Every vet I’ve talked to has said regular Claritin is very safe when dosed at no more than 20mg per day. Apoquel is indeed very expensive and comes with a slew of side effects. It is still rather new. My dog became extremely lethargic and started vomiting and refused to eat when he was on it. Seems Claritin is a better option.


Jim September, 2015

As a physician, I can tell you Claritin (loratadine) is quite safe.


Christina May, 2015

My Lab suffers from seasonal allergies. His previous vet tried all steroids, OTC allergy meds and nothing worked. He eats a high quality, gluten-free diet with the appropriate amount of fish oil and vitamin E, along with probiotics and coconut oil. He is mostly an inside dog, but loves to be outside to play, swim and run whenever he can.

Our new vet put him on Apoquel. We are going broke at $76 every 10 days! It is helping, but certainly not a miracle cure. At that price it should be! Now I’m trying to find which OTC we can supplement at night with. Benedryl doesn’t work. We have used Claritin before and will try it again. It’s better than putting him back on steroids. Maybe the combination will work. We can’t spend $230.00 a month on Apoquel. We’ll all starve.


Michelle May, 2015

I have a dog with severe seasonal allergies. From April through July his skin gets so raw from his scratching that he looks like he has mange. He is 100% grain free, eating a diet that is 99% raw and if he isn’t eating raw he’s eating some Taste of the Wild. He is on probiotics, vitamins and high quality fish oil. The addition of Claritin to his life has been a major improvement. Benadryl never did much to help him and Zyrtec has helped a little. But Claritin has really helped him recently. You can’t just eliminate what a dog is allergic to. It isn’t as simple a task to figure it out with a dog like it is with a human. Even if we found out he was allergic to oak or maple pollen, it isn’t possible to remove every tree from the neighborhood.


Amanda September, 2014

For dogs with severe allergies such as mine, over the counter drugs are a great option. My dog has been on Cyclosporine, an anti-rejection drug for transplant patients, for years as well as Benadryl. We are working on reducing this by supplementing it with Claritin. We rescued our Lab, who would be hairless and bleed daily if it were not for the hundreds of dollars a month we spend to keep him comfortable.


Valisha September, 2012

My vet told me to give 1 Claritin in the morning and 1 at night. My dog weighs about 65 pounds.


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