Can I Give My Dog Claritin?

Can I Give My Dog Claritin?Claritin may come with slightly higher risks for dogs when compared to routine human use. This popular over the counter antihistamine could, however, be safely given to canines when it’s properly dosed.

Loratadine works for sneezing, coughing, wheezing and similar allergy-related symptoms. But, in many instances, these annoyances resolve themselves. Medicating a dog, with certain types of Claritin, creates risks that outweigh the benefits.

It’s best to talk with a vet prior to providing this med to a pet dog. A proper diagnosis can go a long way towards actually eliminating common canine allergies. Whatever you do, never provide Claritin-D since it contains a dangerous drug called pseudoephedrine.

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

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

Any kind of Claritin is potentially dangerous for your dog when improperly used. Also known as Loratadine, this drug was originally available by prescription only because it is powerful. Though Claritin is often used to treat dogs, sometimes sharing your drug supply is risky. Unfortunate deaths are a reality and occur every year. So administering antihistamines without professional guidance is not recommended. 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. Larger breeds could be given up to 10mg over the course of a day. Always check with a vet before providing any medication to your pet.

An Alternative Medication

If the family dog has a persistent allergy, itchiness in particular, consider getting a veterinary prescription for Apoquel. This drug is known to be very effective though it may be more expensive compared to Claritin.

Finding a 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 an effort to investigate what’s 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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{ 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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