Diphenhydramine is a generic form of Benadryl and is a common antihistamine. It can also be used to reduce motion sickness and aid with sleep due to its sedating effect. Deciding to give your dog an over-the-counter human medication, including this one, shouldn’t be done without first consulting with your vet.
You may wish to give this to your dog because they have an allergy, rash or a bee sting. It can also reduce motion sickness when traveling by car or help with sleeping problems.
Whenever you choose to give human medication to a pet, you’ll need to monitor them closely and keep an eye out for any side effects. If problems are observed you must stop Diphenhydramine use immediately. In severe cases, contact your vet for immediate assistance.
Can I Give My Dog Diphenhydramine HCL? Answer: Yes, with a vet’s prescription
Diphenhydramine HCL or Diphenhydramine can be given to your dog under strict vet instructions.
This medication can have some serious side effects. A canine overdose can be quite serious. Always ensure you follow dosage directions carefully as this is a powerful drug. In fact, never give a dog this medication without confirming with a vet first.
It’s true that dogs suffering with a variety of disorders may benefit from the use of this medication. Your vet will know if your particular dog can take it and will be able to advise you on dosage and directions.
If you have purchased Diphenhydramine HCL over the counter, for example Unisom, don’t assume it’ll be safe to give to your pet. Make a phone call to the vet and don’t take the risk.
Dosage and Directions
This medication is often prescribed for relief of allergic reactions but can also be used in dogs for it’s sedative effect as well as to control motion sickness.
Usually you would give your four-legged friend 0.5mg to 2mg of medication per pound of dog. This is to be given every eight to twelve hours. Your vet will be able to tell you exactly how much to give based on several other factors.
Diphenhydramine should always be given with food. It’s a good idea to crush and it mix in with meals ensuring your dog gets the food and medication at the same time.
Possible Side Effects
This medication may come with a variety of side effects. Not all dogs will experience bad symptoms, while others may be more sensitive to Diphenhydramine. Dry mouth, sedation and problems urinating are common symptoms as a result of taking this drug. Other problems can include diarrhea, vomiting and a decrease in appetite.
If your dog begins experiencing as serious problems, stop the medication immediately and advise your vet. Monitor them closely to see whether they are improving or getting worse. If they seem to be worsening, get them to the vet as soon as possible.
Without knowing the exact weight of your dog, it’s easy for them to overdose on this potentially dangerous drug. That’s why it’s best to get a professional’s opinion before administering it.
Some common overdose symptoms include powerful sedation, clumsiness, seizures and respiratory problems. If you witness any of these, contact your vet immediately and stop the medication. Less common overdose symptoms include coma and even death in stronger doses. If your dog slips into a coma, obviously you’ll need to take them in without delay.
Some dogs will not be able to take this medication without disastrous results. Canines prone to seizures or heart problems should never be given Diphenhydramine or any product that contains it. Also, animals with glaucoma, urinary obstructions, high blood pressure or pregnant or nursing dogs should avoid taking any.
Hopefully your vet is fully aware of any health problems your dog has. Then a well informed decision as to whether your dog will benefit from this medication or not can be determined.
Effectiveness and Conclusion
This is not an FDA approved medication for dogs and the benefits may not outweigh the potential harm. That being said, it has been known to be fairly effective. If your veterinarian has prescribed the medication, you should ask many questions before making a decision to give it to your dog.