Can I Give My Dog Zyrtec?

Can I Give My Dog Zyrtec?Zyrtec is a popular antihistamine, sometimes used for dogs, to alleviate itchiness and allergy-related irritations. This medication is often used for stubborn skin allergies.

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Regular Zyrtec AKA Cetirizine isn’t formulated for canines yet it’s prescribed by vets. Despite being a powerful drug, it’s well-tolerated by dogs but not the D-version.

Your vet will likely prescribe something else. That said, you can use certain Zyrtec products if you know the risks and properly dose them for your dog. A diagnosis is always best.

Can I Give My Dog Zyrtec? Answer: Yes, correctly dosed with some restrictions

But Zyrtec-D (pictured here) is easily toxic (like Sudafed) and can be life threatening.

This drug is successfully given to dogs, but there are risks. In the short term, Zyrtec may not appear to cause sides effects. If used improperly, however, Cetirizine could damage your dog’s liver and other vital organs. This OTC antihistamine may do more harm than good, especially when misused.

Again, Zyrtec-D is never an option for dogs. It contains a dangerous chemical called pseudoephedrine. Instead, you may wish to consider a safe and effective skin treatment product that’s designed for pets.

Zyrtec Dosing & Restrictions

Besides the D-version, which might as well stand for Death, Zyrtec products contain Cetirizine. That’s the preferable active ingredient if you provide this over-the-counter to your dog.

Never give an antihistamine to a pregnant or nursing dogs. Pets with liver disease or related problems should not be taking it either. Providing Zyrtec to a puppy is fraught with risks.

Talk with your vet about dosage. For reference, half a milligram per pound of body weight taken twice daily is considered reasonable.

Proper Perspective for Pets

Dogs are very curious and they’re constantly checking things out with their noses. So, it stands to reason, Fido is prone to allergies including pruritus.

Removing suspected allergens, from areas your dog frequents, could be a big step forward.

Is your dog getting outdoors enough? By their very nature, they should be outside fairly often. Dogs need to shake themselves off and get fresh air, which also helps to rid their fur of allergens.

Taking Action on Allergies

Dogs are pretty good at tolerating a bout of itching or sneezing. They don’t make a big deal out of allergy annoyances the same way us humans do.

Most cases will pass on their own so one solution is to do nothing! Tomorrow may prove that Zyrtec wasn’t needed after all. But help with severe allergies is where you come in…

If your dog bites at their legs, or gnaws at parts of their skin, then you should probably act. You may have a severely allergic dog, especially with no signs of fleas or ticks.

A vet’s diagnosis will help to eliminate your dog’s allergies, something Zyrtec cannot do. Also look into Apoquel for stubbornly itchy skin or get the treatment option already mentioned.

Conclusion on Zyrtec

Never give a dog Zyrtec-D. This strong medication does nothing to address underlying allergies. If your dog has a worsening condition, or an acute reaction, get them to a professional. Zyrtec may worsen symptoms, such as wheezing or trouble breathing. Such emergency situations require medical attention.

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Dr. Stephanie Flansburg Cruz, a practicing vet, has reviewed and endorsed this article. She has 3 dogs of her own and cares about the welfare of all animals.


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