Can I Give My Dog Zyrtec?

Can I Give My Dog Zyrtec?Zyrtec is an over-the-counter antihistamine used to alleviate itchiness and other allergy-related skin conditions such as Dermatitis. Many dog owners consider this medication when a best buddy is suffering from these skin problems.

Despite being a powerful drug, regular Zyrtec seems to be well-tolerated by most dogs. Still, if your vet could prescribe something specifically designed for canines it would be better. But you can, in fact, use Zyrtec if you know the risks and properly dose it.

In any case, a proper diagnosis is the best course of action. It’s more expensive in the short term but it may go a long way towards permanently eliminating your dog’s allergies. That’s something Zyrtec certainly cannot do!

Can I Give My Dog Zyrtec? Yes, properly dosed with restrictions

People successfully give it to their dogs but it’s best to first get a vet’s expert opinion and their detailed instructions.

Zyrtec, also known as Cetirizine, isn’t formulated for dogs. In the short term, these sorts of medications may not appear to have any dire effects. But if used improperly, Zyrtec could cause internal damage to your dog’s liver and other vital organs. For this reason, never provide Zyrtec-D to a dog because it contains a dangerous chemical called pseudoephedrine.

If Fido is experiencing a prolonged case of itchy skin, they may greatly benefit from a drug designed specifically for dogs named Apoquel.

Restrictions and Dosing

It’s not hard to find forums where owners and even vets are trading dosages for how much Zyrtec to give a dog. But think about it for a moment: changing the dosage on a medication that was intended for another species is supposed to change how that medication works? It’s supposed to make the possible side effects lessen? It’s supposed to make up for the fact that no long term studies or testing has been done on dogs?

Also, take into consideration the fact that these owners and vets are not getting all of the facts, and are not seeing the dog’s symptoms in real life, they’re just going off of what one owner is saying about one dog.

Only a vet that sees a dog and can evaluate it first hand will be able to accurately determine if it is allergies the dog has, or a different condition. From there they can prescribe a direct treatment route that likely won’t involve the use of Zyrtec or other human drugs.

Alternative Solutions

Dogs can suffer from allergies the same way that a human can, but that does not mean that the same medication that works for us will work for them. While us humans don’t like to tolerate much in the way of itching or sneezing, a dog will take it as just a part of life and not make a big deal of it.

Most times the condition will pass, but if you notice that they’re biting at their own legs, or gnawing at specific parts of their skin, and you can’t see any other reason for it, like fleas or ticks, then you might have an allergic dog on your hands.

A Sensible Perspective

Dogs are very curious beings. They’re constantly checking things out with their noses. So it stands to reason that they would be prone to allergy troubles.

Removing suspected allergens from the areas your dog frequents is a big step forward. It could also be that they need to get outside more if they don’t already. Dogs like to get outdoors and get some fresh air and shake themselves, ridding their fur of any allergens at that time.

Conclusion on Zyrtec

Never give a dog Zyrtec-D. You can, however, cautiously provide regular Zyrtec to treat your dog for certain allergies. Keep in mind that this strong medication does nothing to cure or eliminate the underlying reasons for an allergy problem. If your dog’s problems seem to be worsening, especially if they have an acute reaction, take them in to see a professional. Certainly more serious symptoms such as wheezing, or any trouble breathing, is an emergency situation which requires urgent medical attention.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Leah May 25, 2015

My vet told us to give our dog one Zyrtec twice a day, not Zyrtec-D, just regular Zyrtec. It has helped her a lot.

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Jen February 17, 2015

I have a 28 kilogram male American Staffy who does the common (for his breed) licking and chewing of his feet to excess due to allergies. My vet suggested one 10mg Zyrtec tablet daily help relieve his allergies. I give these to him every now and again as I find they can make him a little bit sleepy. I also give them with his meal.

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Ted February 5, 2015

I was told to give my dog a antihistamine following a Diamondback Rattlesnake bite to reduce swelling. Is this safe?

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Elizabeth December 18, 2014

They tested Zyrtec on dogs first, before it was available to humans. Vets still prescribe it to pets for allergies.

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Kand March 30, 2015

I never give any antihistamine that has a decongestant in it, ever! So anything that says D at the end is a no-no. Changing foods should be tried. See if it’a certain meat. Maybe a fish-based food would be helpful. Testing should be done to see what allergies your dog has. I give antihistamines because I already know what environmental allergies he has and they are unavoidable. He also takes Atopica and the antihistamines are on the off days. I find that Benadryl does nothing. After trying many, I like Zyrtec as my favorite OTC antihistamine.

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