Can I Give My Dog Zyrtec?

Can I Give My Dog Zyrtec?Zyrtec is an over-the-counter antihistamine used to treat itching and other allergic conditions. Maybe you’ve considered using this medication if you’re dog is suffering from severe itchiness or similar symptoms. It’s a good idea that you decided to check first.

Many dogs don’t process human meds very well, and owners can often exacerbate a problem rather than helping. Remember that these sort of medications may not have dire effects in the short term, but could be causing internal damage to your dog’s liver and other organs.

Zyrtec is a powerful drug. Though you were able to buy it at a local store, only recently did it become available without a doctor’s prescription. Your dog should have their own medication, specially formulated for canine use. But first they need to be properly diagnosed in regards to the specific allergies they may have. It could be something else that’s troubling them!

Can I Give My Dog Zyrtec? No, unless prescribed by a vet

Administering this to your dog without a vet’s diagnosis is not safe nor is it likely to be effective.

Zyrtec, also known as Cetirizine, is not formulated for a dog’s system. This drug may not react the same way it works on humans.

If your dog is experiencing itchy skin for a prolonged period you may want to inquire with your vet regarding a great canine medication called Apoquel instead.

Dogs & People Medication

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. It would be a bigger mistake to apply that person’s situation to your own.

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.

Dealing with K9 Allergies

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.

Try Natural Remedies

Your dog could be responding to an allergen within the home, or something they picked up from outside if they’ve recently been outside. Dogs have a knack for getting into places they don’t belong, and checking things out with their snout. That’s why they tend to get into more allergy trouble than other animals.

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.

When to See the Vet

If your dog’s allergy problem is gradually worsening, or they are having an acute reaction to something in their environment, take them in or at least call. If your dog is wheezing and having trouble breathing, you should take them in directly and as soon as possible.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

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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