Zyrtec is a antihistamine, sometimes used for dogs, to alleviate itchiness and allergy-related skin irritations. Many owners consider this medication for stubborn allergies, specifically those affecting the skin.
Regular Zyrtec is a brand name for Cetirizine which isn’t formulated for canines yet it is prescribed by vets. Despite being a powerful drug, it’s well-tolerated by dogs with the exception of the D-version.
Your vet will likely prescribe something else, but you can use some Zyrtec products if you know the risks and properly dose them for your dog. In any case, getting a diagnosis is the best course of action.
Can I Give My Dog Zyrtec? Answer: Yes, properly dosed with some restrictions
But Zyrtec-D (pictured here) is absolutely toxic and can be life threatening.
This drug is successfully given to dogs, but there are plenty of 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 over-the-counter antihistamine may do more harm than good, especially when misused.
We cannot stress enough that Zyrtec-D is never an option for dogs. It contains a dangerous chemical called pseudoephedrine.
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 OTC 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.
Ask yourself if 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
As much as people hate to see a favorite pet struggle, dogs are pretty good at tolerating a bout of itching or sneezing. They do not make a big deal out of allergy annoyances the same way us humans do.
In truth, 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 if there are no signs of fleas or ticks.
A vet’s diagnosis will go a long way towards eliminating your dog’s allergies, something Zyrtec certainly cannot do! Look into Apoquel for stubbornly itchy skin.
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 is experiencing an acute reaction, get them to a professional. Zyrtec can actually worsen symptoms, such as wheezing or trouble breathing. Such emergency situations require medical attention ASAP.