What You Must Know Before Giving Your Dog Claritin!

Last Updated on

Straight to the point: Claritin has higher risks for dogs compared to human use.

Nevertheless, the regular version can be carefully given to animals. Of course, your vet should be involved before any antihistamine is used on your dog.

Can I Give My Dog Claritin?It is important to understand the following:

Claritin-D contains Pseudoephedrine, an active ingredient, which should never be given to dogs as it can be very harmful.

With Vet Approval, Your Dog Can Take Claritin

Are you seeing sneezing, coughing, wheezing and similar allergy-related symptoms?

Also known as Loratadine, this drug works for dogs too. But the thing is these issues usually resolve on their own.

Careful With Claritin

Claritin-D can be extremely dangerous for dogs. Actually any version has potential for harm.

Keep in mind this product was originally available by prescription-only.

Get professional guidance whenever considering an antihistamine.

Common Side Effects

You can expect an upset stomach and an increase in thirst if a dog reacts poorly to Claritin.

They may also not be able to fully empty their bladder due to this powerful drug.

More serious side effects include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Behavioral changes
  • Fever
  • Gum discoloration
  • Seizures

We worry when people give it to their dogs without a vet’s help!


Warning: Never give Claritin to a pregnant dog!


Typical Dog Dosing

A typical Claritin dose for a dog is largely based on body weight.

Rule of Thumb: Never exceed 0.25mg for each pound.

Small to medium-sized dogs may be given approximately 5mg over a 24-hour period.

Larger breeds could be administered up to 10mg per day.

Again, check with a vet before providing any medication to a precious pet!

A Good Alternative

Look into getting an Apoquel prescription if your dog has a persistent allergy or general itchiness.

This newer drug is effective (though it’s much more expensive than Claritin).

Finding Solutions

Claritin, or similar drugs, cannot fix your dog’s allergies.

It would be best if you could pin down exactly what is causing the problem.

Is your dog is spending a lot of time outside?

It can be hard to know exactly what’s getting into their nose. Not impossible though!

Try to investigate what’s causing the allergic reaction. This strategy should eventually solve your dog’s pesky allergy situation, something that Claritin cannot do.

Hit or miss use of Claritin is playing a dangerous game.

Emergency Situations

In most cases, allergies aren’t life-threatening.

Call a vet if you notice your dog seriously wheezing or having trouble breathing.

They may advise you to provide Claritin for relief. But, again, sometimes it is necessary to go for a diagnosis and more suitable treatment.

If your dog somehow got into a bunch of Claritin then take them to a vet as soon as possible!

The Bottom Line

Using Claritin (especially Claritin-D) on your dog comes with serious risks.

Try to determine and eliminate the source(s) of such problems. Too often pets are hastily medicated with human drugs to cover-up allergies.

Whatever you do, for your dog’s sake, avoid experimental use of Claritin.

What Do You Think? Have Your Say Below…

Was This Article Helpful?

11 thoughts on “What You Must Know Before Giving Your Dog Claritin!”

  1. I gave my dog 5mg of Claritin and after a few hours she hasn’t scratched once. My vet prescribed Apoquel but I have not tried it yet. At 103 dollars for 35 pills that will last 3 weeks. I can’t afford it so I’m sticking with Claritin.

    1. Nancy Nunez says:

      I saw your post. I paid $2,000 for a shot from the vet, but it only lasted about 4 days. I bought some Claritin today at work and gave it to her. What a difference! I will keep a bottle on hand at all times.

  2. Claritin D can kill a dog because it has the stimulant Pseudoephedrine. Every vet I’ve talked to has said regular Claritin is safe when dosed at no more than 20mg per day.

    Apoquel is very expensive and comes with a slew of side effects. My dog became extremely lethargic and started vomiting and refused to eat when he was on it. It seems Claritin is a better option.

  3. As a physician, I can tell you Claritin (loratadine) is quite safe.

  4. Christina says:

    My Lab suffers from seasonal allergies. His previous vet tried all steroids, OTC allergy meds and nothing worked. He eats a high quality, gluten-free diet with the appropriate amount of fish oil and vitamin E, along with probiotics and coconut oil. He is mostly an inside dog, but loves to be outside to play, swim and run whenever he can.

    Our new vet put him on Apoquel. We are going broke at $76 every 10 days! It is helping, but certainly not a miracle cure. At that price it should be! Now I’m trying to find which OTC we can supplement at night with.

    Benedryl doesn’t work. We have used Claritin before and will try it again. It’s better than putting him back on steroids. Maybe the combination will work. We can’t spend $230.00 a month on Apoquel. We’ll all starve.

    1. Wow, my vet charges $104 for 30 days.

  5. I have a dog with severe seasonal allergies. From April through July his skin gets so raw from his scratching that he looks like he has mange. He is 100% grain free, eating a diet that is 99% raw and if he isn’t eating raw he’s eating some Taste of the Wild. He is on probiotics, vitamins and high quality fish oil.

    The addition of Claritin to his life has been a major improvement. Benadryl never did much to help him and Zyrtec has helped a little. But Claritin has really helped him recently. You can’t just eliminate what a dog is allergic to. It isn’t as simple a task to figure it out with a dog like it is with a human.

    Even if we found out he was allergic to oak or maple pollen, it isn’t possible to remove every tree from the neighborhood.

    1. Did you use the 24-hour non-drowsy Claritin, and did you just give your dog one dose per day?

  6. For dogs with severe allergies such as mine, over the counter drugs are a great option. My dog has been on Cyclosporine, an anti-rejection drug for transplant patients, for years as well as Benadryl.

    We are working on reducing this by supplementing it with Claritin. We rescued our Lab, who would be hairless and bleed daily if it were not for the hundreds of dollars a month we spend to keep him comfortable.

  7. My vet told me to give 1 Claritin in the morning and 1 at night. My dog weighs about 65 pounds.

    1. What breed is your 65 pound dog? I have a American Bulldog mix that weighs 70 pounds. Also, do you know what your dog is allergic to?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.