Read This Before Giving Your Dog Sudafed!

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Because this is a very serious topic let’s get straight to the point…

Can I Give My Dog Sudafed?Sudafed may cause your dog to experience:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Change in blood pressure
  • Hypertension
  • Nervousness

There are several other known complications linked to misuse of this nasal decongestant. Your dog could even die.

Providing your animal with any amount of Sudafed is a bad idea.

Do not experiment when it comes to your pet’s well-being.

Never Give Your Dog Sudafed

In fact, any medication that contains Pseudoephedrine should be avoided due to a potential for toxicity.

How times have changed!

OTC Sudafed was once routinely prescribed by vets, primarily for canine cases of urinary incontinence. Not so today despite the drug’s efficacy for improving urethral sphincter tone.

Benadryl is generally a much safer antihistamine/decongestant for dogs.

What a Key Study Shows

Sudafed toxicity can occur at doses of as little as 2mg per pound of your dog’s body weight.

And it gets worse!

Death has been documented at dosing just under 5mg (again based on the same lbs. formula).

Note: The data was taken from Veterinary Toxicology (Means, 1999; Ooms and Khan, 2001; Means, 2005) and converted from amounts based on kilograms.

Symptoms to Watch For

Has your dog ingested pseudoephedrine hydrochloride?

Be on the lookout for a number of side effects:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive salivation
  • Staggering
  • Tremors
  • Panting
  • Skin rashes
  • Decreased appetite
  • Fever
  • Itching
  • Lethargy
  • Restlessness

Make no mistake about it:

Sudafed is not safe and this is especially true in higher doses.

Dogs with cardiovascular problems as well as diabetes are at especially high risk.

It Is Not Only Sudafed


Phenylephrine is the active ingredient in many decongestants. So, this health hazard is not unique to Sudafed.

Reading of labels is a must!

And play it safe by going to a vet whenever your dog may have been given a risky drug.

Is your dog already exhibiting any of the above symptoms?

If so, it’s even more urgent to head to a clinic!

Monitor Your Buddy

With close observation, you will hopefully notice adverse Sudafed signs and act appropriately.

Because dogs have small bodies, things take less time to be digested and go through the blood stream.

You may notice changes within a couple of minutes of an ill-advised dose of Sudafed.

Treating Incontinence

It should be noted that any dog with an uncontrolled bladder does not necessarily have incontinence.

It could actually be an infection! Specialized antibiotics may be needed (certainly not Sudafed)!

Pet Poisoning Assistance

You will need a vet’s guidance but…

Hydrogen peroxide or activated charcoal may come in handy to prevent further Sudafed absorption.

Vomiting helps to purge toxins.

But please get your dog the proper help for a potentially fatal dose of any human medication.

The Bottom Line

Sudafed, due to the active ingredient, is too dangerous for your dog.

Thankfully there are much safer decongestants as well as incontinence medications.

So important:

Many symptoms common to Sudafed require urgent medical assistance. Get your dog treatment ASAP if, for whatever reason, this drug is in their system.

What Do You Think? Have Your Say Below…

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9 thoughts on “Read This Before Giving Your Dog Sudafed!”

  1. My 20 pound dog was sneezing, had watery eyes and a running nose. I gave him a half of a Sinutab and he is much better now. Is that okay?

  2. My 10 month old Border Collie has white gunky stuff in his eyes, especially in the mornings. Our vet says to give him Benadryl but all I have in my medicine cabinet is Sudafed. The vet seems to think his condition is caused from allergies. Is this a good alternative?

    1. I have been giving my dogs Benadryl over the years. The vet recommended it and it’s not harmful. Sudafed dried me out so bad and gave me major headaches.

    2. My Border Collie has the same thing. We give him half a Zyrtec and it clears the redness. But the vet also suspects he may have an entropic eyelid which may need cosmetic surgery in the future. If it’s really irritated, we dab some warm teabags on his eyes which soothes it right down.

    3. No, it’s not. Sudafed isn’t an antihistamine. Get some Benadryl for your dog. Sudafed can be challenging for the heart.

  3. I meant to give my 28 pound dog 10mg of Claritin for his allergies but accidentally gave him a 120mg tablet of Sudafed. This occurred yesterday morning. He was somewhat hyper and dazed yesterday and licked his lips a lot. This morning he seems to be back to normal. Are there any potential long term effects we should be worried about? Thanks.

    1. You just gave him too much. 120mg is for adults weighing over a 100 pounds. By now, you know that he will survive. Vets sometimes give Benadryl shots for allergies. At one time, you could buy pills that could be cut in half from the pharmacist.

  4. My 110 pound German Shepherd has chronic nasal and chest congestion that has lasted 17 months. We cannot find what is causing it. Can I give him Sudafed to dry up the mucus?

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