Is Benadryl Safe For Dogs?

Posted by Amanda Langill on

Benadryl is a brand name for the active ingredient Diphenhydramine. Diphenhydramine is an antihistamine which can help treat pain, itching, allergy symptoms, and allergic reactions. Antihistamines prevent the physiological effects of histamine which is released by cells as a response to an allergy. It is typically safe when given to dogs, although not yet FDA-approved for veterinary use.

White and brown dog rolling in green grass

Benadryl can be used to treat mild allergies such as environmental and seasonal. It can also be used to treat the symptoms of allergic reactions from insect bites or food. The symptoms we may see in our dogs that are experiencing allergies could be:

  • Itching
  • Hives
  • Swelling
  • Sneezing
  • Redness
  • Inflammation
  • Anaphylactic Reaction

We may also use Benadryl for the side effect of drowsiness. It can often be given to a dog before riding in the car or experiencing a similar anxiety inducing event.

Before grabbing the Benadryl, make sure to ask your veterinarian if it is okay to administer to your dog. They will give you the proper dosage or may want to evaluate your dog's symptoms to see if it could be something more serious than allergies. In some cases, Benadryl can worsen preexisting conditions and they could have an allergic reaction to the Benadryl itself. It may also not be safe to mix with other medications your dog may be on.

white and brown puppy itching face

If you know it is okay to give your dog Benadryl be careful not to give them too much because an overdose is possible. One mg of Benadryl per one pound of body weight is typically the appropriate dosage. It can take up to 30 minutes for the medicine to start working. If your dog is having a severe allergic reaction you can give them the Benadryl and immediately transport them to the nearest emergency vet. Let them know when you administered Benadryl and how much.

Never give your dog any Benadryl with Acetaminophen in it. Never give your dog time-release capsules. Monitor your dog closely after giving them the medication. Always consult your vet before giving your pet any new medications.

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