Benadryl for Dogs: Use, Dosage, and Symptoms

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benadryl for dogs

It is often recommended be given Benadryl for dogs. It can be given to most people safely, but it is important to know what exactly Benadryl is, how much Benadryl dosage for dogs?, and how long does Benadryl take to work in dogs?.

What is Benadryl for dogs?

Benadryl is actually the brand name for a drug called diphenhydramine hydrochloride. Benadryl is an antihistamine and does not require a prescription. It comes in the form of tablets, capsules and liquid gels of several concentrations or milligrams.

It is sometimes combined with other drugs. You will need to read the packaging carefully to make sure that diphenhydramine is the only medicine you buy for your dog.

How does Benadryl work for dogs?

As an antihistamine, Benadryl works by blocking the release of histamine and acetylcholine that the body produces in response to an allergic reaction. Also dries up watery eyes, runny nose and lessens swelling, sneezing, itching and other allergy symptoms. It is also often used to make the dog sleepy or to help him with motion sickness.

What does Benadryl treat in dogs?

Because it is an antihistamine, most people take it because of allergies such as hay fever, or to minimize the irritation caused by an allergy to pets, etc. There are, however, a host of complaints dealt with by this drug that most people are less aware of, including:

  • Swelling
  • Vomiting
  • Urticaria
  • hyperactivity
  • Travel sickness
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety and stress

Can I give my dog Benadryl ?

Veterinarians recommend Benadryl for dogs on a fairly regular basis, so the very broad answer to this question is yes – in some situations, Benadryl is safe to give to dogs. There are, however, many things that you need to check carefully before you go ahead and administer this medication to your pet.

The most important thing to look for is that the particular Benadryl product you have contains only Diphenhydramine.

Satirizing is an active ingredient in some Benadryl products, that can be used for dogs in special circumstances, but, it will not treat any problems present if your veterinarian has recommended Benadryl.

Is Benadryl safe for dogs?

Acetaminophen and pseudo ephedrine are also found in some Benadryl products, and while these are a great addition for humans, they are not safe for dogs. When administered to dogs, these drugs are considered to be toxins.

The most common problems caused by these two additional drugs are liver damage, and increased heart rate and blood pressure. So just be very careful to look at the ingredients in the product you hope to buy.

Even if you are happy that you have the right product to give to your pet, you should just still talk to your veterinarian before you even administer it.

There are circumstances when this medication would not be recommended in order to get professional advice before ever giving it a try.

Can I give my dog Benadryl Made for human consumption?

There is no product of this nature made specifically for dogs, so if your veterinarian does not recommend, the drug made for humans is the only available “over the counter” option.

Currently, the FDA has not approved the use of Benadryl for dogs. However, it is often recommended by veterinarians, because of its ability to help relieve a series of issues with very few significant side effects.

Make sure you don’t handle the type of product advised by your veterinarian – release capsules, for example, are a very popular form of the drug for humans, but for dogs they can because of a health risk.

If you give your dog a capsule, they are likely to receive a dose that is too high if they chew, and if swallowed whole, it is unlikely that it will be properly digested which could lead to another visit to the vet. !

What specific things can Benadryl treat in dogs?

Food allergy

Always check with your veterinarian that allergies do not cause your dog more serious problems, but if this is not the case, Benadryl is generally recommended for this reason.

Bee Stings and Insect Bites

If your dog is not having a severe reaction to a bite or bite, Benadryl can be used to help relieve the irritation caused by common creatures.

Urticaria

Benadryl will not get rid of hives faster than they would normally go away on their own, but the medication can make your dog much more comfortable while the hives are present.

Reactions to Vaccinations

Some veterinarians recommend giving a dose of Benadryl, before getting the vaccination to help prevent side effects or discomfort from the injection.

Calm down during thunderstorms and fireworks

The medication has a calming effect on dogs and often makes them drowsy and sedated, so it can be helpful if your dog finds occasions like storms or stressful fireworks.


If you know there is an opportunity like this coming, speak to your veterinarian, and stock up on the medication ahead of time to help keep your dog calm and settled!

Travel sickness

Due to the effects on the brain and nervous system, this medication is generally recommended to combat motion sickness.


Benadryl takes about 30 minutes to take effect, if traveling is a problem, remember to administer the dose half an hour before leaving.

Before Flying

Being helpful to both evil and calming dogs makes Benadryl good medication to administer, before flying to help them pass the time quickly and calmly.

Benadryl Dosage for Dogs

Before using the dosage guidelines, be sure to check with your veterinarian, as there are a series of circumstances that could change the amount you should administer.

For a healthy dog, you should weigh them, and per 1 pound (0.45 kg) of body weight, you should administer 1 mg of Benadryl (referring to products that do not contain diphenhydramine).

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The average size of a Benadryl tablet is 25 mg, so if you have a 25 pound (ca. 11 kg) dog, you should give them 1 tablet.

On rare occasions, such as, in response to a snake bite, a single dose may need to be doubled to help make your dog comfortable.

Obviously, if you suspect your dog has been bitten by a snake, veterinary emergency advice is necessary.

How much Benadryl can I give my dog?

The recommended Benadryl for dogs dosage is the correct amount administered 2 or 3 times a day, with an 8 to 12 hour gaps between doses.

Benadryl should not be administered to your pet more than 3 times in all 1 day.

If your veterinarian has recommended giving your dog the medication for a certain number of days, make sure you have completed the suggested course and do not stop giving it if your pet begins to look better.

It may be that the antihistamine is simply what makes them more comfortable and able to cope better with their original symptoms.

If you are using dog Benadryl dose on a long-term basis, be aware that the effectiveness may start to decrease over time.

If your dog has a condition that needs antihistamines to treat them over a longer period of time, ask your veterinarian for other antihistamine products that you can “swap” to give them a break from Benadryl.

Benadryl for Dogs Side Effects

As with any medication, there are a range of side effects that can affect your dog.

Each animal (and human) may respond to medication differently, so your pet may experience none, some, or all of these symptoms:

  • Drowsiness / sedation
  • Lack of interest in food
  • Diarrhea
  • Disease
  • Produce less urine than usual
  • Dry mouth

If your dog seems to be having a strong reaction to Benadryl, it may be that they are very sensitive to it, so talk to your veterinarian again for recommendations on different forms of medication to try.

Can you kill your dog with Benadryl?

If your dog has existing disorders or is already taking medication, it may not be recommended for them to take Benadryl.

You should not administer the medication to your dog if they have any of the following conditions, or have suffered from them in the past:

  • Lung diseases
  • Heart disease
  • Glaucoma
  • Hypertension
  • Enlarged prostate
  • known sensitivity to diphenhydramine

Pregnancy is also something to consider, the complications caused by needing medication during pregnancy are very similar to those we see in humans!

In general, medication that is not essential should be avoided in an attempt to keep the unborn puppies as healthy as possible during gestation.

It is recommended not to administer Benadryl to a pregnant dog, but depending on the individual circumstances, your veterinarian may decide that necessity outweighs the risks.

Make sure you are very clear in your consultation that your dog is, or may be pregnant if this is the case.

Can you give a Benadryl liquid dog?

Benadryl produces a liquid form of medicine, and a model specially designed for children can also be given to dogs as it is alcohol-free.

If you decide to use the liquid form, do make sure that you are working on the correct dosage.

5ml of Benadryl medication liquid should contain 12.5 mg of diphenhydramine, and the dosage should be worked out to 0.4ml of medicine per pound of your dog’s weight.

Can you give your dog a Benadryl pill ?

It is safe to give your dog Benadryl in the form of a pill, as long as it is not in the form of a slow-release capsule.

Check the label carefully to make sure you have selected the right product from the Benadryl range.

Dog overdose on Benadryl symptoms :

It is possible for dogs to overdose on Benadryl, and if they do, the consequences can be serious.

If you think your dog may have overdosed the medicine, contact your veterinarian immediately for further advice.

The common symptoms that your dog may have received too much of the drug are:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Muscle tremor / muscle spasms
  • High temperature
  • extreme fatigue

A less common side effect of overdose on this medication is also high blood pressure, which can lead to seizures and other more serious problems.

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