Benadryl, which is a brand name for the chemical Diphenhydramine, is an allergy medication taken by millions of sufferers around the world. But can you give your dog Benadryl? Is it safe for your pooch to consume this antihistamine in order to ease its allergy symptoms and its suffering?
Can I Give my Dog Benadryl?
According to PetMD, Benadryl is perfectly safe to give your dog. In fact, it is often prescribed by vets who recommend that pet owners buy this from their local pharmacy and administer it themselves. This is something we have also heard from vets and from pet owners who have used the drug themselves.
The standard dose of Benadryl for a dog is 1mg per pound of body weight. Many of the tablets you find at the drug store are 25mg, which means they can be hard to break down into smaller and exact doses. They can also contain other drugs, such as acetaminophen/paracetamol, which you should avoid giving to your dog.
So, if you are going to give them a dose of Benadryl then make sure you check the ingredients, weigh them and weigh the dose exactly. You can then give them this dose 2 to 3 times a day. But not so quick, as there are a few other things to consider.
When Not to Give Your Dog Benadryl
There are some contraindications with Benadryl when used by dogs. You should avoid giving it to dogs that have any preexisting health conditions without first consulting your vet, and you should always avoid giving it to dogs that have high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases or glaucoma. In all of these cases Benadryl can be dangerous, but your vet may still recommend it as a treatment.
When to Give Your Dog Benadryl
In all cases, we would still recommend that you consult a vet before you do anything. You need to make sure that the symptoms are linked to allergies and that Benadryl will be effective. You also need to be sure of the dose and to make sure that your dog is fit and healthy enough to consume any of this medication.
Your vet may simply tell you to buy the Benadryl and use it without any further tests. But they might not, and when your pet’s health is at risk it’s just not worth it. Benadryl is a mild antihistamine at best and may not be effective in helping you dog with whatever allergy issues they might be having. If the reactions are mild, then it will probably be effective. If they are having a serious allergic reaction then an oral dose of Benadryl is unlike to have an effect and it may not be absorbed in time.
In such cases your first response should be to phone the emergency vet or to take your dog immediately to them. They can provide advice over the phone based on their experience and your dog’s medical history. They may also be able to deliver an injection of anti-histamines that work quicker and with greater potency than Benadryl.