Benadryl is a medicine that humans can use, but it is also suitable and made for dogs as well.
Benadryl for dogs is an extremely useful medicine, but only ever at the right time and also in the right dosage. Given the differing size of dogs and the differences in breeds, it can be difficult to know what the right dosage is for our furry friends. So it is good to know what the right dosage is, given what it can do to help out a dog who is feeling poorly.
Benadryl is an extremely helpful medicine because it is an antihistamine. It can, therefore, help dogs that are suffering from allergies, allergic reactions, stressed bites as well as anxiety and motion sickness by relieving stress.
How Does Benadryl Work?
Benadryl is able to alleviate many conditions and symptoms in dogs by blocking H-1 receptors that are on tiny blood vessels and smooth muscles in the body. In the cases where dogs are suffering from an allergic reaction, the reaction is caused by histamine attached to these H-1 receptors which make blood vessels widen so that inflammation is seen which can lead to itchiness and even muscles around a dog’s airways to contract.
This is why Benadryl can help relieve inflamed insect bites and bee stings as well as any adverse reactions to vaccines that your pooch may have had by stopping histamine’s ability to cause these reactions in the first instance. It can be used as a drug to help them with anxiety and motion sickness because it also has the properties of a mild sedative.
It is mainly the active ingredient called Diphenhydramine that works to help diminish symptoms like rashes and sneezes that are so common in an allergic reaction. It is also the ingredient that helps to encourage sleep so Diphenhydramine is what is in Benadryl that helps with anxiety. Additionally, it can be helpful to use it if you want to help encourage sleep should your dog be suffering so much for whatever reason and needs to rest.
Benadryl can also, remarkably, be used in other more serious conditions. For example, when a tumor has been found or when they have heartworm. It works to help mitigate the effects of a cell degranulation that causes a huge histamine release when dogs have tumors. While it certainly will not cure a dog of its tumor, it can be used to help slow it does.
When To Give Benadryl To Dogs
You should only ever really give your dog Benadryl when it is recommended by your vet. They will know your dog’s history as well as the risks, however small, that come along with taking Benadryl, regardless of the perceived advantages that you or your vet may be trying to achieve by administering it.
Additionally, it is always best to give your dog Benadryl when they have a full stomach. This is because one of the side effects of Benadryl is that dogs can become nauseous and then go on to suffer from a lack of appetite. A good tip is to give them the Benadryl tablets with their food by breaking them up to hide them so they don’t think to refuse it. Many dogs will not eat a tablet when it is not hidden with food in the first instance, so make it easier for both you and them to give them their medication by putting it within their food.
When Not To Give Benadryl To Dogs
Never ever give your dog Benadryl if you have not consulted with your vet first. It is not a medication that should be used with dogs through self-medication. This is especially true if your dog is still very young and of puppy age.
Dog owners need to also be aware that some products claiming to be Benadryl, simply aren’t and can contain more active ingredients that may in the wrong circumstances give your dog some adverse side effects. In the worst cases, they can leave your dog with serious health conditions like liver damage, high blood pressure, and an increased heart rate. It is simply not worth the risk using unknown medications, so only use drugs that have been prescribed by your vet.
Additionally, be wary of continually giving your dog Benadryl to help relieve itchiness and uncomfortable skin conditions. This is because by administering Benadryl, a dog owner is simply alleviating symptoms and not curing the actual underlying problem. If a dog has a persistent skin condition, an owner should work with a vet to find out what is actually causing the condition. It could be that your dog simply needs to have his or her diet altered in some way, or it could be a sign of another underlying issue.
What Is The Right Dosage Of Benadryl To Give To Dogs?
As previously mentioned, the dosage that a dog can receive of Benadryl is solely dependent on your dog’s size. If you are ever in the slightest way unsure of what is the correct course of action to follow with regards to dosage, call your vet immediately.
If your dog weighs less than 30lbs, every dose of Benadryl should be 10mg. If your dog weighs anything between 30 or 50 lbs, your dog can have 25 mg for every dosage of Benadryl you give him or her. Then, if your dog weighs more than 50lbs, your dog can be given 50mg of Benadryl per dose. A good way to work out exactly what they can have, dog owners can even try giving their dog 1 mg of Benadryl for every pound they weigh.
Your vet, however, may prescribe a little more or a little less depending on what they are trying to cure with the use of Benadryl. For example, if they have received a nasty snake bite, they may well ask you to give them a far higher dosage.
How Often Should Benadryl Be Given To Dogs?
On the whole, Benadryl is totally fine to give to your dog two to three times over an eight hour period. Plus it is a drug that works a little like antibiotics – don’t suddenly stop giving it to your dog the moment they start to act like they are better. If you stop it before it has finished doing all it needs to, you could see your dog deteriorate in the future. Instead, follow your vet’s advice and continue the course of Benadryl for the duration they recommended.
There is no denying that Benadryl can help a dog become more comfortable when they are suffering from allergic reactions to bites or allergies from environmental factors. When your dog has a continually runny nose in the summer or has a bite that has become inflamed from a nasty insect, it can be a fantastic fall back medicine that can help your dog no end.
However, it is always best to administer it, only upon the advice of your vet. This is because Benadryl can cause a number of side effects or may not work, or even upset, existing medication routines in your dog. At worst, it could actually worsen a preexisting condition in your dog which is the last thing that any dog owner will want.
If you give your dog Benadryl, even on the advice of your vet, keep an eye out for the following and call them straight away if you see any one of them in conjunction with taking a dose of the medicine.
- More than just mild sedation
- Increase in heart rate
- Increased rate of breathing
- Not going to the toilet regularly
- Dry mouth
- Increase in appetite
- Decrease in appetite
Carefully monitor your dog within the first 24 hours of giving him or her Benadryl for any one or some of these side effects.
Knowing these side effects immediately makes giving your dog Benadryl safer than it already is. Keeping an eye out for them means that you can happily give your dog Benadryl so they can enjoy the benefits of the drug and alleviate whatever stress they are under at that point in time – be that anxiety itself or an exceedingly painful insect bite. And remember to always follow the advice of your vet when administering any drug to your pet.