If your dog is prone to allergies, Benadryl may be a must for their “medicine cabinet”. Many vets recommend Benadryl for dogs and cats with certain conditions, and you can always get it at your local pharmacy, if you don’t have it in your first aid kit.
Benadryl (active ingredient – Diphenhydramine) is an antihistamine that is considered very safe for use in canines and felines. With allergies, it can help to reduce their severity and help the animal to stop itching and start to improve. Many vets suggest to have his medicine on hand if your dogs are ever bit or stung by anything, or show symptoms of a mild seasonal allergy, etc.
In addition to being of huge help with dog allergies and hives, Benadryl can also help to treat certain other conditions in canines, including motion sickness, insect bites (fleas, bugs, etc.) and stings (bees, wasps, etc.). It can also be used as a mild sedative for stress and anxiety, such as with storm phobia and fear of fireworks. Sometimes it is even used for insomnia in pets.
Which type of Benadryl is safe for dogs? It is best to use original Benadryl that contains pure Diphenhydramine plus some inert ingredients. Some people use children’s Benadryl, but it has sweeteners and flavorings. Also note that the children’s Benadryl is half strength the original Benadryl. Some types of liquid Benadryl may be too high in alcohol content for pets. Cough syrups with Benadryl in them are not safe to use in dogs, as they have some ingredients that can be toxic to canines. Sometimes Benadryl is used as cream externally, such as to treat hot spots in dogs.
The general dosage of Benadryl for dogs is 1 mg per 1 lb every 6-8 hrs. However, the dosage may be much smaller for small dogs and puppies. Just like Benadryl is not recommended for kids under the age of two, this medicine may be unsafe for pups under a certain age. Also, this medicine may be unsafe for dogs with certain health conditions, dogs taking certain other medicines, and pregnant or nursing dogs. Be sure to ask your vet first.
The good thing is that when using Benadryl in canines, symptoms often go away in days. Note that this medicine can make some dogs sleepy, and some – nervous.
To be safe, speak to a vet who knows the age and physical condition of your dog. They will tell you if Benadryl is safe to use in your dog, as well as how much to use, how often, and which type of Benadryl to use. In fact, it is always recommended to see the vet to have the dog evaluated before any medicine is given.
How much Benadryl is lethal? Basically, it is very difficult to overdose on Benadryl, especially to the point of ingesting it in a lethal dose. However, it is recommended not to exceed the dosage of 1 mg of Benadryl per 1 lb of the dog’s weight, 3 times a day. If you do overdose your pet on Benadryl, be sure to contact a vet immediately.