Benadryl is a popular drug typically prescribed to help alleviate the symptoms of motion sickness and allergies in humans, but it can also be used to relieve the same symptoms in animals, specifically dogs. So can you use Benadryl to increase sleep in dogs that are refusing to take a nap?
The active ingredient in Benadryl is Diphenhydramine hydrochloride. The drug was first developed as an antihistamine several decades ago, but it was soon discovered that as well as being an effective treatment for allergies, Benadryl also had some rather useful side effects. Not only can it control nausea and vomiting and is therefore an excellent remedy for travel sickness, it can also act as a mild sedative.
Many pet owners routinely administer Benadryl to their dogs before a long journey in the car, train, or plane. The drug is very effective at sedating the animal and ensuring that the journey passes smoothly and uneventfully, and because Benadryl helps to relieve the symptoms of travel sickness, not only will you have a nice quiet dog for the duration, you will also have a nice clean car. But whilst sedating dogs for long journeys is very common, there are also plenty of other reasons for giving your dog a mild sedative, and some dogs can benefit from the sedative effects of Benadryl on other occasions.
When can I use Benadryl to increase sleep in dogs?
Dogs with very nervous dispositions can be a nightmare to deal with upon occasion. These are the type of dogs who spend all night moaning and barking because they cannot settle into a new home, or because it is Bonfire night and the loud noises are truly terrifying to them. Alternatively, you might have acquired a cute new puppy, but are being kept awake every night because the puppy is missing it’s mum or is under the illusion it should be sleeping in your bed rather than it’s own.
Benadryl can be used for any of these scenarios, and as long as you are careful with the dosage, the mild sedative effect will help calm the dog down and help it to sleep for longer.
What is the easiest way to administer Benadryl to a dog to help him sleep?
Benadryl can be bought in tablet form or as a liquid, but the tablets or pills are more suitable for dogs due to the high levels of alcohol in the liquid form of Benadryl. The generally accepted safe dose for dogs is one 25mg tablet per 25 pounds pf body weight. Smaller dogs will require less Benadryl to be effective, so always weigh your dog prior to giving them a dose of the drug. For very small dogs, seek veterinarian advice first before giving Benadryl.
If you only need to sedate your dog for a short time, one dose of Benadryl will probably be sufficient, but if you need to keep the dog sleepy for a longer period of time, a maximum of two doses can be given in one 24-hour period.
Is it safe to use Benadryl to increase sleep in dogs?
In most cases, Benadryl is perfectly safe to use with dogs, but in a few rare cases, the drug can cause side effects including drooling and appetite suppression. It can also make some dogs sick, so it is usually better to give the dog a light meal prior to dosing them on Benadryl.