Can you give Claritin to dogs if you don’t have Benadryl?

Whilst Benadryl is a popular anti-histamine drug used by pet owners to treat the effects of an allergic reaction in their dogs, there are several other alternatives that can be given when Benadryl is unavailable. Can you give Claritin to dogs if you don’t have Benadryl?

Claritin is the brand name of a drug called Loratadine. The medication is commonly used to treat the effects of allergic reactions in humans, but it can also be successfully prescribed for use in treating acute inflammatory and allergic reactions in dogs. Examples of canine conditions suitable for treatment using Claritin include:

•    Vaccination reactions
•    Stings and insect bites
•    Snake bites
•    Itchy skin conditions
•    Bad reactions to blood transfusions

Can you give Claritin to dogs if you don’t have Benadryl?

One of the popular reasons to administer traditional anti-histamines such as Benadryl to dogs is because one of the most common side effects caused by the drug is drowsiness. This means Benadryl can be used as a mild sedative, which makes it very useful for owners who need to take their dog on a long journey. Benadryl is also typically given to dogs counteract the symptoms of stress in certain situations.

Claritin is one of a newer generation of anti-histamines that do not cause drowsiness as a side effect, so although Claritin is effective as a treatment for the symptoms of an allergic reaction in dogs, it is useless as a mild sedative. Therefore Claritin is no good for those who need to calm down a stressed dog or send it to sleep on a long journey.

Although Claritin is not good as a sedative, it does have one major advantage over Benadryl. It is considerably longer lasting and when used for the treatment of allergic reactions, one or two doses per day are sufficient to treat dogs. The tablets are also much smaller than more traditional types of anti-histamine such as Benadryl, which makes it easier to administer to pets.

Can you give Claritin to dogs if you don’t have Benadryl?

Although Benadryl is very widely used amongst pet owners who are looking for a mild sedative or anti allergy medication to treat their dogs, Claritin can also be used in certain circumstances. However, there is an important distinction to be made between Claritin and Claritin D.

Claritin D contains a different drug known as Pseudoephedrine. In higher doses, pseudoephedrine has been found to cause toxicity in dogs and can even be fatal if the dose administered is high enough, so never be tempted to give your pet dog Claritin D.

Before giving Claritin or Benadryl to your pet dog, always seek advice from your veterinarian. Medications such as Claritin are specifically designed to treat humans rather than pets, so although they do have many useful applications for animals, they can also cause side effects such as dry eyes and increased thirst. There are also some instances where anti-histamines such as Claritin and Benadryl should not be given, so it is wise to check with your vet first.

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