What are the Reasons for NOT Giving Benadryl to my Dog?

Many pet owners routinely use the popular over the counter medicine, Benadryl, to treat the symptoms of insect bites and allergic skin reactions in their dogs, but a popular question often asked by those who are unfamiliar with Benadryl is: what are the reasons for NOT giving Benadryl to my dog?

Benadryl is commonly used for treating dogs that are suffering the effects of an allergic reaction. Often such a reaction occurs as a result of an insect bite or sting, but some dogs develop allergies to all kinds of environmental allergens including dust, pollen, and even sunlight. In the case of problem allergies, many vets will prescribe Benadryl as a medicine to help control the symptoms and help restore a better quality of life for the dog, but as a short-term antidote for stings and insect bites, Benadryl is the idea drug of choice.

Benadryl is also popularly used to help alleviate the symptoms of travel sickness as it has useful anti emetic properties. When administered in the correct dosage, Benadryl can help to sedate and prevent motion sickness in dogs destined for a long car or airplane journey.

For most people, their dog is a much loved and a very important member of the family, so it stands to reason that you would never wish to do anything that might cause your beloved pet any harm and administering human medicines to pets can sometimes fall into rather a grey area of unknown risk.

What are the reasons for NOT giving Benadryl to my dog?

Benadryl is an anti histamine medication primarily designed for human use, but it is also routinely used to treat the effects of allergies and motion sickness in dogs and other pets. In most cases, Benadryl is completely safe to use and causes no ill effects whatsoever, but in a few rare instances, Benadryl is NOT safe to use in dogs and if administered, it can cause all kinds of health problems.

Administering Benadryl to your pet for the first time should always be done under supervision from your veterinary surgeon. Benadryl is known to cause a number of minor side effects including drowsiness, which might not be a problem, particularly if the medication is being given to help control travel sickness in the animal, but there are also a number of other instances where Benadryl should not be used.

Benadryl should never be given to a dog suffering from cardiovascular disease, prostatic disease, hyperthyroidism, glaucoma, lung disease, or a few other serious health conditions, so if in doubt always check with your veterinary clinic.

If you give your dog Benadryl for the first time and it shows any signs of an adverse reaction, always seek medical advice as soon as is practicable. In most cases, side effects from Benadryl are exceptionally rare, but they can and do occur in some dogs. Excessive drooling, vomiting, diarrhoea, hyperactivity, and a reduced appetite are all side effects that have been reported by some dog owners, so always be careful when “self medicating” your dog.

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  1. Ellen Dayhoff says:

    what I don’t understand is why the dose is so high for dogs….humans are to take 2, and weight isn’t an issue or apart of the calculation. giving 1ml = 1 lb of weight..if I did that for myself, I’d have to take a heck of alot of them….just curious…thanks

    • S.Henson says:

      The typical recommended dose of Benadryl in dogs is one 25mg tablet per 25 pounds of body weight. A half tablet can be given to dogs weighing less than 25 pounds, but never exceed a dose of 50mg per larger dog.

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