What are the side effects of Benadryl? Many dog owners use Benadryl for controlling the symptoms of allergies and motion sickness in their pets with no problems whatsoever, but although Benadryl is considered relatively safe for use in dogs and other pets, it can produce unwanted side effects on occasion, so it is always a good idea to consult with your veterinarian before administering Benadryl or any other human medication to your beloved pet.
A first generation antihistamine, the active ingredient in Benadryl is Diphenhydramine hydrochloride. Although the drug was originally developed for treating the symptoms of allergies in humans, it soon became apparent that it had a few other useful side effects.
What are the side effects of Benadryl?
One of the main side effects of the drug is a strong propensity to cause muscle relaxation and drowsiness. In some instances, this side effect can be most welcome in pets: imagine how useful it can be if you require your pet to be quiet for a long journey! But in other instances, sending your dog to sleep for hours might not be very convenient, so you should always give careful consideration to whether a sleepy dog could cause you a few problems.
Although Benadryl is primarily used for treating the effects of insect bites and itchy skin problems, Diphenhydramine has anti emetic properties and is often used by pet owners to control the unpleasant symptoms of motion sickness. In most cases, Benadryl will provide a very effective cure for dogs that are prone to throwing up on long journeys, but in a few isolated cases, Benadryl actually causes vomiting. If this occurs when you give Benadryl to your dog, you may have to administer the drug with food in order to minimise the possibility of an upset stomach.
A dose of Benadryl can also affect the appetite of some dogs. This might not be a problem if you have a pathologically greedy Labrador, but it could be awkward if your dog is faddy with their food and cannot afford to miss a meal. If taking Benadryl affects a dog’s appetite, it is normally recommended that you feed the dog before you administer the medication.
Another rare side effect sometimes reported in dog owners who have given Benadryl to their pets is the sudden onset of hyperactivity. This can happen in both humans and dogs, but it is fortunately very uncommon. Some dogs also drool heavily when dosed up on Benadryl, which is somewhat unpleasant for your car and furnishings. Diarrhoea is another unpleasant Benadryl side effect occasionally reported by dog owners.
Benadryl can sometimes react badly with other types of medications, so before you try using Benadryl for the first time, always ask your veterinarian for advice, particularly if your dog is already taking existing medication for another medical condition. In most cases, Benadryl is very safe to use, but Benadryl and any other medication containing Diphenhydramine should never be used in pets with glaucoma, heart disease, an overactive thyroid or lung disease, or given to any dog with a known sensitivity to the drug.