Benadryl for food allergies in dogs

A common question for pet owners is: can I use Benadryl for food allergies in dogs? The answer, thankfully, is yes, Benadryl is an excellent antihistamine medication and although it was originally designed for human allergies, it can successfully be used to treat the symptoms of allergies in dogs.

What is Benadryl?

Benadryl is the well-known brand name for Diphenhydramine hydrochloride, a drug that was developed in the 1970s to treat the symptoms of allergies in humans. As a first generation antihistamine, Benadryl was discovered to cause a number of unexpected side effects, including drowsiness and the ability to prevent vomiting and sickness.

Today, these qualities are the very reason why many pet owners choose Benadryl as a medication for the treatment of travel sickness in dogs and cats. Benadryl can also be used as a mild tranquiliser for long journeys and stressful events in a dog’s life.

Is it safe to use Benadryl for food allergies in dogs?

Like people, dogs suffer from common food allergies and intolerance to certain ingredients. Sometimes the allergic reaction is immediate, which makes it easy to pinpoint the trigger, but in other cases the reaction is delayed. In severe cases, the result of exposure to a food allergen can result in anaphylactic shock, which can kill a dog if it is not treated immediately. But no matter what the cause is, an effective treatment that can reduce the nasty symptoms of food allergies in dogs is essential.

Benadryl is ideal for reducing the unpleasant symptoms of a food allergy in dogs. In some dogs, the symptoms of a food allergy are fairly mild and might only be a slight skin rash or itchy patch of skin. In more severe cases, the hypersensitivity is so acute that the symptoms are systemic and the dog becomes very ill with severe facial swelling and an upset digestive system.

Common causes of food allergies in dogs include beef, dairy products and gluten. Food intolerances often develop over time and the symptoms can be extremely vague in the beginning: weight loss, a lack of energy, slight skin irritations.  Unfortunately, each time the offending food is eaten, more antibodies are produced by the dog’s immune system and the symptoms worsen unless the source of the allergy is removed.

With food allergies in dogs, a strict diet is the only way to control exposure to the food that is the root cause of the problem. However, whilst this will cure the problem in the long run, the symptoms of the allergy need to be dealt with in the short term, which is where Benadryl has proven extremely useful.

An antihistamine medication such as Benadryl can help to reduce the localized itching and swelling caused by intolerance to certain foodstuffs such as protein, beef or gluten. When the dog is affected by severe contact dermatitis, careful treatment with Benadryl will calm down the excessive itching and allow the affected skin to heal. Hypoallergenic shampoos will also help by reducing the levels of antigens on the skin. Your dog may also require a course of antibiotics if a secondary bacterial infection has developed.

You should administer the below Benadryl dosage every 8 hours/3 times a day.

Dog Weight Regular Dosage Maximum Dosage
8 lb 8 mg 16 mg
10 lb 10 mg 20 mg
12 lb 12 mg 24 mg
14 lb 14 mg 28 mg
16 lb 16 mg 32 mg
18 lb 18 mg 36 mg
20 lb 20 mg 40 mg
22 lb 22 mg 44 mg
24 lb 24 mg 48 mg
26 lb 26 mg 52 mg
28 lb 28 mg 56 mg
30 lb 30 mg 60 mg
32 lb 32 mg 64 mg
34 lb 34 mg 68 mg
36 lb 36 mg 72 mg
38 lb 38 mg 76 mg
40 lb 40 mg 80 mg
42 lb 42 mg 84 mg
44 lb 44 mg 88 mg
46 lb 46 mg 92 mg
48 lb 48 mg 96 mg
50 lb 50 mg 100 mg
52 lb 52 mg 104 mg
54 lb 54 mg 108 mg
56 lb 56 mg 112 mg
58 lb 58 mg 116 mg
60 lb 60 mg 120 mg
62 lb 62 mg 124 mg
64 lb 64 mg 128 mg
66 lb 66 mg 132 mg
68 lb 68 mg 136 mg
70 lb 70 mg 140 mg
72 lb 72 mg 144 mg
74 lb 74 mg 148 mg
76 lb 76 mg 152 mg
78 lb 78 mg 156 mg
80 lb 80 mg 160 mg
82 lb 82 mg 164 mg
84 lb 84 mg 168 mg
86 lb 86 mg 172 mg
88 lb 88 mg 176 mg
90 lb 90 mg 180 mg











































One Response to “Benadryl for food allergies in dogs”

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  1. puppyluv` says:

    I note that you mentioned LIQUID BENADRYL has alcohol in it and not appropriate to use for my dog’s food allergies. However, I have purchased LIFE BRAND (Shopper’s Drug Mart) Allergy Formula Liquid (not children’s) and note there is no alcohol listed on their non-medicinal ingredients. The medicinal ingredient is diphenhydramine hydrochloride. Non-Medicinal ingredients are Citric Acid, Corn Syrup, D&C Red No. 33, FD&C Red No. 40, Flavour, Gylcerin, Poloxamer 407, Purified Water, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Citrate, Sorbital.

    Can I assume that since there is no alcohol content in this Brand that it would be safe to use for my dog? Thanks for your time.

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