How often should I give my Dog Benadryl?

Benadryl is a human medication used to treat the symptoms of allergies, but many pet owners also administer it to their dogs for various purposes. Benadryl is the brand name of Diphenhydramine Hydrochloride, an anti-histamine drug that has been commonly available for many years. Benadryl is widely believed to be safe for use with dogs, but a common question asked by dog owners is: how often should I give my dog Benadryl?

There are several reasons why you might be tempted to give your dog Benadryl, so before you try it, you need to be aware of the facts related to dosing dogs with Benadryl.

What conditions is Benadryl used to treat in dogs?

Benadryl is commonly used to treat the symptoms of allergic reactions in humans, but it is also very useful for treating similar reactions in dogs. Lots of veterinarians prescribe Benadryl for the treatment of itchy skin conditions caused by allergic reactions to fleas, pollen, dust and other common allergens. Benadryl can also be used to treat allergic reactions caused by insect stings.

As well as being an anti-histamine drug, Benadryl is commonly used for the treatment of motion sickness in dogs as it has excellent ant-emetic properties. When taken before a trip, Benadryl helps to suppress nausea and vomiting, which is very helpful if your pet is prone to travel sickness in cars, planes, trains, and any other form of transport.

One of the side effects of Benadryl is drowsiness. As a result, Benadryl is commonly given to dogs as a mild sedative prior to long journeys or stressful events, although in very rare cases, Benadryl can sometimes cause hyperactivity in dogs.

Dosage of Benadryl is based on body weight, so before administering Benadryl to your dog, it is very important that you weigh the animal. Although dogs normally require a higher dose than humans, it is still possible to inadvertently overdose the dog with Benadryl, so always check how much the dog weighs prior to administering the medication and never be tempted to take a wild guess as to how heavy your dog might be.

The dosage instructions for Benadryl are one 25mg tablet per 25 pounds in body weight, so a dog weighing 50 pounds would require two tablets. There are several ways you can try giving your dog a Benadryl tablet:

•    Crush the tablet up in some moist food
•    Place it in the dog’s mouth and rub the throat until he or she swallows the tablet
•    Hide the tablet in a juicy nugget of food and give it to the dog

How often should I give my dog Benadryl?

Benadryl should be administered every twelve hours and no more than two doses in twenty-four hours should be given to a dog. For the treatment of dogs likely to suffer from motion sickness, a dose of Benadryl should be given prior to the trip. Although Benadryl is used to treat motion sickness, it can make some dogs nauseas, so if this applies to your dog, it is usually better to give the dog some food prior to treating them with Benadryl.

13 Responses to “How often should I give my Dog Benadryl?”

Read below or add a comment...

  1. anita ellen says:

    Thanks for the info on Benadryl. Our dog is one of the lucky ones & no severe allergic reaction to bee stings. This morning he went to urinate on a bush & a swarm of 20-30 chased after him. I saw him first uncomfortable at this back end. I saw so many on him & went to remove them by fast sweeping action as they tried to hide under his coat. He is 100 lbs so came home & took the four 25 mg. tabs right away. I should have carried them on me & won’t leave home again without it & some cream cheese which assists him in swallowing easier. He’s resting but uncomfortable. He’s s sweet dog & feel so bad for him.

    • Donna says:

      Thanjs. Poor baby. I’m severely allergic and my 25on pup is. I actually a almost lost him to anaphylaxis. I have an ep i-jr pen for him. My Springer is 65 with allergic dermatitis to the grass. I know this says no more than 2 r see in 24he but my get had his on 59mg three times a day. There is no 65mg pull so I guess it balances out. Been using for 7 years. I still feel bad for the bed dying puo, I know how I fe el.

  2. My dog is allergic to everything. Our vet knows we don’t like to give prednisone as the side effects almost outweigh the cause of our dogs allergies. We are infested with fleas which we never had before having our oldest dog who is 16 almost 17. Two out of the 3 dogs our Compromised Immune System dog isn’t handling it well. I forgot about giving Benadryl for the itchy’s and came across your site. Your question and answers were very helpful to us.

    Thank-you for being there!

  3. Deanna says:

    Do I keep giving my pit bull Benadryl for the rest of his life due to allergies? He doesn’t have any type of mange, is a house pup, and has been to the vet for hives. Probably from ants. My concern is how long do we do this. Thank you.

  4. Allan Langille says:

    Depending upon which page you are on, your website states either 2 or 3 doses per day for dogs. What is the correct number of doses. Below please find links to your conflicting doses…

    1. This page says 3 doses per day…

    2. This page says twice per day…


    Al Langille….Canada

    • admin says:

      Both are actually possible as long as the total dosage stays the same. You can give it divided by 3 in 3 times a day, or divided by 2, 2 times a day.

  5. Grace Akers says:

    My lab has itching problems no skin redness or sores has a clean coat. But itches all summer we give him 2 benadryl 50mg twice a day but she still itches she weighs 65 pounds can we give a larger dose

    • Donna says:

      I have the same of born and don’t want to use prednisone. We use an oatmeal soak and shampoo every other week and that gives some relief. So frustrated when they’re so uncomfortable and you can fix it for them. My boy s 65 lbs we use 50mg every 8 hours per vet

  6. Britny says:

    I used to give my pit benadryl for allergies but after a while it made him sick (vomiting)he is an inside dog and not my first pit with allergies. Im my experience a good amount of pits have an allergy to something , especially if you live in a humid or warmer environment i live in FL for example. If your dog isnt an inside dog i would suggest that you make him or her one. Also i would suggest changing dog foods (alot of allergys are due to food) something grain free and fish salmon in particular is good for skin health. If that doesn’t work try sticking to the fish but get grain free and limited ingredient .These foods can be expensive but if you go to a store like petsmart or petco and ask someone who works there they generally have their own brand for example i go to petsmart so i get Athority brand grain free Salmon it doesnt say limited ingredient but if you look at the bag it Actually has less ingredients that the limited ingredient Blue Buffalo and is almost half the price. My one WARNING in picking dog food is to LOOK AT THE INGREDIENTS JUST BECAUSE IT SAYS SALMON OR LAMB OR WHATEVER ON THE FRONT OF THE BAG DOES NOT MEAN THEY DONT ADD CHICKENMEAL OR WHATEVER ELSE SO READ THE INGREDIENTS!!! My last two suggestion for a dog with any skin issue other than mange or something similar those should be treated by a vet is to get an aloe/oatmeal shampoo from your vet when you go they are not vey expensive they are usually cheaper than getting a good one at the pet store and better quality. The last is to add salmon oil to your dogs food you can get it at any pet store. I hope this is helpful to someone and this does not only apply to pitbulls.

    • Tboyd says:

      Yes this is very helpful our bully is experiencing issues with itching ,he is scratching so bad some spots start to bleed. We need to look further into his dog food. to make sure it’s not the dry food. we have also started giving him the Fish oils on his food.

    • Elissa says:

      ALL kibble is garbage.
      Dogs should be eating real food, not chemically treated, rancid kibble.
      Fish oil is usually rancid, don’t add it to the dog’s food. Feed them REAL fish.
      Oatmeal shampoo can exacerbate skin issues. Try baby shampoo and rinse with diluted white vinegar.

      Veterinarians know absolutely ZERO about nutrition.

  7. Dog training says:

    Many thanks for this article. I’ve been following your site for several weeks now, and I rarely
    post a comment on anything anywhere. In spite of this,
    credit where it really is due, I love this particular article.
    Please continue the great work.I’m taking in as much info as possible in order
    to have a exceptional wedding next year.

  8. Ginny says:

    My Pit, Saban, is going through misery right now. He is on Prednisone because his skin is so broken out and its even in his mouth. This has been going on since Friday night. Went to Vet Saturday and he is some better. I give him also 3 Benadryl twice a day because his itching is so bad. They say white dogs are worse, why I do not know. The grass tears him up. Good luck with your dogs and it I have to, he will get allergy tested and get the shots. Vet also said give Claritin after this.

Leave A Comment...