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?
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.