What is Benadryl and why should I give it to my dog?

What is Benadryl and why should I give it to my dog? Benadryl is the brand name of a drug called Diphenhydramine hydrochloride. Diphenhydramine has been around for decades and in many cases is far more effective than the more modern variants. The drug is still available in common usage all over the world and is also used in the branded products Nytol, Advil PM and Tylenol PM.

Benadryl is a first generation antihistamine and is usually used in the treatment of allergies, but one of the side effects is that the drug is capable of inducing a powerful hypnotic effect. As a result, Benadryl can also be used as a non-prescription sleeping aid and relaxant.

Benadryl also functions as a very effective anti emetic drug. Consequently Benadryl is often used for the treatment of travel sickness as it can help to control motion induced nausea. However, because one of the other side effects is sedation, Benadryl is not always the best choice of medication.

What is Benadryl and why should I give it to my dog?

There are many human medications that are entirely unsuitable for pets, but Benadryl is not one of these drugs. For the most part, Benadryl is considered perfectly safe to administer to dogs and the drug is commonly used by veterinarians to treat motion sickness and allergic reactions, and as a general sedative.

However, it is very important to understand that Diphenhydramine is the only active ingredient in the drug you are administering to your pet, so always read the label before giving medications to any animal. Whilst Benadryl is safe for dogs when given in the correct dosage, Diphenhydramine found in different medications such as cold and flu treatments may be combined with other active drugs, which will be dangerous for your pet.

Because Benadryl is an excellent antihistamine, it is a very useful medication for allergies and histaminic reactions. Some dogs develop allergies to a wide variety of things from pollen to fleas, and end up with itchy skin conditions as a result. In such instances, Benadryl can be successfully used to relieve the symptoms of the allergy.

Bee, wasp, or hornet stings can be very painful and they can cause nasty swellings. Benadryl can be very helpful for those dogs that take great delight in chasing bees and wasps, only to get stung in the process. Benadryl can also be used to treat the effects of spider bites, although it should never be used to treat a venomous snakebite.

Motion sickness is another common doggy affliction and for anyone who has to transport a dog that is prone to vomiting in cars, Benadryl is a godsend. A downside to administering Benadryl to a dog that suffers from motion sickness is that it will stay drowsy for quite a long time, which is not very helpful if you are taking your dog to a show.

Dosage for Benadryl in dogs is weight dependent and is generally 1mg per pound of dog, but always ask your veterinarian for advice before giving any type of medication to a dog.

One Response to “What is Benadryl and why should I give it to my dog?”

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  1. Diane says:

    Thank you for this helpful information on dogs and Benadryl. My vet agrees that I should try this for my dog’s reverse sneezing that just started this morning…with 3 consecutive bouts…scary when it happens the first time! Scooby is 4 years old now and gets overexcited very easily. That seems to be what set it off this morning. We believe it was a combination of this and having the windows closed up through the winter. We are also going to try using a harness instead of a collar. Again, thank you!

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