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Ahimsa Pets Blog

Benadryl For Dogs: How much? When? Side effects?

Benadryl is an over the counter medication frequently recommended by vets to help with a variety of conditions in your pet. The active ingredient in most types of Benadryl is Diphenhydramine, an antihistamine that works by blocking the H-1 receptors in your dog’s body. With these receptors blocked, your dog will have reduced symptoms from an allergic reaction.

Benadryl is useful in a variety of situations for your pet, including for motion sickness, allergies, itching, to control vaccine reactions, and when you need to calm your dog down. Benadryl is also sometimes used by vets in the diagnosis of mast cell tumors in dogs, as mast cell tumors can release histamine in the same way as an allergic reaction.

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Benefits of Using Benadryl For Dogs

If your dog is having an allergic reaction, Benadryl may help reduce the symptoms in your pet. Benadryl is useful for decreasing swelling and pain after a bee sting, or before taking your pet to the vet for a vaccine if you know they tend to have reactions.

Benadryl is also a mild sedative, and can help your dog relax in stressful times, such as during fireworks or during a move. (CBD oil for dogs is also really effective in helping with these issues – more on that later!) It’s best to ask your vet before giving your dog Benadryl for stressful events, as your dog may behave unexpectedly due to the feeling of slight sedation. If a vet or groomer is going to be handling the dog, it’s best to notify them about the medication before letting them handle the dog.

When Dogs Should Not Take Benadryl

Although using Benadryl for dogs is very helpful, it should not be taken if your dog has certain medical conditions. If your dog has high blood pressure or cardiovascular disease, or glaucoma, he/she should not take Benadryl. Ask your vet before dosing your dog with Benadryl, for the safety of your pet.

Dosage For Benadryl

The standard dose for your dog of oral Benadryl is 1mg per pound of body weight, 2-3 times a day. More should not be given to your dog without consulting a vet. Benadryl poisoning can cause severe symptoms in your dog, including abnormal heart rate, aggression, difficult breathing, and tremors. Your pet may also become extremely drowsy or have problems with their blood pressure.

Keep Benadryl out of the reach of your pet so they can’t accidentally ingest more than the safe amount for their weight.

Before giving your pet Benadryl, check the label to make sure the active ingredient is diphenhydramine. Benadryl is a brand name, and some of their line may not contain this ingredient at all, or may contain other ingredients not safe for pets.

Alternatives to Benadryl

If you’re concerned about using Benadryl in your pet, alternatives are available for many of the same symptoms Benadryl treats. CBD oil for dogs can help treat dogs with allergy symptoms, insomnia, or motion sickness much like Benadryl can. CBD works in a different way, regulating the endocannabinoid system rather than inhibiting H1 receptors. CBD oil has very few, if any, side effects, with dry mouth or diarrhea being the worst of it. But make sure you don’t use any bottle you find, use the best CBD oil for dogs and cats by doing your research first!

Using Benadryl for dogs is a useful home remedy for mild allergies, motion sickness, and over activity in your pet. With proper diligence, it makes a good addition to your home care strategies.

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