If you suffer from allergies, chances are that you have some Benadryl in your medicine cabinet. If your pup suffers from allergies, you might be tempted to pull some of that pink medicine out and offer him some. Not so fast! You should never, under any circumstances, offer a canine medication for humans without first consulting with your veterinarian. The reason? – People and dogs have very different reactions to medications, so while something may be beneficial for you, it may be highly dangerous for your furry friend.
With that said, however, there are some human medicines that are safe for dogs – and, you’ll be happy to know, Benadryl is one of them! In fact, vets often recommend Benadryl for dogs as a way to combat allergic reactions and to treat anxiety! Read on to learn more about using Benadryl with your four-legged family member.
What is Benadryl?
You probably already know, but just in case you don’t, Benadryl is an over-the-counter medication that is commonly used to treat allergies. The active ingredient in this medication is diphenhydramine, an antihistamine that also acts as a sedative.
Why Use Benadryl for Dogs?
As mentioned, vets often recommend offering Benadryl to dogs that suffer from allergies or who are anxious or experience motion sickness when they are traveling on long car rides.
Since this medication contains a powerful antihistamine, it blocks the receptors in a canine’s body that respond to histamine – the chemicals that are released when a dog comes into contact with something that he is allergic to; flea bites, bee stings, pollen, or even food allergens. This medication works quick and will prevent your pup from experiencing the highly unpleasant symptoms that are associated with allergies, such as intense itching, biting, scratching, and sneezing.
Since the active ingredient in Benadryl is also a sedative, it is highly effective for treating situational anxiety. Therefore, if your pup suffers from anxiety when he hears loud noises, like when a thunderstorm rolls in, or if he’s petrified of riding in the car, offering him a bit of Benadryl can do a world of good. It will instantly calm him down, make him pleasantly drowsy, and he’ll drift off into a sweet slumber.
Lastly, Benadryl can be used as a way to treat motion sickness. That’s because this medication has been found to ease nausea, one of the main symptoms of motion sickness. So, if you are planning on going on a trip – even if it’s a short trip to the park – but especially if it’s a long journey – offering your pooch some Benadryl can be a real life saver; for both him and for you!
To find out how much Benadryl you should offer your pooch and when you should give it to him, the best advice is to speak to your veterinarian. All dogs are different; for instance, a large breed dog, such as a Mastiff or Great Dane will likely need more Benadryl than a small breed dog, like a Yorkshire Terrier or a Pomeranian. The size of the dog can also impact how quickly the medication reacts; again, it may take longer for large dogs, like German shepherds and Doberman Pinschers to see any results, while smaller pups, such as West Highland White Terriers and Miniature Schnauzers will likely see faster effects.
Lastly, when you should administer the medication depends on what you are using it for. For instance, if you are using it as a way to treat situational anxiety or motion sickness, you might need to offer it about 20 minutes before traveling; however, if you are using it to treat an allergic reaction of a bee sting, than you’ll have to wait until that situation arises (which hopefully, it won’t!)
Options Other than Benadryl
While this over-the-counter human medication is deemed safe for canines, many pet parents may not be comfortable offering their furry friends the medicine at all. That’s totally understandable. There is a risk of overdose, which can result in rapid heartbeat, agitation, constipation, and seizures. Therefore, if you don’t want to go the Benadryl route, there are ways that you can treat the conditions that this medicine is often used to treat.
Here’s a look at some of the different options that are available in lieu of Benadryl:
- If your pup suffers from food allergies, instead of offering him Benadryl, you can fill his dog bowl up with a dog food for allergies. If he suffers from contact allergies; for example, if your pup is allergic to fleas, try applying a flea treatment for dogs or having him wear a flea collar prior to the start of flea season to avoid issues. You could also try applying a few drops of essential oils for dog fleas to the affected spots. For other types of allergies, you can use medications for dogs that are specifically formulated to combat canine allergies.
- If your pooch suffers from situational anxiety; if he is afraid of loud noises, doesn’t like to travel, is petrified of the vet, or gets anxious when you aren’t around, CBD oil for dogs has been proven to be a safe and highly effective way to combat nervousness and anxiety.
- Motion Sickness. Instead of using Benadryl as a way to treat motion sickness, bring is dog crate and dog bed along on your trips. The security and comfort that they offer might help to reduce the chances of motion sickness.
Wrapping It Up
Benadryl is a safe human medication for dogs that can be highly effective for treating a variety of conditions; however, do make sure you speak with your vet prior to make sure that it is the right option for your pooch and to find out how much you should be administering.
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