The correct Benadryl dosage for dogs primarily depends on the dog’s size (weight). It’s important to also consider other underlying health conditions and whether Benadryl is the appropriate choice overall.
There’s nothing a dog parent hates to see more than their dog scratching themselves until they bleed. Dog owners all over the world seek to find the best way to reduce symptoms of dog allergies. Altered diets, medicated creams and prescription medications are often chosen in desperation.
Dog allergies include everything from runny nose and sneezing to a relentless itch that becomes painful over time.
The best use of over-the-counter Benadryl is for dogs with mild allergies or bug bites. It can be a temporary solution but should not be used long term.
When in doubt, give your veterinarian a call and ask how much to give the medication and how often.
The Appropriate Benadryl Dosage for Dogs
Let’s get right to the point. The appropriate dosage for dogs depend on their weight. Follow the formula below for best results.
WARNING: Please make sure that the Benadryl used is either a tablet or capsule. The liquid form contains ingredients that can be harmful to your dog. Make sure there is no alcohol, acetaminophen, pseudoephedrine, or artificial sweeteners. Xylitol is extremely toxic for dogs.
How Big or Small is Your Dog?
The generally accepted rule is to administer 1 mg per pound, two to three times a day. It’s best to space apart the dosages through the day. For example, offer a dose in the morning, late afternoon, and before bedtime if necessary.
However, that can vary slightly depending on the actual size of your dog. The veterinarian’s office has a big walk-on scale to weigh your dog and get accurate results.
Using an at-home scale might be tricky and not as accurate. Many veterinarians will allow you to bring your dog in for a quick weigh without charging the fee of a full visit.
Very Small Dogs (4 – 10 pounds)
Very small dogs within the 4 – 10 pound range would need 1/4 of a Benadryl tablet (regular strength).
Small Dogs (10 – 20 pounds)
Small dogs in the 10 – 20 pound range would need 1/2 of a Benadryl tablet (regular dose).
Medium Dogs (20 – 30 pounds)
A medium dog would take 1 Benadryl tablet.
Large Dogs (30 pounds and over)
The dosage rules change a little when we get to very large dogs. Types of very large dogs
If your dog is right at the 30 pound mark (a little lower or a little higher), a 25 mg Benadryl tablet should suffice. Benadryl comes in 25 mg and 50 mg tablets.
Guaranteed Skin Improvement
I don’t often use words like “guaranteed” in my posts unless I’m 100% sure. In this case, I am. I recently opened a capsule of Metagenics Omegagenics EPA-DHA 720 and rubbed it into my labrador retrievers skin. She had worn the fur right off her arm leaving it bumpy and callused.
Within hours the skin had improved. I simply don’t lie about things like this. Metagenics Omega capsules were suggested by a holistic practitioner as a supplement for overall wellness.
The tablets were for me. Knowing that this is a top quality product, I decided to try it on my dog.
The results were shocking and the only side-effect was a slightly fish oil smell on her fur. It’s even safe (and healthy) for dogs to lick.
Rub liberally until fully absorbed into the skin. It’s expensive, but one tablet treated two of my dogs. Plus, it’s safe to add to their food source for added immune support, skin conditioning, and much more.
Alternatives to Benadryl for Dogs with Allergies
There are many medications designed to promote dog health and immune support. In addition to veterinarian prescribed options, you might want try an alternative.
Quercertin is a bioflavonoid dubbed “nature’s Benadryl”. This is because it’s thought to have a similar response in the body. This supplement is said to reduce the histamine response due to allergies in dogs.
Follow dosing instructions on the box and be sure to tell your veterinarian about any new supplements you are giving your dog. “Natural” products can still have unintended consequences.
Magnesium is thought to reduce inflammation caused by allergies in dogs. It has other supplemental benefits beyond inflammation including (and suggested by some holistic practitioners) to reduce anxiety in dogs.
There are many blogs and anecdotal posts about the benefits of cbd oil for dogs with allergies. Scientific studies are difficult to find although it seems that CBD oil does show promise in treating dogs with allergies and anxiety.
The most important thing to look for is the absence of THC in whatever product you use. Follow dosing instructions. If you have access to a holistic veterinarian, talk to them about CBD oil for dogs.
Side-Effects of Benadryl in Dogs of All Sizes
Benadryl is safe for dogs. If side-effects are experienced, they are typically mild and include drowsiness, low energy, dry mouth, and urinary retention.
Benadryl is the brand name for the active ingredient known as Diphenhydramine and is a medication that soothes allergic reactions in dogs and people.
In the rare occurrence where your dog experiences severe side effects, including difficulty breathing, seek veterinarian/medical assistance right away.
Likewise, Benadryl is not to be given to dogs who are already experiencing difficulty breathing.
How to Administer Benadryl to Dogs
Pet stores sell various types of treats that come with a hole in which to place the tablet. Dogs are usually so happy to get treats they’ll just gobble it up in seconds without even noticing the pill.
If you are using Benadryl capsules, break one open and sprinkle it on the dog’s food, mix it with a teaspoon of peanut butter, or sprinkle on a piece of toast.
While Benadryl is FDA approved for people, it’s not specifically designed for use in dogs. For that reason, liquid Benadryl and other formulations may contain potentially harmful ingredients.
Make sure to read the label and avoid ingredients like alcohol, xylitol, etc.
Side Effects of Benadryl You Should Know
Benadryl works fast to treat allergy symptoms like itching. Occasionally, mild side effects can occur. These include dry mouth, fatigue, rapid breathing, and urinary retention.
If you’re sticking with the Benadryl dosage chart, however, most healthy dogs will not show any serious side effects.
You might also be interested in Putting a Dog to Sleep with Benadryl.
BONUS: Let Alexa Be Your Personal Dog Health Blog
The next time you need instant dog health care advice or information, Alexa could be researching and reporting directly to you. Go about your daily business and ask Alexa for help on everything from dog allergies to the side-effects of any medications.
It’s like having a personal veterinarian living with you! You just purchase the device (below) and then easily sync it to the Alexa cloud service.
Disease versus Benadryl for Dogs
Never assume that that Benadryl dosage chart is right for all dogs. In fact, your veterinarian may have very good reasons for not recommending the medicine at all.
If your dog hasn’t been to see the veterinarian for a while, he/she may suggest a visit. The reason for this is so that the dog can be examined for underlying conditions.
There’s a chance that your dog needs more than just Benadryl, or that the problem you thought you were treating wasn’t actually the whole picture.
Just because you gave your dog Benadryl safely a few years ago, doesn’t mean it’s safe now. Remember,
Look at the product ingredients to be sure it only contains diphenhydramine. Some Benadryl products have added ingredients.
Benadryl should not be given to your dog long-term. If your dog continues to suffer
At the end of the day, everyone wants a happy and healthy dog. Remember that you’re not alone when it comes to health-care decision making. Always check with a licensed veterinarian before administering over-the-counter drugs designed for people or pets. The appropriate Benadryl dosage for dogs may vary according to special health considerations.
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