08 February 2016

Can I Give My Dog Benadryl, What Dose Rate?

Is it OK give my dog Benadryl to calm him down as a sedative or tranquilliser?  My dog has an allergic reaction What is the dose rate for Benadryl in the dog? How safe is Benadryl for dogs?

Benadryl dog dose rate
While not specifically licensed for use in dogs it is given quite frequently.

1. Benadryl { Diphenhydramine } : Is a class of drug called an antihistamine, many owners give it to their dogs when they suspect sudden onset allergic reactions, allergic skin disease and a variety of other allergy related conditions including snake bite.
While it's main use is to counter allergies as an antihistamine it is also used to treat motion { car } sickness and non specific vomiting. Another use is that it has sedative properties and so some owners use it to calm their pets down when there are stressful events such as fireworks.

How it works is to counteract the effects of histamine which is released during allergic reactions, this results in a reduction or prevention of swelling and itchiness. Technically it works by affecting the body's H1 receptors.

This drug is available over the counter in a number of countries in the world but is not specifically licensed for animal use, that said many vets do prescribe it and it is generally though to have a high margin of safety when properly prescribed.

2. Dose Rates : A reasonable oral dose rate for this drug is dogs is between 0.5 to 2 mg per pound of your dog's body weight given twice a day. I always think a dose rate of 1 mg per pound is a good place to start.

3. Side Effects And Precautions : This drug is generally considered to be safe and few side effects have been noted, where they have occurred they have included lethargy, sedation, vomiting, diarrhoea and inappetance. As always allergic reactions are possible as they are to any drug but these are rare.

Where a dog has conditions such as glaucoma, lung disease, heart disease, some forms of thyroid disease, prostate disease or high blood pressure then this drug should be avoided. It is also contraindicated where a dog is already on some classes of drug such as barbiturates, epinephrine, tranquillisers, and heparin.