Giving Dogs Benadryl for Allergies or Stress?

Giving Dogs Benadryl for Allergies or Stress?

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Benadryl, also known as diphenhydramine, is an antihistamine often used to help both dogs and humans mitigate allergy symptoms and help them sleep. While many veterinarians believe that Benadryl is safe for dogs it is also important to consult your vet before giving your dog any product, especially if your dog is taking other types of medicine. Dogs and humans react differently to most medicines though, so it is important to not assume your dog will react to Benadryl the same way you do.  Broadly, Benadryl is considered safe for your dog, but there are underlying conditions that may make it inadvisable, including: low blood pressure, pregnancy, or cardiovascular issues.

How does Benadryl work?  Very basically, it blocks histamines from the receptors in your body, relieving allergy symptoms. In dogs,  Benadryl is most commonly used to help with allergic reactions  such as itching and hives, but can also help limit sneezing, red eyes, and a runny nose.  

Benadryl can be extremely effective in mitigating issues with environmental allergies, but if your dog is struggling with breathing,  Benadryl will not be as effective and you should seek immediate advice from your veterinarian.. If you decide to give your dog Benadryl make sure to keep an eye on them to see if they have a negative reaction to the medicine. 

One other common reason  that your veterinarian may recommend Benadryl is for stress, nerves or motion sickness. If your dog is scared of loud noises, the car, or is just generally nervous it is reasonable that you may want to use Benadryl to sedate them. Temporary or occasional use is recommended, so there may a be other remedies that are more beneficial to your dog, that might calm rather than sedate.. There may be non medical remedies, such as a compression jacket,  or a CBD product such as ElleVet. The ElleVet team is also always available to answer any questions about products and uses, ElleVet’s CBD+CBDA products are extremely effective and safe, and have helped many dogs with calming. 

Per most medicine, there are certain side effects that you should be aware of. Some dogs actually have an opposite reaction to Benadryl and become more hyperactive rather than sedated. Other side effects include: dry mouth, increased heart beat, issues with urination, and even rapid breathing. Some signs that you gave your dog too much include: tremors, constipation, being overly agitated, increased heartbeat, and dilated pupils. If you think that you may have given them too much reach out to your veterinarian or veterinary emergency clinic  immediately. Finally, some dogs, just like some humans, may actually be allergic to Benadryl, so if you are giving your dog Benadryl for the first time make sure that you keep an eye on them to see if they negatively react. 

One important thing to note is that you should never use time release capsules with dogs because dogs absorb medication differently than humans do. Time releasing capsules could give your dog too much at one time and cause a negative reaction. Some liquid Benadryls contain alcohol, so make sure if you choose a liquid version that you choose a non alcoholic, children’s version as a safer option. 

Allergies are so unpleasant for your dog and it can be hard to see them suffering. Benadryl can be a great option when used properly.  For long term relief, another option such as CBD might be a better choice.  If you have questions please reach out to your vet to discuss treatment options. The ElleVet team is also available to discuss any questions that you may have about your dog and how CBD +CBDA can help.

The ElleVet Team
844-673-7287
[email protected]