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A Simple Guide to Giving Your Dog Benadryl: Uses, Side Effects, Dosage & Natural Alternatives

April 22, 2021 4 min read

A Simple Guide to Giving Your Dog Benadryl: Uses, Side Effects, Dosage & Natural Alternatives

When your dog is feeling ill it’s like the sun has stopped shining. Little soldiers that they are, dogs tend to simply move away from us and suffer in silence. It’s heartbreaking and so it’s only natural to wonder if there is any medication at home that you can use to treat them. Today we are going to discuss whether or not Benadryl is safe for dogs so that you’ll have a better idea if this is something that you want to give to your own dog.

Let’s discuss the safety vs. benefits when it comes to Benadryl and your dog.

Common Uses of Benadryl for Dogs

1. Reducing symptoms of seasonal, food or environmental allergies. Often times, allergies can trigger skin irritations that causes dogs to frequently scratch, lick or chew irritating areas and develop hot spots-red, inflamed areas of skin.

2. Relieving anxiety and stress. Because of the sedative properties in Benadryl, it may may dogs relax by slowing down their brain activity. However, it's known to make them drowsy, sleeping and lethargic. Just like how it would effect humans.

Can I give my dog Benadryl? Is it safe?

Benadryl is a brand-name for Diphenhydramine, which is a pharmaceutical product that is used to treat allergies in humans and yes, it may be used for animals as well. It is safe for most dogs and aside from allergies, Benadryl is sometimes used to relieve the symptoms of motion sickness for when you have to travel a long distance with your dog. Finally, it can also clear up skin rashes, reducing symptoms within an hour’s time. So there are indeed a few benefits to be had as long as you do not overmedicate.

As far as dosage goes, there is a hard and fast rule that you will need to follow in order to make sure that your dog doesn’t get sicker from the medicine than they were before.

What dosage do you give to a dog?

According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, the amount of Benadryl that you can give your dog is going to be based on its weight. This is very important, as dogs metabolize Benadryl differently from humans so you’ll want to pay close attention to this dosage information.

The Merck Veterinary Manual advises that dogs should only have 2-4 milligrams per kilo of weight, which in pounds come out to .9 – 1.8 milligrams per pound of weight. This may be taken 2 – 3 times a day, based on the severity of your dog’s symptoms.

We should also note that we are talking about Benadryl in it’s solid form. Benadryl liquid is a different matter, as it is absorbed much more quickly into the bloodstream, so if you want to give your dog liquid Benadryl then we recommend that you consult your vet for the proper dosage.

Now, while we have established that you can indeed give Benadryl to your dogs, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it is an optimal solution. Benadryl is still formulated for humans and like most pharmaceuticals, Benadryl has some side effects that you need to consider.

Possible Side-effects

As far as side-effects go, we need to look at one-off usage side-effects as well as side effects which can occur with long periods of usage. Here are the common side-effects associated with Benadryl:

  • Sleepiness
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Headache

While these are fairly minor for humans, the majority of us would take these as a dealbreaker when it comes to our dogs. We don’t want ANY side-effects. It gets worse when you consider the side-effects that can occur with a long-time usage of Benadryl. Those side effects include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Constipation
  • Anxiety
  • Memory issues/Dementia

Finally, in very rare cases, we are advised that an adverse reaction to Benadryl can cause Serious symptoms requiring immediate medical attention. These symptoms include:

  • Confusion
  • Fast Heartbeat
  • Seizures
  • Muscle spasms

With these in mind, while you can certainly still give your dog Benadryl as-needed, it’s really hard to recommend it in good conscience. Unlike humans, our dogs can’t simply talk to us to let us know that something is wrong and if they are already sick then it can be hard to tell if the medicine is really helping at all.

Thankfully, you DO have an alternative.

Why not try something specifically formulated for your dog?

Hangry Woof Calming Chews are a great alternative for when your dog is not feeling their best. These chews are also good to help tone-down your dog’s aggression as well and the delicious peanut-butter flavor of these chews means that you won’t have to hide it in your dog’s food of hold them down to make them take it. Just toss a chew to your dog and they will gobble it right up.

So, what does Hangry Woof bring to the table with these Calming Chews?

Hangry Woof Calming chews are a way to reduce anxiety and stress in your dog without all those nasty side effects that you would use if you decided to give your dog some over-the-counter pharmaceuticals. That’s because Hangry Woof Calming Chews are made with quality, natural ingredients, and include such things as:

  • Chamomile extract
  • Flaxseed meal
  • Canadian cold-pressed virgin Hemp oil
  • Valerian extract
  • Sunflower oil
  • An organic vegetable blend including Cucumber, Lemon, Celery, Apples, Beets, and Carrots

What this means for your dog is that they can enjoy a blissful comfort without feeling groggy or being at risk for the laundry-list of side-effects that you would get with chemicals. While they are relaxing, they’ll be absorbing all of those vitamins as well, so that the natural healing process can kick in and go into overdrive.

Let’s face it, those medications that you get at the drug store are specially formulated for humans and while some of them can work for dogs, with all the potential side-effects to consider it’s always better to hold-off on giving them unless the veterinarian urges you to do so.

If you would like to have an alternative on hand, you can check out Hangry Woof Calming Chews.  Ready to give your dog a yummy dose of zen?

You’ll be happy that you did.

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