Benadryl is an effective medicine for humans, but is it safe for your dog? It’s a common question many dog owners ask, and most vets would agree that it can be used safely and effectively. Benadryl, in its pure form, is also known as Diphenhydramine Hydrochloride (its non-trade name). It is vital that you select a form of Benadryl that does not contain other medications for cold or sinus symptoms; only the pure form of Diphenhydramine Hydrochloride is safe for your dog. Follow these tips to help you decide if Benadryl can help your dog.
Benadryl for Bites and Stings
Dogs, just like humans, get stings and insect bites, especially during the spring and summer. Depending on the location of the bite, the critter that inflicted it and your pet’s sensitivity, this could be a minor irritation or an emergency.
If the bite or sting is located in the region of the neck and throat, monitor your dog carefully for signs of breathing difficulty. The most common place of injury for a dog is the face and muzzle because they bite at insects. Once a dog is bitten, swelling typically ensues. It is usually not very painful, but can cause severe itching. Be sure to monitor the swollen area carefully to make sure your dog can eat and breathe as he should.
Other Uses for Benadryl
Benadryl can be used in most instances of bites and stings. It can be used to treat seasonal and non-seasonal allergies, vomiting, motion sickness and muscle tremors. Seasonal allergies are very common in the spring when forestry equipment is being used in nearby wooded areas. Use of Benadryl is safe and will calm the allergic reaction. It can also prevent extreme swelling. If your dog is nursing or pregnant, you should avoid using Benadryl unless advised to do so by your veterinarian. The most common side effect from giving your dog Benadryl is drowsiness; sedation may be mild to moderate. Other side effects for dogs include dry mouth and the inability to urinate. Potential side effects that are less common include loss of appetite, diarrhea or vomiting.
When to Avoid Using Benadryl
Dogs with prostatic disease, cardiovascular disease, glaucoma and hyperthyroidism should not be given Benadryl. If your dog takes any medications for pain or other sedatives, interactions should be discussed with your vet prior to administering this antihistamine. Working animals such as police dogs, sight dogs and hearing dogs should not be given this type of medication. Your vet will be able to tell you the appropriate dose and frequency for your dog’s weight, age, and health.
While Benadryl can be safe and effective, always check with your veterinarian before using it or if you have any concerns.
Michelle is a blogger and current freelancer for a forestry equipment company. She’s written about almost every topic under the sun, and loves constantly learning about new subjects and industries while she’s writing. Whenever she’s able to step away from her computer she enjoys spending time outdoors with her dogs.