Proper Use of Benadryl for Dogs

by tessa

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In the last post Maddie’s incessant licking and scratching was discussed.

A new development is that she has now added licking her paws to the mix.

The last time I was at the vet she suggested Benadryl. As an antihistamine it was supposed to help, along with bathing with a gentle oatmeal based shampoo.

Truth be told I was not committed to the use of Benadryl until I did some additional reading today.

Importantly you should check with your vet to see if they advocate the use of Benadryl for your dog. Included in their consideration will be the types and amounts of other drugs that are being administered to your dog.

Special consideration should be given to dogs that have thyroid issues, glaucoma and cardiovascular disease to name few.

What I found is that Benadryl is used for a host of purposes including:

  • Controlling itching
  • Help stop vomiting
  • Motion sickness
  • A mild tranquilizer
  • Snake bites
  • Vaccination reactions
  • Insect bites or bee stings
  • Blood transfusion reactions

The type of Benadryl that you give should be the name brand.

Alternately it you choose to use a generic brand, which would be cheaper, close attention should be paid to the ingredients.

Diphenhydramine is the active ingredient in Benadryl. Generic brands may have ingredients that will cause your dog harm. For instance acetaminophen, a common added ingredient in some generics, can be lethal to dogs.

Some people are giving their dogs Benadryl in liquid form. This might be o.k. but only if you can verify that the liquid version does not contain any alcohol. For that reason the pill form is preferred.

At one point I was concerned that the amount of Benadryl I was giving Maddie was excessive. She was receiving 25 mg once per day. It seems that the guidelines vary by very small amounts.

As such I plan to administer every 8 hours using these guidelines:

  • Dogs under 30 lbs = 10 mg
  • Dogs over 30 lbs and less that 50 lbs = 25 mg
  • Dogs over 50 lbs = 50 mg

Others have suggested 1 mg per pound of dogs weight.

Given what I’ve learned I will continue to give Maddie Benadryl .

The dose will be 25 mg.

Instead of once per day I’m going to move to twice per day.

Next thing to try to ease her discomfort will be adding oil to her food. Salmon oil, omega 3, olive oil are all possibilities.

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