Overall, Benadryl is safe and non-toxic for dogs, but you need to know the proper dosage and not give it to animals with certain health conditions. The dosage information that you will find online is approximate and you need to speak to your veterinarian to be safe. Use even more caution with puppies and pregnant or lactating dogs.
The most common side-effect of Benadryl is drowsiness. For a dog that is suffering from an ailment, this side-effect can help them rest and start to feel better.
Other less common side-effects include: interim mouth numbness, lightheadedness, headache, feeling sick, vomiting, anxiousness, sleep problems, loose bowels or irregular bowel movements, frequent urination or difficulty in urinating, and break outs on the skin. Any adverse reactions normally go away soon after stopping the drug, but you need to talk to your vet if you note any of the above after giving Benadryl to your dog.
Contraindications and Warnings
Benadryl may interact with decongestants and painkiller drugs, and shouldn’t be taken together with them. Benadryl shouldn’t be used for a dog who is suffering from a pre-existing condition that can be worsened by this drug. The conditions we are talking about are cardiovascular disease, glaucoma, hyperthyroidism and prostatic disease. Consult with your vet before using Benadryl if your dog is pregnant or lactating, and always talk to a veterinarian before giving Benadryl to a puppy.
You should also never exceed the dose prescribed, even if you don’t see an improvement in the dose given.
An overdose of Benadryl for dogs can result in swollen limbs, difficulty breathing, and even death. In case of Benadryl overdose, vomiting should be immediately induced, and the contents of the stomach may need to be cleaned out via gastric lavage by the vet.
Note: you can use either type of Benadryl products – cream and oral, but using them at the same time will expose your dog to an increased dose of Diphenhydramine. Topical Benadryl relieves itchiness and soreness caused by insect bites, skin irritations, as well as rashes from poison ivy/oak/sumac. Oral Benadryl relieves upper respiratory symptoms resulting from a cold or hay fever, etc.
Brand-Name vs Generic Benadryl
The plain brand-name Benadryl contains Diphenhydramine as its only active ingredient. Generic options may include other types of antihistamines that haven’t been approved for animals.
When looking to give Benadryl to a dog you need to ensure that it is the pure version of the medicine, the reason for this is because the ingredients in cold and flu versions are not ideal for dogs.
From allergies to insect bites, bee stings to ear infections and anxiety, Benadryl has the right properties to help your dog.