Dogs With Allergies

Although the weather can’t seem to make up its mind, spring is on the way. With the blossoming flowers and pretty colors comes something not so nice – seasonal allergies.

Just like humans, dogs can suffer from seasonal allergies as well. While reaching into the medicine cabinet and taking allergy medication is a simple, convenient option for us, it is a different story for your dog. Humans and dogs react differently to medication, so you should never give anything to your dog without first consulting your veterinarian. Some human medications are safe for dogs to take when used correctly and appropriately. Thankfully for dogs with allergies, Benadryl is one of the safe medications.

A lot of vets use Benadryl on a regular basis to treat allergies, motion sickness, and travel anxiety. Benadryl treats multiple mild to moderate allergies in dogs, including seasonal allergies, food allergies, environmental allergies, and allergies caused by snake or insect bites. Benadryl can treat the following symptoms:

Itching
Hives
Swelling and inflammation
Redness
Runny nose and eyes
Coughing
Sneezing
Anaphylactic reaction

The drowsy effect of Benadryl is what helps dogs deal with motion sickness and travel anxiety. It is also sometimes used by vets in the treatment of heartworms as it is known to combat associated allergic reactions. If your dog has any of the following conditions, you may be able to use Benadryl after you have consulted with your vet:

Angle closure glaucoma
Severe heart failure
Prostatic hypertrophy
Bladder neck obstruction
Seizure disorders
Hypertension
Allergic lung disease
Pregnancy

Side effects of Benadryl on dogs include sedation, dry mouth, urinary retention, hypersalivation, increased heart rate, and rapid breathing. Rare side effects include diarrhea, vomiting, decreased appetite, and increased appetite.

Things to consider:

Though Benadryl is safe for your dog, you should not give them any without first talking to your vet to determine the appropriate dosage and frequency. Benadryl typically takes about 30 minutes to kick in, so plan accordingly. As with any medication, your dog can be allergic to Benadryl so make sure you monitor your dog the first time you use it on them. If symptoms worsen, call your vet. Overdose is also something to look out for. Signs of an overdose include rapid heartbeat, dilated pupils, agitation, constipation, and seizures. Again, call your vet if overdose occurs.

Resources: AKC.org

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