Benadryl (diphenhydramine) is a member of the antihistamine class of drugs. Specifically, it is categorized as a first generation antihistamine. It was first synthesized after its discovery in 1943. It is currently available over the counter meaning no prescription is necessary to obtain Benadryl. There are also a wide variety of generic and store brand forms of Benadryl making it relatively inexpensive. It is mainly used for the treatment of allergies and as a short-term treatment for sleep issues. In can also be used to treat extrapyramidal symptoms in those suffering from Parkinson's disease. In addition to treating a variety of conditions for humans Benadryl can also be used to treat various conditions for dogs.
Conditions treatable by Benadryl for dogs
Like with humans there is a wide variety of conditions for dogs that may be treated with Benadryl. Dogs like humans can be allergic to wide range of things. If your dog is experiencing allergic reactions due to weather or coming across a plant which causes them to have allergies they may be given Benadryl to help lessen the reaction. Benadryl can also be used to treat bee stings and bug bites for dogs. Bee stings and bug bites will often swell due to an increase in histamine around the site of the sting or the bite. Benadryl helps to decrease the concentration of histamine providing relief to your dog. Another usage of Benadryl for dogs is calming hyperactivity or anxiety. Often dogs can become anxious or overactive when they have to stay put for a long period of time during a car ride or other travel experience. Benadryl can be administered to dogs in these situations to help them relax and can also lead to sedation which will cause them to sleep. Benadryl can also be used to treat nausea in dogs. This coupled with its soothing effects make it an excellent choice for dogs that become nauseas or excitable while traveling.
How much Benadryl can I give my dog?
The Benadryl dosage for dogs varies depending upon the condition being treated and the size of the dog. Doses meant to induce sedation will be higher than those meant to treat allergies or nausea. For most dogs the number of milligrams of Benadryl given to them should not exceed their weight. So a five pound dog should not receive more than 5mg a day. As the dog's weight increases the dosing does not have to be quite so sensitive. For example a thirty pound dog can most likely be given anywhere from 25-50mg of Benadryl and be okay. Benadryl can be given to your dog in a variety of forms. It is often easy to disguise the medication in the form of snack that your dog enjoys such as peanut butter or another easily swallowable treat. It is always best to check with your vet for a proper dosage of Benadryl before giving it to your dog as this will ensure the maximum amount of safety.
Benadryl side effects in dogs
Generally the occurrence of side effects in dogs given Benadryl is very low. Too high of a dose may result in increased sedation. If any strange side effects are noticed in your dog after they are given Benadryl they should be taken to a vet to be properly examined. It is also important to make sure that the Benadryl you give to your dog is not mixed with any other medications as this is likely to produce more side effects in your dog.