Benadryl for dogs (with Safe Dosage Guide)

Benadryl for dogs
Vets have given Benadryl for dogs as a medication to treat conditions like swelling, itching or insomnia. So yeah you should think that vets no best, but you might still be worrying: is Benadryl for dogs safe? That’s why I’d like to give you some perspective in this article so you can understand why Benadryl as a drug is safe for your dog, although it is not originally made for dogs. Originally Benadryl was meant to treat a variety of problems on humans.



Benadryl for dogs


What is Benadryl?

Benadryl for dogs - InfoGraphic

Benadryl for dogs – InfoGraphic

Benadryl is a drug which contains diphenhydramine. This is in fact an antihistamine which means that it can be used to treat:

  • Swelling
  • Insomnia
  • Allergies
  • Vomiting
  • Anxiety
  • Hyperactivity

Histamine is naturally produced in the body. Its role is to play a part in local immune responses. So if you feel an itch this is probably due to the release of the histamine chemical in your body. But if you use Benadryl, then the diphenhydramine will block the H1 receptors. This means that the synapses in your brain will not react with histamine. By the way: also the synapses in your body will block the histamine. In other words: if you take Benadryl, your body will not produce histamine. Therefore itching will stop, as well as swelling or runny noses. The side effect of taking Benadryl might be a feeling of drowsiness.


Why should I give my dog Benadryl?

Your dog can suffer from various things like Allergies, Insect bites, Bee stings, Motion sickness, Insomnia or even Anxiety for which Benadryl is very suitable as a medicine.


Can I Give My Dog Benadryl?

Although Benadryl is a drug for human beings it is safe to give your dog Benadryl. That means: if the Benadryl contains Diphenhydramine. There are however other variants of Benadryl which contain Pseudophedrine, Cetirizine and Acetaminophen. These are perfectly safe for human beings BUT NOT for dogs! So if you are going to use Benadryl for dogs, watch out: check the package and check if the main active component is Diphenhydramine.
So can you give your dog Benadryl? Yes, but with care and always check with your vet.


How to give Benadryl for dogs


Benadryl for Dogs Dosage Chart

Benadryl for dogs dosage chart

Benadryl for dogs dosage chart

If you found the right Benadryl for your dog, the next question is of course: “How much Benadryl can I give my dog?” As a rule of thumb it is recommended to give your dog 1mg of Benadryl per 1lb of body weight every 8 hours. So if your dog weighs 80 pounds the recommended dosage of Benadryl for your dog is 80mg every 8 hours (aka: 3 times a day).

For Benadryl in liquid form the dosage translates to 0.4ml for every 1lb of the body weight of your dog. So again: if your dog weighs 80 pounds, this means 32ml every 8 hours.

Here on the right is a table to make it easy for you to translate the body weight of your dog into the proper dosage of Benadryl.

This dosage is not set in stone though. Depending on the needs of your dog, this dosage might change, but always check your vet first. But most of the time this Benadryl dosage for dogs table should be appropriate.

For young dogs it is better to use Benadryl for children, because it does not contain alcohol. Therefore it is safer for young dogs than Benadryl for adults.


Benadryl Side Effects in Dogs

Every drug has certain side effects. So also Benadryl for dogs. They can take place very shortly after Benadryl have been dosed to your dog.

There is nothing to worry about, but just so you, here are the most common side effects of giving Benadryl to your dog:

  • Faster Heart Rate
  • Rapid Breathing
  • Drowsiness
  • Drooling
  • and in some cases: Depression
  • in very rare cases it might be that your dog will vomit

If these side effects persist, than it is of course wise to check with your vet.

How to give your dog Benadryl?




So yes, you can give Benadryl for dogs and always keep in mind that every drug has side effects and that you should consult your vet to be sure. If you have any questions, please leave them below.