Which are the antihistamines that are safe for your canine friend blog image.

Meds forming part of a category known as antihistamines help manage a variety of allergies. Many of these antihistamines work as short-action meds. Their key ingredients are effective in treating allergic reactions caused by being exposed to particles such as pet dander, pollen-grains, dust as well as mites. In this milieu, what are the safest antihistamines for dogs? It is a wise thing to have additional information on which drug is safe.

Drugs that are grouped as antihistamines help in managing (and treating) allergic conditions such as runny nose, cold, flu, rhinitis (allergic), nasal blockages, skin problems like reddening / discoloration of skin, itchiness and inflammation / swelling. Almost all antihistamines are taken for a shorter span of term; long term intake of such meds can cause other complications.

For dogs, according to the American Kennel Association, diphenhydramine (Benadryl) is considered a safe med.

What is diphenhydramine?

This is an antihistamine drug; this also works like a sedative med. It treats several signs of allergies, including incessant sneezing, runny nose or watery eyes, inflammation or swelling, skin problems like hives, etc. Your dog may witness spells of dizziness / drowsiness. This property helps while you are traveling; it can make avid episodes of motion sickness and may calm your anxious canine friend. However, if your pet is pregnant or is already taking a few others similar meds, your vet may tell you to avoid using this antihistamine.

You need to know that an overdose of diphenhydramine can be unsafe to your dog. Excessive dosages may trigger epileptic fits, seizures or convulsions. Your dog may tend to get very sleepy or drowsy. It is a good practice to administer doses of this antihistamine as per the instructions of your treating vet. Reputed veterinary sources suggest that a dose of 3 milligrams (mg) per kilogram (kg) of your pet’s body-weight is considered a safe dosage form.

Other antihistamines that are safe for your dog

Your vet may also consider a few other options to treat allergic conditions in your dog. These are drugs such as cetirizine (safe dose is 1 mg per kg of pet’s weight), fexofenadine (safe dosage hovers between 3 to 4 mg per kg of pet’s body weight) and trimeprazine (~ 1 mg per kg of your canine’s weight).

In some cases, vets may also prescribe a few other forms of antihistamines. These are  (dosage goes upto 5 – 5 mg / kg of dog’s weight), hydroxyzine (1 mg per kg of your canine friend’s weight), clemastine (only 0.1 mg per kg of weight), etc. You may also check with your vet if drugs such as chlorphenitramine and cyproheptadine – both being antihistamines – are safe on your dog.

A few side effects that you need to be aware of

Some antihistamine meds may have decongestants as part of their composition. Such drugs can trigger a few counterproductive effects; for instance, your canine friend may witness rapid heartbeats, erratic pulse-rates or faster breathing cycles. It is quite likely thing for dogs of select breeds – upon administering decongestants (and antihistamines) to develop severe allergic reactions. In all such instances, seek quick clinical help from a qualified vet.

Orally-disintegrating pills of antihistamine drugs are not considered safe for canines; this is because of the presence of a sweetener known as xylitol. This substance can develop toxicity among a few pets. In general, the pill / tablet versions of antihistamines are safe for dogs. When you give tablets to them, you have flexibility to alter doses i.e., after seeing how your pet responds to first few dosages. Lastly, never administer antihistamines to your dog without consulting your vet; always take the guidance of your vet prior to starting medication plans.


Information provided here are only of supplementary nature. Information shared here does not substitute a qualified doctor’s advice. This website is not suggesting intake of this drug as safe or appropriate. Hence it is advised to talk to your doctor before consuming this med or any other drug.

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