Can You Give a Dog Benadryl?



If you suffer from hay fever or other seasonal allergies, then you’ll be all too familiar with Benadryl. The over-the-counter medication is used to treat mild-to-moderate symptoms caused by common allergies. Symptoms include itching, sneezing, running nose and eyes and inflammation.  Humans aren’t the only species to struggle with these pesky effects. Dogs are also prone to allergies, particularly during the spring and summer months as the pollen count increases. While Benadryl is most commonly used to treat allergies, you may have also taken it for motion sickness or even anxiety. Keep reading to discover whether you can give a dog Benadryl and things to consider before treating your dog. 

Can you give a dog Benadryl?

Silver Great Dane puppy with a chain collar

Although Benadryl is not currently approved by the FDA for veterinary use, pet owners often use it to treat allergy symptoms. It is safe to give your dog Benadryl if they do not suffer from any pre-existing serious health conditions. Be aware that Benadryl may interact with any other medication your dog is currently taking. Consult your veterinarian if you are concerned about whether it is safe to administer Benadryl to your dog.


What is Benadryl used for?

Benadryl is used to treat a wide array of symptoms commonly associated with mild-to-moderate allergies. These include, but are not limited to:

  •    Runny eyes and nose
  •    Congestion
  •    Inflammation
  •    Itching
  •    Sneezing
  •    Coughing

You can use Benadryl to treat anxiety in dogs, as it can cause drowsiness. You can also treat your dog's motion sickness with Benadryl. This is a common condition for dogs not used to traveling in the car.


One of the main side effects of Benadryl is drowsiness, so don’t panic if you notice your dog sleeping more after than usual. They may also experience a dry mouth or even the opposite, hypersalivation. An increased heart rate and rapid breathing are uncommon side effects. We recommend keeping a watchful eye on your pet after administering Benadryl. 

If you are concerned about their behavior or adverse reaction, then contact your veterinarian immediately.

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