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In the panic that ensues after your pet gets bit or stung by a bee, wasp, or other insect, you may wonder if you can use Benadryl to combat any potential allergic reactions. And you’re not alone. Many pet owners have messaged me asking if they can safely give their pet Benadryl, and the answer is yes!
While Benadryl is safe for both dogs and cats, it is important to understand which medication you can use and the proper dosage before administering it to your pet. It’s also prudent to know what reactions are beyond the effectiveness of Benadryl.
Benadryl is an antihistamine used to combat minor allergic reactions at home. If your pet is showing signs of difficulty breathing, vomiting, lethargy, or have developed a severe rash they need to see a vet ASAP for emergency attention.
What Medication Should I Use?
When using on pets, it’s important to use plain Benadryl. It can be in liquid or pill form, but it should be pure Diphenhydramine, the active ingredient. Children’s Benadryl is great for small dogs as it is less concentrated.
Sometimes the medications will have additives that can be dangerous for your pet. These are easy to spot because they will often display a “DM” or “+Congestion” on their packaging. If you have a small dog, you will also want to avoid any extra strength versions, as it can make giving the proper dosage difficult.
How Much Should I Give My Pet?
Finding the proper dosage is important to avoid giving our pets potentially dangerous amounts of medication. When calculating the dosage, pay attention to the packaging to see how many milligrams per milliliter that bottle has. Most standard tablets are 25 mg and Children’s liquid Benadryl is usually 12.5 milligrams per 5 milliliters.
The correct dosage of Benadryl is about 1 mg per 1 pound of pet.
For example, for an average bottle of Children’s Benadryl, that would be 4 milliliters of medication for a ten-pound pet. For a standard tablet from, a ten-pound pet will take about one half of a tablet. While the measurements don’t need to be exact, they do need to be close.
Keep giving your pets the best of the natural life!
April Arguin A.S., C.P.N., M.P.H