How Much Benadryl Can I Give My Dog?

When humans get itchy, we often reach for Benadryl, which provides almost instant relief from sneezing, rashes, and other uncomfortable symptoms of allergies and hay fever. The medicine’s all-purpose effects often leave pet owners wondering if they can give dogs Benadryl to help relive their allergies and itching skin. The answer is… maybe. Read on for everything you need to know about giving dogs Benadryl.

Is Benadryl Safe for Dogs?

Yes, in moderation. In fact, if you’ve ever taken an itchy dog to the vet, your veterinarian has probably given your dog Benadryl. The anti-histamine drugs (which is also known by its active ingredient, Diphenhydramine) can be used to treat itchiness in dogs caused by:

  • Allergies
  • Poisonous plants
  • Bee Stings
  • Insect Bites
  • Hot Spots
  • Bacterial/Fungal Skin Infections
  • Anxiety
  • Motion Sickness
  • What Type of Benadryl Is Safe For Dogs?

    There are many different types of Benadryl, but not all Benadryl is safe for dogs. Liquid Benadryl, for example, contains alcohol, making this type of Benadryl toxic for dogs. Time-release tablets are also unsuitable, because dogs absorb Benadryl differently than humans, making time-release tablets difficult to dose correctly. Benadryl spray can also be sprayed directly onto swelling insect bites and other cuts, but not without causing your itchy dog additional pain and discomfort.

    This often leaves pet owners administer Benadryl to dogs via a low-dose Children’s Liquid Formula, which is alcohol-free. People also give dogs Benadryl via a topical gel, which can be applied directly onto your dog’s itchy skin. Others prefer to give dogs Benadryl by hiding (non-time-release) Diphenhydramine tablets in their food or treats. Vets can also give Benadryl to dogs via injection in cases of severe allergic reactions.

    What Type Of Benadryl Is Safe For Dogs?

  • Children’s Liquid Formula Benadryl
  • Benadryl Topical gel
  • Benadryl (non-time-release) Diphenhydramine tablets
  • How Much Benadryl Can I Give My Dog?

    Benadryl for dogs is generally prescribed according to a dog’s body weight, allowing most dogs to have 1mg Benadryl for every pound. For example, a 25-pound dog could have one 25mg tablet of diphenhydramine up to 2-3 times daily.

    How Much Benadryl Can I Give My 40-pound Dog?

    A 40-pound dog can be given 40mg of Benadryl 2-3 times daily. Likewise, a 60-pound dog could handle about 60 mg of Benadryl up to three times daily, and so on. Each dose should be spaced 8-12 hours apart.

    How Much Liquid Benadryl Can I Give My Dog?

    As we mentioned above, liquid Benadryl contains alcohol, making this type of Benadryl toxic for dogs. However, Children’s Benadryl is a liquid version that’s safe for dogs because it’s alcohol-free.

    How Much Children’s Benadryl Can I Give My Dog?

    Photo: Target.com

    Some dog owners prefer Children’s Benadryl to standard oral tablets, especially if they own smaller dogs that can’t safely handle a 25mg Benadryl tablet. But medium and large dog breeds can take Children’s Benadryl, too; just remember that dosages differ if giving dogs Benadryl in liquid or pill form. Doses should be delivered 8-12 hours apart.

  • 20-30 lb. dogs can take 8-12ml of Children’s Benadryl
  • 30-40 lb. dogs can take 12-16ml of Children’s Benadryl
  • 40-50 lb. dogs can take 16-20ml of Children’s Benadryl
  • 50-60 lb. dogs can take 20-24ml of Children’s Benadryl
  • Always Consult Your Vet Before Giving Dogs Benadryl

    Although Benadryl is safe for dogs in most cases, it’s important to consult with a veterinarian before giving dogs Benadryl yourself. Your veterinarian will consider your dog’s medical history, other medications, and any underlying medical issues before deciding if (and how much) Benadryl is right for your dog. Don’t forget to monitor your pets for adverse side affects after giving dogs Benadryl and call your vet or poison control immediately if your dog starts displaying signs of Benadryl poisoning.

    Signs of a Benadryl Overdose in Dogs

  • Agitation
  • Constipation
  • Seizures
  • Dilated pupils
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Conclusion

    Benadryl can be used to give dogs relief from itching. But only give dogs Benadryl after consulting with a veterinarian, because giving dogs too much Benadryl (or the wrong type of Benadryl) can also be toxic.

    Additional Resources:

  • Dog Allergies Guide
  • Why Is My Dog So Itchy?
  • Ear Mites: Are These Unseen Critters Causing Your Dog’s Itching?
  • How To Spot Dog Fleas, Find Relief, And Rid Your Itchy Dog Of Fleas For Good
  • Hot Spots: What Causes Them And How To Get Rid Of Them
  • Dry Skin On Dogs: What Causes It And How To Treat It
  • Is A Hormonal Imbalance Causing My Dog’s Itchy Skin?
  • Everything You Need To Know About Protecting Your Pet From Foxtail Grass
  • Anxiety In Dogs: How To Calm Your Anxious Dog (And Improve His Bad Behavior)
  • Two Border Collies Set World Record For Most Tricks Performed In One Minute: Click “Next” below!

    J. Swanson is a writer, traveler, and animal-enthusiast based in Seattle, an appropriately pet-crazed city where dog or cat ownership even outweighs the number of kids. When the weather permits, she likes to get outside and explore the rest of the Pacific Northwest, always with a coffee in hand.
    Whizzco for FAP