It is important to know how much Benadryl can you give a dog. Dogs are very sensitive to medicines, so it’s best not to use human doses as they are generally higher than what dogs need.
If your dog has an allergy or other medical condition that requires medication, then you should consult with your vet before giving any medications to see if there are alternate treatments which might be better for the animal. But in general, following these guidelines will help ensure your dog gets the right dosage of medicine every time:
The recommended dose for dogs weighing 20 pounds or less is 1 mg per pound of weight. For example, a 10-pound Labrador retriever would get 10 milligrams (10 x 1) of Benadryl.
25mg per 25lbs is the standard dose for dogs over 20lbs, so a 65 pound Golden Retriever would get 65mg of Benadryl.
To figure the appropriate dose for smaller breeds use this formula:
For dogs under 10 lbs give 1/2 of the recommended dosage based on their weight. For example, a 2-pound Chihuahua would get 1/2 x 1 mg = 0.5 mg per pound of body weight or .5mg total (0.5 x .5). You can also make a suspension using children’s liquid Benadryl and an oral syringe which will help you to measure out small doses accurately. standard pedheaiatric dose for Benadryl is one-half of the recommended adult dose.
5mg per 10lbs in most cases is considered a safe dose, so this would be good for your small dog or cat who weighs around 20 pounds or less. You can give a little more to a smaller dog if you need them for severe itchiness, but don’t go over a total of 5mg regardless of their weight.
A general guideline that many vets use for dogs over 50 lbs is to give 1/2 mg per pound regardless of breed size, and then adjust as needed based on how much relief it provides the pet without making them groggy. So an 80-pound Golden Retriever would get 40mg (80 x .5) and sometimes that is all they need and sometimes they get up to 80mg. But make sure you ask your vet before giving high doses to any dog under consultation for medical treatment.
The side effects of Benadryl can be distressing but if you follow these guidelines, it should not cause death or serious injury in most dogs. Even if your pet does experience side effects, the good that the medication provides usually outweighs the risks involved. Just don’t assume that more is better because this can lead to dangerous overdoses and problems with other medications:
Some dogs may experience mild nausea and vomiting when given too much Benadryl or at inappropriate times such as right before meals which stimulates their digestive system. If this happens, just stop giving the medicine until the next day.
Other dogs may experience a loss of coordination which can cause them to be off balance, causing accidents in the house. This usually goes away once the pet has used up all of their stored serotonin and other neurotransmitters begin working again. In some cases, it is helpful to give a Clomicalm medication or another serotonin inhibitor beforehand to stop this from happening until they have used up all their stored chemicals. Clomicalm isn’t technically Benadryl but it works through a similar pathway so it can help with this side effect if needed.
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Long-term use of high doses can affect your dog’s liver and kidneys over time but generally not at short term levels according to most vets. But be sure to consult with your vet before giving your dog this type of medication for any length of time and always follow their instructions. The maximum safe dose of Benadryl is 300mg per day, so if you need to give it for more than a few days then ask your vet what other medications might work better for the pet.
Finally, every pet responds differently to different types of chemicals in their body including Benadryl which can affect how they respond. If you find that after awhile they aren’t responding as well and you need to keep upping the dosage, then you should take them back to the vet and see if there are any other medications or treatments which might help alleviate their symptoms better. There isn’t really anything else you can do on your own with pet medication, so don’t try to change their dosage strength on your own. Just give the potency that is prescribed and move up to the next level if they are still not getting relief from their symptoms.