Benadryl for Dogs

Benadryl, also known as Diphenhydramine Hydrochloride, is a medication that is commonly used in humans to reduce allergy symptoms associated with insect bites or stings. However, there is also the choice of using benadryl for dogs, as the drug is safe for use in pets.


Benadryl or Diphenhydramine Hydrochloride is a drug that belongs to the antihistamine class of drugs. This drug is commonly used to reduce and manage allergies that are caused by stings or bites. The allergies to stings or bites may cause an excessive production of histamines and require a drug that will inhibit the secretion of the histamines. Benadryl is an antihistamine that is effective in reducing the swelling, which may be severe and even fatal. Presently, Benadryl or Diphenhydramine Hydrochloride is the most common allergy medication in humans.

Benadryl for Dogs

Benadryl is highly effective in reducing swelling due to allergies to sting bites in humans and may be safely applied in dogs as well.

The drug will have the same effect as in humans.

Dogs may be allergic to insect stings or bites and the swelling can be severe; if the sting or bite is located in the throat or mouth area, the allergic reaction may be fatal.

If the sting or bite affects the eye lid, it will cause a partial or complete shutting of the eye; this may be prevented with Benadryl.

Benadryl may be administered orally or as a shot. The shot will be more effective and will act faster.

Benadryl Side Effects in Dogs

Benadryl is generally a safe medication but it may cause side effects such as drowsiness. However, you should always check with your vet for the right dosage, according to the size, breed, age and sex of your pet, to make sure the amount of medication is enough, but not in excess.

Benadryl Contraindications

Benadryl shouldn’t be applied in pregnant or lactating dogs. The drug may not be recommended for use in puppies younger than 6 weeks.

Diphenhydramine Hydrochloride should be also used with caution in pets affected by:

  • Prostate cancer or prostate problems
  • Glaucoma
  • Heart disease
  • Thyroid disease (hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism)

Let the vet know if the dog is presently under any other medication, as Benadryl may interact with other drugs.

At Home Medication

Even if giving your dog a dose of Benadryl at home when he gets bitten or stung is extremely helpful, you need to be extra cautious when medicating your dog yourself. Make sure to talk to your vet first and write down the correct dosage for your pet so that you may use Benadryl in cases of emergency. If your dog takes certain drugs, give a call to your vet and ask if the drug may interact with Benadryl, just to be safe.

Even if Benadryl can be used both in humans and in pets, there are certain drugs that may be used in humans and are toxic for dogs, so never give your dog human medication without consulting the vet first.