Dog Itchy Skin Relief with Benadryl

Dog itchy skin if often caused by allergies, and Benadryl is a common drug prescribed for relief. Benadryl, or diphenhydramine hydrochloride, has been formulated for use in humans, but dogs may also benefit from this drug. Benadryl is effective in reducing other allergic reactions in canines.

Benadryl for Itchy Skin

Benadryl is an antihistamine drug that can be effective in restraining the production of histamines that cause itchy skin and additional allergic reactions. The drug will be effective immediately after administration, but will only be effective for as long as it is administered. After Benadryl is discontinued, the dog will start developing allergic reactions again. Benadryl can be successfully used in canines, even though the drug was initially used only in humans. An alternative for itchy skin symptoms can be the topical ointments containing steroids.

Other Uses of Benadryl

Benadryl can be used for the following purposes:

  • To prevent and reduce swelling caused by allergies or insect bites
  • To reduce sneezing, watery eyes and nasal discharges
  • To prevent anaphylactic shock caused by severe allergic reactions

Benadryl is administered in tablet form or may also be given as an injection, for a quicker effect.

Side Effects of Benadryl

Benadryl should be administered to prevent and reduce itchy skin caused by allergies. However, Benadryl may also have some side effects including:

Typically, these side effects are only manifested during the first week the drug is administered. However, the sleepiness may persist. The dog may also build immunity to Benadryl if the medication is administered continually for over 3 months.

Benadryl Dosage

Benadryl is a non-prescription antihistamine that may be purchased from pharmacies. However, you should never medicate your dog without consulting the vet first, due to the possible interactions with other drugs or the problems the drug may cause in dogs with certain medical conditions. The dosage for dogs with itchy skin will be established by the vet per pound of body weight and according to the severity of the dog's condition.

Benadryl may be applied without consulting the vet if the dog gets an insect bite and develops a severe allergic reaction involving swelling. Benadryl can reduce swelling and help the dog to survive until he gets to an emergency clinic.

Benadryl and Medical Conditions

Benadryl is a drug that is not always recommended. If your pet has itchy skin and requires Benadryl, make sure he is not affected by the following medical conditions:

  • Heart disease
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Adrenal gland dysfunction
  • Glaucoma
  • Prostate damage or a tumor located in this area
  • Pregnancy and lactation period

Puppies under the age of six weeks shouldn't be given Benadryl. Diphenhydramine hydrochloride can interact with other chemicals in drugs, so the vet should know if your pet takes any other medications.