What Is the Best Antihistamine for Dogs?

It can be confusing to choose the best antihistamine medication for your pet as there are a vast number of over the counter and prescription medications available that relieve your dog of allergy symptoms. Regardless of their breed all young pets are at risk of developing allergic reactions. The severity of the reaction depends on the pet’s metabolism and it varies in each pet. If your pet suffers from an allergic reaction, you must conduct a vet check and on no account give him antihistamine medications on your own.

Allergies in Dogs

Most dogs develop allergies in the first 3 years of their lives and have to be exposed to an allergen for a prolonged period to develop the allergic reaction. Allergens attach themselves to the tissues in the skin and release histamine to cause allergies. These allergies can weaken the immune system of the animal. Antihistamine medications for dogs help reduce the allergic reaction and strengthen the immune system to fight allergens.

What Antihistamines Do

Antihistamines block the chemical histamine that is responsible for the symptoms of allergic reactions. There are 2 types of antihistamines namely H1 blockers and H2 blockers. H1 blockers act on the Hi receptors that are present in capillary tissues whereas H2 blockers act on H2 receptors found in the stomach lining. All antihistamines provide only temporary relief from symptoms like hives, itching, sneezing and nasal discharge.

The Best Antihistamines

Antihistamine medications available today are much better than those that were formerly manufactured. First generation antihistamine medications caused drowsiness and sedation whereas second generation antihistamine medications caused cardiac problems. Present day medications are safer for use as they don’t cause sedation or cardiac problems. It’s therefore beneficial to use these new drugs to treat your pet.

Best Antihistamines for Dogs:

  • Benadryl is very effective in controlling itching, reducing swelling and fighting airborne allergens. The recommended dosage is 1mg per pound of weight. It’s best that the medication contains only diphenyldramine and not alcohol as alcohol can impede recovery.
  • Chlorpheniramine is available in time release tablets and the recommended dosage is 3 tablets daily.
  • Clemastine is highly effective in controlling allergic reactions. This is a very convenient medication to administer as it needs to be given only twice a day.
  • Hydroxyzine not only treats skin allergies but other skin conditions as well.
  • Atarax should be administered 4 times a day as it effectively treats hives and seasonal allergic rhinitis.
  • Chlor-Trimetron is another medicine that’s effective in treating symptoms such as sneezing, itchiness and rash.
  • Alternatively, use Tavist to bring relief from allergic reactions. This drug should be administered with water.

Side-Effects of Antihistamines for Dogs

Since each dog responds differently it’s difficult to say which antihistamine medication will work effectively on your pet. Vets generally try several different antihistamines before selecting one that suits the pet. Some of the adverse side effects of these medications are drowsiness, lethargy, sedation, nausea, diarrhea, seizures and damage to the liver. Antihistamines should be given to dogs with a nutritious diet that’s rich in fatty acids.

Antihistamines are powerful medications and should be administered with care to avoid complications and medical emergencies.