Some dogs suffer from bouts of anxiety during thunderstorms, travel or when introduced to new surroundings, and their stress levels can be disturbing for both the pets and their owners. Hiding under furniture, shaking uncontrollably, even wetting inside the home are just some of the behaviors that dogs exhibit when they are stressed. Is there anything that can relieve this stress and calm the dog’s nerves?
Can Benadryl Help My Dog with Anxiety and Nervousness?
Benadryl has been around for a long time and used in both humans and pets with minimal problems. For a temporary solution when traveling, visiting a new environment or during an approaching thunderstorm, it might just be the answer for your dog’s nervousness problems.
It can help with sleeplessness as well as motion sickness, two problems that often go hand-in-hand with frayed nerves when traveling.
The first question most pet owners have is, “How much Benadryl can I give my dog?” The second question is generally about the safety and effectiveness of the drug when used with dogs. Dosages are given below, so let’s consider effectiveness and safety now.
Benadryl has been used for decades in both dogs and cats with very few problems when given in the correct dosage. The main side effect is drowsiness, sometimes accompanied by confusion, but this drowsiness is what makes Benadryl effective for sleeplessness and anxiety issues in dogs.
Although Benadryl has a long record of safety when given appropriately, it is possible to overdose on Benadryl, so follow the guidelines for specific amounts closely.
How Much Benadryl Can I Give My Dog?
The recommended dose for dogs depends on the weight of the dog. It is always best to discuss the use of any medication including over the counter medicines with your vet. They know your dog’s health history and problems and are best able to determine that appropriate dose.
Many professionals advise starting with a slightly lower dose and if it is effective, stay with that amount. Each dog reacts differently to medications, so your dog may be fine with a lower dose. How much Benadryl can I give my dog should always be answered with the least amount possible. Never exceed the recommended dosage.
In general, give one milligram per pound of the dog, so a 25 pound dog would receive 25 mg. Benadryl comes in 25 mg and 50 mg capsules or pills so you may have to divide a pill to get the appropriate amount. Liquid Benadryl for children is flavored and dogs usually like it.
It is also easier to measure out a precise amount. It may be difficult to administer to the dog though. It can be put into an empty gel cap and concealed in a treat.
Dogs that weigh up to 30 pounds should receive a 10 mg dose to start with. If this is not sufficient, then follow the above guidelines for giving one milligram per pound. Dogs from 30 to 50 pounds can be started with a 25 mg Benadryl pill, while dogs over 50 pounds should get a 50 mg dose.
It is safe to administer the recommended dose every eight hours.