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Can You Give a Dog Benadryl for Anxiety?

Please note: We are not veterinarians and you use our advice at your own discretion. We always recommend that you consult your veterinarian whenever you have health-related conditions your furbaby is facing. With that in mind, as pet parents ourselves, we wish nothing but the best for your pet and their healthy and happy lives.

Close up of fingers holding a Benadryl tablet

Benadryl is an excellent alternative to help your dog cope with anxiety. It takes 30 minutes to take action, and your dog will become quiet and anxiety-free. However, different dogs will respond differently to the dose and frequency. Therefore, before administering any medication to your dog, you must consult a veterinarian. Keep reading to know about the safe dosage of Benadryl for managing your dog’s anxiety.

Need to know how to calm your dog during fireworks? Click here to find out how.

Will Benadryl Calm My Dog?

Benadryl has sleepiness as one of its effects, which soothes stressed dogs. Diphenhydramine functions by obstructing the body’s histamine receptors. Itching, sneezing, and hives are among the symptoms of allergies that are significantly reduced by doing this. Although the body continues to manufacture histamines, the receptor antagonist prevents the receptors from detecting them.

The diphenhydramine may help dogs who are experiencing mild to moderate anxiety related to travel. It could also lessen motion sickness. Although Benadryl may occasionally help with nervousness, it’s preferable to speak with your veterinarian or an animal behaviorist to identify and address the underlying cause.

Benadryl often stops functioning and starts to wear off after 24 hours. Effects may remain longer in canines with liver or renal illness, though. Before using Benadryl, consult your veterinarian, especially if your dog has ongoing liver, renal, or cardiac issues.

Benadryl Dose for Dogs by Weight

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When using Benadryl for dogs, you should administer 2-4mg of the medication for every kilogram (2.2 lbs) of body weight. But once more, this may change. Before moving, get your veterinarian’s approval. You must be mindful of the dose while using Benadryl to treat canine anxiety. The improper dosage might significantly lessen the desired soothing effect or dangerously harm your pet’s health.

Before doing anything further, go to your veterinarian to see how much Benadryl might be effective for a dog. Based on factors such as his weight, size, breed, potential medical issues, and other factors, they will be able to calculate the optimal dose. Don’t try to determine the proper liquid Benadryl dose for dogs on your own because it might be challenging. The maximum dosage in 8 hours is 1 mg/lb, with 1 mg/lb being the suggested beginning dose.

Benadryl dose for dogs should always be administered to pets with meals. For instance, you may cut the pill into pieces and place the pieces on a piece of cooked meat or wrap the tablet in a slice of cheese. Work with his favorite treats by considering those. Just be sure that the meal you utilize is suitable for canines (for example, chocolate, avocados, and raisins are poisonous to dogs, so stay away).

Can I Give My Dog Melatonin for Fireworks? Click here to find out.

Does Benadryl Make Dogs Drowsy?

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Benadryl’s sedative qualities can also make it a successful anxiety medication. When dogs are exposed to high-stress circumstances like thunderstorms or fireworks that might cause an anxiety episode, some pet parents give them this medication.

Benadryl can also be used to treat insomnia because it frequently facilitates sleep for the patient. Benadryl makes dogs sleepy, and the effects might last up to 12 hours.

Other Dog Anxiety Medications

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Whatever medicine your physician prescribes, you’ll also need to set up behavior-modification procedures to assist your dog deal with their nervousness. Prescription anti-anxiety medication and behavior modification training are frequently the best treatments for moderate to severe anxiety. The following are some of the drugs that can be used to treat canine anxiety.

Amitriptyline for Separation Anxiety

Medicine bottle with a label that reads "Amitriptyline" with white pills spilled on a pink background

Dogs with separation anxiety or more generalized anxious tendencies may be treated with amitriptyline. It is a tricyclic antidepressant that functions in part by raising levels of the mood-affecting neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine. With diabetic pets, it should not be used.

Amitriptyline is prescribed as a pill, which can be taken with or without meals. If your dog has been on amitriptyline for longer than a week or two, you should gently wean them off of it.

Can You Give a Dog Gravol/Dramamine for Anxiety? Click here to learn more.

Buspirone for General Anxiety

Medicine bottle spilled on its side against a blue background with a label reading "Buspirone"

Buspirone is frequently recommended for dogs that exhibit social anxiety, such as when interacting with other dogs. The azaperone class of anxiolytics includes buspirone.

It is not beneficial for dogs that have situational concerns, like thunderstorm phobias, since this medicine needs to be taken consistently to be successful. This is because it partially stimulates serotonin receptors in the brain to have some anti-anxiety effects. Buspirone is prescribed in pills and can be taken with or without meals.

Dexmedetomidine for Situational Anxiety

2 pill bottles, one on its side with oblong pills spilled onto a white background.

The FDA has authorized Sileo as a treatment for dogs that are afraid of noise. It is an alpha-2 adrenoceptor agonist that functions in part by suppressing activity in specific areas of the brain, which among other things lowers anxiety levels.

If at all feasible, administer the medication before the triggering noise occurrence or at the first indication that the dog is starting to get agitated. Sileo is administered as a transmucosal gel in a multidose tube. When put between the cheek and gums, the drug is absorbed through the mucous membranes and shouldn’t be eaten.

When handling the syringe and giving the medication, you must put on a pair of disposable, waterproof gloves.

Sertraline for Behavioral Anxiety

Pill bottle against a bright background with a label reading "Sertraline"

Numerous anxiety-related conditions, including separation anxiety, thunder phobia, and fear-based violence, can be treated with sertraline. It belongs to the SSRI class of drugs, which act by raising the level of the brain’s serotonin neurotransmitter.

The medication can be taken orally with or without meals and comes in tablet or liquid form. If a dog has been taking sertraline for more than two months, tapering them off may be beneficial.

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