Zyrtec vs Benadryl: Is Benadryl or Zyrtec Better for Dogs?

While both Zyrtec and Benadryl have a long list of benefits, the biggest advantage is that they are both inexpensive and readily available over the counter. So while these two can be used on dogs, there are some differences. Let’s take a look at Zyrtec vs Benadryl for dogs!

Benadryl vs Zyrtec for dogs

Benadryl and Zyrtec

Zyrtec and Benadryl are two of the most popular antihistamines on the market. Both are available in generic versions, but many pet owners choose to buy them in their brand name form because they have seen good results with their dog’s allergies.

Both of these medications work by blocking histamine, which is a chemical messenger in the body that causes allergic reactions. When you give your dog either Benadryl or Zyrtec, histamine levels will drop and your dog will no longer be itching or scratching.

Benadryl vs Zyrtec: Which is better?

The main difference between Benadryl and Zyrtec is dosing frequency. Zyrtec can be given every 12 hours while Benadryl can be given every 8 hours.

There’s a lot of debate as to which dog antihistamine is best. Some people swear by Benadryl and others swear by Zyrtec. Each one has its pros and cons. I recommend you try both products and see which one works best for your dog’s allergies.

It’s important to remember that both medications are human drugs, and it should not be assumed that they are safe just because they are available over-the-counter at your local pharmacy.

In fact, both Zyrtec and Benadryl can cause side effects if given to dogs in large doses or for extended periods of time. Some side effects include vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, excessive thirst or urination.

Benadryl for dogs reviews

Reviewers say this medication is easy to give, works quickly, and has few side effects. However, they did notice some possible interactions with other medications, which should be discussed with your veterinarian before using Benadryl for dogs.

We found hundreds of reviews for Benadryl for dogs on sites such as Amazon, Walgreens and CVS, with an average rating of 4 stars out of 5. While most reviewers say their dogs tolerate the medication well, some say they’ve had trouble getting their pets to swallow it or that their dogs experienced side effects.

“I’ve used Benadryl for dogs for years. My dog has allergies and I have to use it about once a week. It works for him when he’s itchy. He’s been on it for years so it must not cause him any problems. The only thing I don’t like about it is that it makes your dog sleepy so you have to give it at night when he’s going to bed anyway.”

“Benadryl is great for my dog’s allergies! He had been itching and scratching so bad that his skin was bleeding, so we went to the vet who prescribed Benadryl, which worked like a charm! He took one pill and within a few hours, he stopped scratching and seemed more relaxed than he had in days! We were told that it can take up to 8 hours before any improvement happens though (so don’t expect immediate results), so we gave him one pill every night before bedtime and within a week or two he was back to his old self again! Definitely worth trying if your dog has allergies or other skin issues!”

“My dog was suffering from allergies and was having trouble sleeping. I gave him two Benadryl tablets at bedtime and he slept like a baby through the night.”

“I’ve used this product on my dog for years now and it has always been effective for treating his itching problems.”

“I like this product because it works well for my dog’s allergies. He’s been on it for a few years now, and has no problems taking it.”

Zyrtec for dogs reviews

Zyrtec for dogs is a non-sedating allergy medication that helps relieve the symptoms of allergies caused by seasonal and year-round pollens, grasses, weeds, trees, and animal dander.

“I have been using this product on my dog for years. The vet recommended it and I have been very happy with the results. It works well to control her allergies and has kept her healthy.”

“My dog has been prescribed Zyrtec for almost two years now. It’s helped him manage his allergies to grasses and pollens very well.”

“My dog has severe allergies to grass and dust mites. She had been on several different types of medications over the years but nothing worked well enough until I tried Zyrtec.”

“I have a German Shepherd and he has always had issues with allergies. This medication works great for him. No side effects. I do not know what my dog would do without this medication.”

“I have used Zyrtec on my dogs for years, they love the taste and it helps them from itching so much. They are so much happier and do not scratch as much when they take their Zyrtec daily.”

How much Benadryl can I give my dog?

The recommended dose of Benadryl for dogs is 1 mg per pound of body weight every 8 hours. So if your dog weighs 40 pounds, he should take 40 mg of Benadryl.

Benadryl dosage for dogs
Dog’s weight Benadryl dosage
5 pounds ½ of a 12.5 mg tablet
10 pounds one 12.5 mg tablet
20 pounds one of a 25 mg tablet
50 pounds two 25 mg tablets
80 pounds three 25 mg tablets
100 pounds four 25 mg tablets

How much Zyrtec can I give my dog?

Zyrtec tablets can be given to dogs at a dose of 0.5 mg per pound of body weight and should not exceed 20 mg per dose. For example, if your dog weighs 20 pounds, give her one 10 mg tablet. If she weighs 40 pounds, give her two 10 mg tablets.

Zyrtec dosage for dogs
Dog’s weight Zyrtec dosage
5 pounds ½ of a 5 mg tablet
10 pounds one 5 mg tablet
20 pounds one 10 mg tablet or two 5 mg tablets
50 pounds two 10 mg tablets
80 pounds two 10 mg tablets
100 pounds two 10 mg tablets

How long does it take for Zyrtec or Benadryl to work on dogs?

It usually takes one hour to see results from either Zyrtec or Benadryl when given orally. If your dog has eaten recently, then it may take longer for him to feel its effects since food in the stomach can slow down the absorption of any medication given orally to your pet.

Can I give my dog Zyrtec in the morning and Benadryl at night?

Yes, you can give your dog Zyrtec in the morning and Benadryl at night.

Your dog’s allergies are making him miserable, and you want to do everything you can to relieve his suffering. While there are no guarantees, using Benadryl and Zyrtec together can sometimes be effective in managing your dog’s allergy symptoms.

There is some concern, however, that giving a combination of these two medications could lead to an overdose. To be safe, use each drug alone and never give your dog both of them at the same time or within a 12-hour period.

How do you treat severe allergies in dogs?

Severe allergies in dogs can be difficult to treat and may require several medications.

If you have a dog with severe allergies, your vet may recommend that you use a combination of treatments. This might include antihistamines, steroids, anti-inflammatory drugs, antibiotics, and immunotherapy (allergy shots).

Allergy shots are used to desensitize the body to allergens. These injections are given every few weeks until there is no reaction to the specific allergen. In severe cases, this can take months.

Your vet will also want to rule out other issues that may be causing itching and scratching before treating for allergies.

How do I know if my dog is allergic to his food?

When you suspect that a food allergy may be the cause of your dog’s symptoms, try an elimination diet. The idea behind an elimination diet is that if you can eliminate one potential allergen from your dog’s diet and then reintroduce it later on, you’ll know which is causing the problem because your pet’s symptoms will return when you add it back into his diet again.

Conclusion of Benadryl vs Zyrtec for dogs

Benadryl and Zyrtec are both safe and effective antihistamines. They are also both available in tablet and liquid forms, making them convenient to use. However, they do have some differences that should be considered when choosing which one to use on your dog.

The main difference between the two medications is their potency. Zyrtec is more potent than Benadryl and therefore has a longer duration of action. This means that it may be necessary to give your dog a higher dose of Benadryl than Zyrtec to achieve the same effect.

Both medications can be given once or twice daily depending on the severity of your dog’s condition. They both have side effects but these are usually mild and should go away shortly. Serious side effects are uncommon with either medication, but they include diarrhea, vomiting, seizures, and difficulty breathing in some dogs who are sensitive to antihistamines.

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Hannah Elizabeth is an English animal behavior author, having written for several online publications. With a degree in Animal Behaviour and over a decade of practical animal husbandry experience, Hannah's articles cover everything from pet care to wildlife conservation. When she isn't creating content for blog posts, Hannah enjoys long walks with her Rottweiler cross Senna, reading fantasy novels and breeding aquarium shrimp.

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