Benadryl Killed My Dog?

“My dog died after I gave her Benadryl. I was told to give her a 25mg tablet for itching. The next day, she was stumbling around the house acting drunk. I called my vet and she said it was not normal behavior and to come right in. She had seizures, her heart stopped beating, she stopped breathing, and became brain dead. My family made the decision to have her put down before she suffered more. Benadryl killed my dog. I am so angry that this happened to my dog! This drug is very dangerous! I need to do something to prevent anyone else’s dog from having this happen to them!”

Benadryl is used commonly in both human and veterinary medicine for allergies, hay fever, skin disease, etc. It has been shown to be very safe for dogs and humans. But if you have ever had a dog die after taking Benadryl there are many factors including the amount of dose ingested and your pet’s health condition that can attribute to any adverse reactions.

When a dog takes a lethal dose of Benadryl it can cause antihistamine poisoning which can result in clinical signs of severe agitation, lethargy, sedation, aggression, respiratory depression, and death.

Dogs can die from Benadryl but it is not common. If you notice your dog passing out or seems very lethargic after taking Benadryl, call the vet right away.

How much Benadryl is fatal for a dog?

Benadryl may be safely used in dogs in the recommended doses. Fatalities have occurred when dogs have ingested much greater than the recommended doses.

The lethal dosage range for Benadryl in a dog is 24 mg to 30 mg per kilogram of body weight, meaning that a 20-pound or 9-kilogram dog could possibly survive the poisoning if the dose was less than 215 mg – 270 mg.

What happens if you give a dog too much Benadryl?

Dogs that have accidentally ingested too much Benadryl may experience common side effects including:

  • Agitation
  • Lethargy
  • Sedation
  • Aggression
  • Abnormal heart rate
  • Abnormal blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Inappetance
  • Respiratory depression
  • Death

Benadryl is a medication that when used in dogs with the right amount can help reduce their allergy symptoms, but when given a lethal dose it may cause respiratory failure and myocardial depression.

Is 25 mg of Benadryl safe for a dog?

The answer is yes. The general dose of Benadryl is 2 to 4 mg/kg up to three times a day. If your dog weighs 30 lbs (13 kg) the dose of Benadryl would be 26 mg to 52 mg up to three times a day.

Benadryl is available in 25mg and 50mg and comes in tablets, capsules, and liquid-filled capsules.

Will Benadryl make my dog stop itching?

Benadryl is an over-the-counter medication for itching in dogs. It is given to dogs with skin allergies, atopic dermatitis, or insect bites. Using Benadryl can help to temporarily relieve your dog’s discomfort and buy you some time before you have to take him to the vet.

Why you shouldn’t give your dog Benadryl?

In some cases, giving your dog Benadryl can actually worsen your dog’s condition.

Benadryl is only used in the short term for a dog with a bad reaction to something. If your dog is having a prolonged reaction, you should call a vet and not give him Benadryl. If you continue to give him Benadryl after his allergic reaction has been properly diagnosed by a vet, you will cause him more harm than good.

If you find that your dog is having trouble sleeping or relaxing, there are many safer alternatives to Benadryl. Consider asking your vet about these options before reaching for the Benadryl bottle.

Benadryl doesn’t boost immune systems or prevent allergies from developing in the future. Instead, it just helps keep things bearable until the body learns how to fight off the allergen that triggered an allergic reaction in the first place.


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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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