Benadryl Killed My Dog?

Benadryl 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.

Benadryl Killed My Dog

Can Benadryl kill a dog?

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.

The main side effects of Benadryl include drowsiness, dizziness, dry mouth, blurred vision, constipation, and urinary retention.

Benadryl can cause serious adverse effects when ingested by pets: depression, dilated pupils, weakness, coma, seizures, shallow breathing, vomiting, and diarrhea.

It’s possible that your dog dying from an allergic reaction to Benadryl. According to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, there are a few cases of death due to anaphylactic shock reported annually in dogs who were given Benadryl.

Dogs who have had an allergic reaction after taking Benadryl previously should not take it again as it may cause another reaction with serious consequences including death.

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

The lethal dose for dogs has not been precisely determined, so there is no known lethal dose of Benadryl for dogs. However, there are many reports of dogs dying from ingesting 10-40 tablets of Benadryl.

Dogs who have heart disease, high blood pressure, glaucoma or problems urinating should not take Benadryl because it could worsen their condition or even result in death from severe drops in blood pressure or heart failure.

If your dog has a history of seizures or other medical conditions that affect his heart rate or blood pressure, you should not give him Benadryl without first consulting with your veterinarian.

Benadryl complaints

There are many Benadryl complaints out there and we are going to go over some of the most common ones here.

“Benadryl killed my dog! 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. 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!”

“I had been giving my dog Benadryl for about a week for his allergies which he has always had since I have had him. I was giving it to him in a pill form that I ground up into a powder with a pill crusher. One day, he started acting really weird after getting his medicine so I called my vet who said that I should take him in immediately if he acted like that again. He never acted like that again but yesterday morning he had not eaten his breakfast or drank any water like he normally does so I gave him a small amount of water and went back to bed. About 10 minutes later, my boyfriend came into the room saying that Diesel was not breathing right and to call 911. We rushed him to the ER vet hospital where they couldn’t find anything wrong with him other than low blood sugar and gave me some fluids to give him at home.”

“My dog is an Italian greyhound who has suffered from allergies and skin problems since we got her. We have tried everything, shots, and steroids and they don’t really work for her. Benadryl was the only thing that made a difference but it also makes her lethargic and sleepy all the time.”

“I gave my dog Benadryl, I thought it would help calm her down a bit. She started throwing up and having seizures, she wasn’t breathing right and had a horrible rash on her belly. I called the vet and they said to bring her in immediately. She was in the hospital for 4 days. Now she is home and doing better but I am terrified to give her anything with Benadryl in it again.”

“My dog weighs about 8 lbs and is a mini-poodle. He is around 1 yr old. I put him on Benadryl for his allergies at the recommendation of my vet. For the first few days, he was okay, then started acting very lethargic and drowsy.”

“I have a 5-year-old Sheltie and lately she has been itching like crazy. I took her to the vet and they gave me some medication and shampoo. The medication worked for a few days, but then she was itching again. I came across this shampoo and thought I would give it a shot and see if it helped. After the first use, there was a noticeable difference in her coat. It wasn’t as dry and the itchy spots were gone!”

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 or 12 hours. So if your dog weighs 10 pounds, he’ll need 10 mg of the drug every 8 hours.

According to the American Kennel Club, Benadryl is safe for use in dogs when prescribed by a veterinarian and only if they have been diagnosed with an allergic reaction or motion sickness. If your dog has been diagnosed with either condition, you should follow your vet’s recommended dosage instructions exactly.

How much Benadryl is fatal for a dog?

The lethal dose for dogs has not been precisely determined, so there is no known lethal dose of Benadryl for dogs. However, there are many reports of dogs dying from ingesting 10-40 tablets of Benadryl.

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

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.

Does Benadryl stop dogs from itching?

The short answer is yes. However, you need to make sure you are administering the right amount and not giving it too often. If you do decide to use Benadryl to help with your dog’s allergies or other ailments, it’s important that you talk to your veterinarian first.

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.

Conclusion of Benadryl killing dogs

Because of Benadryl’s availability and affordability, it is an extremely common choice among dog owners. Benadryl works well for dogs. However, you must be aware of the possible side effects, allergic reactions, and overdose, especially in large doses. This is a drug that must be used with caution.

In order to get the most out of Benadryl, make sure your dog has been checked by a veterinarian and has had any underlying medical conditions ruled out. Using Benadryl as a preventative measure for unknown causes of allergic reactions in dogs should be avoided, as those situations can often be life-threatening. If your dog is having an allergic reaction of any kind, it is best to get to a vet as soon as possible, rather than waiting and hoping Benadryl will work.


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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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