Benadryl Toxicity in Dogs

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

Benadryl killed my dog?

“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!”

Dogs can die from Benadryl but it is not common.

Benadryl overdose in dogs can cause serious adverse effects including:

  • Severe gastrointestinal distress
  • Severe restlessness
  • Irregular heartbeat or blood pressure
  • Respiratory depression
  • Coma
  • Seizures
  • Death

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 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 serious complications. Other preexisting conditions include:

  • Prostate enlargement
  • Pyloric obstruction or stenosis (narrowing of the pylorus)
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid)

What are the side effects of Benadryl for dogs?

The most common side effects of Benadryl in dogs include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Urinary retention

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.

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.

How long till Benadryl kicks in for dogs?

Benadryl does work in about 30 minutes, but it may take up to four hours for the medication to peak. This can be faster or slower depending on factors such as your pet’s weight, and general health.

Is Benadryl hard on the liver?

Benadryl has been tested for safety in studies of humans and animals. The results show that diphenhydramine has not been linked to liver test abnormalities or to clinically apparent liver injury.

Benadryl may be hard on the liver if used too much for long-term treatment. However, studies have not shown that it causes long-term liver damage.

Does Benadryl damage the kidneys?

There are no known cases of kidney impairment from taking this drug. However, some patients with preexisting kidney disease or other pre-existing conditions put them at increased risk for damage to the kidneys.

The most common side effect of taking Benadryl is drowsiness. However, it can also cause urinary retention in some dogs, especially those with a history of kidney disease or those who are elderly.

Benadryl reviews from dog owners

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

“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.”

“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!”

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 toxicity in 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. 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.

Does Benadryl 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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