Can I Give My Dog Benadryl for Pain?

Benadryl (diphenhydramine) is one of the most popular antihistamines on the market. You might have heard of it as a medication for allergies, but there is an increasing amount of evidence that it can be used to help with pain management.

Can I give a dog Benadryl for pain

Can I give dogs Benadryl for pain?

Yes, you can give a dog Benadryl for pain due to allergies. However, Benadryl is not a pain reliever and should not be used as one. If your dog needs pain relief due to medical conditions such as arthritis or osteoarthritis, talk to your vet about the most effective medication.

Benadryl works by blocking histamine in the body, which is a chemical that causes allergic symptoms. For this reason, it will typically only help with allergic pain. If given at the correct dosage, Benadryl is safe for dogs. The most common side effects are drowsiness and fatigue. Other possible side effects include:

  • Elevated heart rate
  • Dry mouth
  • Dilated pupils
  • Excitability
  • Restlessness and agitation
  • Stomach upset and vomiting
  • Incoordination (ataxia)
  • Dizziness and loss of balance
  • Seizures

How much Benadryl can you give a dog?

The recommended dose of Benadryl for dogs is 1mg for every pound of body weight. For example, if your dog weighs 50 pounds, then he should receive 50 mg of Benadryl.

How long does it take for Benadryl to work in dogs?

The dosage needs to be calculated based on your dog’s weight. If the medication is properly dosed, the effects will become noticeable within 30 minutes. You should see a reduction in scratching and itching, as well as other allergy symptoms like sneezing and a runny nose. It will also reduce nausea and vomiting due to motion sickness or car travel. The effects of the medication can last up to 12 hours depending on how much was given and your dog’s metabolism.

Is Benadryl an anti-inflammatory for dogs?

Benadryl has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties in humans, but there’s no evidence that it works that way in dogs. If your dog has inflammation or swelling due to injury or disease, you should talk to your vet about additional treatment options.

Benadryl is available over-the-counter in the United States and Canada, but it’s not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in dogs. There are several different kinds of Benadryl for dogs, including tablets, capsules and liquid forms. The dosage varies by product type and weight of your dog.

What can we give our dog for pain?

There are a handful of FDA-approved NSAIDs available for use in dogs, with the most common being Carprofen (Rimadyl), Deracoxib (Deramaxx), Firocoxib (Previcox), and Meloxicam (Metacam).

NSAIDs should only be used under strict veterinary supervision because they can have serious side effects including reduced appetite, vomiting and diarrhea, stomach ulcers, internal bleeding and kidney failure. These medications should never be given to a dog who has liver or kidney disease or bleeding disorders, or who is already taking other medications that change the effect of blood clotting.

What natural remedy can I give my dog for pain?

There are many natural remedies you can use to help your dog with pain.


Turmeric has been used for years as a natural remedy for inflammation and pain relief, which makes it a great choice when treating arthritis in dogs. However, turmeric may interact with some medications so make sure to talk with your veterinarian before giving it to your dog!

Chamomile tea

Chamomile tea has been shown to be effective in reducing inflammation and pain in dogs. To make it, steep two teaspoons of dried chamomile flowers for two minutes in boiling water, then strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a mug and add honey to taste.

Devil’s claw

The herb devil’s claw has been shown in studies to have anti-inflammatory effects and may help relieve pain associated with arthritis or other joint problems. Your vet will likely recommend this herb if there’s no obvious cause for your dog’s discomfort — such as an injury or infection — but it can also be used alongside other treatments (such as glucosamine) if warranted.

Fish oil

Fish oil is a natural anti-inflammatory and can ease joint pain in dogs with arthritis. Fish oil derivatives can also be used topically to stimulate hair growth or soothe itchy skin. It’s important not to overdo it when feeding your dog fish oil; too much can cause excessive bleeding or an upset stomach, especially if your dog has kidney disease or is on medications that thin his blood.


It’s great for hip dysplasia and arthritis, but could also be helpful if your dog has cancer, back problems or even joint pain caused by obesity.

CBD oil

CBD oil is a great natural remedy that has many different uses. It is also known as Cannabidiol, and it comes from the hemp plant. This oil can be used on dogs to help with pain, anxiety and much more.

The best thing about CBD oil is that it is legal in all 50 states to varying degrees and can be easily purchased online or at your local health food store. You should always check with your vet before giving any kind of medication or supplement to your pet because not all products are safe for animals and some can cause serious problems if they are used incorrectly or in excess amounts.

Conclusion of giving dogs Benadryl for pain

If your dog is in pain from an allergy or other type of inflammation, a dose of Benadryl may allow him to get some relief. However, before you give Benadryl to your dog for any reason, be sure to consult with your veterinarian. The dosage for dogs can vary depending on the weight of your pet, and an overdose of Benadryl can be deadly.

If you do decide to use Benadryl to control pain in your dog, be sure to keep an eye on him. If he seems sleepy, that’s a good thing—it means the medication is working. But if he has any difficulty breathing or starts vomiting, call your vet immediately. Although it’s rare for a dog to have an allergic reaction to diphenhydramine (the active ingredient), as with humans, it does happen and it can be very serious and even fatal.

Remember that Benadryl doesn’t work on every dog. If you’ve given your dog Benadryl and it doesn’t seem to be working, contact your vet immediately.


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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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