What is The Correct Zyrtec Dosage for Dogs?

You’re probably most familiar with Zyrtec as an over-the-counter drug for humans. According to the manufacturer, it’s most useful for treating symptoms of allergies, including sneezing, watery eyes, and itchy skin. But what is the correct dose of Zyrtec for a dog?

Dosage of Zyrtec for dogs by weight

The usual dose for dogs is 0.5 mg per pound of body weight, once or twice daily. The total daily dosage of Zyrtec should not exceed 20 mg per dose.

  • A 5-pound dog should be given a dose of 2.5 mg: ½ of a 5 mg tablet
  • A 10-pound dog should be given a dose of 5 mg: one 5 mg tablet
  • A 20-pound dog should be given a dose of 10 mg: one 10 mg tablet or two 5 mg tablets
  • A 50-pound dog should be given a dose of 20 mg: two 10 mg tablets
  • A 100-pound dog should be given a dose of 20 mg: two 10 mg tablets

If your dog is taking other medications, check with your veterinarian about possible drug interactions with Zyrtec.

What if I give my dog too much Zyrtec?

The side effects of Zyrtec can vary from dog to dog, and not all animals will experience the same side effects. The drug may cause excessive salivation, vomiting, and drowsiness. If you notice any behavioral changes in your pet after giving the medicine, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Can I give my dog Zyrtec for itching?

You can use Zyrtec for your pet’s itchiness, but they are only temporary fixes. Your pet may need additional treatment for long-term relief. Although antihistamines may help with allergy symptoms, like sneezing and itching, they don’t treat the underlying cause of allergies.

Be sure to follow all the instructions provided with your medication. If you have any questions about your pet’s allergies, don’t hesitate to contact your veterinarian.

How long does it take for Zyrtec to work?

Generally, you should see some improvement within an hour or so after giving him the first dose. The length of time it takes for Zyrtec to take effect will vary depending on how severe your pet’s allergies are and how much medication he needs to take.

Should I give my dog Benadryl or Zyrtec?

Diphenhydramine (Benadryl), cetirizine (Zyrtec), and loratadine (Claritin) are among the most common antihistamines prescribed for dogs. All of them work well for relieving allergy symptoms and counteracting allergic reactions.

Takeaway: If you notice your dog’s symptoms getting worse after giving them Zyrtec, then you should consider switching to another allergy medication. However, if your dog’s symptoms are improving, then keep giving them Zyrtec for as long as directed by your veterinarian.

Should Zyrtec be taken with food?

ZYRTEC® can be taken either with or without food. However, the effects of ZYRTEC® may be reduced when taken on an empty stomach.

Alternatives to Zyrtec for dogs

There are several over the counter medications that you can use in place of Zyrtec for dogs:

  1. Diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
  2. Fexofenadine (Allegra)
  3. Loratadine (Claritin)
  4. Clemastine (Tavegyl)
  5. Chlorpheniramine (ChlorTrimeton)
  6. Cyproheptadine (Periactin)
  7. Hydroxyzine (Atarax)
  8. Terfenadine (Seldane)
  9. Trimeprazine (Temaril-P)

Always talk to your vet before giving your dog any new medication.

What do vets prescribe for dog allergies?

There are two types of drugs that can be used to treat allergies in dogs: antihistamines and corticosteroids.

The type your vet prescribes depends on the type of allergic reaction your dog is experiencing (e.g., hay fever or seasonal allergies, food allergies, and flea allergies). Usually, a combination of the two will be prescribed.

Antihistamines work by blocking histamine receptors in the body, which prevents the associated allergic symptoms. Corticosteroids suppress the immune system, which also helps with allergy symptoms, but they also have side effects.

What are the signs of dog allergies?

If your dog is suffering from allergies, he may show symptoms like sneezing, a runny nose, itchiness, and breathing problems. Not only can these signs be uncomfortable for your dog, but they can also be difficult to live with.

If you suspect your dog may be suffering from an allergy, please contact your veterinarian. There are quite a few over-the-counter medications available for dogs that can help with many of the symptoms caused by allergies. In addition to these, there are also prescription medications available through your veterinarian that can be even more effective when dealing with severe allergies.


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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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