Using Benadryl with Pets

Most of us are familiar with the commercially-available drug Benadryl. It’s an antihistamine, mostly used for treating allergies. What you may not be aware of is that Benadryl is also prescribed to pets. Here, a Cedar Park vet fills you in on using Benadryl for pets.

What is it Used For?

Benadryl is used on pets to counteract the symptoms of allergies, loss of appetite, hyper-excitability, and motion sickness. It’s mostly used on dogs and cats. It is important to note that Benadryl treats the symptoms of these issues, not the underlying causes. Your Cedar Park vet can explain this further.

How Does it Work?

Antihistamines neutralize histamine, which is a chemical that causes itchiness and inflammation. Just as Benadryl soothes itching and sneezing in humans, it does the same for cats and dogs.

In dogs, Benadryl combats motion sickness by obstructing vomiting impulses in the brain. Ask your Cedar Park vet for more details about how Benadryl and other antihistamines work.

What Are the Side Effects?

Benadryl’s side effects are varied, and may or may not occur in your pet. Possible side effects include diarrhea, vomiting, dry mouth, decreased urination, loss of appetite, hyper-excitability, and lethargy. Always ask your Cedar Park vet about side effects if Benadryl is prescribed to your pet, and call immediately if your pet exhibits any of these symptoms.

It’s also important to tell your Cedar Park veterinarian about any other medications your pet is taking, as Benadryl can adversely react with several drugs.


If you miss a dose of Benadryl, don’t double up on the next dose. Also use extreme caution when giving Benadryl to pregnant animals, or pets with high blood pressure, heart disease, and bladder disorders. Never, under any circumstances, give Benadryl to your pet at home without the approval and consent of your Cedar Park vet. Used correctly under the advisement of your veterinarian, Benadryl can be an effective and safe way to make your pet’s life happier and healthier.

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