Can I give my dog antihistamines?
Original Question: I would like to try antihistamines for my dog. What dosage and brand of would you recommend for a dog that is approximately 15 pounds? - Anonymous
Thanks for the question.
Allergies in our pets are extremely frustrating so I can understand your desire to try a therapy you haven’t yet used. Antihistamines are safe but the ones we buy in the pharmacy are labeled for humans and are used on pets as ‘off-label’ medications. So I would like you to ask your veterinarian before proceeding.
Controlling allergies using takes multiple treatments. An antihistamine for dog itching is just one of the options and they work well when combined with some of the other treatments, such as shampoos, diet, omega-3 fatty acids, and medications. Antihistamines can sometimes reduce your reliance on harsher medications like steroids and allow you to drop the dosage of these drugs. Keep in mind some dogs respond really well to antihistamines, and then others don’t seem to gain much benefit from them. They can also respond to one particular antihistamine product and not others, so most people cycle through them on a trial and error basis before finding the one that helps their pet.
I encourage you to check out our chart that goes over the instructions and dosages of over-the-counter antihistamines based on canine weight as well as our video about antihistamine use in pets. Lastly, I would also recommend you have a look at our article about treating allergies in dogs and cats for more information about this topic.
Dr. Clayton Greenway
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