• Over-the-Counter Antihistamine Use in Dogs and Cats

  • Over-the-Counter Antihistamine Use in Dogs and Cats
  • By: Dr. Clayton Greenway, B.Sc., DVM | Nov 4, 2016

  • Dr. Greenway discusses over-the-counter antihistamine use in dogs and cats to treat allergies at home. In this video we discuss allergies, safety, drowsiness, why over-the-counter antihistamines, may or may not work, why certain antihistamines will work and others won’t, our antihistamine chart, avoiding them in cats, when to speak to your veterinarian, trialing antihistamine and possible other treatments for allergies.


    I’m Dr. Clayton Greenway with healthcareforpets.com. What I wanted to talk about was antihistamines. Antihistamines is something that people use a lot when their pets have allergies and you can try it at home. Antihistamines are relatively safe, they may cause drowsiness but they are over-the-counter medication.

    Now what’s interesting is I’ve seen a lot of animals with allergies and I’ve seen some people use an antihistamine and it can completely control the allergies even when they’re quite severe, others use antihistamines and they don’t work at all and there’s a reason for this. As it turns out dogs will respond to certain antihistamine but not others.

    So what we’ve done here is we’ve put a chart that lists the common antihistamines that you can buy at your local human pharmacy and we’ve also shown the dosage that you would administer based on your dog’s weight. The reason I’m mentioning this about dogs as well is antihistamines in cats, I’d be very cautious about them and I’d certainly work with your vet when you’re using antihistamines in cats. They’re much more sensitive to them and can be potentially dangerous. So with dogs they’re very, very safe and you can use this chart to try different antihistamines. The instructions are there but what I want you to do is pick an antihistamine, use it to the amount that it says and try it for a good two weeks and then evaluate, did this work? Did this help things? And if not, you stop it and potentially move on to the next one. This is just one treatment that you can do to try to improve the allergic issues in your pet. There are many other treatments to try and you’ll be able to read about those on our website and also hear about them in our general video on allergies.

    It’s really important that you don’t become frustrated treating allergies in your pet. It’s very difficult, you’ve got to have a lot of patience and it’s a lot of trial and error but it can really improve your pets quality of life if you get this under control and hopefully we help you with that because what’s most important to us is your pet’s health here at healthcareforpets.com.

    Over-the-Counter Antihistamine Use in Dogs and Cats
    Over-the-Counter Antihistamine Use in Dogs and Cats

    Dr. Clayton Greenway discusses over-the-counter antihistamine use in dogs and cats to treat allergies at home.

    Disclaimer: healthcareforpets.com and its team of veterinarians and clinicians do not endorse any products, services, or recommended advice. All advice presented by our veterinarians, clinicians, tools, resources, etc is not meant to replace a regular physical exam and consultation with your primary veterinarian or other clinicians. We always encourage you to seek medical advice from your regular veterinarian.

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