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Antihistamines for Dogs

Acceptable OTC Antihistamines for the Dog

Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) 25 mg tablet or capsule - 1 mg / lb every 12 hours
Children's Benadryl Suspension 12.5 mg / teaspoon (5 ml) for small dogs

ChlorTrimeton (Chlorpheniramine maleate) 4 mg tablets - 0.5 to 2 mg / kg every 8 to 12 hours

Zyrtec (Cetirizine) 5 mg or 10 mg tablets - 1 mg / kg every 12 to 24 hours

Claritin (Loratadine) 5 mg or 10 mg tablets - 0.25 up to 1.1 mg / kg every 24 hours or divided twice daily

Allegra (Fexofenadine) 60 mg or 180 mg tablets - 2 to 5 mg / kg every 12 to 24 hours

Prescription Antihistamine (commonly prescribed)

Atarax (Hydroxyzine HCl) 25 or 50 mg tablets - 1 mg / lb every 24 hours


lb = pound, kg = kilogram, mg = milligram, ml = milliliter, "/" character read as "per"
Conversion - dog's weight in pounds divided by 2.2 = dog's weight in kilograms

Doctor's Notes

Due to genetic differences pertaining to drug bioavailability, metabolism, and excretion with each individual animal, therapeutic effects can vary widely between antihistamines as well as other pharmaceuticals.

Until genetic testing, with pharmaceutical cross-referencing, becomes more widely available, it will fall to the pet owner to determine which antihistamine provides the best therapeutic effects for their individual animal.

Consultation with the veterinarian may be necessary prior to any antihistamine recommendation if an individual dog is currently taking multiple medications for chronic disease management or has been diagnosed with diseases affecting multiple organ systems.

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