When something triggers your dog’s allergies, you don’t always have expensive allergy medication on hand. Sometimes, you just want to give your dog quick relief without making a trip to the vet. You know that certain human medications like Tums, Benadryl, and Pepto Bismol are generally safe for dogs. You may ask, can I give my dog Zyrtec to relieve their symptoms and let them run around and play again?
Most dogs can handle Zyrtec, so if your veterinarian approves, go ahead and give your dog a tablet or two. However, it’s important to realize that Zyrtec isn’t made for dogs. Some dogs have a bad reaction to Zyrtec while others can only take a minuscule dose. For other dogs, Zyrtec simply isn’t effective. Instead of giving them more medication, you might have to try a natural remedy like an oatmeal bath. However, Zyrtec is a good place to start if you’re looking for quick relief for your dog.
Like any medication, you must use Zyrtec responsibly to avoid any negative side effects. As pet owners, here’s what you need to know about this popular antihistamine.
Is Zyrtec Safe for Dogs?
Typically, Zyrtec is safe for dogs. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s right for every dog or that you can give them the same amount you’d give a human. You might want to call your vet and see how much Zyrtec you could give your dog. If you accidentally give them too much, they could overdose or have a bad reaction. Additionally, Zyrtec-D has an ingredient that could be fatal to dogs. If you give your dog Zyrtec, make sure you give them the basic version.
How Much Zyrtec Should You Give Your Dog?
You can give your dog 0.5mg per pound as long as that number doesn’t exceed the maximum dosage. If your dog weighs fifty to a hundred pounds, it can usually handle 20mg of Zyrtec a day. Dogs who weigh twenty to forty-nine pounds could take 10mg a day. A dog who weighs ten to nineteen pounds only needs 5mg per day. Finally, a dog who weighs five to nine pounds needs 2.5mg a day. Don’t give your dog more than the recommended dosage even if their symptoms don’t seem to improve.
What Happens if You Give Your Dog More than the Recommended Dosage?
Your dog might overdose if you give them more than the recommended dosage for your weight. If your dog overdoses, it might exhibit symptoms like aggression, muscle tremors, and difficulty breathing. Know the difference between an overdose and regular side effects before you give your dog Zyrtec.
What Are the Side Effects of Zyrtec for Dogs?
Every dog reacts differently to medication, so it’s hard to predict exactly how your dog will react to Zyrtec. However, here’s a few common side effects that you should look out for:
- Excess drooling
- Loss of energy
- Appetite loss
- Difficulty urinating
In rare cases, some dogs suffer from kidney and liver problems. Stop using Zyrtec for dogs and call the vet immediately if they appear to have a severe reaction.
Which Allergy Symptoms Does Zyrtec Treat?
Zyrtec treats a wide range of allergy symptoms. This could include itching, redness, swelling, hives, rashes, scabs, and watery eyes. Some dogs react to these symptoms by biting themselves, licking excessively, or pulling out their fur, which causes more issues. In more extreme situations, your dog might suffer from infections, diarrhea, vomiting, seizures, or even anaphylactic shock. Don’t rely on Zyrtec to treat life-threatening symptoms–instead, take your dog to the vet.
What Makes Zyrtec-D Bad for Dogs?
It might sound dramatic, but giving your dog the right form of Zyrtec could mean the difference between life and death. Zyrtec-D contains pseudoephedrine, an ingredient that could cause seizures, hypertension, and organ failure. As a general rule, buy your dog the most basic version when you give them human medication. Extra chemicals and additives could cause serious reactions.
How Do You Give Your Dog Zyrtec?
Some dogs are willing to take medication by themselves. If you don’t own one of those dogs, you could stick the medication in a treat or wrap it in a snack like a peanut butter. Some petcare brands sell “pill pockets” for your dog–hollowed-out treats with enough room to hide a pill inside.
What Causes Allergies in Dogs?
Dogs can be just as miserable as humans when they suffer from allergic reactions. Here are a few factors that might trigger an allergic reaction in your dog.
Food allergies are some of the most dangerous types of allergies. If your dog eats the wrong food, it could suffer from a life-threatening reaction, go into shock or even die within a few hours. Other dogs suffer from mild symptoms like itching, sneezing, and watery eyes. Zyrtec could relieve some of the mild symptoms that typically last less than twenty-four hours.
Pests like fleas and mosquitos can bite your dog’s skin, triggering an allergic reaction. Most dogs, and humans, have a mild reaction to insect bites. However, some dogs have an allergy that worsens their symptoms. Mites can also infest your dog’s fur, causing infections and uncomfortable or irritated skin conditions.
Pollen is one of the most common allergens for dogs. When pollen gets in your dog’s system, they might experience symptoms like swelling, itching, and redness. If left untreated, the allergic reaction could make your dog’s throat close up. Your dog might have trouble breathing, leading to an emergency situation.
How Long Does it Take Zyrtec to Kick In?
For most dogs, Zyrtec takes an hour or two to kick in. Don’t give your dog more Zyrtec if their symptoms haven’t changed–they just might need more time to digest the medication. If a few hours pass and your dog still hasn’t improved, Zyrtec might not be the best option for your pet. Never give your dog more than the recommended dose— that could cause an overdose or a serious reaction.
What Types of Dogs Shouldn’t Take Zyrtec?
Generally, you can give Zyrtec to healthy dogs. However, dogs with certain health conditions shouldn’t take Zyrtec. Here’s a non-extensive list of dogs who shouldn’t take Zyrtec unless your vet recommends otherwise:
- Pregnant and nursing dogs
- Elderly dogs
- Dogs with urinary conditions
- Dogs with liver or kidney problems
- Working dogs like police dogs
- Dogs with glaucoma
- Dogs who suffer from seizures
- Dogs who weigh less than five pounds
- Dogs taking other medications that might interact with Zyrtec
Can You Give Your Dog Any Allergy Medication?
If Zyrtec works for your dog, don’t assume that you can give them an allergy medication. Some brands contain ingredients that could make your dog sick, get allergic reactions, or cause organ failure. Additionally, keep in mind that Zyrtec isn’t made specifically for dogs. When you get the chance, it’s better to get a prescription for canine medication from your vet. Some vets even prescribe Zyrtec if that’s what works best for your dog.
Where Can You Find Zyrtec?
Your vet could prescribe Zyrtec for your dog. If you don’t want to wait for a prescription, you could pick up Zyrtec at your local store. However, buying Zyrtec on your own makes it harder for you to find the correct dosage. At the very least, call your vet and ask how much you should give your dog. For some dogs, even half a milligram can make a big difference.
What Are Some Natural Remedies for Allergies?
Before you try Zyrtec, you might want to experiment with natural remedies for your dog. You could also use natural remedies in conjunction with the Zyrtec because they won’t interact with the medication. Try these home remedies next time your dog feels under the weather.
If you had chickenpox when you were a kid, you might have had to take an oatmeal bath. Fill a bathtub with water, then pour in the oatmeal and let your dog soak for a while. You could also mix water and oatmeal and scrub your dog’s fur if you don’t have time for a full bath. The oatmeal relieves itchy skin, swelling, and redness associated with allergies, giving your dog the chance to relax.
Pick up some CBD ointment for dogs, and rub it directly onto their skin to soothe itching and redness. You can also buy CBD tinctures and dog treats if you’d rather get them directly in their system. Just make sure you buy CBD made specifically for dogs. CBD made for humans won’t necessarily kill them, but it probably won’t have the right dose, ingredients, or flavor for your dog.
Baths and Showers
Sometimes a simple bath is all your dog needs to feel better. Rinse them off with water, soap, and shampoo to clean allergens off their fur. If your dog picked up a lot of pollen outside, this could quickly relieve their allergy symptoms or simple itchy skin. A bath could also remove infection-causing bacteria and other contaminants.
Coconut oil contains an ingredient called lauric acid that soothes itchy and inflamed skin. Buy coconut oil and rub it directly onto your dog’s skin, or feed them a small amount of coconut oil. You might want to keep coconut oil in your house on a regular basis due to its wide range of uses.
Aloe vera offers a pleasant cooling sensation that gives your dog instant relief. Just make sure you use aloe vera gel instead of aloe vera sourced directly from the plant. The plant contains ingredients that could be harmful to your dog.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar can remove allergens, clear up rashes and relieve itching on your dog’s skin. You could scrub your dog’s fur or spray it onto their skin for quick relief.
Zyrtec is safe for most dogs. If your dog suffers from allergies, giving them the right dosage of Zyrtec could relieve itching, watery eyes, swelling, redness, and other symptoms. However, as pet owners, you’ll need to follow the correct dosage exactly, as the wrong amount could cause certain side effects and worse, overdose. Common side effects of Zyrtec in dogs include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, and lack of energy. Some guardians think it’s worth the trade-off while others prefer natural remedies. Either way, talk to your vet before you start any kind of treatment, particularly if your dog takes medication or suffers from other health problems.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much Zyrtec can I give my dog?
The amount of Zyrtec for dogs varies across different sizes, weights, and breeds. Large dogs should not get more than 20mg a day. Medium dogs could take up to 10mg while small dogs only need 5mg or 2.5mg.
Does Zyrtec Work for dog allergies?
Zyrtec can ease allergy symptoms in dogs. This includes itching, redness, swelling, hives, hair loss, and irritated skin. However, not all dogs have the same reaction to Zyrtec.
How many 10mg Zyrtec tablets can I give my dog?
Depending on your dog’s weight and breed, you could give them one or two 10mg Zyrtec tablets per day. Never give your dog more than 20mg unless your vet says otherwise. If you’re not sure how much Zyrtec your dog needs, talk to your vet first.
How long does it take for Zyrtec to work in dogs?
Zyrtec for dogs usually takes an hour or two to kick in. If you don’t see improvement, never give your dog more than the recommended dose. Instead, call your vet or try a natural remedy.