Can I Give My Pug Benadryl? Is It Safe? What Dosage?

If your Pug is feeling poorly or suffering from allergies, you might be wondering:

“Can I give my pug benadryl?”

You may have heard dog owners talking about using Benadryl to treat their pets. But is it safe? Well, the short answer is, yes, in the right doses.

Read on for more details about when and how to treat your Pug with Benadryl, and how much Benadryl you can give your Pug safely.


Is Benadryl Safe for Pugs?

In short, yes, Benadryl can be safe for Pugs if given in the right doses. Some Pug owners and veterinarians advocate for using Benadryl to treat a variety of ailments in dogs.

But before we talk about how to treat your Pug with Benadryl, let’s talk a bit about Benadryl itself.

What Is Benadryl?

Benadryl isn’t actually the name of a drug. It is just the brand name for diphenhydramine.

Diphenhydramine is an antihistamine, meaning that it reduces histamine in the body.

Histamines are the chemicals that cause allergic reactions and associated symptoms like a runny nose, sneezing, itchiness, and watery eyes.

Antihistamines are often prescribed to humans and animals to alleviate these symptoms.


What Does Benadryl Treat in Pugs?

Not all pet owners will want to give Benadryl to their Pugs. Likewise, not all veterinarians will use this as a go-to treatment. But some believe that for dogs suffering mild-to-moderate allergies, Benadryl is a perfectly safe and viable solution.

Benadryl is sometimes also prescribed for other issues such as anxiety, motion sickness, heartworm treatment, and (in rarer cases) tumors.

If you’ve never given your Pug Benadryl before, make sure to consult your veterinarian before doing so.

1、Benadryl for allergies

The most common use of Benadryl in Pugs is to treat allergies. That could be a food allergy, environmental allergy, seasonal allergy, or acute allergic reaction to a bite or sting.

Benadryl provides relief from common symptoms like itching, hives, runny eyes and nose, coughing, and sneezing.

It also helps reduce swelling and inflammation and can also help calm down anaphylactic reactions.

2、Benadryl for anxiety & motion sickness

Less commonly, Benadryl might be prescribed to treat anxiety. This is because one of the side effects of Benadryl is drowsiness.

Diphenhydramine can help dogs suffering from travel anxiety in particular as it reduces stress and alleviates symptoms of motion sickness which may be causing and/or exacerbating your pet’s anxiety even further.

3、Benadryl for mast cell tumors

Some veterinarians will prescribe Benadryl for dogs suffering from mast cell tumors.

When these mast cell tumors are in the process of degranulation they release a lot of histamine into the body. Benadryl helps reduce the excess histamine.

4、Benadryl for heartworm treatment

When dogs are undergoing heartworm treatment they might be given Benadryl to reduce the chances of allergic reaction to the therapy.


So, Can I Give My Pug Benadryl? Is It Safe?

Administered appropriately, Benadryl is safe for your Pug (and most dogs for that matter). The most important thing is to get the sage right.

Remember, not all dogs are the same size so small dogs like Pugs will require a much smaller dose of Benadryl than, say, an Alsatian. Benadryl must be administered carefully according to the animal’s weight.

As long as you abide by this rule, Benadryl doesn’t pose any risk of killing your dog or making your Pug seriously ill.

But that’s no reason to become lax. Antihistamine overdose can be difficult to treat or even fatal.


What’s The Right Dose of Benadryl for My Pug?

That said, what is the right dose of Benadryl for a Pug?

The maximum recommended dose for any dog is 1mg per pound in weight every 8 hours.

Bear in mind that Benadryl can come in both tablet and liquid form so you’ll need to calculate the appropriate amount in milliliters if you choose to use the latter.

Pugs are on average between 14lbs and 18lbs. A 14lb Pug would require a maximum dose of 14 mg of Benadryl per hour in tablet form.

Top-tip: if your Pug doesn’t like to swallow tablets try crushing it and offering it to them with a favorite snack.

If you prefer to use Benadryl in liquid form, do not give your Pug adult liquid Benadryl. Instead, you should give your Pug the children’s liquid Benadryl.

A Pug can have 0.4ml of children’s liquid Benadryl for every 1lb of body weight. You can mix the liquid Benadryl into their wet food if your Pug is reluctant to take it directly.

WARNING: Never give your Pug more benadryl than the recommended dose of Benadryl for their body weight.

This could result in an overdose and fatal diphenhydramine poisoning.

If in doubt, always consult your veterinarian. Signs of overdose include agitation, dilated pupils, rapid heart rate, constipation, and seizure.


Will There be Any Side-Effects?

There are some side effects that your Pug might experience when taking Benadryl. One of the most common side effects is drowsiness (in fact, sometimes this is used as a way to treat anxiety in Pugs).

Other possible side effects include the following:

  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Dry mouth

If you’re worried about any side effects that your Pug is experiencing on Benadryl then book a consultation with your vet.


When NOT to Use Benadryl for Pugs

In some cases, Benadryl might not be suitable as a treatment for your Pug. If your Pug has a pre-existing condition you must check first with your veterinarian before using Benadryl.

In particular, the following conditions could be a reason not to use Benadryl as a treatment for your Pug.

  • If your Pug is pregnant
  • Glaucoma
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Seizure disorders
  • Allergic lung disease
  • Hypertension
  • Hypothyroidism

Likewise, if your Pug is currently on any existing medications you must consult your veterinarian before using Benadryl.

Your Vet will be able to tell you whether Benadryl poses any risks in interaction with your Pug’s current medical regimen.


Benadryl Alternatives for your Pugs

If Benadryl is not a safe option for your Pug, or you simply would prefer not to use it as a treatment for your pet, there are alternatives out there.

Coconut oil: helps relieve symptoms of allergies.

Fish oil: a great food supplement to boost your Pug’s health.

Quercetin: a natural Benadryl alternative that has a similar effect without any of the side effects.


Benadryl or No Benadryl for Pugs?

Benadryl can provide effective relief against symptoms of allergic reaction, anxiety, motion sickness, and more.

However, it’s essential that Benadryl is always given in the right doses.

Consult your veterinarian before giving your Pug Benadryl and always calculate the precise dosage based on your Pug’s individual body weight.