Using Zyrtec For a Dog With Allergies


August 31, 2010

Dog With AllergiesMy dog has severe skin allergies and the medication is getting quite expensive. Is it safe to give my dog over the counter Zyrtec? I tried Benadryl and it did not work. He does not have fleas. He is treated with Frontline. Can you please answer my question as soon as possible?




August 31, 20101 found this helpful

Please read the information archived below. I suggest you call his vet's office and ask them, just to be sure. If it is okay to give, there might be different dosages for different sized dogs; they can refer to his chart and give you the best advice. Best of luck, I hope he's feeling better soon!

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August 31, 20100 found this helpful

Please don't give your dog any medications without checking with your vet. Human meds respond very differently in dogs than they do people and you very well might kill your dog. Hopefully your vet can answer your question over the phone and without charging you. But again, please don't give your dog any human meds without checking it out!

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August 31, 20100 found this helpful

Please talk to your vet about doing this for the reasons already mentioned!

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August 31, 20100 found this helpful

First, dump the frontline. That is a poison afte rall. Diet is the cause of the allergies probably. No grocery store pet food. Bet what you are feeding , first ingredient is corn. Your dog is not a bird. Special pet supply, decent pet food with no corn wheat or soy. You can always cook.


Several days a week good idea to give raw diet. See internet. Spread dry borax in all carpet and your pets bed. Fleas will be greatly diminished. Is your yard infested with fleas? Build immune system. Better than poison. No human medications. Could kill your pet.

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October 22, 20101 found this helpful

Agree with so many others here on not going through with the Zyrtec ( and disagree with the poster suggesting the use of borax, please read the info on this link):

Generally, if the dog is itching and uncomfortable, he's also licking himself all over. The possibility of ingesting borax would be too chancy for me. Depending upon the size of your dog, even just five grams of borax can be lethal if ingested.


A few years back, we had a shelter rescue who came to us with severe skin allergies at four months ( and sadly lived only to be a year and a half). We actually ended up changing vets when we found one who realized that this poor dog had several issues going on that all had to be individually treated in order to provide him some comfortable quality of life. (He had been exposed to pesticides before we got him and also had multiple food allergies--and in the end, cancer).

If your vet is hitting a brick wall and can't seem to help him. Please consider a second or third opinion. Also, in our case, the second vet had no problem prescribing generic meds that were a fraction of the cost incurred with the first vet, and picked up on more physical problems that the first vet completely overlooked.


Hugs to you. We know firsthand how hard it is to watch a loved pet suffer.

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July 1, 20110 found this helpful

Benadryl, dosed very carefully and properly, is a perfectly safe OTC effort for allergies. In many cases, it works just fine and reduces or fixes the issues. I've had 2 wonderful Vets in my dog's lifetime, both prescribed OTC Benadryl for seasonal allergies as well as a sensitive stomach. She's a Weim and has some breed specific issues that Benadryl has done wonders for. There have been a couple of extreme cases where very short term use of steroids was in order. Do try to get away from foods that have corn and artificial colorings, as they can make allergies much worse.

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September 29, 20120 found this helpful

I would ask your vet, that seems risky to me.

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October 6, 20132 found this helpful

I had tried everything else for my dog's allergies including Benadryl. Nothing worked for her except Zyrtec, I buy the Walmart or Kroger generic. She does great.

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October 24, 20133 found this helpful

My dog a 185 lbs Saint Bernard was licking his paws raw and scratching everywhere. I tried everything out there including trying to find another food thinking his food could be the cause. My vet told me to give him Zyrtec and he stopped licking. Do not give your dog Zyrtec D that will hurt your dog.


Just the Zyrtec. Again my vet told me to give zyrtec and it works. I give him one 10 mg tablet in the morning and if he starts to lick his paws at night I may give him one more. Good luck and enjoy your pets.

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November 15, 20131 found this helpful

I have a 6 year old mastiff mix with chronic Atopic dermititis. It's pereneal which means he is bad all year. I have tried everything known to man..The benadryl does not work for him. After consulting with a holisting vet I dedide to try a few herbs and medicinal things. Some worked some did not.

This is what is working so far, I am giving him a table spoon of cold pressed coconut, a teaspoon of pure fish oil, and two zyrtec. I do this twice daily with his food. Please research cold pressed coconut, I buy mine organic from the vitamin shoppe, has to be cold pressed it has lauric acid which helps with immflamation.


Also, I feed a no grain diet but he has no food alllergies. Just wanted to note that. He had a full allergy test and his are fleas, every tree in the eastern sea board, dust mites, smoke...poor baby he lost all his hair this summer and he is finally growing it back and I say its the supplement of coconut and the fish oil.

His regular vet prescibed the zyrtec my mastiff is 90 pounds and he is taking 20 mg 2 times a day. His quality of life has improved significantly in a six week time frame. I hope you all find a solution sometimes you have to try different things. But please always consult your vet when giving human medications to your fur babies.

Just a note, for dogs with atopic dermititis please no air freshners, no plug ins, no window blinds that can accumulate dust, no rugs. And last but never least, invest in a good air purifier...average $150 homedepot for a good one. There is hope its just a commitment. Good luck.

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December 15, 20131 found this helpful

Why do people insist on posting on messages boards when they have no idea what they are talking about? This original poster is scared for the health of their pet. They don't need your opinion or gut feeling, they need a solid answer. Obviously they know they can go to the vet, but they posted hoping for someone that had actually tried what they were suggesting. It is just ridiculous to have to sift through 100 opinions before you get to answer.

That being said, just yesterday my pup (9 month old Golden Retriever) began to seem a bit off... not as excitable as usual and just overall bored with everything. She sleeps with me and in the middle of the night we both woke up and it was clear something wrong. She began pressing her nose into my hand and acting very strange - her nose was running and everytime I would take my hand away she would draw it near. I grabbed a flash light and tried to check out her throat and nose for any visible signs... and there was nothing but I realized that she was very receptive to me trying to open her mouth to look.. way too receptive in fact so I opened it again and realized she was trying to stretch her jaw... almost looked like she was trying to pop her ears.

So long story... well ... long, she was very uncomfortable, and something was wrong. I freaked out and immediately called a friend that owns a vet clinic. She comforted me and- without looking at the dog assessed from what I had told her that it was probably most likely allergies - as I could see no foreign body present and she appeared to just have a deep throat, nose or ear or all- itch. She told me, to my initial disbelief that I could give Lucy up to 10mg of Benedryl.

So I frantically began digging through my medicine cabinets and came up short. I was upset cus I didn't want her to have to suffer the remainder of the night until I could get some, and that's when I noticed I did have 10mg Zyrtec. I asked the vet and with a big exclamation point she relayed that I could indeed give my pup the Zyrtec and that it would help her comfortably sleep as well. I was a bit unsure but trusted her judgement. I broke the 10mg pill in half and fed both halves to her in 2 pieces of cheese.

I kid you not, not 15 minutes later she tilted her head up from the bed to where I was sitting at the computer and had her usual "what are you up to" expression on her face that I that I was ecstatic to see. She almost immediately looked better and eventually drifted off to sleep in peace.

So there you have it. As I dont claim it will work for every dog, I do assure you that up to 10mg of benedryl or zyrtec is perfectly ok to give your pup. Perhaps just for safeties sake, if you do have a much smaller breed, stick to 5mg and go from there.

I hope this helps - lord knows we all just love our pets to death, and I hope that yours is feeling better.

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3 More Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

February 22, 2014

My dog has allergies and her vet prescribed Zyrtec. She is also incontinent and I was wandering if the meds make her pee more? The one day we ran out of it, she stayed dry the whole time I was at work. (She wears a diaper when inside). Later that night she was no longer dry. So are there any effects that this could be causing? She is a Poodle, white terrier mix.

By Ps


February 25, 20141 found this helpful

One of my Chihuahua's has allergies. My Vet had me give her Benadryl and I have never had a problem with it. She weighs 12 pounds and I give her 1/2 tablet 2 times a day.

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February 25, 20140 found this helpful

I gave my German Shepherd dog two Benadryl a day, one in the morning, one at night for years and never had a problem. I wonder about all the chemicals in Zyrtex.

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May 26, 20140 found this helpful

Having allergies myself, I know that antihistamines can make you thirsty since they dry up your nasal membranes. Drink more, then pee more.

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March 20, 20170 found this helpful

Female dogs that have been spayed often develop incontinence due to the lack of the hormones that help to keep the urethral sphincters toned. Phenylpropanolamine can be prescribed by your vet that will stop that. They even come in beef flavored tabs so is like a treat they get everyday.

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April 20, 2012

Does Zyrtec effect dog's liver and kidneys?

By Ragtopsallie


July 1, 20152 found this helpful

It shouldn't unless there's something already wrong with your dog's liver and kidneys.
If your dog has severe liver or kidney disease, Zyrtec might not be right for the dog.
If your dog does not have bad liver or kidneys, Zyrtec should be okay.

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October 16, 2019

The first step in treating a dog that seems to have allergies is to determine what they are allergic to. Dogs can develop allergies to their food, as well as experience allergic reactions to fleas, household products, etc. Once the cause is known then the best solution(s) can be tried. You will also want to treat the skin damage done by licking and scratching.

A dog scratching his ears outside.

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