Benadryl and Carprofen (generic name: Carprofen) are two prevalent drugs that people give to their dogs to treat various conditions and concerns. The most common use for each drug is different; Benadryl is used to treat allergies and Carprofen for arthritis and other joint pain. Before using Benadryl for dogs or any of these drugs, it is best to ask the following questions to ensure its safety:
- Is This Medication Safe to Use When My Dog Is Pregnant?
The best way to determine if a drug is safe for your dog when she’s pregnant is to ask your veterinarian. Remember, though, that it’s always a good idea to avoid medications during pregnancy whenever possible.
You can do so by feeding a healthy, balanced diet that doesn’t contain any harmful additives; avoiding secondhand smoke; and using natural, homeopathic remedies to treat your dog’s symptoms when necessary.
- Is There a Generic, Mainstream Version of This Medication Available?
Generic medications are just as safe and effective as the brand-name medicine. They’re made in the same manufacturing plant with the same ingredients following strict guidelines, but the price is lower.
If your veterinarian offers you generic medicine, ask if it’s okay to use them instead of brand-name drugs.
- Are There Any Side Effects, Potential Dangers, or Risks Associated With This Medication?
Even safe medications can cause adverse reactions in some dogs. Some possible side effects of Carprofen and Benadryl for dogs include allergic reactions (including swelling of the face, hives, itchiness, vomiting, or diarrhea) in dogs sensitive to these drugs.
Other side effects include stomach upset, drowsiness; itching; nosebleeds; dry mouth; increased heart rate, fever, seizures, bruising at the injection site, and fertility problems in dogs of the opposite sex. If your dog has any side effects from a medication, notify your veterinarian immediately.
- When Should You Give This Medicine to Your Dog?
Always follow the medication instructions or print on a medication label. In general, Benadryl is given to dogs to treat allergies.
You may also give it before administering any vaccine to help prevent adverse reactions and in combination with certain antibiotics to treat Lyme disease.
Carprofen is generally given at or around the same time each day due to its long half-life – the amount of time it takes the body to eliminate half of a drug’s medicinal effects.
- How Much Medication Should You Give Your Dog?
In general, dogs treated with Benadryl for allergies receive 25 mg per 30 pounds of body weight every four to six hours.
The maximum amount of Benadryl a dog can receive in 24 hours is 150 mg per 30 pounds of body weight. The maximum number of days you can give a dog Benadryl is three days.
Dogs treated with Carprofen for arthritis usually receive one mg per pound twice daily. In some cases, the dosage is 0.5 mg per pound twice daily.
Benadryl and Carprofen are two safe medications commonly used to treat various conditions in dogs. The best way to determine if a particular drug is safe for your dog is to ask your veterinarian; however, you can also use the guidelines provided here as a starting point.