If your dog has allergies you probably have already heard about Zyrtec. It’s a medication that is commonly used in dogs who suffer from allergies. In this article we will go over the most common questions about using this medication, like “How much Zyrtec can I give my dog?”.
What is Zyrtec?
Zyrtec is an antihistamine that is most commonly used to treat mild to moderate symptoms of environmental allergies, such as itchy eyes or skin. While it is originally a human medications, veterinary medicine experts approved it safe for the use in animals as well. Zyrtec can help for short-term allergy flare-ups, however it can also be useful for dogs suffering from chronic allergies. However, if Zyrtec is used for a prolonged period of time in order to treat chronic allergies, a vet needs to monitor the treatment.
How much Zyrtec can I give my dog?
While your vet should be the one prescribing Zyrtec to your dog, and decide a right dosage — you still might want to inform yourself, just to be sure. So if you are wondering “How much Zyrtec can I give my dog” there is a rule of thumb that you can follow.
The guidelines when it comes to giving Zyrtec to dogs are:
When it comes to the strength, Zyrtec comes in 5 and 10 milligram tablets. The dose for dogs is approximately 0.5 mg per pound, or 0.5 mg/lb, 1-2 times per day, not to exceed 20 mg per dose.
- 5 lb. dog = 2.5 mg, or 1/2 of a 5 mg tablet
- 10 lb. dog = 5 mg, or one 5 mg tablet
- 20 lb. dog = 10 mg, one 10 mg tablet or two 5 mg tablets
- 50 lb. dog = 20 mg, two 10 mg tablets
- 100 lb. dog = 20 mg, two 10 mg tablets
A pro tip for all of the dog owner which dogs require half a tablet is to invest in a pill cutter. It will save you a lot of time and nerves. You can find them in most pharmacies and they aren’t too expensive too. You can also find some on Amazon.
What are the side effects of Zyrtec for dogs
While Zyrtec is considered to be safe to use in dogs, just like with any other medications side effects are possible.
The most common side effects that have been reported during the use of Zyrtec are: vomiting, drowsiness and excessive salivation.
Two other possible side effects include itchiness and inflammation. However, these two symptoms can be caused by a number of things. If you notice them in your dog try eliminating other possible causes like food allergies, to make sure that it’s the medications that are causing it.
However, every side effect should still be mentioned to your vet so that they can decide if that is the right treatment for your dog.
Thankfully, more severe side effects haven’t been reported except in the case of an overdose. If you think that you accidentally gave your dog too much Zyrtec, contact your vet immediately.
Conclusion: Is Zyrtec for dogs safe?
Just like not every antihistamine will work the same for all humans, neither will it for all dogs. While Zyrtec will work like magic for some canines, other will thrive on Claritin.
If you think that Zyrtec doesn’t work for your dog, contact your vet and ask him about other possible treatment options.
The most important thing to do while giving your dog any medications, Zyrtec included, is to fully follow the guidelines that your vet gave you. This will lower the risks of a possible overdose and therefore serious side effects. If you do, however, notice any weird symptoms even while using the recommended dosage, report them to your vet.
If there are still some doubts left, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. You can ask them all of the questions that are left unanswered.
Don’t forget that we also have many other articles on different medications for dogs: