If you have a Shih Tzu that is affected with allergies a question many dog owners ask is – can I give my dog Benadryl? And the answer is yes, the benefits of Benadryl are the same for dogs as for humans and it’s perfectly safe to give it to your dog.
Over at www.petmd.com, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Jessica Vogelsang states that Benadryl is – “well-tolerated and has a wide safety margin” for use on dogs.
However, as we always recommend, if your dog is suffering from any kind of ill health or you are thinking about feeding your dog anything outside of their normal dog food you should always speak to your vet first.
If you are still unsure about giving your dog over the counter human medication, we have some reviews below for alternative options that are specially designed for dogs that have the same anti-histamine effects as Benadryl.
Our best choice for another option would be the Zesty Paws Allergy Immune Broth that you can add straight to your dog’s food.
In this article, we will discuss what Benadryl is, what it can be used for, the correct dosage, and what things to be aware of. We will also give you some choices for a natural alternative supplement.
So if you are thinking about giving some to your Shih Tzu then please read on so you are as informed as possible.
Below is a table of our best choices for Benadryl and alternative options:
- What Is Benadryl?
- What Can It Be Used For?
- What Is The Correct Dosage?
- Things To Be Aware Of
- Natural Alternatives For Dogs
- More Information About Allergies In Dogs
What Is Benadryl?
Benadryl is a brand name for a human medication that is primarily used to alleviate allergy symptoms. The active ingredient is diphenhydramine and is an antihistamine.
Antihistamines work by blocking the substance histamine in the body. Histamine is released when something harmful happens to your body such as an infection. Infections will cause the skin to swell as the blood vessels expand and this process helps to protect and repair the damage.
Usefully this process works perfectly fine but sometimes the body can mistake something harmless, such as dust, cat hair, pollen, or certain foods, and respond to it as a threat. This is known as an allergic reaction and can produce some very uncomfortable symptoms such as itchy skin, a runny nose, and rashes.
So by taking an antihistamine, you can help reduce the severity of these symptoms.
What Can Benadryl Be Used For?
Below is a list of the things that you might consider giving your dog Benadryl for:
- Bee Stings
- Insect Bites
- Motion Sickness
- Dog Hives
What Is The Correct Dosage For A Shih Tzu?
According to Dr Jessica Vogelsang at petMD.com, you should give your dog about 1mg of Benadryl per pound of your dog’s weight. This can be given to your dog 2 to 3 times a day.
We would recommend you weigh your dog either at home or the next time you are at the vets but to give you an idea of how much your Shih Tzu will weigh here is a rough guide for a puppy and an adult:
Shih Tzu Puppy
3 months – 4 to 6 pounds.
6 months – 6 to 13 pounds.
12 months – 8 to 15 pounds.
Shih Tzu Adult
9 to 16 pounds.
Always check the amounts, but a generic Benadryl tablet will be 25mg, so for a rough estimate, you could give a younger Shih Tzu 1/4 of a tablet and an adult half a tablet.
But of course, the safest way to know the correct dose is to get your dog weighed at the vets and ask them for the correct dose – this is what we would recommend.
As a warning, you should never give your dog too much, as with most medicine too much can have harmful effects and even be fatal. Please do your research, speak to your vet, and be responsible.
Signs of an overdose might include:
- Dilated pupils
- Rapid heart rate
Things To Be Aware Of
Benadryl is perfectly safe for most dogs with very few side effects and is an over the counter medication vets recommend regularly. However, there are some risks if your dog is suffering from certain illnesses. These include:
- Low Blood Pressure.
- Cardiac conditions.
- Your dog is pregnant.
If your Shih Tzu has any of these conditions then it’s vitally important to speak to your vet first.
If you don’t like the idea of giving your dog an over the counter human medication for allergies then there are other options to help with your dog’s allergies.
Below we will recommend a few quality supplements that you might want to consider.
Zesty Paws Allergy Immune Bone Broth
Zesty Paws Aller-Immune Broth Booster is a great supplement choice if your Shih Tzu is suffering from allergies and gets our best choice award. It has a great taste and can be simply mixed in with either wet or dry food.
It has been designed with immune and histamine supporting ingredients so is a good choice if you don’t want to use human medication.
Its main ingredient is EpiCor – that contains polyphenols, beta-glucans and metabolites that have been shown to promote your dog’s immune system and help with digestion and skin health.
It also contains salmon oil, that is high in Omega-3 fatty acids, rich in EPA and DHA, which are great at promoting healthy skin and hair.
Also, the bottle has been designed with an easy to use nozzle making it simple to just squeeze some into your dog’s food at mealtimes.
Zesty Paws Immune Broth has an excellent 4.6 out of 5 rating on Amazona and you can read the reviews for yourself here.
- Contains immune and histamine supporting ingredients.
- Promotes digestion and skin health.
- Contain salmon oil that’s rich in omega-3.
- Designed for skin, seasonal and environmental allergies.
- Can be used with both wet and dry food.
Zesty Paws Allergy Immune Bites
If you would prefer to give your Shih Tzu an allergy supplement as a treat rather than added directly to their meal then the Zesty Paws Aller-Immune Bites are a good choice.
They also contain EpiCor and provide vitamins, proteins, fiber, and antioxidants that promote your dog’s immune system. As well as prebiotics and probiotics that contain healthy bacteria to support digestion.
One of the reasons we like to recommend Zesty Paws supplements is that they are made from only natural ingredients and these bites also include apple cider vinegar and organic licorice root that have excellent health benefits for your dog.
The Zesty Paws Aller-Immune Bites have a 4.3 out of 5 rating on Amazon and you read the reviews for yourself here.
- Contain salmon oil high in Omeag-3.
- Contains vitamins, protein, fiber, and antioxidants.
- Contains prebiotics and probiotics.
- Natural ingredients.
Afterthought About Allergies In Dogs
If your Shih Tzu is suffering from allergies it may be difficult to find the exact cause. It could be something they are allergic to in their food or it could be an outside environmental factor.
As always we would recommend visiting your vet if your dog is showing any signs of an allergic reaction and you can then discuss a course of action and possible treatment.
For more information on allergies and Shih Tzus, you might like to read some of our other articles below: