Benadryl is a great emergency drug for allergic reactions in both humans and dogs.
Benadryl is an over-the-counter (OTC) drug produced by Pfizer. The non-trade name of this antihistamine is Diphenhydramine Hydrochloride, and the active ingredient can be found in other OTC drugs.
Particularly effective for insect stings
Dogs do have allergic reactions. They can be bitten by insects, especially in warmer months, and can suffer for it. Often the reactions are unnoticeable, but occasionally a pet can have an acute response, which might include difficulty breathing and swelling around the mouth.
Dogs are most commonly bitten around the face (from snapping at insects) or around the paws (from batting them). Any swelling from an insect bite needs to be monitored. While the bite itself may not be particularly painful or dangerous, an infection at the bite site could be.
Safe for most pets
Benadryl is a great drug for quick treatment of an allergic response. It’s relatively safe and can easily be used by pets. It may calm the allergic reaction and prevent a real emergency needing veterinary care.
The most common side effect is drowsiness, just like in humans. Unless your pet has a pre-existing condition like glaucoma, cardiovascular disease or hyperthyroid, you should feel comfortable using the drug.
Always check with your vet just to be sure
The next time you’re at the vet’s office, ask about the appropriateness of using Benadryl for your pet. Most, but not all, dogs are good to use it, but you should find out if your pet has a particular disorder that would not interact well with the medication.
And remember, just because Benadryl works for both humans and canines, not all OTC meds do. Many can be fatal to dogs, so always talk to your vet before administering drugs to your pet.