Allergies are one of the most annoying things on the entire planet. Trust me, we speak from personal experience. Luckily for us, we can reach into our medicine cabinet and take some Claritin. But what about dogs? As you make your way around the house, you might notice that Oliver has been scratching a lot. When you look closely, you see that he may have the beginnings of what looks like a rash. It’s allergy season, and you know it. Your first thought is “can dogs take Claritin?”
The short answer is yes. With the guidance of your veterinarian, your dog can take Claritin, which is an antihistamine blocker. While some dogs may be more prone to allergic reactions than others, it is always important to be educated on dosing and possible side effects. Read on to learn more about the causes and signs of allergies in dogs and how to provide relief for your pup!
What Causes Allergies in Dogs?
Just like humans, many things may cause allergies in dogs. According to veterinarians, allergic reactions in dogs can be caused by environmental substances, including grasses, pollen, dust mites, mold, chemicals, and the list goes on and on!
Allergy symptoms can vary in terms of severity. Symptoms can range from itchy skin, excessive licking, coughing, or sneezing. It’s kind of like when you experience allergies, except for the licking, of course!
Food allergies, unfortunately, account for 10% of canine allergic reactions. The most common food allergens are proteins which make up most of your dog’s diet. These can include dairy products, beef, lamb, chicken, and eggs.
What happens when dogs are exposed to these allergens? Well, let me tell you, it’s not pleasant. Here are some of the ways allergies can affect your dog.
- Insect bites
- Feet chewing
- Itchy, red, moist skin
- Sneezing and runny nose
- Ear infections
- Increased scratching
- Vomiting and dog diarrhea
Even though you may have the okay to give your dog Claritin from your veterinarian, it is always important to monitor their symptoms for severity. For severe cases, Claritin may not work to relieve allergy symptoms, and you may have to take a trip to the vet.
Can Dogs Take Claritin?
The short answer is yes. You can give your dog Claritin. Consult with your veterinarian before starting your dog on any medication. If your pet is already taking other medications, you want to ensure that they don’t interfere and cause a negative reaction. It is important to note that, unlike Benadryl, Claritin will not cause drowsiness.
Can Dogs Take Claritin for Allergies?
Dogs suffering from an allergic reaction can take Claritin. Claritin is an antihistamine that blocks reactions caused by, you guessed it! Histamines! Histamines are chemicals that our bodies and dog’s bodies produce naturally.
These chemicals help the body get rid of something that may be causing your dog discomfort. In this case, it would be an allergen or trigger. These are unique to the dog or individual. Histamines start the process of removing those allergens from your dog’s body or skin. Hence, the sneezing and the scratching. They are part of their body’s defense system.
Dogs’ immune systems work very similarly to ours. First, their immune system signals “mast cells” in their skin, lungs, nose, mouth, gut, and blood. The message is to release histamines that are located in these cells. When they exit the mast cells, histamines increase blood flow in the area of their body the allergen affected. This causes inflammation and allows other chemicals to step in to do repair work.
The result? If their nose is affected by pollen, histamines prompt membranes to make more mucus. This, in turn, may give your furry friend a runny nose and make them sneeze.
Claritin dosage for dogs varies depending on your pet’s weight. Consulting with a veterinarian is the best way to calculate how much of this antihistamine to share with your furry friend.
Vets usually prescribe Claritin for dogs in a dosage of 0.2 milligrams per pound of body weight. This can translate to giving a small dog about 5 milligrams a day and 10 milligrams for a larger dog.
Is Claritin the Same as Claritin-D?
The main difference between the two is that Claritin D contains a decongestant. This can be used to treat nasal congestion and sinus pressure. A decongestant is a drug that shrinks the swollen membranes in the nose, making it easier to breathe.
Claritin D’s added ingredients includes Pseudoephedrine. This is an active ingredient that relieves severe nasal congestion. Because of the added decongestant, this antihistamine can relieve symptoms of the common cold.
Can Dogs Take Claritin-D?
No, dogs cannot take Claritin-D because of the Pseudoephedrine added to it. This decongestant is toxic to dogs, even in small amounts. As little as one 30 mg tablet can induce symptoms in a 20-pound dog. This can include nervousness, hyperactivity, panting, increased heart rate, and high blood pressure.
These effects can be seen in as little as 30 minutes. Pet owners must act quickly if they suspect that their pet may have ingested something they shouldn’t have. Pseudoephedrine causes stimulation to the nervous system and cardiovascular systems.
Often, consumption of a decongestant is an accident caused by a dog getting into its owner’s medicine. To avoid a trip to the hospital, try to store these drugs in a safe place.
What Are Natural Alternatives to Claritin?
There may be a few natural alternatives to treat allergies in your dog, especially if they are mild! Most times, our pets are smaller than us, and the thought of giving them any drug can be scary and worrisome. Luckily for pet owners, there are a few natural, holistic approaches to allergies. Take notes!
- Diet: Using food as medicine is not new to us. After all, you are what you eat! A proper diet is one of the easiest and best things you can do to alleviate your dog’s allergies. The practice of Eastern Food Therapy (EFT) involves noting what you see happening externally as a manifestation of your pets’ imbalances. By diagnosing imbalances, you can support the overall health and well-being of your dog with a customized diet.
- Apple cider vinegar: Another natural alternative to Claritin is apple cider vinegar. I know you’ve heard about the great benefits that this kitchen staple can provide for you! What can it do for your dog and their allergies? Well, apple cider vinegar is mildly acidic and contains antibacterial properties good for your dog’s skin. Diluted apple cider vinegar can be used as a supplement, or you can apply it topically to your dog’s skin.
- Epsom salt: If you have spotted your dog licking its paws incessantly, that may be a sign that they are experiencing allergies. A foot soak with cool water and Epsom salt is a great home remedy for your dog’s allergies. This treatment can help inflammation that may be caused by seasonal allergies, especially after playing outside.
Final Thoughts – Can Dogs Take Claritin?
Dog Claritin is no different from your Claritin! You can use the same tablets you take to relieve your dog’s allergies. Although Claritin is safe for dogs, it is always important to consult with a veterinarian before starting any medication. A vet will also help you with dosing and how often your dog take it.
When a dog experiences allergies, it is just as bothersome as when you experience them. It’s uncomfortable and quite frankly annoying. Their symptoms can range from itchy eyes, a runny nose, itchy skin, and sneezing, among many others. While it is generally safe to give your dog Claritin under the supervision and instruction from your vet, be aware that you cannot give pets Claritin-D.
As allergy season looms over our heads, you want to make sure you and your pup are prepared!
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