When looking for a quick solution to relieve allergy symptoms, many pet parents turn to Benadryl. However, while Benadryl for dog allergies is quick-acting, it doesn’t address the underlying cause of the problem, and it may come with a hefty health risk. As a result, more pet owners are looking for a natural alternative to Benadryl for their dogs’ allergies.
At the Drake Dog Cancer Foundation, we think that finding the allergen’s fundamental cause and using natural supplements to bolster the body’s natural defenses is the best course of action. Much of our pets’ itching is caused by inflammation. CBD and Benadryl have one thing in common: they both target and relieve inflammation.
Since CBD is a new concept for most people, pet parents are more likely to hurry to the store and buy a bottle of Benadryl when the scratching begins. Who’d have guessed CBD could aid with allergies and itchiness?
What Exactly is Benadryl?
Benadryl is an over-the-counter antihistamine that is a brand name for the medication Diphenhydramine. It’s most commonly used to treat mild allergy symptoms in humans, but dogs are frequently urged to take it as well.
Benadryl is commonly used to treat hay fever, seasonal and other allergies, symptoms of the common cold, itchy skin caused by bug bites, hives, and other causes, as well as itchy skin caused by bug bites, hives, and other reasons.
Benadryl’s sedative properties allow it to be used for motion sickness in dogs, and some pet parents prefer to use it to help their dogs cope with anxiety. Veterinarians have also been known to administer Benadryl to patients with Mast Cell Tumors.
How Benadryl Works for Dogs
Allergies are an immunological response to a substance that is generally otherwise harmless, such as food or anything in the environment. Histamine is released by the immune system in response to the triggering antigen.
When histamine connects to cell receptors, it causes changes in the cells that cause sneezing, itching, and increased mucus production. In an effort to get those allergens out of the body, histamine causes all of the symptoms we identify with allergies.
Antihistamines, such as Benadryl, work by blocking histamine activity and so halting the allergic reaction. Diphenhydramine, the main ingredient in Benadryl, is a receptor antagonist, which means it operates by inhibiting histamine receptors.
Antihistamines, such as Benadryl, cause the body to create histamines, but they are inhibited from reaching cell receptors, preventing allergy symptoms.
So, what does this mean in terms of allergies in your pet? It means that while Benadryl is a quick solution to treat allergy symptoms, it doesn’t address your pet’s immune system reaction or the allergens that cause it. It only addresses the symptoms, not the root of the problem.
Benadryl Has Side Effects
Although Benadryl has not yet been approved by the FDA for veterinary usage, it is nonetheless widely utilized in veterinary practices across the United States.
Benadryl can have both moderate and severe adverse effects.
Common Side Effects of Benadryl on Dogs Include:
- Excessive drowsiness
- Dry mouth
- Urinary retention
- Rapid breathing
- Increased heart rate
Rarer side effects include diarrhea, vomiting, and a change in appetite.
Benadryl overdose has been reported in both dogs and humans. A deadly overdose is possible. If your dog is experiencing an overdose, the Central Nervous System will most likely become overloaded, resulting in:
- Dilated pupils
- Rapid heartbeat
It’s vital to contact your emergency veterinary hospital as soon as you suspect your dog is overdosing.
It is not safe to take more than the authorized dosage of Benadryl. Overdosing can result in serious symptoms such as irregular heart rhythms, hallucinations, seizures, and, in rare cases, death.
CBD for Your Dog’s Allergies
Cannabinoid receptors are found in abundance throughout the organs that control our pets’ immune systems. CBD, rather than turning off immune responses as Diphenhydramine does, enhances communication between immune system cells. This promotes a more controlled and focused reaction to allergy symptoms.
Furthermore, the anti-inflammatory chemicals present in cannabis are numerous and different. THC and CBD, the two most prevalent phytocannabinoids in cannabis, are both anti-inflammatory, and CBC, CBG, and THCV have also been shown to be anti-inflammatory.
Most infectious diseases have long been associated with inflammation as a symptom. Chronic inflammation, however, is now thought to be more than just a symptom, causing and advancing many prevalent diseases.
Inflammation is linked to allergies, anxiety, chronic pain, and autoimmune illness, among other things. You treat the cause of the problem while simultaneously reducing the pain when you reduce inflammation.
Natural Medicine is Gradual Rather Than Instant
To be honest, holistic pet care and natural plant treatments may not provide the same immediate delight as Benadryl. This is because CBD oil communicates with the body in order to target the source of the problem and promote physiological balance. Holistic medicine aims to treat each animal as an individual, taking into account the complexities of their unique requirements.