Do you have a dog that is constantly scratching himself? If so, you may wonder how to best treat your dog’s itchy skin. 

If you have Benadryl cream in your cupboard, this is an excellent temporary option for dogs with itchy skin.

So if your dog is scratching like crazy, read on to learn more about this effective treatment option!

Benadryl is safe to use on dogs if applied correctly. Too much cream can weaken your dog’s skin and make healing harder. If your dog has irritated, itchy skin, using a small amount of Benadryl cream can help. Apply the cream for up to two days, a couple of times daily. If the skin does not improve after 24/48 hours, consult a vet!

Can I give my dog Benadryl tablets?

Benadryl is considered safe for dogs, but you should always contact a veterinarian before giving it to them. Never give your dog a Benadryl tablet without first consulting your vet. They can tell you the correct dosage, depending on your dog’s age and weight and any allergies they might have.

Giving your dog human medication is a risky business. Benadryl tablets fall under Class Drug, which means they’re potent sedatives – too much could be dangerous or deadly for your dog! Never give these out without first talking with a vet for clarification.

A veterinarian will offer you something more practical for dogs. After all, Benadryl is for humans, not dogs which will carry risk.

About Benadryl

Manufactured from the brand Johnsons and Johnsons in around 1946 and was sold across the globe with success. Its ingredients help with allergy-like symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, itching, hives and rashes. 

Benadryl is taken orally aswell as in a cream or gel.

The ingredient varies depending on which part of the world you live in. In the US and Canada, the main active ingredient is diphenhydramine. In the UK, the active ingredient is Antihistamines acrivastine or cetirizine. 

Main Ingredients

Diphenhydramine is a medication that treats allergies. The drug works by reducing swelling, itching and other symptoms of an allergic reaction like itchy eyes or runny nose. Diphenhydramine may also be used to treat hives caused by eczema.

Antihistamines acrivastine or cetirizine: Antihistamines are used o treat allergies. These medications, such as acrivastine or cetirizine, will help reduce allergic symptoms.

Let’s discuss the best practices when using Benadryl cream to treat itchy and irritated dog skin and some potential side effects.

Common Benedryl side effects in dogs can include:

  • Sleepiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Loss of balance
  • Lethargic

More severe side effects in dogs can include:

  • Fast heartbeat
  • Seizures
  • Urinary retention
  • Collapse

Antiseptic Cream Made Specifically For Dogs

I am introducing an antiseptic cream alternative specially formulated for dogs that can be safely used for extended periods. Unlike other dog creams, this cream has a pleasant scent. I now keep a jar of this cream in my cabinet for my dogs’ long-term skin care needs.


Why do dogs get itchy skin?

Dogs get itchy skin for lots of reasons. They might be allergic to something, like food or something within their environment. They could also have a skin infection or be itchy because they’re getting ready to shed their old hair and grow new hair.

Can I give my puppy Benadryl?

Unfortunately, giving your puppy Benadryl tablet form of the drug is unsafe until you have spoken and cleared it with a vet. The reason is that it depends on their weight and age! Benadryl cream or gel format for irritated skin or itchiness is safe if correctly applied. Apply a couple of times per day- don’t use it more than two days at once because this could cause a thinning effect, making healing harder.

Acute Allergies

If your dog suddenly becomes swollen in the face, has a skin rash, or has watery eyes, and you are trying to treat this at home with Benadryl, you should stop immediately and take your dog to the vet to find out the problem before continuing treatment.

Common Dogs Allergies

There are several types of allergies that dogs can have. These include environmental allergens, such as hayfever, flea allergy dermatitis, which is allergic to flea saliva, and food allergies, such as lactose intolerance.

Main Symptoms of Allergies in Dogs

The most common symptoms of allergies in dogs are itchiness, hives, swelling around the face, diarrhoea, vomiting, and sneezing.

Can Benadryl make my dog sleep?

Yes, Benadryl in tablet form containing diphenhydramine will make a dog slightly sleepy; however, the sedative effects are mild compared to humans. Never give your dog Benadryl without first consulting your vet. 

How often can I give my dog Benadryl?

Tablet form, you should not be administering it to your dog until you have confirmation of the correct dose requirements you should from a vet. 

You can use the cream or gel form a couple of times daily on the area of concern for no longer than two days. If the itching has not stopped, you should take your dog to the veterinarian.

What is the best anti-itch treatment for dogs?

If your dog has continued itchy skin, a cream specifically designed for dogs is better than one for humans.

The 5 Best Dog Anti-Itch Sprays

  1. Burt’s Bees For Dogs Natural Itch Soothing Spray with Honeysuckle (Favourite)
  2. Dogslife Itchy Dog Spray To Soothe Itching, Stop Scratching & Support Healing
  3. PETUCHI Itchy Skin Relief for Dogs
  4. Colloidal Silver Antiseptic Spray All-in-1 Treatment (Cheapest)
  5. Dog Co Anti-Itch Dog Spray (Most Expensive)

Can I give my dog Claritin?

Do not self-medicate your dog. This can be very dangerous. Call your vet first to get advice.


Tablet: You can safely give the medication Benadryl to dogs, but you must check with your vet before giving any tablets meant for humans. Some people find it hard to weigh their dogs and then convert the amount into what doses they should have. A veterinarian can help you with the conversion. It may even just be a telephone call rather than a visit. 

Cream or gel: Use Benadryl cream for up to two days, a couple of times daily. If your puppies’ skin does not improve after 24/48 hours, consult a vet!

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