Claritin is the brand name for loratadine. It is one of the most popular options on the market for allergies in people. It is an antihistamine with a major difference over Benadryl – another alternative.
Practically, it does not have sedation side effects. Apart from allergies, the drug is just as common against insect bites, so it can reduce the poisonous effect.
It is available over the counter, but now, you probably ask yourself – can dogs take Claritin for allergies? As a general rule of thumb, even if you can get it without a prescription, you are not a vet. Therefore, it is safer to just talk to your vet first.
Is Claritin Safe for Dogs?
Claritin is generally safe in dogs. However, it must be given in the optimal dose. It can be given to dogs just like Benadryl, only it does not have side effects like drowsiness. It is imperative to double-check the label, as well as the prospect in the package. Just like for any other medication, double-check each active ingredient, as some extras could be dangerous for dogs.
To give you an example, if you see Claritin D on the label, you should avoid it. It is rich in pseudoephedrine. On the other hand, you want an alternative with nothing but loratadine as the active ingredient. If not 100% sure, always discuss it with the pharmacist upfront.
In terms of health and safety, avoid giving your dog Claritin if your dog has already had another histamine antagonist. Mixing medications is as bad as in people and could lead to overdoses. All in all, if you see any unusual reactions in your dog, reach to a vet straight away.
How Claritin is used in dogs
Claritin is an antihistamine with no sedating effects. It is most commonly used to treat allergic reactions, regardless of their nature. The medication can also be given if your dog has been stung or bitten by an insect. It can reduce the allergic reaction, as well as the poisonous effect.
Itchy skin and sensations can also be handled with Claritin, not to mention unexpected reactions to vaccines. Again, no matter what your dog suffers from, it pays off talking to a vet before making a decision. If you know the cause, you might as well seek a consultation over the phone.
Despite the diversified uses, Claritin is most commonly used medications for dog allergies. Alternatives like Benadryl could also be suggested by vets, but Claritin is based on loratadine. On the other hand, Benadryl is based on diphenhydramine, which can induce fatigue.
Precautions when giving your dog Claritin
So, can my pets take Claritin for allergies? They can, but you should discuss with a vet first. At the same time, this is a medication. It is not a natural supplement. All medications out there come with potential side effects, so there are a few precautions to take in consideration.
If your dog is under other treatments, make sure all the medication you give is safe. For example, if something could react with Claritin, you must avoid it. On the same note, if your dog suffers from any liver infections, it pays off talking to your vet first. Address this issue upfront.
Claritin is available in a few different forms. While you can also find it in formulations, stick to the classic pills. Formulations have decent amounts of alcohol, which are not really safe for your dog. Plus, they can cause all kinds of reactions. The pill is more difficult to administer, but it represents the best option.
Make sure you never mix Claritin with other antihistamines. Claritin is normally safe for dogs. When mixed with other antihistamines, your dog is likely to end up with an overdose. It is also worth noting that certain substances like erythromycin or cimetidine will react with Claritin. While healthy dogs not undergoing any treatments should stick to Claritin, there are situations when Benadryl could be the better option. Again, discuss it with your vet first.
How much Claritin to give your dog
The Claritin dosage in dogs varies from one pet to another. You should weigh your dog. For every pound of body weight, your dog can get 0.2 milligrams of Claritin. To prevent making microscopic cuts and giving you headaches, most vets recommend about 5 milligrams for small and middle sized dogs, as well as 10 milligrams for large dogs like Golden Retrievers. This dosage is recommended over 24 hours, in one go.
Dosage can be a bit confusing. If there is one thing you are not 100% sure of, always bring your dog to a vet. For example, a 50 pound dog will need 10 milligrams of Claritin. It is classified as a large dog. But on the same note, a 75 pound note is also a large dog and it will require 15 milligrams of the medication.
Side effects of Claritin in dogs
All drugs have potential side effects and Claritin makes no exception. However, most of these effects are mild – if your dog is healthy, you may not even notice them. Despite not having allergic effects, dogs can still experience a bit of drowsiness, although this adverse reaction is extremely rare.
Other than that, some dogs may experience stomach upset or blurred vision. Experiencing dry mouth is also rare. If you can see any stressful effects, stop the administration right away and go to a veterinarian.
Claritin does not have any serious side effects. However, dogs experiencing histamine antagonists for the first time could bring in some unpleasant reactions. Whether it is Claritin or another medication, stay vigilant and keep an eye on your dog for the next 12 to 24 hours.
Moreover, dogs suffering from hypersensitivity should avoid this medication. Seek alternatives from the vet instead.
Frequently asked questions
It is perfectly normal to have a few questions before giving your dog Claritin.
Can I give my dog Benadryl and Claritin at the same time?
No. Your dog will experience an overdose. Medications should never be mixed, unless the vet recommends it. Plus, vets are less likely to recommend drugs with similar purposes at the same time.
What is the best antihistamine for pet allergies?
The active substance in Claritin – loratadine – is one of the best antihistamines for pet allergies on the market. You can buy it without a prescription, but you should still discuss it with your vet upfront.
Can I give my dog human allergy medicine?
Claritin is most commonly used in people. Other similar options include Zyrtec. A vet’s advice is usually recommended upfront.
Can dogs take Zyrtec for allergies?
Generally speaking, you can give this medicine for dogs with allergies. Most vets would rather recommend Claritin, as it is more common and less likely to cause any side effects.
Bottom line, There’s no problem in giving Claritin to your pet, indeed. But just like in people, administering medication to dogs requires lots of attention. You need to keep an eye on your dog for potential side-effects and always respect the recommended dose. Avoid mixing Claritin with other substances, even if they have the same purpose. Other than that, seek help from your vet if there is something you are not sure of.