There are a number of reasons you might want to give your dog Benedryl (diphenhydramine – also available in many generic forms). Diphenhydramine is an antihistamine, so it helps in relieving itching from contact allergies or bug bites or stings. It can be used to reduce swelling and pain from a snake bite. It will calm a hyperactive dog or reduce “terrors” during fireworks or thunderstorms.
The usual dosage of Benadryl for dogs is 1 mg per pound of dog every 8 to 12 hours (two to three times daily), but a single dose can be doubled to 2mg/lb if needed in an emergency such as a snake bite. This suggested dose is for formulations containing the active ingredient diphenhydramine only — NO Tylenol. Overdosing for an extended period can be lethal, but there is a wide margin of safety.
Other household medications that are safe for your dog or cat include:
Remember, these are stop-gap measures only. For the sake of your pet, get them to a veterinarian as soon as possible for diagnosis and treatment of an illness.