Zyrtec, or cetirizine for dogs is a drug used to treat allergic reactions caused by elements to which dogs are intolerant. Like, for example, plants or food. This medicine works very well, but you need to take some precautions. Here we will tell you whether dogs can take Zyrtec or not, show you how to use Zyrtec and what are the recommended dosages.
What is cetirizine for dogs?
Zyrtec, or cetirizine for dogs, is an antihistamine. It works by blocking histamine so that it cannot provoke such a deep inflammatory response in your dog’s skin. Some antihistamines can cause drowsiness and even mild sedation as a side effect. Zyrtec is a slightly different class of antihistamine than the others, so it tends not to produce the usual drowsiness if the correct dose is given.
Zyrtec can be used to treat long-term allergic reactions in your dog, caused by seasonal rashes and food sensitivities. It can also be used short-term to treat insect bites or reactions caused by poison ivy or poison oak.
What are the side effects of Zyrtec?
Fortunately, cetirizine for dogs is very well tolerated by dogs. The most common side effects reported are vomiting or excessive salivation after administering the pill. This can be prevented or decreased by administering the dose with a small amount of food.
Drowsiness has been observed in smaller dogs when given the highest doses. It is always best to administer the lowest dose first and increase it if necessary to help avoid these side effects.
Cetirizine for dogs should not be used in dogs that are also taking other central nervous system depressants such as diazepam or alprazolam. The combination of the two drugs could cause severe sedation.
This short-acting medication should stop working within 24 hours, although the effects may be longer in pets with liver or kidney disease.
What Dogs Can Safely Use Cetirizine?
Since cetirizine is well tolerated in dogs, really any itchy dog can benefit from using it. Caution should be exercised in older diners or those suffering from liver or kidney disease, as they will not flush the drug from your system efficiently. It may be best to try alternative treatments for these dogs before giving them Zyrtec.
Zyrtec is safe to use in pregnant bitches. Even large amounts of the drug cetirizine have shown no ill effects on the developing fetus. However, a small percentage is excreted in milk, so it is best not to use Zyrtec in lactating bitches.
What about Zyrtec-D?
There is an additional Zyrtec product on the market that includes pseudoephedrine, a popular decongestant in human cold medications. This product, Zyrtec-D, is not safe for use in dogs. Dogs agree with the drug cetirizine, but pseudoephedrine is extremely toxic. Always make sure to get Zyrtec and not Zyrtec-D when purchasing this allergy medication.
Dosage for dogs
As with most medications, the dose of cetirizine for dogs is based on weight. It’s important to never guess your dog’s weight, as there could be a lot of variation. Obtain an accurate weight using a scale before giving your dog medication. Always discuss medications and dosages with your vet before administering anything.
The recommended dose for dogs is 0.5 mg / lb or 1 mg / kg once a day. However, some vets will simply prescribe one 5mg tablet per day for small dogs, one 10mg tablet per day for medium dogs, and one 5mg or one 10mg tablet twice daily for larger dogs.
What should I do in an emergency?
While the risk of a cetirizine overdose for dogs is low, overdoses of the drug that also contains pseudoephedrine can be serious. If you suspect an overdose or adverse drug reaction, call your veterinary office immediately. If they are not available, follow the instructions when contacting an emergency facility.
We know that you want the best for your dog. They are an important and furry member of the family. So when it doesn’t feel quite right, it can cause some grief for you, the pet owner. Zyrtec can be safe for dogs with the proper dosage. However, prevention is better than cure. As an owner, you should always consult a vet before administering it.
You should also learn everything you can about the medication you can give your dog and the potential side effects of it. Allergies are not fun. However, it is reassuring to know that there are other options available in addition to conventional medications. Find out, consult your veterinarian and always choose the best option for your pet. We hope your dog is feeling better soon!