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Claritin Dosage for Dogs – The Quality, Benefits & Side Effects

July 7th, 2020

If you have ever noticed that your dog has red and itchy eyes or is sneezing, scratching a lot, has an upset stomach, and is biting his/her feet and legs, then he/she could be suffering from dog allergies. Just like you, your dog also has allergies, and occurrences are probably just as irritating and frustrating if the dog's behavior is anything to go by.

Thankfully, drugs such as Claritin can help treat this condition. Here are the facts and information that you need to know about Claritin dosage for dogs.

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What is Claritin for Dogs?


Simply put, Claritin is an anti-allergy medication that is used effectively to help reduce allergic reaction symptoms that might be ruining your dog's day. The active ingredient in Claritin is Loratadine (also another name by which it is commonly known). Loratadine is an antihistamine that relieves symptoms of allergic reactions by simply blocking how histamine acts on the body.


Histamine is an organic compound found in the body. This is the compound that initiates the symptoms of an allergic reaction whenever it comes into contact with allergens. The side effects of that contact include things like sneezing, itching, rashes, stomach upsets, and so on. The most common allergens for dogs include:

  • Pet dander
  • House dust mites
  • Bed bug bites
  • Tick bites
  • Fleas
  • Spider mites

There are occasional food allergies, as well as seasonal allergies, such as hay fever that can cause allergic reactions in dogs. Claritin is a popular over the counter antihistamine that can help your dog fight these allergic reactions.


While Claritin for dogs is an effective drug when it comes to treating the common symptoms of typical allergic reactions, the drug is particularly effective when it's used to treat reactions from snake bites, insect bites in general as well as skin irritations such as canine dermatitis or itchy skin.


The drug is also particularly effective when it comes to treating inflammations associated with conditions such as mast cell tumors. This is a condition that is particularly common in Boxers, Labradors, Cocker Spaniels, and Golden Retrievers.


This drug is commonly used in conjunction with an assortment of other allergy treatment 

solutions such as fatty acid supplements, anti-inflammatory medications as well as diet and lifestyle changes.


What You Need to Know About Claritin Dosage for Dogs?

While you can use the following guideline to give you a rough idea of the right Claritin dosage for dogs, it needs to be said that the best advice you can get would be from your vet.

The vet is the person who can authoritatively prescribe the right dosage for your dog based on his/her medical history, weight as well as other conditions that may come into play. Other than that, this chart is a pretty decent and safe dosage guide:

  • 1 dose of 5 milligrams daily for dogs weighing 1 to 14 lbs.
  • 2 doses of 5 milligrams, each totaling 10 milligrams a day for dogs weighing between 15 to 39 lbs.
  • 2 doses of 10 milligrams, each totaling 20 milligrams a day for dogs weighing over 40 lbs.

Since Claritin is an over the counter drug that also has generic versions, you should only give it to your dog in its original tablet form. While there are flavored syrup versions of the same, these may contain xylitol, a sweetener that can be toxic to dogs.

What are the Side Effects of Claritin for Dogs?

One of the main reasons why Claritin is so popular as an antihistamine for dogs and recommended by most vets is that it is considered a "non-drowsy" form of medication. Additionally, it doesn't often have severe side effects.

There are, however, very few medications that have absolutely no side effects, and Claritin doesn't fall on that list. Thankfully, however, the side effects that come with Claritin are rather mild when compared to the benefits of the drug. Here are some of the common Claritin side effects:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Hyperactivity
  • Drowsiness (this very rarely occurs)
  • Depression or lethargy
  • Urinary retention
  • Dry eyes

You are advised to take your dog to the vet should it show any of these side effects after taking Claritin.

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Essential Facts About Claritin for Dogs


Although Claritin is quite effective when it comes to easing your dog's allergic reactions, there are a few facts that you must understand about the drug. Here is what you need to know:


  • Claritin or Loratadine, as it's commonly known, will protect your dog from allergic reactions occurring due to tick bites. Still, it will not protect him/her against any tick-borne diseases such as Lime Disease that come as a result of that bite. If you live in an area where such diseases are common, then you should seek immediate attention from your vet, should your dog get bitten by a tick.
  • There is a reason why it was mentioned earlier that you need to consult with your vet about the correct Claritin dosage for your particular dog based on their weight, medical history, and specific condition. While the stipulated dosage mentioned here are safe for dogs within the indicated weight, you should be careful never to give your dog a higher dosage of Claritin than is recommended. Overdosing on Claritin can cause strokes in pets.
  • The Claritin recommended here comes in the form of tablets and must be swallowed whole as opposed to being crushed. Should your dog have issues with taking his/her pills, you can simply hide them in some peanut butter or cheese.
  • Be careful never to give Claritin to dogs that have other underlying medical conditions such as kidney or liver disease. Additionally, you shouldn't give Claritin to pregnant or nursing dogs.

Claritin is an effective antihistamine for dogs. Provided you stick to the recommended dosage and keep an eye out for the side effects, your best friend should be fine and free of the irritations that come with allergic reactions in no time at all. Being an over the counter drug, you can easily buy Claritin from your neighborhood pet store or online.