Does your dog seem to itch himself a lot? Do they seem to sniffle or sneeze? If your dog seems to have allergies, they can get them. It could be from something outside, a new fabric in their bed, or something in their food.
While dogs do get allergies, here are a few important things you need to know before giving your dog antihistamines. As always, it’s best to consult your vet before giving your pet any unprescribed medications.
What is Loratadine?
Loratadine is an antihistamine, most often seen as Claritin but it is also in other antihistamines. It is taken orally to combat the effects of allergen, like grasses, blooms, certain foods, and anything else that can trigger your allergies.
It is sold over the counter and widely available. Most people take it before they are going to be in contact with their particular allergen. For instance, before going for a walk or a bike ride or visiting a friend who has a cat.
Side Effects of Loratadine
While an effective medication for allergens, there are some side effects. This drug can cause your dog's mouth to dry out, also the throat and eyes, as well. It can cause drowsiness and make your dog feel tired and sleepy, although this is rare.
They may react by vomiting or having excess thirst. There may be behavior changes, as well. Also, check their bowel movements after taking the medication to see if there is any change in the consistency or regularity.
Other side effects include stomach pain, headaches, and even diarrhea. As medications can affect different people in different ways, the side effects can be different, as well. Some people may feel jittery or a sense of excitement and even heart racing. These effects will also vary with your dog.
Doses of Loratadine for Dogs
Before you give your dog Loratadine or any other medication meant for human consumption, always check with your vet first. You can have tests run to make sure they are not hypersensitive to medications like this, for safety.
Check the box of Loratadine you must see if it says it is safe for dogs. If it doesn’t say this, consult your vet first. You also want to make sure that your dog has allergies and isn’t suffering from something else entirely.
Even if you have the okay from your vet and you know the medicine is okay for your dog, it’s is advised only to give them a small portion of the smallest dosage.
You want to make sure the dog doesn’t have an adverse reaction to the medication. The dosage you give your dog is important to adhere to, for their safety and well-being.
The standard dosage for dogs is 0.2 mg per each pound that your dog weighs. It’s important you stick to the dosage set out by your vet and never exceed it. A smaller to a medium dog would likely get a dosage of about 5 mg every 24 hours.
Side Effects in Dogs
Even giving the recommended dosage of Loratadine to your dog, it’s important to monitor them while they are on it. Watch for anything out of the ordinary.
Side effects to watch for include the same as a human would experience. While becoming drowsy is very uncommon in dogs, keep an eye on their reaction to the drug the first few times you administer it.
They may also experience an upset stomach, dry mouth and eyes, blurred vision, and the inability to urinate. If you notice anything out of the ordinary or your dog seems to be in pain or distress, contact your vet immediately.
Uses for Loratadine in Dogs
Loratadine can be an excellent relief for your dog, who may be experiencing some mild reactions or discomfort.
It’s effective for dogs who are having an allergic reaction to any number of things; this can be a new food you have introduced to their diet, a detergent used to clean their bedding or clothing, the clothing they are wearing, or some materials in shoes or boots they are wearing.
They may suffer allergies from something outside, like a pesticide used in the park, certain grasses or blossoms, some foreign matter they eat, or roll around in at the park or in the yard.
It can help ease the irritation of bites and stings from bugs or dry skin. They may also experience an adverse reaction to their annual vaccinations.
When you know these allergens will trigger a reaction, you can administer the medication before they will be encountering it to help ease the irritation.
As always, proceed with caution when giving your dog any medication that can have known side effects.
Our pets mean a lot to us, and we want the best for them. While we hate to see them suffering, it’s essential to seek out professional advice before giving them anything.
For alternatives to dry or sensitive skin, try special shampoos or oils to help ease the itch and irritation. Pet massage and rubbing their skin will help stimulate the oil glands and add moisture to their skin.
There is also special food available to help with allergies for your dog. Look for natural products in your local health food store and ask at your pet supplier for other, safe alternatives to medication.
Our pets are part of the family, and we want what is best for them to live long happy, and healthy lives.