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Can You Use Claritin For Dogs & Is It Safe?

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Tim Rhodes

In movies, dogs are fostered as a good companion, a loyal friend, an emotional anchor, a protector, and a family, and in this article, we will do research on what to do when our furry friends don’t feel well and if we can use Claritin for dogs.

Dog’s is a social being like humans, this is the reason that we easily click with them.

Back home I also have a dog and cat who I treat like my babies and friends but just like any human they are prone to illness but thanks to medicinal advances, many drugs for medication are created to lessen pains or help us sustain life.

One of the drugs that is found and used by humans and also can be taken by dogs is Claritin.

Table of Contents

Can You Use Claritin For Dogs?

Before going forward, let me give you a sight about Claritin and if you can use Claritin for dogs, to let us fully understand this kind of medicine.

What Is Claritin?

Claritin has been popularly used to treat cold or flu by human beings so this kind of medicine can easily be found in our emergency kit or medicine cabinet at home.

It’s also a common drug that we can buy to ease itchy skin allergies.

Established in 1980, Claritin medically defined as a brand under the drug Loratadine, an antihistamine that reduces the effects of the natural chemical histamine in the body.

For a simpler relative explanation of these two substances, Antihistamines work to relieve the symptoms of allergic reactions while Histamine is a substance that initiates an allergic reaction. 

That’s why to counter Histamine we used Antihistamine which is commonly supplied by Claritin.

In a simpler explanation, Claritin is an anti-allergy medication that helps to reduce the symptoms of allergic reactions like sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes, hives, skin rash, and itching.

This may include insect bites and stings.

This is an over-the-counter drug which means you do not need a prescription for use; they take the form of tablets or syrups, and the many reasons that it was easily acquired and to be used by pet owners.

But our concern here is that?

Is it safe to use Claritin for Dogs?    

In this article, let me explain to you about Claritin for our dogs?

Is it safe?

When to use it?

What are the side effects?

Do’s and Don’ts?

Dosage used?

And optional medication for dog allergies?

And a true to the life story of hope through the use of Claritin in dogs which I experienced.

Is Claritin Safe For Dogs?

It’s normal for our pets to get sick, why not?

Their body anatomy is almost like the construction of the human body.

Let me get you a brief definition of this.

As similar to human beings, animals also have a complex network of cells, tissues, organs, and substances that helps the body fight infections and other diseases that we call the immune system.     

It is an essential part of the anatomy that evolved through the years to protect our bodies (and theirs) to keep us healthy and recover from infectious disease.

Dogs are almost identical to human biology so they are also prone to almost the same illness as humans and by this; they have also the tendency to be cured by the same medicine that humans take.

Claritin has been used by our dogs because of its proven efficiency to lessen allergic reactions and to reduce the effects of the poison of insect bites/stings.

What Are Allergies For Dogs?

Try to sit down and watch your dog, have you noticed them doing this particular behavior or acquired some of the mentioned symptoms:

  • Scratching excessively
  • Biting its feet and legs
  • Getting an upset stomach
  • Sneezing
  • Having red, itchy eyes 

If so? – Then it’s a symptom of them having allergies.

Either our dog is an active outdoor pet or the peaceful indoor one, allergies is not selectable, it can surprisingly get into our dogs.

Allergies explained as the body reactions towards unfamiliar objects that they may think as harmful even if it isn’t, so basically it’s our body trying to protect us from being sick but produces too many antibodies that cause us to have side effects reaction.

These antibodies are called allergen.

The causes of dog allergy can vary – it can be either caused by an environmental allergen or food allergen or it can be seasonal allergies.

By environmental, your dogs can get their allergies by simply playing outside or laying down the porch – by means, it can be the grass, the dust, the mold, or its flea. 

These are also similar to seasonal allergies where dogs usually get this allergy on a season to season basis.

While food allergen can be caused by the dog’s body not able to take on certain kinds of foods – this can be permanent just how humans reacted to a portion of food that their body can’t accept.

When dogs get allergies, it’s affecting their paws, ears, wrists, ankle, muzzle, underarms, groins, eyes, and in-between toes. 

Imagine you get irritated due to unstoppable itchiness’ in the skins or cannot eat a good fried chicken because you are allergic to chicken?

Then imagine how painful it can be to them? 

Luckily at an early stage, Claritin can help in treating these common allergic reactions.

How To Care For Dogs With Allergies?

Following Nancy Kerns’s explanation on the treatment of dog’s allergies, the editor of the Whole Dog Journal, discussed three major treatment approaches for dog’s allergies that I found acceptable and reasonable.

These three approaches are avoidance, symptomatic therapy, and immunotherapy.

  • Avoidance

The easiest approach, when you notice the symptom of a dog’s allergies then it’s best to know where it starts so that we can avoid it for them. 

This can be done by maintaining the cleanliness in our dog’s area like the dog beds or playgrounds, the food tray, and drinks cup, same as the food they take and medicine that has been prescribed.

  • Symptomatic therapy

This approach is defined as treating the symptoms rather than curing the illness, in other terms, it’s just like lessening the pain than healing. 

This is where Claritin applied, so basically you can use Claritin as a treatment for your dogs.

  • Immunotherapy

These approaches are explained as allergic shots to dogs and medically defined as the treatment of disease by activating or suppressing the immune system.

Facts about these two therapies are that they cost money while immunotherapy takes more time but as for me, money means nothing if it can save my dogs. 

Added that even if immune therapy takes time, the good news is it heals the allergies for our dogs.

When To Use Claritin For Our Dogs

Many of us cannot understand our dogs or dog talks to them so it’s advisable you research and observe your dogs for any peculiarity if you love them.

Many illnesses are hard to detect and are incurable.

As Claritin is an over-the-counter drug and can be taken without a prescription, then it is the easiest kind of medicine we can give to our dogs to lessen allergy symptoms.

The antihistamines in Claritin help to block the release of histamines due to allergies.

That’s why it’s the most common medication for allergies.

In addition to these, Claritin can help to treat the common skin tumor dogs acquired; this tumor is widely known as MCT or mast cell tumor.

When our dogs obtained this kind of medical issue, it usually is heartbreaking for us pet owners, seeing their pain and suffering is the same as seeing the pain of a family member.

And as annual vaccination is recommended to be done, many of us pet owners have to get used to bringing our dogs yearly to an Animal clinic or hospital for the so call immunization process despite the expense. 

Who cares about money right?

When it’s a concern about our dogs? 

But did you not know that immunization may also produce different reactions to our dogs and again Claritin is the safest way to medicate this reaction.

What Are The Side Effects Of Using Clariting For Dogs?

Now, we already know about Claritin and what it can do to our dogs, moving forward with our discussion.

We all know every Positive Pole will always be sided with a Negative Pole.

As for how good it may seem, Claritin also can produce side effects for our pets.

Despite it is safe for our dogs and proclaimed rarely to produce negative effects, we still need to be extra cautious of how our dogs can still react to the medicines. 

This side-effect is also a common symptom that a human being encounters after administering the drug Loratadine (Claritin).

The Side-effects that are generally reported by some pet-owner after giving Claritin to their pet are summarized as below:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Drowsiness (rare)
  • Urinary retention
  • Hyperactivity
  • Dry eyes

Never consider any medication to allergies as “not serious”, if your dog shows any of these symptoms then stop giving them the medicine and seek professional guidance.

Some not serious thoughts may lead to a more serious casualty so always be cautious with your dog’s behaviors.

Do’s & Don’t In Using Claritin

  1. It should be given in a tablet form

As the standard Claritin tablets contain 10 milligrams of Loratadine, you’ll need to break them in half when treating small dogs but never crush them. 

You can also use children’s Claritin for small dogs since it only contains 2.5 milligrams of Claritin.

  1. Never use Claritin D

This is also a brand under Loratadine which is used to treat allergies, but even though they are in the same brand, it is preferable to use the original Claritin product since it’s safer. 

Claritin D consists of the substances Pseudoephedrine which is toxic to dogs

This can cause nervousness, hyperactivity, and other behavioral changes; panting; fast heart rate; and high blood pressure. 

A 30-mg tablet dosage for a small size dog can be lethal.

If you find it a bit confusing to differentiate the two products, ask assistance from the pharmacist or your pet vet.

And be extra careful in storing this medicine at your house as it’s a common medicine taken by humans.

  1. Never choose for syrup or quick-dissolve Claritin form

It may contain xylitol, a kind of sweetener which is poisonous for dogs. 

  1. Use the right dosage of Claritin

Advisable to seek guidance from a veterinarian.

  1. Avoid using Claritin to a pregnant or lactating dog

Since it has still not been proven to be safe for them.

  1. Do not use Claritin when our dogs have kidney or liver dysfunction or dry eyes
  2. Never mix Claritin with other antihistamines medicines
  3. Never use Claritin for dogs for an extended period without consulting your pet veterinarian
  4. It’s always best to ask guidance from a professional veterinarian about the use of any medicines for our pets (dogs)

Dosage Guides For Claritin

Medication effectiveness will still be depending on how our dog’s body accepts it, not all animal systems are the same.

By giving Claritin to our dogs, pet owners should know that it must consider some factors that can affect the effectiveness of Claritin in treating allergies and lead to a more harmful effect on our dogs.

As much as we want to use Claritin, it should be given by dosage and the dosage of this medicine should be given based on the dog’s weight, their health condition, and medical history. 

This part of the article will only serve as a guide for the dosage you need to give to your dogs, be reminded that it’s still better to ask your vet for the right dosage.

Weight and dosage.

1-14 lbs – 1 dose daily of 5 mg.

15-39 lbs – 10 mg daily, administered in 2 doses of 5 mg each.

40 lbs up – 20 mg, administrated in 2 doses of 10 mg each.

Basing on Valley Veterinary Hospital.

Other Antihistamine For Dogs

Few dogs may never work out with Claritin, so there are still few Antihistamine drugs that we can use to treat their allergies.

Listed below are some medications that can be used aside from Claritin and all of this is considered safe for our dogs, some are even being used for cat’s allergies.

  • Benadryl

A first-generation antihistamine is a brand under the drug Diphenhydramine that is safe and commonly used to treat allergies for both humans and dogs.

Some pet owners and veterinarians have put Claritin and Benadryl side by side as they’re the most commonly known medication for dog allergies and are considered safe.

  • Zyrtec

Where Benadryl is a first-generation Antihistamine, Loratadine, and Cetirizine are second-generation Antihistamine that helps to block histamine.

Under the scientific medicinal name Cetirizine, these drugs also are safe and can be taken by our dogs.

  • Atarax

Under the generic name Hydroxyzine, this drug is almost similar to Benadryl but this kind of medicine can only be acquired by a veterinarian prescription.

  • Chlortrimenton

Scientifically known as Chlorpheniramine, is just like any other antihistamine that treats allergies, this medicine is also been used in treating cat allergies.

Other Dog Allergies Medication

  1. Anti-allergy wipes and shampoos

This can be easily obtained in any pet shop; these kinds of wipes and shampoo are formulated safe to be used for our pet as they are designed to treat allergies.

  1. Dog supplements

Yes, you read it right.

Some supplements serve as a remedy for our dog’s allergies like skin itching that is caused by an environmental allergen and seasonal allergies.

The fatty acids found in the fish oil are found to be the best remedies to reduce inflammation and can promote good skin, shiny coat, and even good heart and joint support, just like Salmon Oil and Omega 3.

This fish oil supplement can easily be obtained online like or at some pet store that supplies these kinds of products for our dogs, it can also be found at our dog’s food.

“The Story Of Theu”

A few years ago, we have this male Labrador-retriever dog at work, he’s the sweetest things to have as a companion added he’s a one fat big dogs and such a choosy lad, you have to take extra time to get his trust and only a few of us got his heart.

Whenever he sees someone he knows, he’ll run to them asking for affections and attention, and amusingly after a pat, he’ll just go back to his area and lay back to sleep.

He can be that funny without him noticing it.

I remember him loving the sea or any bodies of water; he’ll just run and splash through the waves.

But then Theu (the dog’s name) was discovered to have many lumps on his skin, just like a big ball hanging within the skin of his neck and breast area, at first it is not even detectable but it grows and spreads.

Eventually, we can see the uneasiness of the dogs, so not long after the discovery the owner decided to bring him to the vet and our poor Theu was diagnosed with MCT and flea allergies, plus he’s overweight which is not surprising to us.

The vet gives an option of surgery but also advises that it may still treat completely instead it can lead him to die rather than healing because of his old age, so there are 50/50 rates of survival.

And because of his weight, the vet can’t give him any antihistamine medication so he advises the owner to have Theu on a diet and come back for the symptomatic treatment, the only other optional medication given by the vet to Theu is the flea collar and food dietary schedule.

 “Theu’s Journey With The Antihistamine Drgug – Claritin”

In the long run and funny journey of the dietary process, Theu loses weight enough to have the treatment, and truth to say they use Claritin.

I remember that the person who is assigned to take care of Theu will divide the tablets into two before giving them to him.

He may not recover fully but you can notice few changes, the spreading of the lumps lessens and the scratching behavior minimizes, so everyone will see him relaxing in the front hall humoring everyone who visits our workplace.

The only saddening part in Theu’s journey is, it can’t fully recover from MCT due to his body is not as young as it was before, there already complications added few illnesses bring by age.  

It just likes waiting for him to surrender to life. 

But due to the treatment he received using antihistamine and extra care with a more strict diet and transferring him to a fresher environment, he survived for a few years.

I meet Theu’s when I’m still working in the province, I’m still single and don’t have a child back then and now my Child is already Three years old, and the old good lad Theu’s die last 2019.

After 4 years of fighting, he finally had his rest.

A Good Reminder For All Pet Owners

The medicinal advances achieved by our experts nowadays have helped a lot of us as it helps Theu to enjoy his remaining good life with us and with the people who love him.

Buying an over the counter medicine for dogs is relevantly good but it’s still better if we remain vigilant and ask guidance from a medical expert.

As pet owners, it’s our responsibility to give our dogs the best for them as to how they tried to give their best to us.

Sometimes the medicine that we thought can heal is also the very one that makes us lose them.

Dogs are almost like humans, they can feel pain and have emotion, some may not believe it but when you see through a dog’s eyes, you see their souls and their feelings.

Just like how you see the love in your lover’s eyes.

Dogs are family to us and will always be family.

Final Thoughts

And answering the question: can you use Claritin for dogs? 

Eventually, it is yes!

Claritin is considerably safe for our dogs but with extra cautiousness and study. 

Based on my personal experience with Theu accompany by the proof researched under this article, it’s enough to prove that Claritin is safe with dogs.

Yet as the vet advised, before giving Claritin to your dog’s you need to check their weight, medical history, and health condition.  

In every situation, there’s still a need to be vigilant always.

If you have any additional thoughts about this matter or a story to tell about Claritin for dogs then do spend some time to share with us.

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