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Benadryl for thunderstorms?

Species: Dog
Breed: chihuahua
Age: 5-8 years
My dog is terified of thunderstoms. Pants, tongue hanging out, eyes huge, and heart beating really fast. Can I give her Benadryl to calm her down and how much? She weighs 7 pounds.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

I'm sorry to hear that Bella is not doing well with thunderstorms. Some dogs can get terribly upset with thunderstorms and we don't really know why.

There is definitely no harm in giving Benadryl, although it may not do too much. While some dogs get a little bit sedated with Benadryl it is usually not a lot of sedation. If you wanted to give Benadryl though, the dose is 1-2mg per pound. It usually comes in a 25mg strength so for a 7 pound dog I would likely give 1/4 to 1/2 of a tablet.

I'd like you to read this question that was asked of me last year:

Can Melatonin be used for thunderstorm anxiety?

This person asked me about using melatonin for helping her dog with thunderstorm anxiety. I had not heard of doing this but did some research for you in some veterinary behavior archives that I had access to. If you read to the end of the question you'll see that it worked really well for her dog. I have since then been recommending it for some of my clients and I think that it is a good solution. You'll also read in the link above about other medications that can be prescribed.

If you do use the melatonin I'd love to hear back from you on how it worked!


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.