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How often to give Benadryl?

Species: Dog
Breed: french bulldog
Age: 5-8 years
Lola always has a little bit of a breathing issue b/c of her short snout and I have her with my Vet's supervision on a low dose of benadryl (1/2 tab) in AM and in PM to help with congestion. Tonight she is really congested and was wondering if I should give her another dose? It is in the middle of the night.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

I'm sorry about the slight delay in answering your question. I forgot to turn my online status off before going to bed. But fortunately, I got up to feed the baby and saw your question so I am able to answer now.

If benadryl seems to work for Lola May's breathing issue then it is safe to give it every 8 hours for dogs. So if it has been 8 hours (or close to it) then yes, you can safely give another dose.

Benadryl really doesn't do much for congestion. It is an anti-histamine, but I personally have not found it does much for allergies in dogs other than for allergic reactions to things like bee stings. But again, if it works for her, then it is definitely safe.

Hope she feels better soon,

Dr. Marie.


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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.

Customer reply:

Thank you Dr. Marie -

If Benadryl really does nothing for congestion, what do you recommend for Lola May? She is really congested.

Thank you,


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

There really isn't a particular medicine for congestion in dogs. Usually if dogs are congested there is an underlying reason for it such as allergies, an infection in the nose, a dental problem or similar issues.

Again, if Benadryl seems to work then I would stick with it as necessary. Otherwise you could talk to your vet and ask whether they feel that antibiotics or perhaps steroids (to help with swelling) could be helpful.

A lot of pugs just always sound congested because of the way that their noses are built. However, if this is something that comes and goes then the above treatments may be helpful.



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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.