A white and brown dog taking a pill from human hands.

Also known as cetirizine, Zyrtec is commonly used to treat allergies in humans. It is an antihistamine that works to block histamine, or, allergy paths in the body. The effect is reduced or no allergy symptoms.

A common question, though, is whether or not treating a dog’s allergies with Zyrtec is safe. Though Zyrtec is generally acceptable for most dogs to take, there are various precautions to take.

How much Zyrtec can I give my dog?

The best, safest Zyrtec dosage for a dog will depend on its size, age and any other preexisting health conditions. Pet owners should discuss specific dosage amounts thoroughly with a veterinarian before being distributed to their pet.

Dog owners should first weigh their pet before distributing Zyrtec. Vet Guru emphasizes the importance of monitoring the dog’s weight, too. Most online resources suggest the following dosages for pets, based on their size alone:

  • 0.5 mg/1 lb or 1 mg/1 kg per day for dogs

Not all dogs should take Zyrtec, though. Pet owners should not give Zyrtec to dogs with the following conditions:

  • Pregnant or nursing
  • Renal or liver problems
  • Allergies or sensitivity to antihistamines
  • Taking other medications that could interfere with Zyrtec

Dogs should take doses orally, not to exceed one dose per day. Pet owners should discuss any other treatment plan with a veterinarian.

Side Effects

After taking Zyrtec, some dogs may experience side effects. Veterinarians will be able to describe which side effects are normal and which ones aren’t. Common side effects may include:

  • Dizziness
  • Tiredness
  • Vomiting
  • Increased salivation

Final Thoughts

While dogs may experience allergies, which often results in unpleasant symptoms, it is critical to first seek a veterinarian’s advice before giving dogs any medicine. Some dogs may not be able to take Zyrtec due to other health conditions. Alternatively, some pet owners may use Benadryl for dogs‘ allergies instead.

At the end of the day, the safest bet is to seek advice and recommendations from the dog’s veterinarian. They will be able to provide the best dosage for each individual dog and give alternative treatment options as needed.

For a safe approach to giving dogs Zyrtec:

  • Ask the dog’s veterinarian about dosage and interference with other health conditions or medications
  • Try alternative treatments, as recommended by the dog’s veterinarian
  • Closely monitor the dog for any side effects
  • Update the dog’s veterinarian with progress or any health changes

Disclaimers: This article does not constitute professional veterinary advice, nor can it replace the advice of a licensed veterinarian.