Zyrtec For Fighting Allergies In Dogs

(redirects here from cetirizine)

The following information outlines the usage of cetirizine (Zyrtec) for dogs, including information about side effects, the correct dosage, safety precautions and more.

Zyrtec, the more popular name of the drug cetirizine, is a commonly used anti-allergen medication with fewer side effects than many other options on the market. Zyrtec blocks the H1 receptor to fight off common symptoms of allergic reactions. You should seek the approval of a vet before using this drug to ensure that it will be safe for your pet.

Zyrtec dosage for dogs

Never give Zyrtec to your dog without first consulting a vet. The usual dosages are as follows:

0 – 15 lb dog – 5 mg to be administered once a day.
16 – 39 lb dog – 10 mg to be administered once a day.
Dogs 40 lbs and over – 10 mg to be administered twice a day.

The exact dosage can change depending on the condition being treated.

Is Zyrtec safe for dogs?

Zyrtec is often considered safer than other popular anti-histamine drugs and usually produces few side effects. Unlike many other drugs of its class, Zyrtec does not pass into the CNS (central nervous system), and as such, many of the side effects associated with other similar medicines are absent when using cetirizine.

Safety precautions

  • Seek veterinary approval before giving Zyrtec to your dog
  • Do not use the decongestant formulation of this drug
  • Avoid use in pregnant dogs if possible
  • Check with the vet to ensure your dog’s symptoms are not being caused by something more serious
  • Notify the vet if your dog suffers from liver or kidney disease

Zyrtec is not FDA approved for use in dogs, but is often prescribed as an extra-label drug by vets for use in a variety of animals. Your dog should not experience many side effects when using this drug, though it is possible in rare cases. If unforeseen side effects present themselves you should seek medical advice straight away. Zyrtec has not yet been tested safe for pregnant or nursing dogs. Be sure that the formulation you are using contains only cetirizine as an active ingredient.

Uses of Zyrtec for dogs

Like other anti-allergens, Zyrtec may be used to control:

Side effects

Side effects when using Zyrtec are rare, however you should anticipate vomiting or an increase in salivation.

Information about Zyrtec
Using Benadryl on dogs

zyrtec for dogs


{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

WC August 27, 2014 at 7:15 pm

I have a dog that is over 100 lbs and my vet approved for me to give him 5 (10 mg) pills 1X per day. If my dog was taking benadryl instead, it would be 8 (25 mg) pills 3X a day.

But always check with your vet first.

Jennifer August 10, 2014 at 5:00 pm

10 mg max in 24hr period for human adults is a myth. I have terrible allergies and my Allergist has me on 6-10 tabs daily, as it is impossible for toxic reactions from this med. He has juvenile patients to whom be prescribes as many as 10-20 tabs a day and it keeps their severe allergies under control without having to subject them to shots &/or steroids. I’m not suggesting that anyone administer such a rise to a family pet, but the dosing schedule above is certainly reasonable if not on the conservative side. Do your homework before you accuse people who worship their pets

Dose My Pet May 4, 2014 at 6:30 am

Hi, thanks for your comment. You should be aware that dogs aren’t humans. Dogs can tolerate some substances much better than humans, just like we can tolerate ibuprofen when our furry friends cannot. If you are uncertain you should consult with your vet, but that is a conservative dosage. This dosage is also recommended by an animal hospital:


And PetCareRX:


RB May 3, 2014 at 3:14 pm

Are you nuts?! 22mg for a 50 pound dog? The human max dosage is 10 mg per 24 hours. You trying to kill our pets?

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