Dog Sedation: How Much Benadryl Is Enough For A Dog To Sleep?

Have you ever had a sleepless night? The experience is not good at all. Insomnia can have severe effects on your general health and well-being. If you thought insomnia is only a human thing, you would be in for a rude shock to realize that even your dog can go through the same ordeal. This normally happens especially when your dog is tired or experiencing some pain.

In such cases, Benadryl comes in handy to help your dog enjoy his sleep. But how much Benadryl is enough for a dog to sleep? This is the next probable question that normally comes to the minds of dog owners when Benadryl comes to the picture. Well, you are reading the right piece as this article has comprehensively handled this particular question.

What is the Purpose of Benadryl?


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  • Benadryl is one of the most popular over the counter drugs that a veterinarian can allow you to administer to your canine companion at home. This is because it has a wide safety margin. Benadryl has a minimal probability of harming your dog. Despite that, there has to be a certain amount which is safe to be administered to your dog.
  • It is an antihistamine. Its purpose is to block the H-1 receptors on blood vessels and smooth muscles. It is useful in pre-treating vaccine reactions, environmental allergies and symptoms of allergic reactions such as stings and insect bites. It can also be used as a mild sedative in dogs and also helps in preventing their motion sickness. 

So, how much Benadryl is enough for a dog to sleep?


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Before settling for any Benadryl dosage, I would recommend that you consult your vet. This way, he or she will help you identify whether there are some circumstances which will alter the amount you should administer.

The amount of Benadryl your dog needs depends on its size.
The easy (and less precise) way to determine this is to put your dog into one of three categories:

  • 30 lbs and smaller – give 10 mg per dose
  • 30-50 lbs – give 25 mg per dose
  • 50 lbs and over – give 50 mg per dose

In a normal situation, for a healthy dog, you should administer 1 mg of Benadryl for every pound. If your dog is 30 pounds heavy, then you need to administer one Benadryl tablet which is 30 mg. Only in rare conditions will you have to double the dosage to get your canine companion at ease but you will still have to seek help from a veterinarian. 

How to Administer Benadryl to Your Dog


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You can administer Benadryl to your dog either in a liquid or pill form. If you prefer to use the pill form of Benadryl, the easiest way you can get your canine friend to consume it is by hiding it in his food. Get a very tasty treat since dogs are very alert and it will not be of much help if you are trying to sneak something into its food that would not entice him.

Make sure that the first portion of food your dog has is not medicated and add the medication to the second food portion. You only have to ensure that the medication is in its best treat and you will not struggle to try to get the Benadryl pill to your dog’s throat.

If you opt for the liquid form of Benadryl, you will realize that it is the simplest to administer compared to the pill form. The liquid Benadryl is administered using a syringe. You will have a very easy time measuring the correct amount of Benadryl in the syringe, and the chances are that your dog will be more than willing to take its medication from the syringe.

If you are unfortunate to have a pooch that does not enjoy taking its medication from a syringe, you will have to train it first by making it take some water from the syringe. After your dog has had enough training, it will barely notice the difference between the medication and the water fast enough to bother you.

You need not tire of getting your canine companion to take his medication now that you are the only parent he has. 

Are there Times when it is not Right to Use Benadryl on your Dog?



Yes, there are circumstances under which by no chance should you administer Benadryl to your canine friend. Here are some of the conditions which contradict the use of Benadryl on your pet:

  • High blood pressure
  • If you know he reacts to diphenhydramine
  • Heart diseases
  • Pregnancy
  • The glaucoma condition
  • Enlarged prostate
  • Lung disease

Benadryl’s Side Effects Associated with Dogs


Just like any other medication, once you administer some Benadryl to your pup, there are some side effects that you will observe. It is normal, but in case your dog seems to react too strongly, you have to talk to your vet. The vet can then recommend a remedy for the situation, probably by prescribing different forms of medication.

Here are some of the side effects that you are likely to observe in your dog:

  • Lack of appetite
  • Dry mouth
  • Appearing sickly
  • Sleepiness
  • Diarrhea
  • Less amount of urine from what is considered normal

Can a Dog Have a Benadryl Overdose?


It is possible for your dog to have a Benadryl overdose. There are some signs you can clearly observe if your dog has had an overdose of Benadryl such as:

  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Seeming fatigued
  • Fever
  • Irregular heartbeats
  • High blood pressure which is less common

In the event that you notice any of these signs in your dog after a Benadryl intake, there could be a probability that he has had an overdose. Seek aid from the vet immediately, and if you are lucky to get your dog to a professional vet fast enough, he can recover. 


If your dog often gets out of control with extreme barking or is in pain, and you need to get him to sleep, Benadryl is the ultimate solution. From the article, I believe you now know how much Benadryl is enough for a dog to sleep. For it to work effectively, make sure that you know its weight.

You only need to know you should administer a milligram of Benadryl for every pound. I would advise you to seek advice from a professional veterinarian just to be sure that you are doing the right thing. As for the side effects, getting extreme cases is very rare.

Watch your dog closely especially if you are administering the drug for the first time. Within half an hour, you will have already noted the effect of Benadryl on your canine companion.

Leave a comment on the article if I have left out anything. Share it out with your friends, and you will have saved many pet parents a lot of trouble. Feel free to make any inquiries, and I will be glad to offer assistance. 

Rosie Tran

I’m Rosie and I love pets, especially dogs. I have a dog, her name is Lola. I also love reading, writing and living joyfully with my rescue dog. I want to learn everything I can to become a better “dog-mom” to Lola and share my knowledge of dog with all who have the same passion as mine.

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Nicola A Miller - May 28, 2018

Did not help much.I really need to cut my Dogs hair. He does not want it cut. He screams like I am killing him.& I have to pin him down. He is about 25 lbs I gave 25 mg & no reaction at all! I need him to relax enough to cut his hair. I knew 1 mg per pound before but your title said you knew how much to make him sleepy. No help.

    Rosie Tran - June 14, 2018

    If you gave him 25 mg but no reaction, take the Dog to a veterinarian, or have a traveling vet come to your home. Please do not give him more, it’s easy to screw up and to cause pain to your dog.

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