Zyrtec for Dogs | Is It Safe For Them?

Zyrtec for Dogs

Zyrtec is a type of antihistamine medication which is taken to help relieve symptoms of allergies and hay fever. Many people suffer from allergies and hay fever and often suffer badly from a runny nose, runny eyes, itchy eyes and nose, sneezing, itching and more. Taking Zyrtec will help as it contains cetirizine which is the key ingredient in Zyrtec and is an antihistamine which helps to block histamine, the natural substance in the body which causes your body to experience allergic reactions. As it blocks histamine, the symptoms cause from allergic reaction settle down.

This medication is an over-the-counter medication and provides quick, effective relief from allergy symptoms for 24 hours. Although somewhat controversial, the drug is popular because it does not leave users feeling drowsy which is common amongst other medications for allergies.

Allergies are very common amongst humans but did you know that dogs can also suffer from allergies? Your furry friend can get the sneezes, itchy eyes and irritated skin relating to allergies just like you.

It is more difficult to understand exactly what your dog is suffering from but if you think they have some sort of allergy, they will likely show symptoms just like us humans. And although it has not been approved by the FDA (yet), vets are starting to prescribe Zyrtec for dogs more and more often. They prescribe the drug to dogs to help reduce itching which is the popular symptom as well as any other signs of an allergic reaction a dog may have like sneezing or itchy eyes and skin.


There are plenty of things that dogs can be allergic to which can cause allergic reactions to happen. One of the most common allergies is fleas and the saliva from fleas and flea bites as well as weeds, grass, pollen, and food allergies (particularly food additives).


The symptoms of an allergic reaction for a dog are very similar to a human allergic reaction. They can possibly suffer from skin redness and irritation, swelling of the affected area or the whole body, itchy skin and sneezing. If your dog is rubbing their face and muzzle repeatedly or they are biting their paws or legs more frequently, this may be a sign of an allergic reaction and a vet checkup is advised.

If left untreated or ignored, the affected area could become sore and in extreme cases, hair loss and skin infections can occur. A severe allergic reaction could cause your dog to develop hives or go into anaphylactic shock. If this were to happen, it is important that you seek veterinary attention straight away.

Prescribed Zyrtec

If you seek medical attention about your dog’s allergic reactions, you may likely be prescribed Zyrtec from your vet. Your dog will have to take this once a day and the dose will be dependent on the size of your dog as well as what is being treated. For example, there will be a different dose for itchy skin compared to an allergic from a bee sting.


It is very important to know that you must check the medication before giving it to your dog. There is a type of Zyrtec called Zyrtec-D which contains an active ingredient, Pseudoephedrine which can be very harmful to dogs. It can cause high blood pressure, seizures and could be potentially threatening.

The standard Zyrtec is deemed safe by vets as this contains the active ingredient cetirizine but does not contain Pseudoephedrine.

Side Effects

Luckily, Zyrtec doesn’t have many side effects. As all dogs are different, you should be aware of the side effects that can occur if your dog does take Zyrtec. These can include sleepiness, constipation, vomiting, urine retention, and excessive salivation.

Because of the possible side effect of urine retention, dogs who already have problems with their kidneys or liver may find their problems worsen if they take Zyrtec. For healthy dogs, urine retention may never become a problem, even when taking Zyrtec. However, for those dogs who already have problems, this medication may increase the pre-existing issues.

If you think your dog would benefit from Zyrtec, it is always important to speak to your vet. Your vet will be the one who prescribes the medication so it is important to speak to them about your dog’s symptoms and how this medication will help them.

If you want to try to stay away from medication that could potentially harm your dog, there are a number of natural alternatives including CBD and natural supplements that work very similar to Zyrtec but may not cause adverse reactions.