My dog is showing signs of motion sickness and vomiting, can I give my dog Zzzquil? In most cases this drug does not have any major side effects, but in excess doses, it can also be fatal! Learn more about the proper dosage and instructions of Zzzquil
You should always avoid giving drugs such as Zzzquil to your dog. On the surface, the drugs might look innocent, sedation being its only side effect, but it might provoke several problems in your dog.
Drugs such as Zzzquil and Benadryl have the same active ingredient: Diphenhydramine hydrochloride. It is an antihistamine, thus relieving allergic reactions and inducing sedation.
You might feel it is safe to give Zzzquil to your dog to prevent anxiety, motion sickness, or allergies. But it is always advisable to consult a practitioner before letting your dog consume such drugs.
Veterinarians often are asked various questions about Zzzquil, such as its dosage, side-effects, toxicity, and others. Let’s dive into the facts and find out answers to these questions.
What is Zzzquil?
Zzzquil is a sleep-aid medicine whose active ingredient is Diphenhydramine hydrochloride.
Diphenhydramine hydrochloride is a broad-spectrum drug used to treat some disorders in humans.
A physician typically recommends the drug to control allergic reactions, but it also helps insomnia, nausea, common cold, and tremors. Human beings occasionally take it for sleeplessness and anxiety relief.
It is advised not to consume it with alcohol or any other drug containing Diphenhydramine hydrochloride. Diphenhydramine hydrochloride is often a constituent of medicines for skin and allergies.
You would be surprised to know that Benadryl has the same composition as Zzzquil. It contains Diphenhydramine hydrochloride, and Veterinarians often get asked whether it is safe to give it to dogs. Many dog parents believe that Benadryl helps their pets get relief from bee stings, minor allergies, tick bites, and itchiness.
Both Zzzquil and Benadryl are efficient in relieving allergies, itchiness and relaxing your pet from anxiety. But the question remains unanswered whether it is safe or not. And if it is safe and how much of it should they consume?
Effect of Zzzquil In My Dog
Typical effect is just drowsiness, but the excess dosage can cause hyper aggression.
Diphenhydramine hydrochloride is a type of antihistamine that works against natural molecules of the body called Histamines to treat allergic reactions such as itchiness, sneezing, teary eyes, and others.
The effect of antihistamines on dogs is quite unpredictable. It can make a dog sleepy (hypoactivity) or very active (hyperactivity). Because of its sedative effect, many pet owners prefer to give their pets a mild dose of Zzzquil or Benadryl with hyper anxiety. Diphenhydramine hydrochloride is also used to prevent motion sickness in dogs.
In most pets, including dogs and cats, Zzzquil acts as a sedative and makes your dog very sleepy. But, if you are unlucky, your dog may suffer a less common side effect of diphenhydramine hydrochloride drug. This effect is popularly known as the paradoxical excitement effect.
As its name suggests, your dog will show excessive anxiety or aggression rather than feeling sleepy. Your dog’s heart rate might get hyped up to 180 beats per minute. This can provoke other symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, salivations, and even seizures. The effects quickly get severe within an hour, and your dog might suffer from breathing problems and may have trouble breathing.
Sometimes, in the hope of quick relief from allergic reactions, pet parents tend to give an extra dosage of Diphenhydramine hydrochloride-containing drugs such as Benadryl and Zzzquil. The second set of side effects is seen in the dogs who take a bit extra of the medicine.
Why Should I Avoid Giving Zzzquil To My Dog?
Excess dosage can be fatal for your dog.
You should not give any medicine like Zzzquil to your dog without the prescription of a practitioner or before asking a veterinarian, doctor, or pharmacist. Zzzquil containing Diphenhydramine hydrochloride does not possess many side-effects rather than the apparent sedation effect.
You will observe your dog sleeping for hours and being drowsy for more than a day after consuming Zzzquil. Sometimes, pet owners give Zzzquil just for effect. But you need to understand that deep sleep and drowsiness are not everyday phenomena for your dog’s body.
Medicines like Zzzquil and Benadryl interfere with your dog’s circadian rhythm. Circadian rhythm is the sleeping period and active period, or sleep-wake cycle routine. Occasional administration of these drugs is supposed to be harmless.
Still, if you repeatedly give your dog these medicines for any reason, your dog might show signs of Diphenylhydramine hydrochloride toxicity, popularly known as Benadryl Toxicity.
Symptoms of Diphenhydramine hydrochloride toxicity include sudden vomiting, diarrhea, trouble in breathing, indigestion, elevated heart rate, elevated pulse, seizures, and frequent tremors. The symptoms can rapidly get worse if not given medical attention immediately, Benadryl toxicity may be fatal.
Another common side effect of Zzzquil is drowsiness that lasts longer than usual. Zzzquil or Benadryl may slow down metabolic processes, thus resulting in prolonged lethargy. The lethargy that sustains so long is not a sign of good health.
Your dog could also show hyperactivity and become anxious about consuming Zzzquil. Controlling your dog in that state will not be easy, and your dog will need medical attention to get calm.Isn’t it better to avoid such drugs than rushing to the hospital or losing your dog?
How Many Zzzquils Is Safe For My Dog?
2-4mg per kilogram of dog’s body weight is safe.
The vet you consult for your dog could estimate the safe amount of Zzzquils for your dog.
For instance, he would know your dog’s history of diseases and be sure of any pre-existing health conditions such as low blood pressure, glaucoma, and cardiovascular disease. Dogs with such medical history should not take sedatives such as Zzzquils.
Pregnant dogs cannot take Zzzquil until necessary and strictly prescribed by the doctor.
Another reason to consult your vet regarding the dosage of Zzzquils is that the dosage varies widely for different dogs and the conditions for which you are administering Zzzquil.
The standard dosage of Zzzquil for dogs is 2 to 4 mg of Zzzquil per one kg of body weight of the dog, who is not suffering from any underlying diseases and does not take any medicine with diphenhydramine hydrochloride in it.
So, for a 12-15 kg medium breed dog such as Beagles, Indies, Cocker Spaniels needs to take around 24-60 mg Zzzquil or Benadryl per day to treat the problem. Zzzquil or Benadryl tablets for adults are sold in 25 mg tablets, which need to be divided into pieces according to your dog’s body weight. So a 15 kg dog would need to consume around 2 to 3 tablets per day.
You can also try buying the Zzzquil or Benadryl tablets for children, where the concentration of Diphenhydramine hydrochloride is lesser than the adult version and is only 12.5. In this way, a 15 kg dog can have 4-5 chewable tablets a day, giving a gap of 6-8 hours in between doses of Zzzquils.
It would help if you consulted a vet and stuck to the dosage to avoid overdosing. As discussed earlier, overdosing on Zzzquil may lead to toxicity, resulting in serious health problems and even be fatal.
What Precautions Should I Take While Giving My Dog Zzzquil?
While giving drugs like Diphenhydramine hydrochloride, which might impact your dog’s senses and metabolism, you should always be cautious of your dog and his environment. It will help if you follow the following measures while giving your dog Zzzquil.
Consult Your Vet
Zzzquils and Benadryl are two of the most popular Diphenhydramine hydrochloride-containing sedatives sold over-the-counter without a prescription.
It is easy to buy it from a drug store and give it to your dog to relieve him from an allergic reaction.
But consulting your vet is an essential step before giving the medicine. Even if the vet has recommended the medicine some years before, ask him if it is appropriate for your dog’s condition right now.
Follow The Right Dosage
While consulting your vet, remember to ask about the dosage. Follow the dosage properly, and do not overdose your dog on Zzzquils.
Continue the medicines only for the recommended number of days by the vet, do not continue for more extended periods.
Keep an Eye On Your Dog’s Surroundings
Most of the time, dogs are in a hyper-alert mode where each of their senses works well in cooperation. But when they are given drugs like Zzzquils, their senses are a bit out of place, thus making sure their surroundings are as plain and clean as possible. He should climb stairs or trip into a piece of toy.
Keep an Eye On Your Dog
Usually, the lethargy and drowsiness of your dog last for about 24 hours. If you see your dog is sleepy and tired even after two days of the last Zzzquil dose, you should call your vet as soon as possible.
What Should I Do If My Dog Accidentally Consumes Zzzquil?
Reach out and talk to your vet as well as animal poison control immediately.
If your dog accidentally consumes Zzzquil, first see the number of pills he has consumed. Consult your vet immediately if you find out he has consumed more than 50mg of Zzzquil.
If you suspect overdosing on Zzzquil, wait for the symptoms and take your dog to the vet, where he can pump out the drug or make him vomit them out.
Do not try home remedies such as giving excess salt or hydrogen peroxide. Such remedies may work at first but often result in stomach ulcers.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much Zzzquil Can I give my dog?
The standard dose is 2-4 mg per kg of your dog’s body weight.
Is Zzzquil harmful to dogs?
It is safe in low amounts but may affect dogs in higher doses.
What kind of sleep medicine can you give a dog?
Sleep-aid medicines could be harmful to dogs, and you should consult a vet before giving any sedative to your dog.
Can you give dogs melatonin?
You might add melatonin to a hyper-active or anxious dog’s diet, but consultation with the vet is advised.
How much Benadryl Can a dog have?
2-4 mg per one kg of body weight of the dog.
A Few Final Words
You should always avoid giving sedative drugs even as safe as Zzzquils or Benadryl. They do not pose any life-threatening diseases on dogs and can quickly relieve your dog from allergies, but continuing these drugs can prove harmful for your dog. It would be best to always consult your vet before giving Zzzquil to your dog.
Thank you for reading. We hope we were able to answer most of your questions. You might also like to read about other dog medications such as Metacam and Lotrimin spray.