| Pet Care Advice By Veterinarians |

Can Dogs Take Benadryl With Apoquel



Reviewed By: Dr. Joel Robertson

Learn more about us.

Have you ever wondered if it’s safe to give your dog Benadryl and Apoquel at the same time? This is a common question for pet owners, as both medications can help with allergies.

The answer is yes, dogs can take Benadryl and Apoquel together. However, it is important to speak with your veterinarian first before giving your pet any medications.

This blog post will explain why it is safe to give your pup both drugs and what precautions you should take when administering them.

Key Takeaway

  • Dogs can take Benadryl with Apoquel under the guidance and recommendation of a veterinarian, as these medications can work together to help manage allergy symptoms in dogs.
  • Apoquel is a medication specifically designed to treat skin allergies in dogs by providing fast relief from itching and inflammation, whereas Benadryl, a more versatile drug, is an antihistamine used to alleviate symptoms of allergies but may not provide the same level of relief for severe skin allergies as Apoquel does.

Can Dogs Take Benadryl With Apoquel

Can Dogs Take Benadryl With Apoquel

Yes, dogs can take Benadryl with Apoquel, as these medications work differently and do not typically interact negatively with each other.

Benadryl, also known as diphenhydramine, is an antihistamine that is used to relieve symptoms of allergies in dogs, such as itching, sneezing, and runny nose.

On the other hand, Apoquel (oclacitinib) is a medication specifically designed to control itching and inflammation associated with canine allergies and atopic dermatitis.

While Benadryl blocks the effects of histamines, which are chemicals that cause many allergy symptoms, Apoquel works at the cellular level to control the enzymes involved in triggering itchiness and inflammation.

Because they have different mechanisms of action, it’s generally safe to use these medications together under a veterinarian’s guidance.

However, all medications carry potential side effects, so it’s essential to monitor your dog closely while they’re on these drugs and report any concerns to your vet immediately.

What Is Apoquel, and How Does It Differ from Benadryl in Treating Allergies?

Apoquel is a medication specifically designed to control itching and inflammation associated with canine allergies and atopic dermatitis, differing from Benadryl, an antihistamine primarily used for relieving symptoms of allergies such as itching, sneezing, and runny nose in dogs.

Apoquel, also known as oclacitinib, is a newer medication that targets certain proteins called Janus Kinase enzymes in the body that trigger itchiness and inflammation. It’s marketed for dogs older than 12 months and weighing over 6.6lbs.

By focusing its action on these specific triggers, Apoquel can provide relief within 4 hours and control itchiness and inflammation within 24 hours, making it ideal for long-term use in managing skin allergies in dogs.

On the other hand, Benadryl, or diphenhydramine, is a more versatile drug that can be used across many animals, not just dogs. It works by blocking the effects of histamines, chemicals that the body produces in response to an allergic reaction.

These histamines cause many allergy symptoms such as itching, sneezing, and runny nose that Benadryl can relieve. However, while Benadryl can provide immediate relief for these symptoms, it doesn’t control the underlying itchiness and inflammation as effectively as Apoquel.

Are There Any Potential Benefits to Using Benadryl and Apoquel Together?

  • Enhanced relief from allergy symptoms: Using both medications can provide a more comprehensive approach to managing allergies in dogs, covering both immediate relief of symptoms (through Benadryl) and long-term management of itchiness and inflammation (through Apoquel).
  • Versatility in treatment: Since Benadryl and Apoquel work differently, they can be effective in treating a variety of symptoms. For instance, Benadryl can help with sneezing, runny nose, and motion sickness, while Apoquel specifically targets itchiness and inflammation.
  • Potential for synergistic effect: Although further veterinary consultation is necessary, the combination of these two medications could potentially offer a greater overall effect than either drug could provide on its own.
  • Safe combination: According to the sources, there are no known negative interactions between Apoquel and Benadryl, suggesting that they can be safely used together under a vet’s supervision.
  • Flexibility in scheduling: The two medications do not need to be given at the same time, offering flexibility in dosing schedules.

Possible Risks or Side Effects of Combining Benadryl and Apoquel for Dogs

  • Increased drowsiness: Both Apoquel and Benadryl can cause drowsiness in dogs. When used together, this effect may be enhanced.
  • Gastrointestinal issues: Apoquel can sometimes cause vomiting, diarrhea, or loss of appetite. Benadryl may also cause digestive upset in some dogs.
  • Dry mouth: Benadryl can cause dry mouth in dogs. If your dog is already experiencing this side effect from Apoquel, Benadryl might worsen it.
  • Allergic reactions: While rare, dogs can have allergic reactions to medications, including Apoquel and Benadryl. Symptoms can include hives, difficulty breathing, or swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Potential for overdose: If not dosed correctly, there is a risk of overdosing your dog on either medication, which can lead to severe health issues.
Apoquel0.18-0.27 mg/lb (0.4-0.6 mg/kg)Twice daily for up to 14 days, then once daily thereafter
BenadrylDosage varies depending on the dog’s weight, typically 1mg per pound of body weightEvery 8-12 hours

Should I Consult My Vet Before Using Benadryl and Apoquel Together for My Dog?

Yes, it is essential to consult your vet before using Benadryl and Apoquel together for your dog. These medications, while generally safe, can have potential side effects and interactions that should be monitored by a veterinary professional.

Administering any medication to your pet, particularly in combination, should always be done under the guidance of a veterinarian.

This is because every dog is unique in terms of their health status, age, breed, weight, and tolerance to medications.

What works for one dog may not necessarily work for another. Moreover, both Benadryl and Apoquel have potential side effects, and using them together could potentially exacerbate these effects.

A vet will be able to assess your dog’s condition, consider the potential risks and benefits, and provide a personalized treatment plan that ensures your pet’s safety and well-being.

So, before giving your dog Benadryl and Apoquel together, make sure to consult with your vet.

Can the Combination of Benadryl and Apoquel Be Used for All Types of Allergies in Dogs?

Yes, the combination of Benadryl and Apoquel can be used for various types of allergies in dogs, as long as it is approved and monitored by a veterinarian.

Benadryl is an antihistamine that is often used to treat symptoms of allergies and hay fever, while Apoquel is specifically designed to treat pruritus (itching) associated with allergic dermatitis and control atopic dermatitis in dogs.

Combined, these two medications can help alleviate the discomfort associated with various types of allergies in dogs, including food allergies, environmental allergies, and contact allergies.

However, it’s important to understand that while these medications can help manage the symptoms of allergies, they do not address the underlying cause.

Therefore, they should be used as part of a comprehensive allergy management plan that may also include things like dietary changes, environmental modifications, and regular bathing.

Are There Any Known Drug Interactions Between Benadryl and Apoquel in Dogs?

DrugInteraction with Other DrugPossible Side Effects
ApoquelSafe to use with antihistamines like Benadryl, antibiotics, anti-arthritis drugs, allergy shots or drops, any flea/tick/heartworm preventive, thyroid medicationsPotential for increased drowsiness if used with Benadryl
BenadrylCan be used safely with Apoquel. However, could enhance the drowsiness effect of ApoquelDrowsiness, dry mouth, upset stomach

What Can You Not Mix With Apoquel?

  1. Immunosuppressive agents: Since Apoquel suppresses the immune system to some degree, combining it with other immunosuppressive agents may lead to a higher risk of infections.
  2. Corticosteroids: While not strictly contraindicated, using Apoquel with corticosteroids like prednisone can potentially increase the risk of side effects due to both being immunosuppressants.
  3. Cyclosporine: This medication is another immunosuppressant that could potentially cause an increased risk of infections when used with Apoquel.
  4. Other allergy medications: While generally safe, combining Apoquel with other allergy medications should be done under the supervision of a vet to monitor for potential increased side effects.
  5. Vaccines: As Apoquel can suppress the immune response, it might affect the efficacy of vaccines.


Q: What is Benadryl?

A: Benadryl is an over-the-counter antihistamine medication commonly used to treat allergies and allergic reactions in humans. It can also be used for dogs to relieve itching, sneezing, and other allergy symptoms.

Q: Can dogs take human Benadryl?

A: Yes, dogs can take human Benadryl, but you should always consult with your veterinarian first to determine the correct dosage based on your dog’s weight and specific needs.

Q: What is Apoquel?

A: Apoquel is a prescription medication specifically formulated for dogs to relieve itching and inflammation caused by allergic skin conditions, such as atopic dermatitis and allergic dermatitis.

Q: Can dogs take Apoquel long-term?

A: Apoquel is generally safe for long-term use in dogs, but it should be used under the guidance of a veterinarian. Regular check-ups and monitoring may be necessary to ensure the medication’s effectiveness and to identify and manage any potential side effects.

Q: Are there any side effects of Apoquel for dogs?

A: Like any medication, Apoquel can have side effects in dogs. The most common side effects include vomiting, diarrhea, and decreased appetite. However, these side effects are usually mild and resolve on their own.

Q: Can dogs be allergic to Benadryl?

A: It is possible for dogs to have an allergic reaction to Benadryl. If you notice any signs of an allergic reaction, such as swelling, difficulty breathing, or hives, you should seek immediate veterinary care.

Q: Can Benadryl and Apoquel be used together for severe itching?

A: In some cases, Benadryl and Apoquel can be used together to provide relief from severe itching. However, the specific dosage and timing should be determined by your veterinarian to ensure that they are both safe and effective for your dog.

Conclusion and final thoughts

In conclusion, Benadryl and Apoquel can be a safe combination for dogs when given in the correct dosage under veterinary supervision.

Although there are some possible side effects to consider, they can generally be managed with close monitoring.

Pet owners should always consult their veterinarian before giving any over-the-counter medications to their dog or combining multiple medications together.

Please take the time and leave a comment below if this article helped you, or you have any additional questions.

Learn more about us.

Affiliate Disclaimer

As an affiliate, we may earn a commission from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links on this website from Amazon and other third parties.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest posts

DMCA.com Protection Status