Can French Bulldogs Take Zyrtec? – Must Learn This!

Can French Bulldogs Take Zyrtec? - Must Learn This! 1

Can French Bulldogs Take Zyrtec?: Zyrtec is safe for French Bulldogs to take. The over-the-counter medication Zyrtec is in fact among the safest on the market for Frenchies. As a first-aid choice, it is an excellent first choice with wide margins of safety – even large doses are unlikely to cause significant harm to your French Bulldog.

Cetirizine hydrochloride is the active ingredient in Zyrtec. While it is safe, Zyrtec is not FDA-approved for use in pets, so it is used off-label in veterinary medicine. In spite of this, veterinarians recommend Zyrtec for dogs because it is affordable, effective, and widely available. 

In many circles, Zyrtec is considered an improved version of Benadryl. Zyrtec doesn’t cause lethargy or sedation because its active ingredient (cetirizine) does not cause sedation like Benadryl.

Before Giving Your French Bulldog Zyrtec

Zyrtec-D should never be given to your dog. D stands for pseudoephedrine, a medicine used to alleviate congestion in humans. If ingested by a dog, it can cause lethal consequences. Canine seizures, heart failure, and even death can result from overstimulation of the nervous system and heart.

Giving your French Bulldog Zyrtec could make the problem more severe if they have kidney or liver issues. French Bulldogs being prone to urinary retention, may respond poorly to Zyrtec. A healthy Frenchie won’t have too much trouble with this, but a pet with preexisting issues may be affected.

You should also consider the possibility that your French Bulldog may be allergic to antihistamines. It could be that your Frenchie is allergic to Zyrtec if you notice worsening symptoms or no improvement after giving it.
Zyrtec or any other antihistamines should be stopped if this is the case.

Any other medications that your dog is taking should be disclosed to your veterinarian before administering Zyrtec. Your French Bulldog should be monitored closely when given any kind of medication, as some medications can interact negatively with one another.

What Zyrtec Help With For Your French Bulldogs

Compared to the first generation of antihistamines, Zyrtec has enhanced benefits and fewer side effects. Here is more on the uses and benefits of Zyrtec for French Bulldogs.

Management of allergies: Study results indicate that Zyrtec is more effective than Benadryl at reducing allergy symptoms and managing the body’s immune response.  
Stings and Bites: In a study, dogs receiving cetirizine before injection of histamine experienced less local inflammation and allergic reactions. Using this feature may be helpful for Frenchie suffering from insect bites or stings.
Itchiness: Atopic dermatitis in dogs can be treated with cetirizine. Zyrtec was found to relieve excessive itching in 18% of dogs in one study.

Possible Side Effects of Zyrtec

The side effects of Zyrtec are usually rare as long your French Bulldog is given the proper dosage. When administered correctly and under the guidance of your vet, Zyrtec is among the safest medications you can give your Frenchie.
French Bulldogs are also not likely to overdose on Zyrtec. So long as they aren’t allergic to it, they have a very high tolerance to it. Still, side effects are possible, so you should always stay vigilant. Stop administering the medication if your Frenchie shows any of these side effects until you speak with your veterinarian.

It is most common for dogs to experience drowsiness when taking Zyrtec. The symptoms usually occur when your French Bulldog starts taking the medication or when the dose is too high. The drug can also cause excessive salivation, vomiting, nausea, or constipation. Keep a close eye on your Frenchie when they are given a new medication.

Can French Bulldogs Take Zyrtec? - Must Learn This! 2

Zyrtec Dosage for Your French Bulldog

French Bulldogs require different levels of Zyrtec depending on their size and the underlying cause that led to their use of the medication. For basic dosing instructions, follow these steps:

Management of allergies: Each pound of body weight should receive 0.5 mg every 12 hours
Stings and Bites: 0.5 mg per pound of body weight once at the time
Itchiness: An average of 0.5 mg per pound of body weight per 24 hours

Zyrtec is available in tablet form (5mg and 10mg) and a syrup form. You will need to choose the Zyrtec form depending on the size and dosage of your French Bulldog. A smaller Frenchie would be more suitable for a liquid form since the tablets are very small and hard to cut. 

Food can be served with or without Zyrtec tablets. When it comes to French Bulldogs who have digestive issues (vomit or have diarrhea), it is best to avoid giving them pills on an empty stomach. With Zyrtec syrup, your Frenchies food can be drizzled on top or administered directly into their mouths. 

Difference Between First and Second Generation Antihistamines

Even though first-generation antihistamines (Benadryl) effectively treat itching in dogs, they often render dogs tired, dry, and hypersalivation and produce urinary retention. Antihistamines of the first generation are not recommended for dogs. Antihistamines of the second generation (cetirizine or Zyrtec) have better safety profiles than those of the first generation.

Because of its increased specificity for the H-1 receptor, the second generation has become more popular.
Generally, second-generation antihistamines tend to have a better pharmacokinetic profile than first-generation medications. The rapid and near-complete absorption and relatively long half-life of these drugs make them ideal for daily dosage.


Even though giving your dog Zyrtec for allergies might seem strange at first, it has been proven to be an effective and proven way of making them feel better. Zyrtec has minimal side effects and works quickly to alleviate allergies.
Consult your veterinarian before prescribing Zyrtec to your pet, and always follow their dosing recommendations. Zyrtec D should never be given to dogs. Before and after giving your dog medication, pay close attention to their allergies. If their symptoms worsen or do not improve, then a safer choice may be in order.

Marshall Newton

Marshall Newton stands as an authoritative figure in the world of dog care and training, enriched by over 40 years of hands-on experience. His lifelong journey with dogs has seen him own over 20 canines from a diverse range of breeds, making him a versatile expert in the field. Marshall's expertise doesn't stop at general dog care; he's also a specialist when it comes to French Bulldogs. As the founder of "Little French Dog," Marshall provides invaluable advice and resources for both new and seasoned Frenchie owners. Whether it's understanding breed-specific traits or discovering new care tips, Marshall is the go-to resource in the Frenchie community. Interested in learning more? Feel free to connect with Marshall on LinkedIn for a deeper dive into his professional background and a wealth of canine insights.

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