Benazepril is a drug that is used in dogs and cats with heart and/or kidney problems. Benazepril causes the small blood vessels to relax (vasodilation), which makes it easier for blood to circulate, decreasing blood pressure and the workload on the heart. It is frequently used with other heart medications, such as diuretics or beta blockers. Benazepril is used for the treatment of high blood pressure (hypertension) in dogs. It may also be used to treat high blood pressure in cats although there are other drugs that are more commonly used for this purpose.

Benazepril is approved for use in dogs and cats in the United Kingdom, but not in the United States. When the appropriate form or dose of this drug is not available through a veterinary pharmaceutical manufacturer, it may be compounded by a specialty pharmacy.


Benazepril, enalapril, and lisinopril are in a family of medications called angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors or ACE inhibitors (ACEi). These medications work to prevent  activating certain substances in the body that cause vasoconstriction (tightening of the blood vessels) of both arteries and veins. The medication also works to help with the retention of salt and water, and fibrosis (scarring) within the heart muscle.

Benazepril for dogs and cats is often prescribed to help treat heart failure and high blood pressure but is also good for various types of kidney diseases. These drugs make it easier for blood to circulate and are often used alongside other heart medications to help your pet live its most comfortable life.

FFeatures of Benazepril For Dogs

Benazepril (brand names: Fortekor®, Lotensin®, Apex®, Benazemav®, Benefortin®, Bexepril®, Nelio®, Prilben®, Vetace®) is an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) Inhibitor used to treat heart failure, high blood pressure, and various types of kidney diseases such as chronic kidney disease and protein-losing glomerulonephropathies. It may also be useful for treating idiopathic kidney bleeding.

Its use in cats and dogs to treat cardiovascular and kidney disease is ‘off label’ or ‘extra label’. Many drugs are commonly prescribed for off label use in veterinary medicine. In these instances, follow your veterinarian’s directions and cautions very carefully as their directions may be significantly different from those on the label. Benazepril is given by mouth in the form of a tablet. It may be given with or without food, but if stomach upset occurs when dosing on an empty stomach, give future doses with food. This medication should take effect within 1 to 2 hours; however, effects may not be visibly noticeable and therefore laboratory tests may need to be done to evaluate this medication’s effectiveness.

Uses/benefits of Benazepril For Dogs

aking care of your pet’s heart and cardiac health is our top priority at CVCA. If you’re reading this page, you’ve likely been prescribed benazepril for dogs or cats for a specific heart- or kidney-related illness. Here are a few of the most common diseases that benazepril is used to treat:

  • Congestive Heart Failure: When the cat or dog’s heart can’t adequately pump blood throughout the body, this is called congestive heart failure. We use ACEi’s to help treat this.
  • Degenerative Valve Disease: When the valves between your pet’s atrium and ventricles start to wear down, there is less efficient blood flow in your cat or dog’s heart. This wear down is called degenerative valve disease.
  • Dilated Cardiomyopathy: Dilated cardiomyopathy happens when the muscles of your pet’s heart weaken and thin, causing the heart to enlarge and stretch.
  • Feline Cardiomyopathy: Benazepril is used to treat all forms of feline cardiomyopathy, and the disease is more common in certain cat breeds like Maine Coons, Ragdolls, Sphynx’s, and others.
  • Hypertension or High Blood Pressure: Benazepril is often used as a secondary medication to help treat high blood pressure or hypertension in dogs and cats.
  • Protein Losing Nephropathy: This is a form of kidney disease usually seen in dogs where proteins and blood serum seep into your dog’s urine.

Benazepril Side Effects in Dogs

Benazepril for dogs has a good safety profile, with few pet parents reporting side effects. In clinical trials, symptoms that could be interpreted as benazepril side effects occurred less often in the group of dogs taking benazepril than they did in the comparison placebo group. 

The most commonly reported side effect of benazepril is signs of gut disturbance, such as vomiting, diarrhea or a loss in appetite. Some incoordination also occured in clinical trials, although very rarely.

Other side effects of benazepril in dogs include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Inappetence
  • Incoordination
  • Syncope (fainting)
  • Weakness
  • Skin rash
  • Fever
  • Increased urea (a colorless, crystalline compound) in blood
  • Increased potassium in blood

Benazepril Dosages for Dogs

The dosage of benazepril isn’t always prescribed entirely on your dog’s weight. It’s up to the veterinarian and the pet parent to find out the best dosage for each individual dog. This is achieved by starting at the lower end of the dose range and regularly discussing side effects, checking blood samples, and adjusting the dose until the dosage with the best effect and the fewest side effects has been found. For this reason, you should always follow your veterinarian’s instructions and confirm the benazepril dosage each time you order more medication.  Benazepril is generally given once daily, with an empty stomach or with food. If your dog vomits if you give benazepril on an empty stomach, you should try giving it with food.

Prices of Benazepril For Dogs

$11.24 – $30.84 

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

error: Content is protected !!