Hydroxyzine HCl is an H1 receptor antihistamine. It competes with histamine for receptor sites on the target cells in the respiratory tract, intestines, blood vessels, and the skin. Pharmacologic effects of antihistamines include anticholinergic, sedative, antispasmodic, local anesthetic, mild bronchodilation, and antiemetic. Hydroxyzine is well-absorbed after oral administration and generally takes 20-45 minutes to exert an effect.

Hydroxyzine is an antihistamine that can treat dogs for allergic reactions, though it also has properties that treat nausea, anxiety, and other conditions. In addition to blocking the effects of histamine in dogs’ bodies, this medication also depresses activity in the central nervous system, which gives the drug its sedative properties. The FDA has not approved it for veterinary use, but dogs can take it relatively safely with the approval and supervision of a veterinarian. You can easily order hydroxyzine for your dog online from Chewy’s pharmacy with your vet’s prescription. Here’s what you should know about the uses, dosage, and side effects of hydroxyzine for dogs.


Hydroxyzine (brand names: Atarax®, Vistaril®, Masmoran®, Multipax®) is an antihistamine used to treat allergic and itchy conditions or as a sedative/tranquilizer. Its use in cats, dogs, ferrets, horses, and birds to treat itchiness 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.

Features of Hydroxyzine For Dogs

Hydroxyzine for dogs is an antihistamine that relieves symptoms of allergic reactions. Hydroxyzine was created initially as a sedative for humans. During clinical trials, researchers discovered hydroxyzine had the added benefit of stopping allergic reactions. Further research on hydroxyzine revealed its other applications as an anti-nausea and anti-anxiety medication and found that it was successful at treating these conditions in mammals besides humans.

Though many other antihistamines have come out since its FDA approval, hydroxyzine is still one of the most commonly prescribed medications for allergic reactions and sedation in canines. Hydroxyzine’s mechanism of action is similar to other first-generation antihistamines in that it prevents histamine from binding to the receptors that instigate allergic responses. These antagonistic effects prevent mild symptoms like itching and sneezing, as well as more severe features like stomach spasms and airway constriction. Besides being an antihistamine, hydroxyzine’s active metabolite also suppresses neurological activity in mammals, making it an effective mild tranquilizer.  Allergic reactions in dogs can be expensive to treat. If you suspect your dog has allergic reactions or is at risk

How to administer hydroxyzine

Hydroxyzine is given by mouth in the form of a tablet, liquid solution, or capsule. It may also be given as an injection in the hospital setting. It may be given with or without food; however, if vomiting occurs when dosed on an empty stomach, give future doses with food. Measure liquid forms carefully. Hydroxyzine works best when it is given on a regular basis, prior to exposure to an allergen. Do not give this medication within two weeks of intradermal allergy testing

Uses/benefits Of Hydroxyzine For Dogs

Hydroxyzine is primarily used for dogs to treat allergies and allergic reactions, such as those related to snake or insect bites and vaccines. The drug is an anti-inflammatory, which can open airways that are inflamed by allergic reaction, allowing dogs to breathe normally. Vets can also prescribe it to treat inflamed, itchy skin from conditions such as dermatitis or alopecia.

Hydroxyzine has antiemitic properties that make it useful for reducing symptoms of nausea, and its ability to depress the central nervous system is helpful for controlling anxiety disorders and tension in stressful situations.

Side effects

The side effects of hydroxyzine resemble those seen with other first-generation antihistamines like Benadryl. Side effects of hydroxyzine include: 

  • Hyperactivity
  • Upset stomach
  • Drowsiness
  • Behavioral changes
  • Sedation
  • Excessive thirst
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Balance issues
  • Seizures
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Tremors


  • Drug Name: Hydroxyzine
  • Common Name: Atarax®, Vistaril®, Anxanil®
  • Drug Type: Antihistamine
  • Used For: Allergies
  • Species: Dogs, Cats
  • Administered: Tablets, Capsules, Oral liquid, Injectable
  • How Dispensed: Prescription only
  • FDA Approved: No

Prices of Hydroxyzine For Dogs

$12.24 – $20.10

Leave a Comment

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

And get notified everytime we publish a new blog post.
error: Content is protected !!