Q. My Pitbull has allergies. My vet recommended to give her Benadryl, but how much? She's 80lbs. What else can I do?
DANA KOCH, VMD, MLAS
A. Allergies can be caused by various things including food, fleas and environmental elements (molds, dust mites, plants, etc). To rule out a food allergy you need to complete a strict food trial for approximately 8-12 weeks using a novel protein source (a different type of protein other than say chicken or turkey).
Many pet parents will also use a grain free or hypoallergenic diet. Flea and tick prevention are important to preventing flea bites or tick-borne disease. To rule out environmental allergies your veterinarian can perform allergy testing either through taking a blood sample or through intradermal injection of allergens. The latter is usually performed by a veterinary dermatologist.
In terms of Benadryl dosing, the recommended dosage is usually 1 mg per pound by mouth every 8 hours. For your 80 lb dog you could try administering up to 80 mg and monitor for response.