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Should You Use Benadryl For Guinea Pigs?

Guinea pigs have been seeing a slight spike in their popularity recently with a number of people suddenly choosing to add a new guinea pig to their family.

Although rare, some guinea pigs can end up having allergies causing them to wheeze as they breath, sneeze, cough or have other issues so there have been a number of people reaching out and asking questions about using Benadryl for guinea pigs recently.

It is not recommended that you give your pet guinea pig any type of decongestant or anti-histamine designed for human use due to humans and guinea pigs having different metabolic rates and respiratory systems.

In some cases, a veterinarian may recommend that you use something like Benadryl for your guinea pig but they will recommend the specific dose that you should be using as well as the duration to use the medication.

There are a number of posts on social media from people who keep guinea pigs who have had their own veterinarians recommend the use of Benadryl for their guinea pigs and then they just recommend other people do the same.

This is dangerous as there are subtle differences in when you should and when you should not use Benadryl for your guinea pig.

If you are in any doubt then you should book a video call with a veterinarian to have them go over your guinea pigs condition as well as what you should be doing to treat your guinea pig’s symptoms and they may recommend Benadryl.

Can You Give Benadryl To Guinea Pigs?

In some rare situations when advised to do so by your veterinarian, you can give your guinea pig Benadryl but you should never administer this medication to your guinea pig unless your veterinarian specifically recommends it.

There are alternative treatments that can sometimes work as an anti-histamine for guinea pigs with less risk to your pet while offering the same results.

This is why it is so important to actually have a veterinarian check your guinea pig over prior to giving it any medication for any allergies or other issues.

In some cases, they may be able to offer a product that has been specifically designed for use by rodents with minimal risks being present for your pet during the course of the treatment while still being able to combat the allergies of your pet guinea pig.

As we mentioned earlier in the article, you can have a veterinarian check your guinea pig over via the camera on your smartphone if you book a video call with a vet.

Not only do these video calls often work out to be much cheaper than a trip to your local vet’s office but you get the same high-quality advice that will be able to help your pet guinea pig.

Should You Use Benadryl For Guinea Pigs?

The problem with using Benadryl for guinea pigs is that the dosing can be very tricky to get correct and you often run a fine line between helping your guinea pig and potentially causing it serious health issues.

Products such as Benadryl have been formulated specifically for use in the human body and a guinea pig has a totally different metabolic rate and respiratory system to humans potentially putting your pet at risk if you use Benadryl as a treatment.

This is why some veterinarians will always take the prevention is better than cure approach that we will cover later in the article if your pet guinea pig is having problems with allergies.

In most cases, this can work well and stop any flare ups due to allergins near your guinea pig but it doesn’t present the risk of trying to correctly dose your guinea pig with something like Benadryl.

On top of that, some guinea pig will just refuse to consume Benadryl even if you do go through all of the time and effort of trying to get the dosage correct.

This is why we recommend against even trying Benadryl with your guinea pig unless your veterinarian specifically recommends if after they have had a chance to assess the specific condition of your guinea pig as allergy flare ups really are on a wide range of severity with some being minimal and some being extreme so it is all about balancing the risk of the allergy to the risk of the treatment.

Alternatives To Benadryl For Guinea Pigs!

In our opinion, the best option for anyone who is having problems with their guinea pig having allergies is to try and find the trigger and remove it.

This tends to be much safer than trying to treat your guinea pig with something like Benadryl and is often much easier than most people initially think due to guinea pigs usually only having a small number of potential allergins.

The most common allergin that will trigger respiratory issues in your guinea pigs comes from the bedding that you use for your pet, especially any bedding that has hay dust in the bedding.

Although these products are usually perfectly fine for most guinea pig, it is still the most common allergen for guinea pigs and it is estimated that between twelve and fifteen percent of guinea pig will have some type of respiratory issue with hay dust so switching to an alternative bedding may be able to prevent the problem.

The second most common allergy trigger for guinea pigs is actually nothing to do with their cage but things in the room you keep them in with scented candles, air freshener sprays, and perfumes often causing respiratory problems in guinea pigs.

You may find that simply removing the use of these products in the room where your guinea pigs cage can be enough to prevent them from having the problem and remove the need to even try Benadryl on them.


That brings our article going over using Benadryl for guinea pigs to an end. We hope that we have been able to help you better understand the risks of using Benadryl with your pet guinea pig and even though someone on social media may say that they have used it with their own guinea pig, it does not mean that it should be used on yours even if the symptoms are exactly the same!