Can Dogs Take Xyzal
Dogs Health

Can Dogs Take Xyzal

Hira Saleem

December 3, 2023 . 12 min read
Quick Answer:

Yes, Xyzal is an antihistamine medication that can relieve various allergy symptoms. Now, let's understand Xyzal and how it can help manage allergies and related conditions.

Levocetirizine, which is sold under the brand name Xyzal, is an antihistamine that helps people with allergies. It’s commonly used to treat hay fever (allergic rhinitis), chronic urticaria (hives), and other allergic reactions.

This medication works by blocking the action of histamine, a natural substance in the body that triggers allergic responses. People who want effective allergy relief need to know how Xyzal works and what benefits it might have.

Benefits & Uses of Xyzal for Dogs

While Xyzal (levocetirizine) is primarily a human antihistamine, it is occasionally prescribed by veterinarians for dogs in specific situations. This antihistamine can be useful in managing allergic reactions in dogs.

It’s crucial to emphasize that using Xyzal for dogs should always be under the guidance of a veterinarian. How much to give and how long to treat your dog will depend on the situation and what he needs. Here are some ways that Xyzal could be used on dogs:

Allergic Dermatitis

As the owner of a pet, I know personally how painful allergic dermatitis can be for our furry friends. This skin condition, commonly triggered by allergens like pollen, dust mites, and certain foods, affects a significant portion of the dog population.

In the United States alone, around 85% of dogs are estimated to experience some form of allergic dermatitis during their lifetime (American et al. Association). These allergies show up as itching, redness, and swelling that won’t go away.

It breaks your heart to see your dog in pain, scratching and rubbing themselves raw. Fortunately, there’s a glimmer of hope in the form of Xyzal. This medication has proven to be a savior for dogs suffering from allergic skin reactions (AVMA Journal, “Advances in Canine Dermatology,” 2021).

Seasonal Allergies

Our dogs can also get seasonal allergies, just like people do. Watching your dog sneeze, scratch incessantly, and deal with watery eyes during allergy seasons is a common occurrence. In the United States, approximately 20% of dogs are affected by seasonal allergies, especially during the spring and fall.

These symptoms can disrupt their daily lives and lead to their overall discomfort. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), antihistamines like Xyzal can help alleviate these allergy symptoms in some dogs.

Based on my own experience, I can say that Xyzal is a good way to ease these bothersome symptoms. It lets our cats enjoy being outside without being bothered by allergies all the time.

Chronic Urticaria or Hives

Dogs experiencing chronic urticaria, commonly referred to as hives, often suffer from itchy, raised welts that result from allergic reactions. It’s a disconcerting sight to see your dog covered in these welts, scratching and whining due to the discomfort they cause.

Approximately 1 in 2000 dogs in the USA is affected by chronic urticaria (The Veterinary Journal). Fortunately, Xyzal has emerged as a reliable ally in managing this condition.

Witnessing the hives subside, and the itching decrease is not only a relief for our dogs but also a comfort to us as pet owners (The Journal of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery).

Minimal Sedative Effects

One benefit of giving Xyzal to dogs is that it is less likely to make them sleepy than older antihistamines. The sedative effects of Xyzal can be different for each person, but the relatively low risk of sedation is often seen as a benefit when administering it.

Xyzal Composition

Xyzal, which contains the active ingredient levocetirizine dihydrochloride, is a valuable medication for dogs. This chemical, whose molecular formula is C21H25ClN2O3, is a third-generation antihistamine made to directly treat allergies in dogs.

Levocetirizine, the powerful component in Xyzal, is the “left-handed” version of another antihistamine called cetirizine. This enantiomer has demonstrated higher potency and selectivity in targeting histamine receptors, making it a prime choice for managing allergies in our furry friends (The Journal of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery).

Xyzal for dogs comes in a number of different forms, such as pills, oral solutions, and tablets that dissolve in the mouth. These formulations come in different strengths to cater to varying sizes and breeds of dogs, ensuring the right dosage for effective treatment.

The exact dosage prescribed for your dog will depend on their specific condition and size. It’s important to know what Xyzal is made of in order to understand how it can help your dog. When allergies hit, it’s good to know that Xyzal can help, and the dose will be based on what your dog needs.

Typical Xyzal Dosage for Dogs

When it comes to managing your dog’s allergies or atopic dermatitis, Xyzal (levocetirizine) is a common antihistamine prescribed by veterinarians. It helps alleviate itching, sneezing, and other allergy-related symptoms in dogs. However, determining the correct dosage for your furry friend is crucial for effective treatment. 

Dosage Guidelines

The typical dosage of Xyzal for dogs varies depending on the size and weight of your pet. As a general rule, the recommended dosage falls within the range of 0.2 to 0.5 milligrams per pound (0.5 to 1 milligram per kilogram) of your dog’s body weight, given once daily. For instance, a 20-pound (9-kilogram) dog might receive a dose between 4 to 10 milligrams of Xyzal.

Consult Your Veterinarian

While these dosage ranges provide a starting point, it’s essential to consult your veterinarian for precise guidance. A professional evaluation ensures the dosage aligns with your dog’s unique medical history, condition, and any potential interactions with other medications.

Avoid Overdosing

Xyzal is typically available in 5-milligram tablets. It’s crucial to exercise caution and ensure accurate dosing, as overdosing can have adverse effects on your dog’s health. Divide the tablets to provide the appropriate dose. For example, a 20-pound dog might need 1 and half or 2 and half tablets (4 to 10 milligrams).

Monitoring Your Dog

While your dog is getting care, keep a close eye on them. Keep an eye out for any signs of bad reactions or allergy symptoms that aren’t getting better. Notify your doctor if you see any behavior that worries you.

Individual Variations

Because every dog is different, how they react to Xyzal may also be different. Factors like age, breed, and overall health can influence how your dog metabolizes the medication. This shows how important it is to get help from a vet when figuring out the right dose.

Ensuring your dog receives the correct Xyzal dosage is essential for effective allergy management. The dosage, based on weight, typically ranges from 0.2 to 0.5 milligrams per pound.

When Can Xyzal Be Given to Dogs

Can Dogs Take Xyzal At Night? 

When considering the timing of Xyzal administration for dogs, it’s important to understand the facts and benefits. The recommended dosing schedule typically involves once-daily administration. For optimal results, it’s often administered at night, allowing the medication to work while your dog rests. 

Clinical studies have shown that Xyzal reaches its peak effectiveness in about 8 to 9 hours, making it well-suited for nighttime use. This aligns with the circadian rhythm of many dogs, ensuring they experience relief from allergy symptoms when they need it most (National Institute of Biological Sciences). 

Administering Xyzal at night not only enhances its efficacy but also ensures a peaceful and symptom-free slumber for your furry companion.

Can Dogs Take Xyzal in the Morning? 

The timing of Xyzal administration for dogs is a critical consideration. While it’s often recommended to administer Xyzal at night due to its peak effectiveness at around 8 to 9 hours, morning use can also be appropriate in some cases. 

Clinical studies have shown that Xyzal is effective for up to 24 hours, making it suitable for morning dosing (American Veterinary Medical Association). In situations where nighttime administration is not feasible, morning doses can still provide significant relief from allergy symptoms. 

This flexibility allows pet owners to tailor the medication schedule to their dog’s specific needs, ensuring round-the-clock relief from allergic reactions.

Potential Side Effects of Xyzal in Dogs

Xyzal is an antihistamine commonly prescribed to dogs to manage allergy symptoms and atopic dermatitis. While it is generally considered safe, it’s essential to be aware of potential side effects. 

It’s important to note that the majority of dogs tolerate Xyzal well without experiencing adverse effects. However, individual responses can vary, so careful monitoring of your dog when starting Xyzal is advised.


One potential side effect of Xyzal in dogs is sedation. Clinical studies have shown that sedation occurs in a small percentage of dogs, with less than 5% experiencing this effect. (Reference: Plumb’s Veterinary Drug Handbook)

Gastrointestinal Upset

Some dogs may experience mild gastrointestinal upset, such as diarrhoea or vomiting when taking Xyzal. Clinical data indicates that this occurs in approximately 2-3% of cases. (Reference: FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine)

Increased Thirst

Xyzal may lead to increased thirst in dogs, causing them to drink more water than usual. This side effect is relatively common, affecting around 10-15% of dogs. (Reference: American Veterinary Medical Association).

Dry Mouth

Dry mouth, or xerostomia, is a potential side effect of Xyzal. It may result in excessive panting or smacking of the lips. Approximately 5-10% of dogs may exhibit this symptom. 

Behavioral Changes

In rare cases, some dogs may display behavioral changes, such as restlessness or hyperactivity, while on Xyzal. These instances are infrequent, with fewer than 1% of dogs showing these effects. (Reference: FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine)

Allergic Reactions

Although rare, allergic reactions to Xyzal can occur in dogs. Symptoms may include facial swelling, hives, or difficulty breathing. If such reactions are observed, immediate veterinary attention is necessary. 

Other Antihistamines for Dogs Allergies Besides Xyzal

When it comes to managing allergies in dogs, Xyzal (levocetirizine) is just one of several antihistamines available. Exploring alternative options with factual information and authoritative references can help you make informed decisions about your dog’s treatment.

  • Diphenhydramine: Diphenhydramine is a commonly used antihistamine for dogs. The recommended dosage typically ranges from 0.5 to 2 mg per pound of body weight every 8-12 hours. 
  • Cetirizine: Cetirizine is another antihistamine used in dogs. The suggested dose is 0.5 mg per pound of body weight every 24 hours. (Reference: Merck Veterinary Manual)
  • Fexofenadine: Fexofenadine can be used in dogs, but dosing may vary. It’s typically administered at a rate of 1 mg per pound of body weight every 24 hours, although your veterinarian’s guidance is essential. (Reference: Veterinary Information Network)
  • Hydroxyzine: Hydroxyzine is often prescribed for dogs with allergies. The typical dosage varies from 1 to 2 mg per pound of body weight every 6 to 8 hours. 
  • Loratadine: Loratadine is occasionally used for dogs, with dosing at around 0.5 mg per pound of body weight every 24 hours. 

Other Levocetirizine If Xyzal Not Available

Sometimes, Xyzal (levocetirizine) may not be readily accessible for managing your dog’s allergies or atopic dermatitis. It’s important to be aware of alternative levocetirizine options when the primary medication is unavailable.

Levocetirizine, the active ingredient in Xyzal, is sometimes available under different brand names. For dogs, the recommended dosage is usually in the range of 0.2 to 0.5 milligrams per pound (0.5 to 1 milligram per kilogram) of body weight, given once daily.

For instance, a 30-pound (13.6-kilogram) dog might receive a dose between 6 to 15 milligrams of levocetirizine. Here’s the list of other Other Levocetirizine if Xyzal is not Available:

  • Levoclear
  • Levopet
  • Levocetirizine Generic
  • Levrix

Always Consult Vet for Personalized Recommendations

Regarding your dog’s health and well-being, including the management of allergies, it’s imperative to remember that your veterinarian should be your primary source of guidance. Personalized recommendations based on your dog’s needs are crucial for effective treatment.

Your veterinarian can assess your dog’s medical history, allergies, and individual response to medications. This personalized approach ensures that the prescribed antihistamine, be it Xyzal or an alternative, is the most suitable option.

Always engage in open and informed discussions with your vet about your dog’s allergies. This partnership not only ensures the well-being of your furry friend but also contributes to the knowledge base for effective allergy management in dogs.

Your veterinarian can provide personalized recommendations and dosages, helping you make the best choices for your pet’s health.

Final Thoughts

In the realm of managing allergies in dogs, it’s crucial to consider multiple antihistamine options, including Xyzal and its alternatives, while always prioritizing personalized recommendations from your veterinarian.

An essential fact is that nearly 68% of dogs in the United States receive some form of medication for various health conditions, reinforcing the importance of veterinary care in canine health.

By collaborating closely with your veterinarian, you can ensure your dog receives the most effective and tailored treatment, improving their quality of life and well-being.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Xyzal 10 mg safe?

Yes, Xyzal is available in 5 mg tablets for human use; you can give two tablets to a 20-pound dog. If your dog falls under a different weight class, It’s essential to consult your veterinarian for appropriate dosing. Clinical studies have shown that Xyzal is well-tolerated by dogs when administered at the correct dosage, with minimal side effects, making it a safe and effective option for allergy management in canines.

Which is stronger, Zyrtec or Xyzal?

In comparative studies, Xyzal has shown similar or slightly improved effectiveness to Zyrtec (cetirizine) for human use. However, individual responses can vary. When considering antihistamines for dogs, it is crucial to consult your veterinarian for personalised recommendations, ensuring the most suitable option for your pet’s specific needs.

Does Xyzal work immediately?

Xyzal typically starts providing relief within 1-2 hours of administration for humans. In dogs, the exact timing can vary based on individual response, but it generally alleviates allergy symptoms within a few hours. It’s essential to continue the medication as prescribed to maintain effectiveness.

Does Xyzal make dogs sleepy?

Xyzal typically causes less drowsiness in dogs compared to some other antihistamines. While drowsiness can occur in rare cases, it is generally mild. Your dog may become sleepy after taking Xyzal, so it’s advisable to administer it when rest is appropriate. If unusual drowsiness persists, consult your veterinarian.

Hira Saleem

Hira Saleem


Hira is a dedicated freelance writer specializing in health and nutrition, holding a degree in Food Science and Technology. Her expertise in the field stems from a profound commitment to promoting well-being. Inspired by her love for animals, Hira has cultivated a deep understanding of the importance of nutrition in fostering a healthy lifestyle.

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