Dramamine Dog Dosage Chart: Risks, Side Effects, Dosage, and More

Written by Marisa Wilson
Updated: October 29, 2023
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In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about Dramamine for dogs. You may need to give Dramamine to your dog for several reasons. And as with anything medical-wise that you will be giving them, you want to make sure that you have the correct dosage and understand the risks. It’s always a great idea to get advice from your vet before you start treating an undiagnosed problem in your dog. A medical opinion will ensure that the underlying cause is diagnosed and that the medicine isn’t masking a severe health concern. This guide will help you understand the correct dosage for your dog and learn the risk. 

What is Dramamine?

Dramamine is one of the many name brands available for Dimenhydrinate. It is a type of antihistamine. Dramamine affects how the brain processes motion. This system provides the feel of balance and allows unprompted movements as a reaction to induced forces. Dramamine for dogs effectively treats several things, although scientists aren’t sure how it works. It is only available as an “off label,” which means the FDA hasn’t gone through the same approval process as drugs labeled for dogs. 

Hand giving chihuahua a pill

Dramamine hasn’t been approved for dogs by the FDA, but some owners give it to them “off-label.”

©Alexsander Ovsyannikov/Shutterstock.com

Dramamine Side Effects

Drug interactions should be discussed with your vet if you currently give them any other medicine. The most common drugs that interact with Dramamine are antidepressants such as clomipramine or monoamine oxidase inhibitors such as selegiline. If you need to have an antigen skin test on your dog, you will need to stop using Dramamine at least two weeks before the test because it can interfere with the results. Besides side effects, you should also be conscious of other conditions that your dog has that need to be cleared by a vet. A few of those conditions are:

  • Heart disease
  • Glaucoma
  • Seizures
  • COPD
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Hyperthyroidism

When picking a Dramamine, check the ingredients. Some versions contain high amounts of ginger, which is fine in small quantities. Still, it’s too high in this medicine and therefore unsafe for dogs. Keep an eye out to see If you notice any swelling, difficulty breathing, or hives developing in your dog after administrating the medicine; you need to contact your vet because this could be an allergic reaction. A vet will be able to instruct you on what to do in this event which can range from home treatment to an emergency visit to the clinic. Dramamine can cause some negative symptoms, but it can improve over time. A few common side effects aren’t ordinarily severe and can include:

  • sleepiness or hyperactivity
  • Dry mouth
  • Trouble emptying the bladder
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Lack of appetite

Reasons to Use Dramamine

The most common use is preventing car or motion sickness in dogs. Motion sickness can cause nausea and vomiting, which is never fun for anyone, especially the dog. It can be helpful for long road trips. Dramamine can offer relief from the symptoms if your dog has allergies but not the cause. That makes it practical to help your dog’s watery eyes or nose. Another use, though uncommon, is to help manage anxiety in dogs. The reason it works is for its sedative-like effects. This may only be helpful in the short term and if anxiety proves to be frequent in your pet, contact your clinic to see what options are available. The primary use of this drug is nausea and vomiting. A few mild reasons those symptoms can occur in dogs are: 

  • Overeating: When dogs eat fast, they can easily overeat, which can cause vomiting.
  • Chemicals: Dogs can easily get into cleaning chemicals or garbage.
  • Other medications: Sometimes, drugs your dog is on can cause these side effects
  • Switching dog foods: A change in diet can agitate your dog’s stomach, especially if there is a food allergy.
  • Infections: Gastroenteritis is an example of a condition that can cause vomiting.
  • Liver problems: Canine hepatitis can cause liver issues, so it’s essential to vaccinate your dogs as a preventive.
  • Kidney Failure: Heatstroke or severe dehydration and anything that decreases blood to the kidneys.
  • Pancreatitis: Though it seems to occur at random fatty food can factor into it.
  • Intestinal parasites: If your dog consumes any contaminated food or water sources and there are eggs from the parasite, your dog can get them.
Beagle lying on car seat

Car sickness and motion sickness are the most common reasons owners give their dogs Dramamine.


Is Dramamine or Benadryl Better for Dogs?

When it comes to addressing motion sickness or allergies in dogs, two commonly used over-the-counter options are Benadryl and Dramamine.

Both can be effective, but there are some important considerations. For Dramamine, it’s pretty commonly recommended to give it to your dog with a small amount of food, as it can help prevent potential stomach upset.

On the other hand, Benadryl, while super effective, may carry a risk of causing gastrointestinal issues in some dogs due to its side effects.

Therefore, it’s crucial for pet owners to consult with their veterinarian to determine the most suitable and safe option for their furry companions, taking into account individual needs and any potential side effects.

Dramamine Dosage and Instructions 

If the Dramamine has meclizine in it, the max dose in one day is 25 mg only once. A regular dosage is 2/4 mg per pound. It should only be given 3 times a day and be 8 hours apart. When in doubt about the dosage, it’s always best to give too little instead of too much. If you’re using this for traveling purposes, giving them the drug 30 minutes beforehand is more beneficial. This medication should only be administered orally. Getting your dog to take capsules can be a feat. There are a few things you can try to make this process as easy as possible. A pill popper is a syringe-like tool that you can use to insert a pill far into the dog’s mouth. It may cause mild discomfort in your dog but will be over in seconds. You can try to hide the pill in food or with pill pouches. 

The photo featured at the top of this post is © New Africa/Shutterstock.com

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About the Author

Creepy-crawly creatures enthrall Marisa. Aside from raising caterpillars, she has a collection of spiders as pets. The brown recluse is her favorite spider of all time. They're just misunderstood. You don't have to worry about squishing the creatures as her catching, and relocating abilities can safely move stray centipedes or snakes to a new location that's not your living room.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Is Dramamine Safe for pregnant and nursing dogs?

It is best to avoid using this drug in nursing or pregnant dogs. It can have adverse effects and cause harm to the fetus and pass through the milk to the puppies.

Can an overdose kill my dog?

Yes, an overdose can be lethal and kill your dog. If they have any excessive lethargy or are in a coma-like state. In that case, that is an emergency, and you should take them to the vet immediately.

How long does it take for Dramamine to work?

It is fast-acting and will have optimal effects on the dog within an hour or two. Dramamine is short-acting, however, so the benefits will wear off within eight hours. Your dog’s system will completely clear it out in 24 hours.

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