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Benazepril for Dogs and Cats

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General Drug Information and Indications

Benazepril is a drug that is used in dogs and cats with heart and/or kidney problems. Benazepril causes the small blood vessels to relax (vasodilation), which makes it easier for blood to circulate, decreasing blood pressure and the workload on the heart. It is frequently used with other heart medications, such as diuretics or beta blockers. Benazepril is used for the treatment of high blood pressure (hypertension) in dogs. It may also be used to treat high blood pressure in cats although there are other drugs that are more commonly used for this purpose.

Benazepril is approved for use in dogs and cats in the United Kingdom, but not in the United States. When the appropriate form or dose of this drug is not available through a veterinary pharmaceutical manufacturer, it may be compounded by a specialty pharmacy.

How to Give this Medication

Give this medication to your pet exactly as your veterinarian prescribes. If you miss giving your pet a dose of benazepril, give the next dose as soon as you remember or, if it is close to the next scheduled dose, return to the regular schedule. Do not double dose to catch up.

Do not stop giving this medicine without consulting with your veterinarian.

Wash your hands after giving your pet this medication.

Side Effects

Be sure to discuss any side effects with your veterinarian immediately.

The most common side effects are low blood pressure, dizziness, weakness, and stomach upset.

Less common side effects include kidney damage and changes in blood potassium levels.


Keep this and all drugs out of reach of children. Benazepril is a prescription drug and should be used according to your veterinarian's directions. It should only be given to the animal for which it was prescribed. Do not give this medication to a person.

Drug Interactions

Be sure to review with your veterinarian any medications or supplements your pet may be receiving. Pets receiving benazepril may be on multiple medications because of the severity of their health problems. Careful monitoring and adjustment of drug doses and therapies may be necessary to achieve the right balance.

Diuretics, such as furosemide or spironolactone, and other vasodilators drugs may increase the incidence of low blood pressure or change blood potassium levels.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, including aspirin, should be avoided in animals on benazepril because of the increased risk of kidney damage.


If you suspect your pet or another animal was overdosed accidentally or has eaten this medication inadvertently, contact your veterinarian or the A.S.P.C.A.'s Animal Poison Control Center at 888.426.4435. Always bring the prescription container with you when you take your pet for treatment.

If you or someone else has accidentally ingested this medication call the National Capital Poison Center at 800.222.1222.


Different strengths or dosage forms of benazepril may have different storage requirements. Read the label or ask your pharmacist for the storage requirements of the prescription you receive.

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About the Author

Dr. Barbara Forney

Dr. Barbara Forney is a veterinary practitioner in Chester County, Pennsylvania. She has a master's degree in animal science from the University of Delaware and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in 1982.

She began to develop her interest in client education and medical writing in 1997. Recent publications include portions of The Pill Book Guide to Medication for Your Dog and Cat, and most recently Understanding Equine Medications published by the Bloodhorse.

Dr. Forney is an FEI veterinarian and an active member of the AAEP, AVMA, and AMWA.