Benazecare for dogs and cats



Active ingredient

Benazepril Hydrochloride


Heart /Kidney /Blood pressure

What is Benazecare?

Benazecare is a brand name for a drug with the active ingredient benazepril hydrochloride. It is an ACE inhibitor, a type of drug that aids heart function by dilating blood vessels.

What does Benazecare do? 

Benazecare is an ACE inhibitor. It widens (dilates) blood vessels by preventing Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme from working properly. With more space in a wider blood vessel, the blood can move more easily and is under less pressure. Benazecare therefore lowers the heart’s workload, as the heart can pump blood through dilated blood vessels more easily.

Benazecare also reduces congestive heart failure symptoms such as coughing by lowering blood pressure, preventing water from being ‘squeezed out’ of the high-pressure vessels and into the lungs.

Benazecare also helps cats and dogs with chronic kidney disease (CKD). Pets with CKD usually have elevated  blood pressure in the kidneys. As a result, proteins seep into the urine (proteinuria). Benazecare reduces proteinuria by lowering blood pressure in the kidneys. In this way, Benazecare may reduce further kidney damage and  slow down the progression of CKD.

What is Benazecare used for?

Benazecare is used for a variety of diseases in cats and dogs, such as:

  • CKD-associated proteinuria: Protein loss into the urine (proteinuria) commonly occurs due to Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) in cats and dogs. It’s a sign of a worse prognosis. By reducing blood pressure, Benazecare can reduce protein loss into the urine with CKD.
  • Congestive Heart Failure (CHF): Dogs can develop CHF due to various heart diseases such as mitral valve disease, dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), etc. By reducing workload and lowering blood pressure, Benazecare manages CHF symptoms such as weakness, coughing and rapid breathing.

What are the side effects of Benazecare in dogs and cats?

Benazecare is generally well-tolerated in pets. However, as with all medications, Benazecare may have side effects. Side effects include:

  • Change in appetite: Some pets may have temporary appetite loss. However, some cats may eat much more and gain weight.
  • Weakness: Pets may appear weak (lethargic), particularly in the earlier stages of treatment. However, the weakness should be temporary. Contact your vet if the weakness worsens or is severe/prolonged. 
  • Vomiting: Benazecare may make some pets vomit. Contact your vet if your pet vomits after Benazecare.
  • Increased blood creatinine levels in cats and dogs: Blood creatinine is an indicator of kidney function, so increased creatinine may indicate kidney issues. However, increased creatinine can occur with lowered blood pressure after your pet starts Benazecare. Your vet will assess your pet’s overall situation (e.g. history, physical exam findings) and decide if it is a cause for concern.

This list is non-exhaustive. Remember, not all pets will experience these side effects, and the benefits of using Benazepril often outweigh the risks. However, if you notice any concerning symptoms or changes in your pet’s behaviour or health, contact your vet immediately- even if the symptoms are not included on this list. Your vet will provide advice and if needed, they will alter the treatment plan to ensure your pet’s safety and well-being.

How to give Benazecare safely

  • Follow vet instructions: Give Benazecare as directed by your vet. Never alter the dose without asking  your veterinarian. Contact your vet if you’re unsure of the dose, or if you feel that the dose needs to be changed.
  • Give with or without food: You can give Benazecare to your pet with or without food, but be consistent with dosing your pet. Contact your vet if you have missed a dose.
  • Keep regular veterinary check-ups: Attend scheduled vet appointments, so that your vet can assess your pet and adjust the dose if needed.
  • Storage: Keep Benazecare in a cool, dry place, and away from children and pets. Do not store above 25 °C. Be particularly careful with half-tablets – they should be stored in the blister pack and discarded if not used after 48 hours.
  • Handling: To avoid eating small amounts of Benazecare by accident, wash your hands after giving this medication to your pet. Pregnant women should not handle Benazecare.
  • Contact your vet in case of overdose: If you accidentally overdose your pet, contact your vet for advice. Depending on the severity of the overdose, your vet may recommend monitoring or treatment (e.g. with intravenous fluids).

What sort of monitoring do pets on Benazecare need?

  • Medium


    It’s recommended to periodically check electrolytes and kidney values by doing blood tests in pets on Benazecare.

The amount of monitoring a pet on Benazecare needs will depend on their condition and how ill they are. It’s likely they’ll need a vet check every couple of months, but this can vary hugely. Regular blood tests may also be recommended.

How much does Benazecare cost?

  • pound

    ££ – Moderately expensive

    Benazecare costs £15-100 per month

Depending on the size of your pet and the dose they’re on, Benazecare costs vary. A small cat on a standard dose could cost as little as £15 per month, while a large dog might cost over £100 per month on a higher dose. You’ll also need to factor in written prescription costs and dispensing costs if ordering from an online pharmacy.

Benazecare FAQs

Is Benazepril bad for kidneys for dogs?

Benazepril reduces urinary protein levels in dogs with chronic kidney disease. This reduces further kidney damage. However, as benazepril can increase creatinine levels and creatinine levels are a marker of kidney disease,  your vet will monitor your dog’s kidneys while your dog is on benazepril.

Benazepril is generally not recommended for dogs with sudden-onset (acute) kidney failure.

How long does it take for benazepril to work in dogs?

Benazepril does not take long to work in dogs. Benazepril takes about 1-2 hours to work in dogs.

What time of day should Benazecare be taken?

Generally speaking, Benazecare can be taken any time of day. However, you  should  give Benazecare at the time of day that is specified by your vet.

Can Benazecare be taken with food?

Benazecare can be taken with or without food. If your pet has a stomach upset after eating Benazecare on an empty stomach , ask your vet about giving Benazecare with food.

Is Benazecare the same as Fortekor?

Yes, Benazecare and Fortekor are both brand names for the same active ingredient – benazepril. Benazecare is a beef-flavoured chewable tablet, so it’s more similar to Fortekor Flavoured, rather than the original, non-flavoured Foretekor tablets. Other brand names for benazepril include Nelio, MiPet BenazePet and BenazeVet.

Benazecare Alternatives

If your pet has been prescribed Benazecare tablets but can’t take them, you might need some alternatives. Other brands containing benazepril in a flavoured tablet include:

Benazepril can also come in a non-flavoured tablet form, which may be smaller and easier to hide if your pet doesn’t like flavoured tablets. These include Arixil, Banacep, BenazeVet, Fortekor, Kelapril, MiPet BenazePet, Nelio, and Prilben.

Non-tablet versions of benazepril

There are no liquid formulations of Benazepril but your vet may be able to get a specially-formulated (aka compounded) syrup version if this would help your pet take benazepril.

Combined Drugs

If your pet is on several medications for their heart, there might be an option to reduce the number of medications they need to take each day with a combination drug. Examples of benazepril combinations include:

  • Cardalis (benazepril with spironolactone) which comes in a chewable tablet
  • Fortekor Plus (benazepril with pimobendan)

Benazecare Datasheet

All drugs have a manufacturer’s datasheet, which gives information about the drug’s use and possible side effects. There is usually one in your Benazecare box, but if you have lost it you can click on the button below to be taken on an online version.

Need more information?

If your dog or cat is on Benazecare, you might be interested in learning more about their condition with our interactive, vet-written courses. Each one of our courses has been carefully written by qualified vets and e-learning specialists, and you have access to it – including all updates – for the rest of your pets’ life. The following courses might help you:

Please note that the information contained herein is provided for informational purposes only. Although it has been written by a vet, we cannot consider the individual nature of your pet’s problems so it does not constitute veterinary advice. If you have questions about your pet’s medication or their health you should contact a vet, who will be able to help.