No dog owner wants to see it’s dog being in pain or discomfort. When we see them not feeling too well, all we want to do is to make them feel better. In dose moments we might consider giving our canine companions some over-the-counter medications we currently have at home. However, how safe is that? To learn which medications are safe for dogs, keep reading this article.
Giving your dog over-the-counter medications
Firstly, lets clear things up — you shouldn’t give your dog any medications before discussing it with your vet first! No matter what the medicine might be good for, unless you’re a trained professional you can’t know all the possible risks it may bring. Thats why it’s crucial to always contact your vet and let them decide on the optimal drug and dosage for your dog and his condition.
There are, of course, separate medications for dogs and humans. However, many drugs that we commonly use are also often prescribed in veterinary medicine. But the dosage is widely different from the recommended dosage for humans. In this article we will mainly talk about humans medications that are either completely safe for dogs, or, at worst — absolutely toxic.
Aspirin — Can you give dogs Aspirin?
Aspirin is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). These drugs are usually used to treat pain, inflammation and fever. Just like any other NSAID, aspirin can possibly cause some side effects.
The widely accepted dosage of aspirin for dogs is 10-40mg/kg.But this dosage depends on your dog’s condition. Always talk to your veterinarian before giving any aspirin at all to your dog. An overdose of aspirin can end up lethal.
If your dog is having a bad reaction to aspirin or other NSAIDs, you want to react quickly!
To read more about Aspirin and it’s possible side effects — click here.
Benadryl — Can dogs have Benadryl?
Benadryl is one of the few over-the-counter drugs that vets recommend for owners to have at home all the time. It’s also known by it’s generic name – diphenhydramine.
Benadryl is well tolerated by dogs, and it’s widely considered to be safe. As safe as Benadryl is, side effects are still possible.Especially if your dog is using other medications such as anticoagulants.
Benadryl works as an antihistamine and blocks the H-1 receptors. It helps with mild allergies if your dog takes it orally. It also helps with anxiety.
To learn more about it — click here.
Tramadol — Usage and Tramadol side effects
Tramadol is a widely used painkiller for humans. However, it’s also one of the rare ones that is safe for dogs. But it does come with some risks.
Tramadol is an opioid, which means that it alters the perception of pain in both, humans and animals. Additionally, Tramadol inhibits the reuptake of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain.
Never give Tramadol to your dog without contacting your vet first. Only a professional can prescribe it and calculate the right dosage for your dog.
Overdosing on Tramadol is a medical emergency and you might don’t have much time left. That’s why it’s so important to recognize it right away.
To know how to do that — click here.
Cephalexin — What is Cephalexin and how can it help my dog
Cephalexin is also called Rilexine®, Keflex®, Vetolexin®. These are all brand names for the same antibiotic.
It is generally used to treat a wide range of bacterial infections in people, dogs, and other animals.
The dosage of Cephalexin that is usually given to dogs is between 10 to 15 mg for each pound of body weight. However, just like any other drug with Cephalexin you must always rely on your vet’s dosage instructions!
If you feel the need to learn more about it — click here.
Tums — Can you give a dog Tums?
Tums are usually prescribed to treat only mild conditions of stomach upset, like heartburn or diarrhea. The active ingrown is calcium carbonate, which will reduce excess stomach acid.
While tums can help some dogs to reduce the symptoms of an upset stomach, repeated exposure can lead to some serious health issues.
If Tums are given in the right dosage and only in rare occasions, the side effects are mostly minimal.
You can read more about Tums for dogs if you — click here.
Prozac — How to use it and Prozac side effects
Prozac, or also known as Fluoxetine, is an antidepressant an anti-anxiety medication that is usually used to treat humans. It works by inhibiting the reuptake of a neurotransmitter called serotonin.
But in some cases Prozac can be used to treat different conditions in dogs too. Such as behavioral problems, aggression or separation anxiety. However, it should only be prescribed alongside behavioral training for the dog’s condition.
There are different side effects that are associated with the use of Prozac in dogs. They vary from mild to severe.
To learn more about it — click here.
Diphenhydramine — Is it safe and Diphenhydramine side effects
Diphenhydramine, or also known as Benadryl, is an antihistaminic. It falls under the first generation which basically means that it can cross the blood-brain barrier. That makes it very effective, but also very likely to cause side effects. The FDA still has to approve it for veterinary use, but it is widely considered to be safe for dogs and cats. It’s commonly prescribed by many veterinarians.
Diphenhydramine are great medications for dogs for treating mild to moderate symptoms of allergies. Either seasonal, environmental or food allergies.
The side effects are more likely to occur in dogs with certain health conditions. So if your dog has any other medical issues, always let your vet know.
In case there are still some questions left — click here.
Pepto Bismol — Can you give a dog Pepto Bismol?
Generic name Pepto Bismol is actually bismuth subsalicylate. A chemical substance we know as antacid that is popular all over the world for treating temporary discomforts of the stomach and gastrointestinal tract, such as nausea, heartburn, indigestion, upset stomach, and diarrhea.
Pepto Bismol is mostly speaking safe for our canine companions. However, there are some things that you need to consider.
The risks and side effects are especially often if you don’t give your dog the right dosage of Pepto-bismol. That’s why your vet should always have the last word when it comes to the right dosage.
If you want to know what the side effects are — click here.
Claritin — What is it and Claritin side effects in dogs
Claritin is the brand name for a generic medicine known as loratadine. It blocks the effects of histamine, which is the substance causing allergies.
You can buy Claritin over-the-counter, without a prescription. However, you shouldn’t ever give it to your dog without contacting your vet first!
Only if your vet gives you the green light, you can give Claritin to your pup. But you will have to follow the guidelines completely.
To inform yourself about all of the risks that come with Claritin — click here.
Famotidine — Usage, dosage and side effects of Famotidine for dogs
Famotidine is a drug that causes decreased production of stomach acid, thus helping the dogs to recover from internal ulcers.
Ulcers in a dog’s stomach form after the infection or bacteria damages the intestines or stomach. These ulcers can rupture and bleed, which can be very dangerous for the affected dog.
However, ulcer treatment and prevention is not the only use of Famotidine in dogs. There are many conditions that these medications for dogs could be beneficial.
Dogs usually don’t experience severe side effects of famotidine. Therefore, it’s the veterinarian’s number one choice when treating internal ulcers in dogs.
For a deeper dive into this medication in veterinary medicine — click here.
Tylenol — Can dogs take Tylenol?
Tylenol, also known as Acetaminophen, is an over-the-counter medication that’s used to manage pain and fever. It has been used for decades and it seems as if it’s completely safe for humans.
However, it is not preferred amongst vets and is very rarely prescribed to dogs.
Tylenol is considered toxic to dogs at doses of 45-68 mg per pound. However, some dogs will develop serious symptoms even at lower levels. That’s because some canines are very sensitive to it.
To read why you should never give Tylenol to your dog — click here.
Melatonin — Can you give a dog Melatonin?
Melatonin is widely avalanche as an over-the-counter medication. However, that doesn’t mean that any type of melatonin will do the job. You’ll have to give it to your dog in the right dosage. However, the one deciding on the dosage won’t be you — but your veterinarian.
Always follow the guidelines of your vet’s specific prescription. Hopefully, then it will help calm your dog’s anxiety, stress or insomnia.
If you are considering to give your dog Melatonin — click here first.
Ciprofloxacin — Usage and Ciprofloxacin side effects for dogs
Ciprofloxacin is an antibiotic that can be used for humans and animals. When it comes to dosage the vet will give your dog between 5 mg and 15 mg per kilogram of weight. However, it’s important to state that the exact amount depends on your dog’s size and health issues too.
Cipro is used by vets because it can neutralize many strains of bacteria. This is why it’s especially effective against the strains responsible for urinary tract and skin infections!
Just like with any other medications for dogs, ciprofloxacin comes with possible side effects.
If you want to find out what those side effects are — click here.
Meloxicam — Can you give it to dogs and Meloxicam side effects
Meloxicam is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. Brand names of meloxicam include Metacam, Rheumocam, OroCam, and Loxicom.
We use meloxicam when we want to treat stiffness, pain, and inflammation in dogs. These are usually the symptoms of health issues such as bone disorder, muscle disorder, osteoarthritis, etc.
Meloxicam can come in the form of tablets, as an injectable solution, or as a liquid. You can even add it to your dog’s food.
These medications for dogs come with different possible side effects. To read which ones they are — click here.
Advil — Can you give your dog Advil?
Advil, or also known as Ibuprofen, is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). While it does relieve from pain, it can also inhibit specific enzymes that produces prostaglandins.
This will reduce inflammation, which is basically good. But prostaglandins are also responsible for other functions. Such as maintaining blood flow to the kidneys, protecting gastrointestinal lining, and helping blood clot normally. If these functions are out if order in your dog’s body, it could easily end up lethal.
While a low dose of Advil may be harmless form dogs, the possible risks of side-effects are just too high.
To read what the possible side effects are — click here.