What Human Medicine Is Safe for Dogs?

Dog Health

January 12, 2018

What Human Medicine Is Safe for Dogs?

Pets and pills are a common worry. It is hard to have an understanding what human medicine is safe for dogs.

There are a number of medications that your dog shouldn’t be taking or accidentally ingesting. However, there are actually a number of pills that work as both medicine for humans and dogs.

In fact, a number of commonly prescribed medications for dogs are actually medications for humans, but packaged in appropriate dosages for dogs.

Below is a list of good and bed medicines for your dog. We hope it provides a clear understanding what medicine is safe for dogs.

Medications that are Safe for Dogs

green bottle with orange pills

If your dog has minor problems, many times your veterinarian will recommend simple over-the-counter human cures to help ease the symptoms.

If this is the case, you need to be very specific and always use the correct dosage of the following medications that are safe for your dog:

  • Benadryl – This is the most common one. This can treat allergies and itching in dogs. It can also be used to lightly sedate them if they get anxious on car trips or during storms etc.

Unless advised otherwise, the dosage is 1 mg per pound.

  • Buffered Aspirin – Aspirin is used as an anti-inflammatory and for pain relief, but you need to be very careful.

Only actual aspirin should be used in a dosage of 5 mg per pound.

  • Imodium – This can be extremely useful in treating diarrhea. However, you need to watch for the dosage difference between pill and liquid form.

The pill is 1 mg per 20 pounds while the liquid is 1 ml per pound.

  • Pepto Bismal – This is another anti-diarrheal as well as a treatment for vomiting and gas.

Like Imodium, the dosage can differ between liquid and capsules. In this case, liquid form is one teaspoon per 5 pounds while the capsule is one per every 20 pounds.

  • Robitussin DM – This is typically a surprise, but Robitussin is a great treatment for coughing and hacking.

Of course, if your dog is doing that, you should contact your veterinarian immediately, but it can be treated with 1 teaspoon per 20 pounds.

  • Mineral Oil – If your dog is suffering from constipation, mineral oil can provide some relief, but only at a maximum of 4 tablespoons daily, any more and you will be dealing with diarrhea instead.

german shepard laying on pop up dog bed@grunner_kimber

Medications that are Dangerous for Pets

While some human medications are safe for dogs, others can be deadly. Avoid your dog ingesting the following types of human medication:

  • Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Acetaminophen, Tramdol – These are products like Advil, Motrin, Tylenol, Ultram, Aleve, and Naprosyn that are all pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medicine.

Dogs are extremely sensitive to all of these and they can cause stomach ulcers and kidney failure. Stick to just plain old aspirin.

  • Xanax (Alprazolam) – An anti-anxiety medication for humans, when ingested by most dogs they get wobbly and sleepy.

However, some may become agitated instead. In large doses, it can cause a blood pressure drop that leads to weakness and collapse.

  • Adderall – As an amphetamine treatment for ADHD, in dogs this can lead to elevated heart rate and body temperature.

This can lead to hyperactivity, but more dangerously, tremors and seizures.

  • Ambien (Zolpidem) – Used as a sleep aid in humans, it can work the same in dogs, but most become agitated and develop elevated heart rates.
  • Klonopin (Clonazepam) – Used as an anticonvulsant and anti-anxiety medication in humans, when ingested by dogs they can become wobbly and sleepy.

Like Xanax, when taken in large amounts it can lead to weakness and collapse.

  • Cymbalta (Duloxetine) and Effexor (Venlafaxine) – Both are anti-depressants and both have the same effect in dogs. It can cause agitation, excessive barking, tremors, and seizures.

Preventing Accidental Medication Ingestion

With pets, typically accidental ingestion happens because we leave pills out somewhere in order to remember to take them.

The obvious solution in preventing dogs from ingesting harmful medications is to keep it way up out of the reach of pets.

This means not on the nightstand, but in higher areas where they can’t reach them. Even pill bottles are not a safe option since they are easy to chew through, causing your dog to get a much larger dose.

Furthermore, if you drop a pill, always make immediate effort to find it so that your pet does not.

If your pet has ingested any medication and you are not sure what human medication is safe for dogs – always consult your veterinarian.

Most often, they will tell you to give them a dose of 3% Hydrogen Peroxide to induce vomiting. With this, you give them 10 ml by mouth and repeat in 15 minutes if vomiting has not occurred, but do not exceed more than 30 ml.