Skip to Content

Human Medicines Safe for Dogs

Share this post!

This post contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.  Learn More

When your dog is suffering from arthritis pain, diarrhea, or even motion sickness, it can be tempting to give him a dose of a human medicine to relieve his discomfort. Unfortunately, many human medicines are NOT safe for dogs. The following provides a quick look at what human medicines are and are not safe for your canine friend.
Human Medicines Safe for Dogs

Before you go any further, it is important to note that you should always speak with your dog’s vet before doling out any medication.


BENADRYL: If your dog is suffering from itching or swelling due to an allergic reaction, Benadryl may be given. In addition, Benadryl, an antihistamine, has been successfully used to treat long-term allergies in dogs. Here is a chart with the dosage recommendations:

DRAMAMINE: Also an antihistamine, Dramamine can be used to prevent motion sickness in dogs. However, you should discuss the dosage with your vet, as it is based on weight.

The usual dosage for Dramamine is 4 mg per pound (8 mg/kg) three times daily, starting 30 minutes before travel.

TAGAMENT/ ZANTAC: These medications decrease the amount of acid in your dog’s stomach and are beneficial for dogs suffering from acid reflux, ulcers, or even a stomachache. In some cases, your vet may suggest them for the prevention of ulcers if your dog is taking some other type of routine medication.

Do not give to dogs with liver or kidney disease. This should never be given without first consulting your veterinarian. The typical dose administered is 0.25 to 1 mg per pound (0.5 to 2 mg/kg), every 8 to 12 hours.

•PEPCID: When Lucas was very sick with vomiting and pooping blood, he stayed in the pet hospital for several days until they got him stabilized. They sent me home with various prescription drugs for him but one thing that wasn’t a prescription was a box of Pepcid tablets. I was to give him 1/4 of a tablet every 12 hours when he had gastro issues.

I have used it several times since then when he has tummy troubles and it really does help.

GLUCOSAMINE: When used with chondroitin sulfate, glucosamine can safely relieve your dog’s pain related to arthritis. Be aware that this is not an immediate fix, but a long-term treatment option.

You can find this product specially made for dogs at your local pet supply store or Amazon.

CETIRZINE: This is allergy medicine that may help if your dog is licking his paws a lot or has other allergy symptoms. The dosage is 1/2 mg. per pound of weight. Since this medicine usually comes in a 10 mg pill, a 5-pound dog would take 1/4 of this pill and a 10-pound dog would take half of the pill.

The recommended dosage of aspirin of about 5 mg per pound.

MINERAL OIL: This can effectively relieve constipation. Add 1 teaspoon per 10 pounds body weight to your dog’s food. Personally, I prefer using olive oil or coconut oil for constipation.

ROBITUSSIN DM: If your dog is struggling with hacking or coughing, Robitussin DM may be the answer. The dosage is 1 teaspoon per 10 pounds every 4 hours. If the cough is still there after 3 doses, contact your vet as it may be Kennel Cough.

HYDROCORTISONE: This is an ointment or cream that can be applied to your dog’s skin to relieve itching from hot spots, hives, stings, and insect bites.

This is something else you can find in a pet version at your local pet store or Amazon.


You should NEVER give your dog the following medications, regardless of the circumstances. In addition, be sure that you do not keep them in a spot that is easily accessible by your dog, especially if he is really curious. They can cause liver or kidney damage, as well as seizures or a dangerous increase or reduction in blood pressure or heart rate. They may even prove to be fatal, even in the smallest doses.

Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Motrin, or any other type of NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug)

Tylenol or any medication containing any portion of Tylenol

Sleep medications, such as Lunesta, Ambien, or Nyquil

Blood pressure medications, including Beta-Blockers (Lopressor, Inderal, Tenormin, and others) or ACE inhibitors (medications typically ending in –pril, such as Accupril, Enalapril, or Lisinopril)

Medications for ADD or ADHD, such as Adderall, Ritalin, or Concerta

Cholesterol medications, such as Lipitor or Crestor

• While some breeds of dogs can safely take Imodium AD for diarrhea, others cannot. Please consult with your vet.

Again, I want to encourage you to check with your vet before giving these medications to your dog, just for safety’s sake.

Have you given your dog people meds before? How did it go? Leave a comment and let us know your experience.

female vet holding fuzzy dog

Dr. Sara Ochoa


This article has been fact-checked and approved by Dr. Sara Ochoa DVM. You can read more about her on our About page.

Monica bandeau

Sunday 18th of March 2018

I have given my Dixie aspirin just cut off a small piece bc she is so small but she jumped off my couch and thought she had hurt her really bad but she was okay just have pain and this helped her . We also take in stray cats I if they are wondeed I do just like it was a human I bath my cats and clip there nails as well


Sunday 18th of March 2018

Are you asking if you can give cats aspirin Monica? I don't know that much about cats but researching online, I'd say the answer is no. Pain meds for people metablize very different in cats and can be fatal.


Monday 26th of September 2016

I have used Benadryl for one of my labs. She seems to get the worst allergies every year so a little dose of Benadryl makes her feel much better without having to buy an expensive medication. Thanks for the link to the chart, I have used this one in the past: but they are similar, so I guess it at least confirms that I am giving my dog the right dosage!


Monday 26th of September 2016

Thanks for visiting Kellsy. I have used Benadryl on my dogs on occasion and I use it myself too sometimes.

Should you Spay or Neuter your Chihuahua? | I Love My Chi

Monday 4th of July 2016

[…]  Human Medicines Safe for DogsClick to Read How to Get Your Chihuahua to Take Their MedicineClick to Read Common Chihuahua Health ProblemsClick to Read […]


Friday 24th of June 2016

Pepto-Bismol dose is incorrect!

0.5ml-1ml per pound of weight take that total then divide it into 3x a day no less than 6hrs apart.


Friday 24th of June 2016

I got this from "To treat acute diarrhea, 0.5 mL/lb (1 US teaspoon for every 10 pounds your dog weighs) can be given every 4 to 6 hours for 5 days. The dosage can be higher depending on how severe the symptoms are and other contributing factors, with a maximum recommended dosage of 0.9 mL/lb (roughly 1 US teaspoon for every 5 pounds of body weight) every 6 to 8 hours. Shake the bottle well before use." It doesn't sound like you are supposed to divide it.

karen zec

Tuesday 10th of May 2016

My vet has prescribed 2.5mg of enalapril for my 12lb dog for congestive heart failure. this is in combination with lasix and vetmed heart medication. Is this safe for him?

Polly, RN

Friday 27th of July 2018

Yes!! If your vet prescribed it, it is SAFE.. She admits she isn't a vet. Enalapril and Lisinopril have both been studied extensively in dogs for heart failure. They are considered the gold stardard of treatment in both dogs and humans. In combo with Lasix (to pull off fluid) and Vetmdin (another gold standard heart failure pet medicine) your pet should do very well.

By the way, I'm a CARDIAC NURSE. Good luck!


Tuesday 10th of May 2016

I don't know about that Karen. I'm not a vet, I just do a lot of research. If you have concerns, talk to your vet or get a second opinion.