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.
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.
WHAT IS CONSIDERED SAFE
• 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: http://benadrylfordogs.info/benadryl-dosage-for-dogs-chart-fullsize/
• 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.
HUMAN MEDICATIONS YOU SHOULD NEVER GIVE TO YOUR DOG
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.
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.