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Can Human Medication Be Safe For Dogs?

Caring for a dog is a serious responsibility. Our canine companions become part of our family in no time at all, and we only ever want the best for them. That includes making sure that they always remain in tip-top shape. Indeed, keeping on top of a dog’s health can feel like a full-time job sometimes!

Naturally, this means that trips to the vet will be necessary. A dog should have a complete nose-to-tail once-over from a vet at least once a year. In between, if your pet experiences any health concerns, there are steps you can take to treat them using human medicine.

Can Dogs Be Treated with Human Medicine?

They can, but with a huge caveat – always follow your vet’s advice. Speak to a healthcare professional over the phone before providing your pooch with any kind of medication. You should also be certain that your dog is not allergic to the treatments before administering anything.

If you’re confident that you can provide your dog with over the counter medication, however, there are options to treat many ailments. Some common concerns can be treated with medication available in any pharmacy or supermarket. Remember, though, medications for a human are intended for a human. Some of them make for great first aid, but there is no substitute for veterinary attention.

What Human Medications are Safe for Dogs?

There are several human medications that can be offered to dogs, provided your vet approves their use and you measure out the right dosage.

  • Benadryl is safe for dogs suffering from anaphylactic shock or an allergic reaction, if used in moderation. Use around 1mg of the medication for each pound of your dog’s body weight.
  • Hydrogen Peroxide can provoke vomiting if your dog has ingested something toxic, such as chocolate. It will only be effective if used within 45 minutes of the incident as otherwise the poison would have made its way to your dog’s stomach. If you vet recommends inducing vomiting, however, mix up a solution of water and hydrogen peroxide. You should use 0.5 – 1ml of the latter for every pound of body weight in your dog.
  • Gatorade isn’t a medication, and it’s quite sugary so it shouldn’t be used with any kind of regularity. However, it can be very useful if your dog is suffering with dehydration. This condition can be very serious in dogs, and Gatorade quickly restores electrolytes to their little bodies.
  • Pepto Bismol can provide relief for a dog living with diarrhoea or another stomach upset. Go gentle with this medication, though. Stick with 1tsp per 10lb of your dog’s body weight, and don’t repeat the dosage for eight hours. It’s best to avoid Imodium, though. Different dogs have different reactions to this medication, and yours may not take kindly to it.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, however, please allow us to say one more time that these products cannot replace a vet’s advice. Human and canine biology is very different, and our pets will need to be treated with specialist medication in the longer term. The above-mentioned medications are only applicable as a very short-term fix, if you are struggling to get your dog to a vet.

What Human Medications are Dangerous for Dogs?

Of course, for everything that is safe for a dog there are also toxic alternatives. Never, ever provide Fido with any of these medications. They’ll be left feeling considerably worse than before and potentially make them very ill. Keep all prescribed human medications under lock and key, so that your dog cannot get his paws on them and find it fun to chomp away.

  • Paracetamol. If your dog is in any kind of pain, you’ll want to relieve it as quickly as possible. Painkillers can be extremely dangerous to dogs, though – maybe even fatal if the dosage is wrong. If your dog is in discomfort, seek specialist painkillers from a vet.
  • Ibuprofen (or any form of NSAID.) These anti-inflammatories can leave a dog suffering with stomach ulcers.
  • Antidepressants. Any kind of prescription medication should be kept out of range of dogs. Antidepressants will have a hugely negative impact on a canine’s neurology.
  • Beta Blockers and Thyroid Hormones. These drugs are hugely toxic to dogs. Even a small amount can be fatal – keep them well out of Fido’s reach.
  • Sleeping Pills. Believe it or not, sleeping pills won’t knock a dog out. Instead, they’ll become hyper – but not for long. Eventually, the dog will collapse and potentially face long-term health risks
  • ADHD Medication. Even the slightest hint of these drugs can cause major problems in a dog’s heart and liver.

Lock any of these drugs away in an elevated cupboard, behind closed doors. They may prove irresistible to a dog, but the impact will be potentially very serious.

Vets spend many years training for a reason. They know the appropriate medication needed for a dog that has fallen sick, and how to treat them. We’ll say one more time for good measure that you should always follow a vet’s advice before administering any kind of human medication.

Provided you do not exceed the dosages we recommend, however, your pet should find their discomfort eased. This will see them right until you manage to get a vet’s appointment to complete their treatment.


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