Should You Give Human Drugs To Dogs

human medication for dogsYour dog is an important member of your family and you treat him as such. He’s well fed, kept warm and dry and he gets love and attention from the other members of your household. What about when he’s ill? Should you treat him with something from your family’s medicine cabinet?

The answer is definitely no. Dogs are not small people and human medications can be very dangerous to your canine family member’s health.

Here are some common human medications that can harm your dog instead of help him.

Drugs for Upset Tummies

If your dog has had some diarrhea and vomiting, you may consider giving him a dose of Pepto-Bismol. This medicine contains salicylate which is also found in aspirin. If you give your dog too much, then he may suffer the same side effects as too much aspirin, which is stomach irritation and bleeding. Bismuth will make his feces black. Stomach bleeding can turn your dog’s feces black, and this may not be detected if he is taking Pepto-Bismol.

Another common anti-diarrhea medication is Immodium. There are some breeds that are very adversely affected by Immodium and they may become very depressed.


This liquid can be used in treating allergic reactions in both dogs and people. While it’s usually very effective in people, it may not work as well for your canine family member. Not all dogs respond positively to anthistamines.

A dose of Benadryl can make your dog drowsy and lethargic. That isn’t likely to cause any health issues but if there are other ingredients added to the Benadryl, the complications could be much worse. Some formulations contain alcohol or decongestants or even pain relievers, and they could cause more serious illness.

Pain Relief

When we have a headache or a fever, we take Tylenol (acetaminophen) or  Advil (iboprufen) or even plain aspirin. They are quick to get us back on track and able to deal with our daily workload. None of these drugs should be given to your dog.

The potential side effects of these drugs in dogs are severe. Liver disease, bleeding and ulcers in the stomach can not only make your dog seriously ill, but they can be fatal.

What should you do if you think your dog needs treatment for an upset tummy or a minor fever? Have a chat with your veterinarian. They may recommend that you bring your dog in for a check up, to find out exactly what’s wrong and what could be causing it. When they have reached a diagnosis, they can then prescribe medication that works well and is safe for your dog.

Never give your dog any medication without the okay from your veterinarian.

Apart from being a veterinarian, Susan Wright is a freelance writer. Find more helpful tips on avoiding common dangers on this website.

Shut Your Mouth! Oral Disorders in Dogs

Dog Dental DiseaseThe key to proper dental health for you pet is to take care of their teeth with regular cleanings and brushing. But knowing your dental disease and what to watch for will help you with your quest.

Know Your Mouth Disorders

Knowing the signs and symptoms of mouth disorders will help you know if you can treat at home or if it is time to call the vet.

  • Periodontal disease is a painful infection between the tooth and the gum that can result in tooth loss and spread infection to the rest of the body. Signs are loose teeth, bad breath, tooth pain, sneezing and nasal discharge.
  • Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums caused mainly by accumulation of plaque, tartar and disease-producing bacteria above and below the gum line. Signs include bleeding, red, swollen gums and bad breath. It is reversible with regular teeth cleanings.
  • Halitosis—or bad breath—can be the first sign of a mouth problem and is caused by bacteria growing from food particles caught between the teeth or by gum infection. Regular tooth-brushings are the best way to fight it. Read here on how to clean your dogs teeth.
  • Swollen gums develop when tartar builds up and food gets stuck between the teeth. Regularly brushing your dog’s teeth at home and getting annual cleanings at the vet can prevent tartar and gingivitis.
  • Proliferating gum disease occurs when the gum grows over the teeth and must be treated to avoid gum infection. An inherited condition common to boxers and bull terriers, it can be treated with antibiotics.
  • Mouth tumors appear as lumps in the gums. Sometimes these can be malignant and must be surgically removed. Get in touch with your vet to get any tumor, or suspicious lump, checked out.
  • Salivary cysts look like large, fluid-filled blisters under the tongue, but can also develop near the corners of the jaw. They require drainage, and the damaged saliva gland must be removed. If your dog has a cyst, or you think they might, get them to the vet. Do not try to drain a cyst at home. This is a procedure that needs to be done at the vet. Your vet may even want to put your dog on antibiotics after the draining to make sure no infection develops.
  • Canine distemper teeth can occur if a dog had distemper as a puppy. Adult teeth can appear looking eroded and can often decay. As damage is permanent, decayed teeth should be removed by a vet.

The best way to fight most oral disorders is regular dental check-ups by your vet, regular brushing and proper diet.