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Over-the-Counter Medications That Are Safe for Dogs (And How Much to Give!)

While veterinary care, lots of love, and a healthy lifestyle is the absolute best way to keep your pet feeling great, all dogs will experience at least some form of injury or illness in their lifetime. Did you know that there are many over-the-counter human medications that can be safe and effective for dogs, when used correctly?

Benadryl, for instance, can be incredibly useful for treating allergies, bug bites, or other causes of itchy skin. Buffered aspirin is an excellent anti-inflammatory and pain reliever. Even Dramamine can be used for dogs with motion sickness, and Immodium can treat diarrhea. However, dosages for dogs are much different than for humans.

Use this information to determine if your OTC medication is dog safe and how much should be administered. Always check with your veterinarian that understands your pet’s health and history before giving any medications. Additionally, be certain that you’re using only the medication listed, not other ingredients. Many antihistamines, for example, include added decongestants that can be lethal for your dog. Check labels very carefully and when in doubt, don’t use.

Dye Free Benadryl

Dye-Free Benadryl

Treats allergies and itching.

Canine Dose: 1/2-1 mg per pound of body weight every 8 hours. Maximum dose 2mg/lb.

bufferin

Buffered Aspirin

Pain relief and anti-inflammatory.

Canine Dose: 5mg per pound of body weight every 12 hours.

Dramamine

Dramamine

Used to reduce motion sickness.

Canine Dose: 12.5 – 50mg every 8 hours.

hydrogen_peroxide1

Hydrogen Peroxide

Used to induce vomiting after accidental ingestion of poisons.

Canine Dose: 10ml by mouth. Repeat in 15 minutes if not vomiting. Do not exceed 3 doses.

Imodium

Relieves diarrhea.

Canine Dose: 1ml per pound of body weight or 1mg per 20 pounds every 8 hours.

Kaopectate

Kaopectate

Relieves diarrhea.

Canine Dose: 1ml per pound of body weight every 2 hours.

Mineral oil

Mineral Oil

Eliminates constipation.

Canine Dose: Up to 4 tablespoons daily.

Pumpkin

Canned Pumpkin

Relieves diarrhea, eliminates constipation. (Note: use only 100% pumpkin, NOT pie filling).

Canine Dose: 2-3 teaspoons every 8-12 hours.

Pepto

Pepto Bismol

Relieves diarrhea, vomiting, and gas.

Canine Dose: 1 teaspoon per 20 pounds of body weight or 1 caplet per 50 pounds every 6 hours.

Robitussin

Robitussin DM

Relieves coughing and hacking.

Canine Dose: 1 teaspoon per 20 pounds of body weight every 8-12 hours.