When your dog is running around playing and suddenly starts limping, what do you do? Of course, you want them to feel better as quickly as possible while you figure out what’s going on. You might think that just one dose of your over–the–counter (OTC) or prescription pain reliever could help your pup. But stop right at that thought — just because something is safe for you does not mean it is safe for your dog! In fact, many human medications can be dangerous or even deadly for dogs.
Pets can also get into our medications accidentally. A pill dropped on the ground or a medicine bottle left on the counter or nightstand can look tempting to your curious pup. And unfortunately, even medications we use commonly and think of as safe can make your dog seriously sick. The toxic effects of human medications in dogs can range from gastrointestinal upset (vomiting and/or diarrhea) to more serious problems like seizures or liver or kidney failure if not treated quickly once ingested by your dog. This is why it's important to keep your medications securely stored and away from your dog at all times.
Many people keep OTC medications in the house. Here are some of the more common OTC medications that are considered harmful to dogs.
There are some human OTC medications that are considered nontoxic for dogs at the dose recommended by a veterinarian. Be sure to follow your veterinarian’s exact instructions for administration of such medications, because administration or ingestion of higher doses can put your dog at risk and may require emergency treatment.
Not only are the following medications dangerous for dogs, some are even on the Pet Poison Helpline's list of the top ten toxicities most often seen in pets.
Treat all medications (OTC and prescription) with caution around dogs. Much like a toddler, assume your dog will put anything and everything in their mouth, including stray pills, powders, and liquids. They may even chew on the bottle itself. Despite what you may read online, it is never okay to give your dog any medication without consulting a veterinarian first. Here are some practical and important tips to keep your pup safe from medications that may harm them:
It may seem daunting trying to keep your dog away from household dangers. But don't worry. By taking the precautions mentioned in this article and being aware of your medications and storage habits, it isn't hard to keep your four–legged friend safe from medication toxicities.