Over The Counter Medications For Dogs

Over The Counter Medications For Dogs

Have you ever wondered if there are any human, over the counter, medicines that you can give to your dog? For instance, if they have diarrhea? Or if they seem to be in pain? How about when they have gotten into something that is poisonous or potentially poisonous? What about when they have a fever? Well according to VCA.com (https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/are-over-the-counter-medications-safe-for-my-dog),  there are a few things you can give to your dog, safely, when it comes to these human medications.

All of the below information was taken from the vca.com website. Please click the link, above, to go directly to the article or continue reading below for a summary.

Over The Counter Medications for Dogs: Allergy medications

  1. Antihistamines. “Benadryl (diphenhydramine), Zyrtec (cetirizine), and Claritin (loratadine) are commonly used antihistamines that relieve allergy symptoms or counteract allergic reactions” (VCA.com). Speak with your vet regarding dosages, for any of these, before using. Please also note that each dog can react differently, to these drugs, were some can get sleepy and others can become hyper. Also-please read ingredients to ensure that the product contains only antihistamine!

Over The Counter Medications for Dogs: Handling Motion Sickness

  1. DramamineUsed to combat motion sickness, Dramamine is relatively safe and can be used if you are in a pinch, but there are canine-specific medications that work faster and last longer” (vca.com). If you have a dog that gets car sick or motion sickness, it is highly suggested you speak with your vet to get an ‘animal medication’ for motion sickness or speak with your vet about using Dramamine and the correct dosage to use.


  1. Hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide is a staple when owning a dog. The most frequent usage for peroxide is to clean wounds and scratches. However, many people do not know that you can use peroxide to induce vomiting, only suggested in an emergency (i.e., toxic plants, rodent pesticides, medications that are not for dogs). Always call your vet to ask for dosing instructions and to ensure, depending on what the dog ingested, if it is safe to induce vomiting.

Over The Counter Medications for Dogs: Anti-diarrheal

  1. Pepto-Bismol. “This common medicine cabinet occupant can be dosed at 1 teaspoon for 5-10 pounds of body weight to treat both diarrhea and vomiting” (vca.com). Again, if this does not stop the vomiting or diarrhea, call your vet.


  1.  Imodium “This medication is a good treatment for diarrhea and should be safe for your dog if dosed at 1 mg per 20 pounds of body weight. Only give one dose. If the diarrhea isn’t resolved, check with your veterinarian” (vca.com).


  1. Kaopectate. “Here’s another anti-diarrheal that’s pretty safe and also soothes upset stomachs. But at a dose of 1 ml per pound a large dog has to swallow a lot of Kaopectate” (vca.com)!

Over The Counter Medications for Dogs: Dog Has a Cough

  1. Cough medications. It is suggested that you do not administer cough medications to your dog. Although, they may not harm your dog, coughing is commonly a sign of an illness or serious underlying condition. Some examples of these would be; kennel cough, heartworms, and other respiratory conditions. Please take your dog to the vet.

Over The Counter Medications for Dogs: Upset Stomach

  1. Pepcid AC (famotidine) and Tagamet (cimetidine).According to VCA.com. “These medications are used by lots of people to treat or prevent heartburn. They work on dogs, too. By decreasing the production of gastro-intestinal acids, they can make both dogs and dog owners feel better. So, if your dog grabs your bag of potato chips and gets a tummy ache, reach for one of these OTC preparations. It’s OK to use them intermittently for dietary indiscretions, but if your dog’s stomach issues persist, see your veterinarian.”

Over The Counter Medications for Dogs: Dry Eyes

  1. Artificial tears.My suggestion is to not use them unless you see that there is something that needs to be flushed out of the dogs eyes (i.e, sand, dirt). Vca.com states:If your dog squints or blinks excessively, he may have dry eyes or could have a bit of dust or debris in them. Even the tiniest speck in your eye is annoying and dry eyes are irritating. Sometimes a little lubricating eye drop is just the ticket to make those peepers feel more comfortable. But if your dog continues to squint or blink, bring him to the doctor right away. He may have an eye infection, a scratch on his cornea, or a foreign body that needs to be removed. Also, if his eyes look red or swollen, or if you notice a discharge, see your veterinarian immediately. Quick response time will relieve your dog’s discomfort and may prevent permanent vision loss.”

Over The Counter Medications for Dogs: Steriods

  1. Steroid sprays, gels, and creams. “OTC steroid preparations contain a lower percentage of active ingredients than prescription steroids and are usually very safe. The upside is that they decrease the itchiness of insect bites and hot spots. The downside is that steroids can delay healing especially if the wound is infected. If your dog’s booboo doesn’t look better after a couple of applications, have it evaluated” (vca.com). As a breeder, for many years, we use Vetericyn. They have a whole line of products for different uses and we highly recommend them to all owners and fellow breeders.



Over The Counter Medications for Dogs: Anti-fungals

  1. Anti-fungal sprays, gels, and creams. As a breeder, I will not use these products on my dogs as I do not know the risks involved if the dog ingests them through licking. I use medications from my vet. But, according the vca.com: “Most fungal infections are too complicated to be successfully treated with OTC products; however, you may use them until you can get your dog to a veterinary clinic. Since some fungal infections can be transmitted from pets to humans, it’s doubly important to treat them quickly and effectively”.


  1. Mineral oil.“This relatively benign liquid has a variety of uses. You can place a couple of drops in your dog’s eyes before giving him a bath to avoid irritation from soap. You can also give it orally to relieve minor bouts of constipation. If your dog doesn’t have a bowel movement within 24 hours, if he starts vomiting, or if he exhibits pain, consult your veterinarian.” (vca.com)


I recently came across this handy chart about over the counter medications and dogs. It is below and you can find it at – https://dogs.thefuntimesguide.com/files/human-dog-medications-list.jpg

One last thing-I HIGHLY suggest you go over this chart with your vet and ask them their opinion on dosages for your dog! Especially if your dog takes any regular medications!!

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