Unsafe Human Medications for Dogs

There are many unsafe human medications for dogs that can cause damage and prove fatal. Exercise caution when administering human medications and check with your vet to avoid harmful effects.

Why Human Medications are Harmful for Dogs

Human medications are structured for the human digestive system and its capabilities. Even though dogs have similar digestive systems, they are not identical and thus do not process medication the same way humans do. For instance, aspirin is widely used and effective in human bodies. But dogs and cats lack the ability to detoxify and dispense the drug from their bodies as quickly as humans can, resulting in gastroenteris, which causes vomiting blood.

Human medications such as ibuprofen are not readily given to dogs because the dog's liver cannot filter it as the human liver can. The human system will filter the drug, resulting in drug circulation rather than buildup. The dog system will not allow for circulation of the drug and causes buildup that brings about diarrhea, vomiting and coma.

Unsafe Medications

Many pet owners will seek vet approval before administering any human medication to their dogs. Here are some human medications that pet owners and vets alike stay away from:

  • Ibuprofen,
  • Paracetamol,
  • Phenolphthalein (laxative),
  • Iron and Vitamin D supplements,
  • Any illegal drug
  • Coffee and tea

Stay away from coffee and tea because of its caffeine content. Caffeine may cause neural damage and heightened excitability. Your dog's heart beats rapidly on its own, so it does not need any more help from caffeine.

Giving your dog medication that is unsafe can result in many dangerous side effects, the most extreme being death. Other side effects include diarrhea, loss of appetite, vomiting, hair loss, fatigue and others. Reaction to medication will depend on dog size, weight and dose.

Safe Medications

Antihistamines such as benadryl are safe for dogs when given in small dosages. Antihistamines are anti-inflammatory agents and allergy fighters. Antacids such as Pepcid AC and Tagamet are safe vomit controllers and help reduce acid soreness. Many pet owners strictly avoid giving human medications to dogs, in order to avert any harmful side effects.

Human medications are structured for the human digestive system, so a dog's digestive track will react differently to human medication. If you do not have a prescription and need to administer medicine, choose a low dose of aspirin for anti-inflammation, or benadryl for allergies.