Is it Safe to Give a Dog Human Medications?

In a nutshell, it may not be safe to give human drugs to animals. Think about this – what if the person who developed the drug was allergic to dogs? Or consider that possible side-effects could affect dogs and humans differently, like a drug causing constipation in people but triggering diarrhoea in dogs. Still thinking about giving your dog human medication? Before you move forward, here are eight reasons why it’s not recommended to give any medicine to your pet without seeking your vet’s approval!

Here are 8 Reasons why NOT to give your Dog Human Medications:

1. The dosage is very different. Dogs need a much lower dosage for the same amount of effectiveness that humans need. For example, Tylenol for dogs would have to be given in 300-500mg doses, whereas a baby only needs 10mg! Imagine the dog overdosing!

2. There is a chance they won’t work or even do more harm than good in dogs. For example, ibuprofen in dogs can cause ulcers in their stomachs and give them kidney failure. Just because your dog might not react to it doesn’t mean that the medication is safe.

3. If they react to it, you probably will not know the side effects. Human drugs are tested on humans, and human reactions are studied. Dogs can respond differently to the same medication because of how their bodies are structured.

4. There are lots of other things that can cause similar symptoms as what your dog has. So if you give your dog the wrong medication, it will only worsen them.

5. Dogs can have allergic reactions to human medications. Itching is the most common response, which is hard to control on a small dog.

6. There are many side effects that you might not consider dangerous for humans, but they can kill your dog. For example, some cough medicine can cause liver damage or confusion.

7. Many human drugs are not meant for long-term use. For example, Tylenol can be toxic to dogs even if you give it for a few days.

8. Some medications have been known to kill dogs. A good example is a prednisone used to treat allergies in dogs and humans.

Side Effects of Giving Dogs Human Medications

The side effects of giving dogs human medications can vary and might include vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy, liver injury and even death.

If you insist on medicating your pup (don’t), remember that some bodybuilding supplements contain zinc oxide, which is highly toxic to pets. If you’re incredibly paranoid about dog medication, ask your vet to prescribe a veterinary-grade duplicate of the drug—it’ll be more expensive but less hazardous for your pet.

In general, you should never give your dog any medications from the family of ACE inhibitors. These include:

  • Enalapril (Vasotec)
  • Benazepril (Lotensin)
  • Captopril (Capoten)

These drugs have been shown to cause a severe form of anaemia and should not be given to dogs.

Will They React Differently Than Humans Would on Medication?

Yes, they will.

Dogs can’t metabolize many medicines the way humans do. For example, dogs cannot process acetaminophen, aspirin or ibuprofen because they lack liver enzymes. These are common over-the-counter medications that people often take without thinking twice about it – but our canine friends can’t break them down in the way we do!

Dogs also have different physiology, which means they react differently to some illnesses and conditions than humans. For example, they can get clammy paws when overheated or diabetic shock when they overeat sugar – things that don’t affect us as much as a person might.

They will react differently than humans to medication because dogs lack a few key things we use in our bodies to process medicine. This makes it so they can’t break down anything not meant for their bodies, and they will get sick when we take small amounts of over-the-counter medicine.

Why is it Unsafe to Give Dogs Human Medications Without Consulting with a Vet First?

You are not recommended to give your dog any medications, especially without consulting a vet. Human medications can have serious side effects on dogs and even be fatal. If your dog is sick, get them medical help from a vet.


So the bottom line is that if you have a sick dog, get them to the vet! Don’t try to save money by giving them human medications. There are lots of great drugs out there for dogs. Just ask your vet about it! If your dog needs medicine every day for a specific condition, get them a prescription from your vet instead of trying to save money. And make sure you never give pills like aspirin or ibuprofen.