Can My Pet Dog Take People Medicine?

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Answered by: Nida, An Expert in the Dogs - General Category

"Can my pet dog take people medicine?" is a question often asked by pet owners. The short answer is, not really.

Since human medication is tested for use on humans, and animal bodies function differently from ours, it is often dangerous to give a human medicine to a dog without a vet's supervision and guidance. Most human medication will not metabolize properly in a dog's system and can cause further complications and even death.

That being said, there are a few medicines that are safe for dogs, however these have to be measured to ensure that the dosage is correct for the animal. It is important to always talk to your vet if you are worried about the health of your pet and only administer human medication upon approval.

Acceptable People Medication For Dogs


Uses: To treat allergies, itching, stings

Dosage: 1/2 to 1 mg per lb, every 8 hours. Do not give more than 2mg per lb.

Buffered Aspirin

Uses: Pain relief

Dosage: 5mg per lb every 12 hours


Uses: Motion sickness

Dosage: 12.5 - 50 mg every 8 hours

Hydrogen Peroxide 3%

Uses: Induce vomiting after ingestion of poison

Dosage: 10 ml by mouth. Repeat after 15 minutes if vomiting does not occur. Do not exceed 3 times.

Imodium AD (liquid or tablet)

Uses: For diarrhea

Dosage: 1ml per lb or 1mg per 20 lbs every 8 hours


Uses: For diarrhea

Dosage: 1ml per lb every 2 hours

Mineral Oil

Uses: For constipation

Dosage: Up to 4 tablespoon per day

Canned Pumpkin

Uses: For constipation

Dosage: 2-3 teaspoons every 8-12 hours.

Pepto Bismol

Uses: Diarrhea, anti-vomiting, relieve gas

Dosage: 1 teaspoon per 5 lbs or 1 caplet per 20 lbs every 6 hours.

Robitussin DM

Uses: Coughing and hacking

Dosage: 1 teaspoon per 20 lbs every 8-12 hours.

Ibuprofen & Tylenol should not be given to dogs under any circumstances.

How To Administer People Medicine To A Dog

It is very easy to over-medicate a dog on human medication as the dosages can be confusing. Here are a few things to watch out for:

- Dosages are listed in ml and mg, the first used for liquids and the second for solids. Confusing the two can result in an over or under dose.

- If you are not sure how much your pet weighs, you can call and ask your vet for the approximate weight you should go by.

- Mark the medicines with the correct dosage for your pet so you don't have to refer to online sources in case of an emergency.

- Keep a first aid kit for your pet in the house. This should have allowed human medications with the correct dosages marked on them.

Err On The Side Of Caution

Before you give any medication to your dog, always call the vet and confirm that you are indeed administering the right medication. This is important since this way the vet will be up-to-date on the medical issues your dog has suffered from, he/she will be able to advise you on the correct dosage according to your pet and you will be confident that you aren't inadvertently harming your pet. Your vet will also give you a list of after-effects to be on the lookout for which could indicate a deeper issue.


In summary, it is best to err on the side of caution and confirm the medication you wish to give your pet with your vet before you administer it. Not every human medicine can be administered to dogs safely, but not all human medication is dangerous for dogs. The answer to the question, "can my pet dog take people medicine?", is yes, but only after you have consulted your vet to make sure you are administering the right medication and the right dosage.

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