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What human medications are safe for dogs to use?

handling human meds for dogs

Whenever your body aches or you start to feel a cold coming on, most people will go into their bathroom to get something from the medicine cabinet to help relieve the symptoms. But, what do your dog who may be going through something similar. You might be thinking that if the medicine is ok for you then it should be ok for your dog.

This is not the case.

Many medications out there may be fine for you but can be seriously toxic for your dog which can lead to either poisoning or death. This is because the doses are designed to work with the body of a human which physiologically is different from that of your dog. However, it is not the case for all medications, but it is for many which is why you need to know what kinds of medications are and are not safe to give to your dog.

We will talk about the medications that are toxic and safe for your dog so that you are aware of which ones you can easily get for your pup when they are not feeling well. It is better to know so that you can ensure the continued healthiness of your dog.


There are several over-the-counter and prescription drugs out there to address a variety of medical conditions that are perfect for you but are very harmful for your pup. Here are just a few:


Can cause stomach and intestinal ulcers, and could potentially lead to kidney failure.

Thyroid Hormones

In large doses, this can result in muscle tremors, rapid heartbeat, aggression, etc.

Birth Control

There is an increased risk of estrogen poisoning and could suppress bone marrow.

Blood Pressure Medication

Causes weakness and dangerously low blood pressure in your dog.

Sleep Aids

Will cause lethargy and lead to dangerously slow breathing rates.

Amphetamine Based Medication

Will cause seizures and cardiac/respiratory arrest. Found in ADHD medications.

Cold/Sinus Medication

Drugs with pseudoephedrine can increase blood pressure, heart rate, and cause seizures.


A very common drug used by people. However, it will cause red blood cell and liver damage in your dog.


Could lead to serotonin syndrome which involves elevate heart rate, high blood pressure, and seizures.

These drugs may seem like great things for you, but your dog would be seriously harmed by using of these drugs. If you feel that your dog needs medication related to any of the above, take your dog to the veterinarian so that medication designed for your dog can be properly prescribed.

Safe Medicines

Even though there are medications that can be harmful to your dog, there are some that are quite fine for your dog to take and can be beneficial to their health. It is best to know which ones are fine for your dog.

Does your dog have an upset stomach?

Just like their humans, dogs can get upset stomachs for a variety of reasons from indigestion to constipation. For an upset tummy, you can give your pup 1 tsp of Pepto-Bismol to help with things. Everyone’s favorite pink liquid is fine for your dog in a small dosage every 6-8 hours. You can also use Pepcid AC in the dosage of 0.25 mg - 0.5mg per pound of weight for your dog once or twice a day. Make sure you get the dosage just right.

If your dog is constipated, you can use MiraLAX at 1 tsp per 50 lbs. a day. This will help your dog with a common laxative to help ease things out. (Note: if your dog is constantly constipated, you should seek a veterinarian for possible serious problems.)

What can I use for joint pain?

While NSAIDS can be harmful, supplements like glucosamine, chondroitin, and omega-3 fatty acids can be given to your dog to help with arthritis pain and inflammation. You can use the pills if you wish, but you can also give your dog food rich in these supplements which would be easier to get your dog to swallow.

This is really good for older dogs who are showing signs of arthritis. (Note: for severe pain, see a veterinarian.)

How do I deal with car sickness?

Motion sickness is a common thing for people and animals, whether it is in a car or on a boat. You can give your dog Dramamine to help with the motion sickness especially if you are making long trips in the car. Be mindful that it will cause drowsiness just like in a person, so ensure that your pup is has a comfy, safe spot in case they need to sleep off the Dramamine.

Is there something safe that I can use for eye irritation?

Your dog is susceptible to irritants in their eyes from dust, bugs, and even allergens. If your dog like to stick his/her head out the window while on a drive, debris can get into your dog’s eyes if there isn’t some sort of eye protection in place. To help with some irritation, you can use saline solution eye drops in your dog’s eyes to help flush out debris and assist with the healing process.

If there is some discharge, swelling, and/or painful, you will need to seek out a veterinarian because there might be something more serious going on with your dog’s eyes.

Be mindful about what you try to give your dog regarding medication. The best rule of thumb is when in doubt call your veterinarian. Because at the end of the day, you want to make sure that your dog is healthy and happy.

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