Q: Is it safe to give my pet human medicines when he's sick? If so which ones?Q: Is it safe to give my pet human medicines when he's sick? If so which ones?
A: While there are safe human medications for dogs, I think it is most important to first point out which are not safe. Any anti-inflammatory medication that is over the counter (Tylenol, Advil, Motrin) should be considered dangerous and should never be given to pets. Human pain killers (Vicodin, Oxycontin) should also be avoided in pets as they can easily be overdosed. Be sure to keep all medicated creams out of reach from your pets. Creams with zinc (desitin, sunblocks) can cause red blood cell problems and psoriasis creams cause calcium imbalances. Medications for stomach upset like Pepto- bismol and Kaopectate should also be avoided because they contain some ingredients that can be harmful to your pet's stomach.
Pepcid AC and Zantac are safe medications for stomach upset and proper dosing information can be provided by your veterinarian. There are also some allergy medications that should not be given to pets but Benadryl is a safe medication that can be used in dogs and cats. Usually pets can have 1 mg of Benadryl per pound of body weight for allergies. If you think that your pet is having an allergic/anaphylactic reaction, Benadryl will NOT be enough and you should get your pet to a veterinarian right away!