Most people understand that there are human medications, and there are dog medications, but with the economy still in a funk, it can be difficult to get your dog to the vet for care they truly need. As such, there are many people giving their dogs human medications, believing they are actually helping their pooch out. In reality, however, you can actually kill your dog in giving them medication that you can take easily and regularly.
More than 100,000 pet poisonings were reported in 2011 (according to WebMD ), with most of them being comprised of household items that are harmless (for the most part) to humans. Even giving your dog baby aspirin (formerly thought of as safe) is not only harmful to your dog’s kidneys over time, but has minimal to no effect on dog’s pain. It’s not just baby aspirin that does more harm than good for your dog, either. Even mild medications can have a disastrous effect on your dog overall.
Never give your dog any type of pain relieving medication, including baby aspirin. Ibuprofen, Tylenol, aspirin, etc, these all can have horrible effects on your dog, of any size or age. They can cause kidney failure or stomach ulcers (they cause stomach ulcers in people as well) and don’t work with dogs as they do with people. Rather, purchase pet medications for mild and moderate pain in the pet section of your local pet store (Wal-Mart has them for fairly cheap). These pain medications are designed to safely alleviate your dog’s pain.
Antidepressants can cause seizures and a raised heart rate in dogs, and at the very least can cause vomiting. People think giving their dog an antidepressant to calm them for long car rides or when the dog is nervous will be OK, but in reality, a single antidepressant pill can kill a smaller dog. Again, there are natural remedies for dogs that are sold in common stores designed to alleviate your dog’s anxiety. Even allowing your dog to smell a lavender dryer sheet can help their nerves.
Surprisingly, even sunscreen isn’t safe on dogs. Topically, sunscreen is fine, but dogs tend to lick at that yummy smell and taste. Only apply sunscreen to areas of your dog’s body that he cannot reach to lick off, and further decrease his licking by buying sunscreen designed for dogs which tastes undesirable, or just use unscented sunscreen overall. True, it takes a lot of sunscreen to prove toxic to your dog, but you don’t want to take chances. My dog once at a whole trial bottle of sunscreen and threw it all up. It happens.
Now, under vet supervision (and recommendation), some allergy medications for humans can be safe for dogs.When allergies arise, dogs (particularly lighter breeds) can suffer, and over-the-counter medications for humans can actually help. However, only use them if your veterinarian approves, and only use the ones they say to use. Otherwise, you risk overdosing or harming your dog.