Can I give my dog Tylenol, Ibuprofen, or other over-the-counter medication for humans?
Tylenol, Aspirin, and Ibuprofen
A Pet MD article, reviewed for accuracy by Dr. Jennifer Coates, DVM, confirms that dogs should not be given aspirin, acetaminophen (commonly known as Tylenol), ibuprofen (commonly known as Advil), or any other pain specific medication intended for human use.
On occasion, human-grade pain relievers may be prescribed for dog use by a veterinarian—but overall—the science tells us that NSAIDs like ibuprofen are toxic for pets, even at a small dose. Judging by anecdotal reports, however, many owners do opt to take their pet’s health into their own hands. While it’s true that owners may know their dogs better than anyone, this kind of treatment just can’t be recommended on a universal basis.
Which all goes to say, the professional advice is a firm no on drugs designed for human consumption. Better to stick to the specific pain medications made for pets and dogs, which are safer and more effective for your pup than anything from a pharmacy. If in doubt, ask your vet!
There is one class of human medication that vets will often use on dogs. Benadryl, the antihistamine, is regularly given to dogs for issues such as seasonal allergies, nausea, and even anxiety.
Diphenhydramine, the active ingredient in Benadryl, has not yet been approved by the FDA for use on dogs, or any other animal. But this hasn’t stopped vets commonly using the medication inside their practices. Remember that drug brand names don’t necessarily always carry the same active ingredient, so check any Benadryl packets carefully before use, and always consult a vet if you’re unsure.
Ok, but how much is safe (and what kinds of Benadryl?)