‘Can I Give My Dog Paracetamol?’ The Answer Is No, And Here’s Why

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Have you ever wondered whether you could safely give your dog the human painkiller paracetamol? Doctors regularly prescribe this drug to humans to help ease pain and lower any high temperatures. So is it safe for dogs to take it, too?

Well, the very short answer is no, you should not give paracetamol to your dog. In fact, you should never be tempted to give any human medicine to your canine without your veterinarian’s advice.

The active ingredient in this drug is acetaminophen, which is also common in many human cold and flu medicines. While the medication is generally safe for humans to take as recommended, it can, in some cases, prove toxic or even fatal to canines.

Here’s what you need to know about paracetamol and dogs.

Why Can’t I Give Paracetamol To My Dog?

If you were to give your dog paracetamol, you’d risk bringing on a number of ailments and conditions.

Some of these include the following:

  • Breathing problems
  • Stomach issues
  • Vomiting
  • Becoming withdrawn and dull
  • Excessive drooling

In certain cases, this drug could prove to be highly toxic or even deadly if you were to give it to your dog.

This depends a lot on the size of your canine: Larger dogs would need to ingest a much higher dosage for it to have a negative effect than smaller dogs. This is also why vets strongly advise that you never give this drug to cats.

If a small dog were to ingest this medication, there’s a chance that they might suffer from liver damage or have issues with their red blood cells.

Is There A Dog-Specific Version Of Paracetamol?

Veterinary care professional holding medicine pill for a cute labrador puppy dog with injured leg

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A dog-specific version of paracetamol has been developed and, in some select cases, your veterinarian might prescribe it for your dog. However, in these cases you need to follow your vet’s instructions about dosage, frequency, and length of treatment exactly.

Do not substitute in human paracetamol for your dog’s medication under any circumstances. Always rely on your vet’s advice when giving your dog any medical treatment.

If your dog struggles with arthritis pain, you may want to try giving them treats with glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM that can reduce pain and improve joint health.

Do you keep human medicines like paracetamol out of reach of your dog? What safer alternatives do you use when your dog is in pain? Let us know in the comments section below!