Safe for Fido
Author, Darlene Wagner for Professional Pet Sitting Etc.
CAUTION – as with all medications, before giving any medication to your pets, always speak with your veterinarian FIRST. Even if a medication is safe, it may interact badly with your pet for any reason. It is always best to be safe.
It’s your mission as a pet parent to provide proper veterinary care, lots of love, and a healthy lifestyle for your canine companion, but, despite your best efforts, it is almost a certainty that your precious pooch will experience at least some form of injury or illness in his lifetime. Fingers crossed that it will always be minor and mild and, in such cases, there are several over-the-counter human medications that can be safe and effective for your four-legged friend, when used correctly.
Here are some common doggy ailments, along with over-the-counter medications and dosages that are safe and helpful in making your pooch feel playful again.
Occasional upset stomach can be totally normal for your pooch, just like it is for you. If Fido is displaying mild symptoms such as drooling or diarrhea, you can use over-the-counter medications such as Imodium and Pepto-Bismol to help settle his tummy. Administer .05 to .1 milligrams per pound of your dog’s body weight by mouth every eight hours. Treatment should be necessary for no more than two days. If diarrhea persists or worsens, or if your pooch displays symptoms such as dehydration, a distended or hard belly, difficulty defecating, bloody stools or vomit, or extreme lethargy, contact your veterinarian immediately. Warning: do not give Imodium to Collies, long-haired Whippets, Shelr Australian Shepherds as these breeds may experience adverse reactions.
If you notice Fido just isn’t acting himself lately, he could be in pain. Whether it’s a mild injury or he’s starting to feel the aches of aging, an NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug) can help. Buffered aspirin such as Bufferin is easier on your pooch’s tummy than non-coated aspirin and can be given once or twice per day, with food, to alleviate pain. The proper dosage is 5 – 10 milligrams per pound of body weight; for example, dosage for a 20 pound pooch would be 100 – 200 milligrams. Administering the correct dosage is imperative, especially when treating small dogs. Young puppies aren’t able to metabolize pain medication as well as adult dogs, and their liver and kidneys are immature, meaning they often need a lower dosage per pound of body weight than an adult dog. Warning: Aspirin is not meant to serve as a long-term solution for pain, and Ibuprofen and Tylenol en to your dog!
Allergies and Itching
Benadryl, or another branded antihistamine, can be incredibly useful for treating your dog’s allergies, bug bites, or other causes of itchy skin. Unlock many other OTC medications, Benadryl can be used long term to alleviate allergy symptoms, with the dose being one milligram for every pound of weight, given twice daily.
Flatulence and Gas Discomfort
Gas-X, or other simethicone brands, can be given to dogs to help with unusual flatulence or discomfort from gas build-up. Aside from this, simethicone has a more serious use – the prevention of bloat, a life threatening condition in which air, fluid and/or food fills a dog’s stomach, enlarging it and resulting in pressure on other organs. Acting quickly and being able to recognize early warning signs is vital. Simethicone works by causing smaller bubbles of gas to combine with larger ones, allowing them to be passed easier. If administered at the very beginning stages of bloat, the medicine may prevent the condition from developing at all, though if discomfort in your dog continues you will need to seek emergency veterinary attention. Do not be under any false pretenses – bloat IS a medical emergency and you should treat it as such. Because of this important use, you should always keep a supply of simethicone at home. Proper dosage is 1 – 2 milligrams per pound of body weight three times per day. If you suspect your dog has bloat, administer two doses of the medicine immediately and contact your vet for instructions.
Always consult your veterinarian before administering over-the-counter medications to your pooch and ensure proper dosage. If you’re ever in doubt – don’t use it! As always, it’s better to be safe than sorry!
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Dorinne Whynott, is a long time animal professional. She is a successful business owner establishing one of the largest pet sitting companies in New Hampshire since 1990. Click to Read her complete History.
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