Tag Archives: human medications for dogs

Keep These Topical Medications Away From Your Dog


Animals are curious and no one is perfect, which means it’s all too easy to accidentally leave your favorite topical product in the path of an inquisitive pet. The following products can cause major problems.

1. Zinc oxide

A common ingredient in sunscreen, diaper rash formulas, and calamine lotions, zinc oxide can be particularly damaging to a dog’s intestines if ingested.

Keep an eye out for vomiting and diarrhea; these are signs your dog’s intestines have been injured. And once absorbed into the bloodstream, zinc damages red blood cells, leading to anemia, pale or yellow mucous membranes, weakness, rapid breathing, and abnormally dark urine.

2. Retinoids

Found in many anti-aging products, retinoids can cause tummy trouble for dogs if ingested, resulting in lethargy, vomiting, and decreased appetite.

Another potential side effect in dogs is the development of keratoconjunctivitis sicca (dry eye). You’ll also want to keep any pregnant dogs far from your wrinkle reducers, as the retinoids could cause birth defects.


Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, are commonly used in over-the-counter and prescription creams to treat pain and inflammation.

They make you feel better, but they can cause everything from stomach ulcers to kidney failure in pets if administered incorrectly. Signs of toxicity include decreased appetite and vomiting.

4. Steroid Creams

If ingested or absorbed through your dog’s skin, these can cause endocrine disorders.

You may notice an increase in thirst and the need to urinate. The dog may also have nausea and diarrhea. Exposure to estrogen creams can cause heat-like symptoms in spayed female dogs and mammary gland enlargement in males.

5. Minoxidil

Found in hair growth products, minoxidil can cause severe cardiovascular issues, including heart failure, if ingested.

The easiest way to keep your pets safe is to store your topical products in a secure location. Wash your hands thoroughly after applying any topical medicine or treatment, and never use human products on your pet without a veterinarian’s guidance.

Diana Ruth Davidson,  Westside Dog Nanny,             Certified Professional Pet Sitter,                            Certified by American Red Cross in Pet First Aid

Pet Sitting,  In-Home Dog Boarding, Dog Walking, Overnights in Your Home, Doggie Day Care.

310 919 9372

Human Medications for Dogs: Never Give to Your Dog

 Pets are a lot like kids. They depend on you for their safety – and you can never be too careful. Your most important job as a pet parent is to keep your pet healthy. So today, I want to give you some information about toxic medications that could potentially save your dog’s life.

Just because a medication is safe for humans DOESN’T mean it’s safe for dogs. I’ve seen cases where pet parents with the best intentions accidentally poisoned their dog with common over-the-counter medications because they didn’t understand the dangers. That’s why you should NEVER give your dog medication without first checking with your veterinarian.

Here are 3 common over-the-counter medications that you should NEVER give to your dog:

1. Aspirin – Aspirin interferes with platelets (which help the blood to clot). So if your dog has a wound or laceration, aspirin would make it harder to stop the bleeding. Aspirin is especially dangerous when mixed with other drugs, like steroids or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Dogs may experience gastrointestinal problems, respiratory difficulties, neurological problems, bleeding disorders and kidney failure.

2. Ibuprofen – This over-the-counter medication is a popular way to treat pain and inflammation in people – but for dogs, ibuprofen can easily exceed toxic levels. Well-intentioned owners may give their dog what they consider to be a “safe dose” – but it can easily lead to bleeding stomach ulcers and eventually kidney failure. And, if left untreated, this can be fatal. Symptoms include poor appetite, vomiting, black tarry stools, vomiting blood, abdominal pain, weakness and lethargy.

3. Acetaminophen – Medicating your dog with acetaminophen without consulting a veterinarian is dangerous. (Pets also consume tablets that are dropped on the floor or left around the house.) Dogs are less sensitive to acetaminophen than cats are. For example, a 50-pound dog would need to ingest more than seven 500 mg tablets to suffer toxic effects. For a cat, one 250 mg acetaminophen tablet could be fatal. If you suspect that your dog has ingested a toxic amount of acetaminophen (one pill or more), contact your family veterinarian or local veterinary emergency facility immediately. Common brands of acetaminophen include Tylenol®, Percocet® and aspirin-free Excedrin® among others.

So remember to keep all medications out of your dog’s reach and NEVER give your dog any medication without first consulting your veterinarian. If you ever suspect that your dog has ingested any of these medications (in any amount), please contact your family veterinarian or local veterinary emergency facility immediately.

Diana Ruth Davidson, Chief Pet Officer and Managing Nanny, Westside Dog Nanny

We offer pet services such as:  Pet Sitting,  In-Home Dog Boarding, Dog Walking, Overnights in Your Home, Doggie Day Care.

310 919 9372

Human Pain Medications for Dogs

Are over-the-counter medications safe for my dog?

Much of the time, the answer to this is “no!” Even for those that can be used, many of the time, a more effective dog-specific alternative exists. In fact, inadvertent overdosage of a human medication is one of the top reasons people call the Pet Poison Control Hotline.

Antihistamines, such as Benadryl and Tavist, are some of the more commonly used over-the-counter medication for dogs. Veterinarians may also occasionally recommend over the counter antacids such as Pepcid for certain conditions. Because canine dosages can differ from human dosages, it’s important to get directions specific to your pet if these medications are recommended.

Pain medications is the number one category where owners seem to have problems when it comes to dosing their dog with human medications. Aspirin, Tylenol, and NSAIDS are often given to pets with very variable results. Best case scenario, they just don’t work. Worst case scenario, a pet can go into renal failure or suffer from ulcerations in the GI tract. Worse still, even one Tylenol is enough to kill a cat! (I know this is a dog article, but it never hurts to remind people.)

Although it may be tempting to skip the office visit and try an Aleve instead, my clients who spent thousands of dollars in the vet hospital after a pet develops bleeding ulcers can confirm: it’s not worth it. Safe and effective veterinary pain medications are always a better choice.

Despite how we think of them, dogs aren’t just small, furry humans. The fact is, there are many differences in the way dogs metabolize drugs compared to people. This can have tragic consequences. Never dose your pet with a drug meant for you without talking to your veterinarian.                             By Jessica Vogelsang, DVM

We offer pet services such as:  Pet Sitting,  In-Home Dog Boarding, Dog Walking, Overnights in your home, Doggie Day Care.
Diana Ruth Davidson, Chief Pet Officer and Managing Nanny, Westside Dog Nanny
310 919 9372