Can I give my dog Tylenol (A brief guide)

Can I give my dog Tylenol

In this guide titled “Can I give my dog Tylenol”, we will discuss what could happen if you give your dog Tylenol.

Can I give my dog Tylenol: is it safe for dogs?

The Can I give Tylenol to my dog question has gone through your head because you can’t bear seeing him/her in pain and you might be thinking it is a good idea since you are used to taking it all the time. However, Dogs shouldn’t be given ibuprofen, acetaminophen, aspirin or any other medicine meant to relieve pain in humans. 

You should contact your vet and get some professional advice about what your dog can take for pain. This will avoid the situation from escalating into a much worse and possibly resulting in a life-threatening condition. 

Can I give my dog Tylenol (A brief guide)

How Do Aspirin and other pain relievers affect dogs?

The reason why it is not recommended to give your dog Aspirin or other over the counter medicine for pain relief is because some of those over the counter medications belong to the category of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

NSAIDs, work by inhibiting an enzyme called cyclooxygenase which produces hormone-like substances called prostaglandins that promote inflammation, fever and pain. On the other hand, prostaglandins are also responsible for maintaining adequate blood flow to the kidneys, secreting mucus to protect the inner lining of the gastrointestinal tract and allowing blood to clot normally (PetMD).

When the mentioned functions are affected by NSAIDs dogs can develop gastrointestinal ulcers, vomiting and diarrhea, loss of appetite, bleeding disorders, kidney dysfunction, and liver damage. Making this a life-threatening condition where your dog could die as a result of those complications. 

Symptoms of NSAIDs drug toxicity

There are some breeds that can have different manifestations when ingesting NSAIDs drugs.  If you have given your dog a drug that belongs to the family of NSAIDs being aware of the symptoms can help prevent a major complication or even save your dog’s life. Here are some of the symptoms related to NSAIDs toxicity according to PetMD:

  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Dehydration
  • Abdominal pain
  • Sluggish behavior
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting (sometimes with blood)
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Pale mucous membranes
  • Abnormally rapid heartbeat

Larges amounts ingested can incur in seizures or coma, and NSAID toxicity can result in sudden death. 

So, What happens with Tylenol?

Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is not considered an NSAIDs but it is still considered very dangerous when administered to dogs. 

It is still unknown how it exactly works but when a dog ingests toxic amounts of Tylenol, it can destroy their liver cells and damage their kidneys, converting hemoglobin into methemoglobin which results in poor oxygen being delivered throughout the body (PetMD). 

What Can I give my dog for pain?

Every medication you decide to give your pet needs to be approved by a veterinarian. This way you can avoid problems and also headaches. 

For dogs and pets in general, drug companies have developed also pain relief medications that have been tested and are safe for animals. Basically, the only information you need to take into consideration is your dog’s health status and any important medical history about procedures or any other important health-related conditions.

This will allow your vet to prescribe the best medication, the appropriate dose and even design a plan to monitor your dog’s health status.  An example of medication prescribed for dogs includes meloxicam, carprofen, and etodolac.

Are there other medical options for pain relief?

Yes, there are other options such as a dietary modification if your dog suffers from osteoarthritis and other cases can involve physical therapy, acupuncture, cold laser treatments, and other interventions. Always consult with your veterinarian so he/she can asses your dog and determine the best treatment option or options. 

Other Over the counter medications safe for dogs

According to Labrador Training, these are the over the counter medications that are considered safe for dogs:

  • Benadryl: This medicine treats allergies and itching, having the same effect as in humans. The recommended dose is ½ to 1 mg per pound of body weight.
  • Dramamine: This is used to treat motion sickness. Dramamine can be given before a car ride or a trip to make your dog feel relaxed and comfortable. The dose should be consulted with your vet.
  • Diarrhea medications: Kaopectate, Immodium AD, and Pepto Bismol can al, be used for diarrhea. The dosage amount should be indicated by your vet.

Tylenol Overdose: Help! My dog ingested Tylenol!

Some of the symptoms that indicate a Tylenol overdose in dogs according to Dogtime.com are:

  • Difficulties breathing 
  • Swelling
  • Drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Abdominal pain
  • Hypothermia
  • Yellow skin or eyes
  • Discolored gums
  • Brown urine
  • Shock
  • Collapse

One of the first things you vet could ask you is to induce vomiting to get rid of the Tylenol, but still, your dog will need emergency veterinary care since he/she might need to be given oxygen, IV fluids and amino acids to stabilize their condition. 

Can I give my dog Tylenol (A brief guide)

Side effects to be aware of 

If your vet has prescribed medicine for your dog, it is important to take into consideration that they can have side effects. Some of the side effects can include:

  • Changes in their behavior
  • Loss of appetite or eating more than usual
  • Skin redness
  • Gastrointestinal issues (diarrhea or vomiting)

Always ask your vet about possible risks of the medication or side effects. Every medication should have an information leaflet for you to be informed about any possible side effects or warnings.

How do I know my dog is in pain?

When we are in pain, we make sure everyone knows about it. Dogs can feel pain the same way we do but they can’t let everyone know where and how painful it is. So it is imperative to be aware of signs or symptoms to determine your dog is in a tremendous amount of pain without them telling you.

It can become quite evident that your dog is suffering or is in pain due to physical symptoms, behavioral changes or mobility issues. 

Physical Symptoms

If you have noticed changes in your dog and if he/she is experiencing pain. PetMD tells us to be aware of the following symptoms:

  • Tight or twitching muscles
  • Shaking or trembling 
  • Arched back
  • Holding their head below their shoulders
  • panting  

Behavioral changes

You are used to knowing how your pet usually behaves so the slightly of the changes in their behaviors can raise an alarm. PetMD advises to be aware of the following signs:

  • Avoiding contact or being touched
  • Licking excessively
  • Excessive vocalization
  • They become aggressive when they usually are not

Can I give my dog Tylenol (A brief guide)

Mobility issues

Noticeable changes in your dog’s mobility can indicate they are dealing with arthritis or an injury. Some of the most common signs of pain in your dog’s mobility are:

  • Limping
  • Walking slower or refuses to walk
  • Avoids using the stairs or refuses to jump
  • Unable to lie down or get up or does it with difficulty

Types of pain

Pain can be divided into acute and chronic. An injury of recent illness can cause acute and temporary pain, and sustained injuries or illness in the long term cause chronic pain. 

Can I give my dog Tylenol (A brief guide)

Why is this blog about “can I give my dog Tylenol” important?

We know pets are more than pets. They are a furry member of the family, our best friend and true companion in the ups and downs of our hectic lives and at times, we can become so desperate in helping them if they are in a lot of pain that we actually make it worse.

This “can I give my dog Tylenol” guide is meant to raise awareness about the misconception that pain killers or drugs used by humans can be translated to animals. Now when you remember the “can I give my dog Tylenol” question or you hear a friend thinking of doing it, you can act and help to save a life. 

Additionally, there are some options for pain relief that are not necessarily man-made. Explore the other alternatives such as homeopathic remedies, acupuncture or even CBD oil, they may be better long term and free of side effects. 

Please feel free to comment on the content of this guide “can I give my dog Tylenol” in the comments section down below!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about “Can I give my dog Tylenol”

What can you give a dog for pain relief?

Medication for pain relief should be prescribed by your vet after assessing the health status and condition of your dog. Some of the most common medications meant for dogs are meloxicam, carprofen, and etodolac.

How much Tylenol can I give my dog?

None, you should not give any Tylenol to your dog. This can cause serious complications a life-threatening condition and even can lead to sudden death. 

What happens if you give a dog Tylenol?

Tylenol is extremely toxic (poisonous) when administered to cats and dogs. It can cause serious complications and even sudden death. Some of the symptoms of Tylenol toxicity are gastrointestinal ulcers, vomiting and diarrhea, loss of appetite, bleeding disorders, kidney dysfunction, and liver damage. Making this a life-threatening condition where your dog could die as a result of those complications. 

Can I give my dog Benadryl for pain?

Yes, but it should be prescribed by a veterinarian. The standard dosage for oral Benadryl is reported as 1 mg per pound of bodyweight, administered 2-3 times a day. 

What type of pain reliever is safe for dogs?

Medication for pain relief should be prescribed by your vet after assessing the health status and condition of your dog. Some of the most common medications meant for dogs are meloxicam, carprofen, and etodolac.

References

PetMD

Trupanion

Labrador Training HQ

Dogtime.com

Can I give my dog Tylenol (A brief guide)

Juanita Agboola

Juanita Agboola is the editor in chief of HFNE and an expert in mental health online. She has been writing about online behaviour, mental health and psychology issues since 2012. All Guides are reviewed by our editorial team which constitutes various clinical psychologists, PhD and PsyD colleagues.