Can Dogs Take Tylenol for Pain
There is nothing worse for a dog owner than knowing their dog is in pain, and they are unable to help them. Being powerless is a feeling nobody likes, so we want to help them any way we can. Humans handle their pain by taking pills, so dogs might profit from them as well. However, before you give your dog the first pain medication you find in your medicine cabinet, there are some things you should know.
One of the most common human pain medications that can be found at home is Tylenol. Tylenol is a pain medication with the active ingredient called acetaminophen. Acetaminophen is commonly found in different over-the-counter pain medications. It is very effective, so it is not a huge surprise humans often use it to manage their pain levels. However, there are strict rules when giving acetaminophen-based medication like Tylenol to dogs.
It depends. Dogs could take Tylenol, and they might have a normal reaction to it. In fact, Tylenol can help dogs with their pain. Still, over-the-counter pain medications need to be given to dogs under strict veterinarian supervision. You should never self-medicate your dog if you are not a licensed veterinarian.
Dog owners need to know dogs are curious, especially when they get bored. If your dog is like that, you should keep your medicine cabinet securely locked and safe from your dog’s paws and mouth. Dogs might get into the medicine cabinet and chew through drug bottles, which can lead to overdoses or death if you have drugs that are toxic to dogs.
Tylenol is similar to drugs that fall under the category of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs. Keep in mind, you should never give any of these drugs to your dog without consulting your vet. Your dog might have specific underlying health issues that could prevent them from taking NSAIDs.
Tylenol could be given to dogs, but you need to be very careful about dosages and frequency of drug administration. You should talk to your vet and ask for advice about giving your dog Tylenol. Our sincere and honest advice is to not give human pain medication to dogs. There are drugs specifically developed for dogs, and that is the safest option for your dog.
If you want to know more about dog pain management, check out this article - How to help dogs in pain?
The dosage for such risky medications should be measured extremely carefully. Follow your vet’s instructions and make sure you don’t overdo it with the medication. Even slight miscalculations can lead to overdosing, so make sure you measure at least twice before giving Tylenol to your dog.
The correct Tylenol dosage for dogs should be determined by the vet. They will look into your dog’s medical history and consider different things before prescribing the right dosage. Before recommending a dosage, your vet will think about;
- Dog’s age
- Dog’s size
- Drug interactions
- Underlying health issues
There is another popular human pain medication people often want to give to their dogs. Check out this article for more information - Is Aspirin safe for dogs?
If your vet advised giving your dog Tylenol, the usual dosage they prescribe is 5 - 7.5 mg per pound of body weight. If that seems confusing, here is a helpful guide;
Just like any other medication, Tylenol can cause different side effects. All NSAIDs have similar effects. They inhibit an enzyme called cyclooxygenase, which produces a substance called prostaglandins. Prostaglandins promote inflammation, fever, and pain, and NSAIDs affect the pain part. However, prostaglandins are responsible for other processes as well, so giving your dog drugs like Tylenol is not the best choice. The most common Tylenol side effects for dogs are;
- Appetite loss
- Diarrhea (often bloody)
- Bleeding disorders
- Kidney issues
- Liver issues
- Vomiting (often bloody)
- Ulcers in the gastrointestinal tract
One of the most significant risks when it comes to giving Tylenol to dogs is overdosing. If your dog accidentally gets into your medicine cabinet and gets ahold of this drug, or you measure the dosage wrong, overdosing will become a serious concern. If that happens, you should react quickly. Call your vet immediately, and if you witnessed your dog eat Tylenol, your vet might advise you to make your dog vomit. Here is how you can do that - How to make your dog vomit? If you cannot get ahold of your vet, you should call Pet Poison Helpline (855) 764 - 7661.
For you to react quickly, you should know how to notice signs of Tylenol overdose in your dog. Some of the clear symptoms of Tylenol overdose are;
- Breathing issues
- Swelling of face, limbs, and neck
- Jaundice (yellowish color to skin, whites of eyes)
- Gray-brown colored gums
World Dog Finder team