Everyday Solutions For Your Dog

For many people, animals are a trusted and loved part of the family. Like any family member, dogs need care if illness strikes. Dogs are prone to minor ailments like allergies and upset stomachs. When these issues arise, a veterinarian can prescribe medication. Pet owners may be surprised to learn that some human drugs can help dogs. When time is of the essence, there are some over-the-counter (OTC) care to bring immediate relief to furry friends but also check with a vetininary before use.


When to use human medicine for dogs

Vets typically do not recommend using human medication to help ease a dog’s symptoms. Some drugs, even in small doses, can be toxic to pets. However, there are some cases where OTC medication may be helpful. Some pet medications are also made for humans. These drugs come in different doses and formulations based on weight, age, and sometimes dog breed. In emergencies, a veterinarian or pet pharmacy can approve certain painkillers, antihistamines, gels, and creams. These are all OTC, low-dose options. Only administer the medication using the medical expert’s guidance.

Doggie allergy helpers

Dogs are prone to allergic reactions from foods or contact with objects outdoors. Skin breakouts, redness, and itching can cause discomfort. An OTC human liquid antihistamine can help. These drugs limit the symptoms that arise when the body produces too many histamines to deal with an irritant. Pet owners should talk to a veterinarian before dosing any medication. The antihistamine should not contain decongestants or sleep-inducing ingredients. OTC steroid sprays, gels, and topical creams can also be used in small amounts. Perform a patch test first and ensure the dog does not lick the topical cream.

Tame the tummy

Dogs can experience gastrointestinal distress, leading to vomiting or diarrhea. There are OTC antiemetics or antidiarrheals that can help when used in small doses. Before using these medicines, however, ensure that these aren’t signs of a more severe condition. For instance, if the dog swallowed an object or has an underlying infection. Once there are no additional symptoms, use the antidiarrheal or other medications in the recommended dose. Everyday OTC items like hydrogen peroxide are also helpful to help induce vomiting when a dog has consumed something potentially dangerous.

Pain, cuts, and bruises

A pup can easily get cuts and bruises from falls or collisions with outdoor objects. If there are no other signs of injury, OTC care is possible. Dogs usually respond well to small doses of topical antibiotic ointments, creams, and gels to sanitize the wound and prevent infection. Some dog parents may consider using OTC pain medication. However, this should be done with extreme caution. Most animals are only prescribed pain medication for chronic pain, and a veterinarian should recommend pet painkillers as needed.

Keep your vet top of mind

Talk to a veterinary or animal clinic about what OTC products to buy at a local pharmacy for emergencies. Visit a drug store to stock up on OTC medicines for dogs. Diphenhydramine for allergies, cortisone cream for scrapes and castile soap to dilute and soothe hot spots are often products that vets recommend to have on hand. Every dog is different. Age and medical history play a big role in what may be tolerable, so never use a human product on a dog before discussing with a veterinarian.


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