Human Food And Medicine: Which Are Good For Dogs?
Photo by Matthew Henry from Burst
If you find yourself stuck with a sick pet and you can’t get to the vet immediately and don’t have doggy medication on hand, there are some human medications that could work to relieve certain conditions.
Do NOT simply feed your dog or cat any medication you have in the house. Certain ingredients can trigger bad responses in their immune, digestive, or cardiovascular systems, causing even worse problems.
Here are 7 of the most common pet-friendly medications you can use in a bind, as well as 3 foods that can be given to help certain medical conditions.
Don’t forget to take your dog to the vet afterwards, even if they improve.
#1 – CBD Products
Our pets can get spooked by thunderstorms, being afraid of strangers, or suffer from separation anxiety. Using pet-specific CBD products, such as CBD oil or CBD chews, can help alleviate these, as well as conditions like:
- Arthritis and joint pain
- Digestion problems
- Moderate to severe pain
- Stress and anxiety
If your pup isn’t eating well, you can use CBD products to stimulate their appetite. Dosage would vary, depending on the size and symptoms that your dog is displaying.
However, it’s best to stick to the recommended dosage on the packaging. CBD products shouldn’t replace a visit to the vet, but it can be used in conjunction with medical treatment.
#2 – Activated Charcoal
Unexpected things happen, and you could find that your dog has ingested a substance that is toxic. If your dog has eaten something poisonous, you may notice the following symptoms:
- Difficulty breathing
- Skin irritation (especially if your dog came into contact with it directly)
- Loss of consciousness
Administering activated charcoal (as per packaging instructions) could help, but you’d need to get your dog to the vet as soon as you can! Activated charcoal would absorb the toxins quickly by binding to them, but it doesn’t work for every known toxin.
#3 – Pepto-Bismol
Our pups can also get sick from time to time, and if they’re experiencing vomiting or diarrhea, Pepto-Bismol could help to alleviate the symptoms. It would be best to consult with your vet before giving it to your dog, though.
If you do give it to your dog, don’t exceed more than 1 teaspoon for every 5 – 10 pounds of the dog’s body weight. It can be safe to give your pup a teaspoon of Pepto-Bismol every 6 to 8 hours.
If the vomiting and diarrhea continue, take your dog to the vet. You should take them to the vet as soon as you can if they regurgitate the Pepto-Bismol.
#4 – Benadryl
Just like we humans suffer from seasonal allergies, so do our four-legged friends. Your dog could have an allergy if you notice any of the following symptoms:
- Runny discharge from the nose or eyes
- Sneezing or wheezing
If your dog has a skin allergy, then they may have a swollen face, earflaps or eyelids. You can also look for red and inflamed skin, hives and continuous scratching.
It’s safe to give your pup Benadryl, and you could administer between 2 to 4 milligrams per kilogram of your dog’s body weight. You may have to adjust the dosage if your dog has any existing medical conditions, and you may notice that it makes your pup drowsy or hyperactive.
#5 – Cough Medications
Most OTC cough meds are safe for dogs. But you need to double-check before just giving it to your pet. If the medication contains any of the following ingredients, don’t give it to your pup.
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
These ingredients are toxic to dogs. It’s safe to use over-the-counter medications like Robitussin, Lomotil, and Mucinex. If the cough persists or your pup has trouble breathing, contact your vet immediately.
#6 – Neosporin
Our dogs sometimes run into things or get smacked by the cat, which can cause minor cuts and scrapes that don’t require stitches. If you want to prevent infections and help the wound heal, then you’ll be happy to know that Neosporin is safe to use.
This antibacterial cream will help to prevent an infection developing and prevent bacteria from entering the wound. You may want to test a small amount on your dog first to make sure that they won’t have an allergic reaction to it.
Also, make sure that your dog doesn’t lick it off once you’ve applied it, as this could lead to your pup having a sensitive stomach.
#7 – Buffered Aspirin
A vet may recommend buffered aspirin for dogs who suffer from musculoskeletal inflammation or osteoarthritis. This due to the anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties of aspirin.
Buffered aspirin will protect your dog’s stomach while allowing them to absorb the aspirin. You should give your dog the aspirin with food, however, you should never give a puppy aspirin as they’re not able to break down the ingredients.
It’s best to give your dog between 5 and 10 milligrams of buffered aspirin per pound of body weight. It’s also recommended that you don’t give your dog aspirin for more than two days, unless your vet has given it to your dog as a long-term treatment.
#8 – Pumpkin
As much as we try and keep our furry companions away from rich human food, sometimes they steal a morsel when we’re not looking. Pumpkin is one food that’s safe for your dog to eat, and you can let them eat it seeds and all.
Pumpkin is high in fiber with vitamins and minerals such as vitamins A, E and C, and also contains iron and potassium. This can help your dog if they’ve got a sensitive stomach after eating that morsel and help alleviate diarrhea in some cases.
If your pup suffers from constipation or has anal gland problems, add some pumpkin to their food. It’ll help soften the stool, making them easier to pass as it’s high in soluble and insoluble fibre.
#9 – Salmon/Salmon Oil
Salmon oil is rich in Omega 6 and Omega 3, which help support your dog’s immune system. By adding salmon to their diet, you’ll be helping to take care of their heart health and cognitive function, and you’ll find that your dog’s coat and skin will be healthier.
The only downside to feeding your dog salmon is that you may have to get a doggy breath freshener spray to keep their breath fresh. You’ll only need to give your dog some salmon twice a week, and it should be served without any seasoning on it. It’s also best to cook the salmon.
#10 – Blueberries & Strawberries
Your dog can eat blueberries, strawberries and blackberries. These are the only berries that you should give to your dog. The berries are packed with vitamin C, and this can help dogs that have auto-immune diseases, as well as help build your dog’s resilience to any health issues.
Berries also contain antioxidants, which will help prevent your dog from aging very rapidly or unhealthily. Strawberries contain an enzyme that, when combined with antioxidants and vitamins, will help keep your pup’s teeth white and healthy.
Chances are you have some of these medicines and foods in your cupboard at home right now! If you’re ever stuck and need a quick remedy for an ill pet, you can rest assured that these are safe to use.
Don’t assume similar medications are safe too – it’s best to double-check beforehand and make sure, or check with your vet in advance so you know what you can and can’t use.
Remember – every time you use one of these on your pup should only be an emergency where you can’t get them to the vet. If possible, it should be followed by a vet’s visit as soon as possible.
Our pups can’t tell us how they feel, so it’s up to us to take as good care of them as we can.