Thursday, March 20, 2014

Over the Counter People Medication for My Dogs

You should always ask your vet before givng your dog any type of over the counter medication. I am a dog owner and not a veterinarian and can't give anyone medical advice. What I can do is share what I do with my own dogs.

In general I assume that over the counter medication for humans is not safe for dogs unless I have heard it directly from my own veterinarian, or from a trusted friend who heard it from their own veterinarian. I know the wrong kind of pain medication can cause organ damage, and the oes that are safer for people are more dangerous for pets.

I know a lot of people who give their dogs asprin. A low-dose, enteric-coated asprin helps Brisbane feel better when he has overdone it at the beach. My vet says if he needs it too often, I should consider getting him a pain prescription. He only needs an asprin once or twice a month, so I think he's ok.

Benadryl, or diphenhydramine, is so useful that I buy big bottles of it at Costco. It seems to be incredibly difficult to overdose on Benadryl. Ru has stepped on a bee at the beach twice now, and my vet said to give my wee 6-lb chihuahua an entire pill. It didn't put him to sleep, but it did make him super-clingy for the rest of the day. He needed to be held and snuggled continuously. Brisbane has environmental allergies, and when he is very itchy I usually toss a couple of Benadryl in with his dinner. If he has eaten chicken, duck, turkey, or eggs I will also give him Benadryl a couple of times a day until the itching subsides. I try not to give it to him every day though, because it is possible to build up a tolerance. I personally can take half a dozen pills and feel nothing.

My vet thinks that Briz is allergic to pollens and grasses in addition to foods. I give him Zyrtec every day to keep him less itchy. Not all of my vets have recommended this, at least one said he had zero experience giving dogs allergy medication other than Benadryl, but that it wouldn't hurt him so I was welcome to try it. A friend gives their dog Claritin every day, their vet has some experience with preventative allergy meds and told them to give their 50-lb dog three pills a day because they metabolize it faster than people. Coscto sells 365 Costco-brand Zyrtec pills for $15. I like having them around for guests with cat allergies, too.

When I run out of salmon oil and can't be bothered to get more, I sometimes give Brisbane a few of my husband's omega-3 gummies. There are a lot of people supplements that are also used for dogs, but I don't give mind a lot of supplements. I have also given Brisbane glucosamine/chondroitin/MSM, but didn't notice any difference so I can't really say they helped.

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