Safe Human Medications for Dogs

Safe Human Medications for Dogs

When your dog is experiencing pain, upset stomach, or an allergic reaction it can be difficult to know exactly what to do – especially when dogs get sick outside of normal hours.
Dog care & health

Listed here are a few over-the-counter medications that can be given to dogs without worry.


Benadryl is a medication commonly used for treating and preventing allergic reactions. Dogs can be given Benadryl in response to seasonal allergies and hives, as well as to prevent allergic reactions from known allergens. Dogs can safely consume 1 mg of Benadryl per 1 pound of body weight, and this dosage can be administered every 8 – 12 hours.

Pepcid AC

Pepcid AC can be given to dogs that are experiencing an upset stomach due to gas, bloating, or nausea. The dosage of Pepcid AC for dogs is 0.25 – 0.5 mg per pound of body weight, and can be administered every 12 – 24 hours.


If your dog is experiencing pain, such as due to a sudden injury, aspirin can be administered as a short-term treatment. Aspirin should never be confused with Ibuprofen, however, which can cause fatal side effects. A safe dosage of aspirin is 5 – 10 mg per pound of body weight. Pet owners should beware that there are safer alternatives to aspirin for canine pain relief and long-term usage is not advised due to the potential for internal bleeding.

Claritin / Zyrtec

Other human allergy medications that can be used for dogs as an alternative to Benadryl are Claritin and Zyrtec. These medications are commonly prescribed for dogs experiencing hives or excessive itching. However, any allergy medication you give your dog should only contain antihistamine as an active ingredient, because additional ingredients (such as ibuprofen) may be dangerous. For both Claritin and Zyrtec, dogs should receive ½ tablet every 24 hours if under 30 lbs, while dogs 30 lbs and above can safely have 1 tablet every 24 hours.

A Word of Caution

Although the medications listed here are generally recognized as safe for pets, dog owners should always consult a veterinarian before administering any new medications to a sick dog. Dogs that are unconscious should never be given medication. Additionally, always check with your veterinarian to ensure that over-the-counter medications will not interfere with your dog’s current medications. Always read labels and make sure human medications do not contain ingredients that could be lethal to your pet, such as xylitol.

If you are interested in this article, you might want to be able to recognize when pills are no longer helpful and it's time to visit a vetSubscribe to our newsletter to receive other interesting blog posts delivered directly to your inbox! 


Please note: all dogs should be treated as individuals. The Actijoy™ blog is for educational and entertainment purposes only. In the case of emergency, always seek qualified healthcare from a local veterinarian or emergency facility. Actijoy™ blogs are not designed to treat, diagnose, or prescribe medication for your pet.

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