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Over the counter safe medications for your dog

safe medications for your dog

What are safe medications for your dog?

Very few human medications available “over the counter” are considered safe medications for your dog.

However here is a list of “over the counter” safe medications for your dog that can be used in certain situations. Always make sure to check the bottle and active ingredients. Be very careful that the medication does not contain any additional active ingredients that could harm your dog. Cause to turns safe medications for your dog into something that could harm their health. And when in doubt call your vet. As pet parents we always want our furry kids to feel good, and this might help relieve some of your dog’s discomfort. As for many things, small doses can go quite far.

IMODIUM (loperamide)

Imodium is relatively safe for dogs. It can be bought over the counter in almost any store and gas station. Although certain breeds that are MDR1 Positive (certain breeds related to collies) can have an adverse reaction to Imodium. Dogs suspected to have a head injury or respiratory problems. Caution should be taken in dogs with Addison’s disease, Hypothyroidism,  Liver or Kidney diseases and dogs that have urinary tract issues.

If you suspect that your dog just has a upset stomach the dosages suggested by veterinarians tend to be 0.1mg/kg twice a day for one or two days.

For small dogs having the liquid Imodium on hand is often easier than trying to break up the tablets. Most Imodium tablets contain 2mg of loperamide and the liquid is 1mg/5ml which would be 0.2mg/ml making it a lot easier to give a very precise dose. Your veterinarian might recommend a different dose.

A quick over view of approximate dosages would be:

  • 5 kg (10 lbs)  0.5 mg 1/4 of a tablet or 2.5ml if you use the liquid
  • 10 kg (20 lbs) 1 mg 1/2 of a tablet or 5ml if you use the liquid
  • 15 kg (30 lbs) 1.5 3/4 of a tablet
  • 20 kg (40 lbs) 2 mg 1 tablet
  • 25 kg (50 lbs) 2.5 mg 1 1/4 of a tablet
  • 30 kg (65 lbs) 3 mg 1 1/2 tablet
  • 40 kg ( 90 lbs)  4 mg 2 tablets
  • 50 kg (110 lbs) 5 mg 2.5 tablets

PEPTO-BISMOL (Bismuth subsalicylate)

If your puppers is showing signs of an upset stomach or vomiting you can give this “delicious” pink stuff. Please do not ever give Pepto Bismol to a cat!

Most dogs seem to actually like the taste of Pepto-Bismol and tend to just drink it. The original Pepto-Bismal is a 1.75% Bismuth subsalicylate solution and we are basing our dosage chart of that. Check your bottle at home and adjust the dosage as necessary.

To treat acute diarrhea, 0.5 mL/lb or 1.1ml/kg. 1 US teaspoon would treat a 20 lbs dog.

can be given every 4 to 6 hours for 5 days.

  • 4.5 kg (10 lbs)  0.5 teaspoon (2.5 ml)
  • 9 kg (20 lbs) 1 teaspoon (5 ml)
  • 13 kg (30 lbs) 1.5 teaspoon (7.5 ml)
  • 18 kg (40 lbs) 2 teaspoon (10 ml)
  • 23 kg (50 lbs) 2.5 teaspoon (12.5 ml)
  • 30 kg (65 lbs) 3 teaspoon (15 ml) or 1 US tablespoon
  • 40 kg ( 90 lbs) 4 teaspoon (20 ml)
  • 50 kg (110 lbs) 5 teaspoon  (25 ml)

BENADRYL (Diphenhydramine)

Benadryl is an antihistamine to help against the side effects from allergic reactions, hives, swelling, itching and sneezing. It is common to be given long term to treat allergies. Though common in people to aid when they have a case of insomnia, dogs do not always respond the same. Actually, some dogs have been known to get hyperactive after getting Benadryl, whereas other dogs will feel the sedative effect. The suggested dose is 2-4 mg/kg or 1mg/lbs. Benadryl. For small dogs having the child version (pediatric) will make dosages easier as the dosage is 2.5mg per ml.


  • 4.5 kg (10 lbs)  10 mg or 4 ml of the pediatric liquid
  • 10 kg (20 lbs) 20 mg or 8 ml of the pediatric liquid
  • 12 kg (25 lbs) 25 mg or 1 tablet
  • 23 kg (50 lbs) 50 mg or 2 tablets
  • 35 kg (75 lbs) 75 mg or 3 tablets
  • 45 kg ( 100 lbs) 100 mg or 4 tablets


Short term or under veterinarian care Aspirin can be given to dogs. Never give any Aspirin to cats! Aspirin can provide relieve with inflammation and pain. Some times long term usages is suggested for arthritic dogs. Bufferin (buffered Aspirin) is easier for the dog’s stomach. However, giving regular baby or adult aspirin can be used. Typically it will be suggested to give once or twice a day with food.  Aspirin does have blood thinning properties. Please contact your veterinarian to see if there are better alternatives available for your dog. Read our article fore more information on pain medications for your dog.

  •  4.5 kg (10 lbs) or less  1/2 a baby aspirin
  • 13 kg (30 lbs) or less  1 baby aspirin
  • 23 kg (50 lbs) or less  1/2 regular aspirin
  • 45 kg (100 lbs) or less 1 regular aspirin
  • over 45 kg (100 lbs) or more 2 regular aspirin


Dramamine is an antihistamine, so it helps against allergic reactions. Although it is great for preventing motion sickness in your dog. If you are playing to take your dog somewhere and he does get motion sickness giving them Dramamine approximately 30 minutes prior to traveling.

  • Less than 13 kg (30 lbs) 12.5 mg
  • Up to 27 kg (60 lbs)  25 mg
  • Over 27 kg (60 lbs) 50 mg

TAGAMET (Cimetidine)  PEPCID-AC (Famotidine),  ZANTAC (Ranitidine)

If your dog has acid reflux or possible ulcers, or even if he might be on medication that can cause ulcers these might be suggested to give to your dog. For an exact dosage it is always best to consult your veterinarian first. Often the according dosage will be given once or twice a day.

  •  9 kg (20 lbs) or less  1/4 tablet
  • 27 kg (60 lbs) or less  1/2 tablet
  • 27 kg (60 lbs) or over  1 tablet


Hydrocortisone can be safely used on your dog just for the same skin irritation as it is on yourself. It will help provide relief for itchy and irritated skin, caused by insect bites, hot spots or hives. Use it topically only.  Apply a small amount once or twice daily.


Useful for first aid in keeping scratches wounds and minor skin infections clean. Always make sure to clean the skin abrasion first with some soap and water. Do not use if your dog has an allergy for that specific antibiotic.

GAS-X (Simethicone)

Gas-x helps providing comfort to your pup when he has discomfort from gas and unusual flatulence, and give us as dog owners some relieve too! Simethicone also might be given to a dog when they are suspected to have bloat. In case of bloat give a double dosage right before heading to your nearest emergency clinic.

  •  9 kg (20 lbs) or less  1/4 adult tablet
  • 27 kg (60 lbs) or less  1/2 adult tablet
  • 27 kg (60 lbs) or over  1 adult tablet

GLUCOSAMINE (Hydrochloride (HCl))

Glucosamine can be used for arthritic dogs to treat joint pain  This is a long term treatment and it might take a while to actually see the benefits of Glucosamine take affect it is recommended to give together with Chondroitin Sulfate .

The suggested dosages for Glucosamine are

  •  12 kg (25 lbs) or less  500 mg a day
  • 23 kg (60 lbs) or less  1000 mg a day
  • 23 kg (60 lbs) or over  1500 mg a day


Chondroitin Sulfate is used in dogs with arthritis, hip displasia or disc problems. Claims have been made that it slows down the progress of arthritis, reduces pain and enhance collagen which helps with the impact on joints.

Current recommended dosages are:

  • 12 kg (25 lbs) or less  400 mg a day
  • 23 kg (60 lbs) or less  800 mg a day
  • 23 kg (60 lbs) or over  1200 mg a day

MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane)

MSM is an anti-inflammatory often given together with Glucosamine and Chondroitin. The anti-inflammatory properties help ease the joint swelling and pain in arthritic dogs. It also successfully is used against some allergies and neurological disorders in dogs. MSM has anti-parasitic properties as well and can protect your dog against certain parasites.

Recommended dosages for MSM are:

  • 5 kg (10 lbs)  50mg
  • 10 kg (20 lbs) 100mg
  • 15 kg (30 lbs) 150mg
  • 20 kg (40 lbs) 200mg
  • 23 kg (50 lbs) 250mg
  • 30 kg (60 lbs) 300mg
  • 40 kg ( 90 lbs) 450 mg
  • 50 kg (110 lbs) 550mg


Hydrogen Peroxide is often used as wound cleanser. Opinions are mixed on the use of it for this purpose. It is suggested that it might damage the tissue causing it to slow down the healing. Another very common usage for hydrogen peroxide is to induce vomiting in dogs. However, please note not induce vomiting in your dog unless directed by a veterinarian or an Animal Poison Control Center. If you believe your dog has potentially ingested something poisonous you can call the Animal Poison Control Center at +1 888 426 4435 if you are in the US. For UK contact the Animal Poisonline at +44 1202 509000.

The recommended dosages for 3% Hydrogen Peroxide are:

  • 5 kg (10 lbs)  1 Teaspoon (5ml)
  • 10 kg (20 lbs) 2 Teaspoon (10ml)
  • 15 kg (30 lbs) 3 Teaspoon (15ml)
  • 20 kg (40 lbs) 4 Teaspoon (20ml)
  • 23 kg (50 lbs) 5 Teaspoon (25ml)
  • 30 kg (60 lbs) 6 Teaspoon (30ml)
  • 40 kg ( 90 lbs) 9 Teaspoon (45ml)
  • 50 kg (110 lbs) 11 Teaspoon (55ml)

Saline nasal spray and pediatric nasal sprays (Little Noses) can be given to puppies or dogs. It will help with any nasal congestion or dryness as a symptom due to a cold.  Please make sure you only use a saline solution and not a nasal spray with any decongestants.

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