It goes without saying that before you give your pet any dog medicine, you should check with your Veterinarian. The Dog Health Guide provides general information on prescription and over the counter dog medicine. This information is not intended to replace the advice of a Veterinarian or other pet health professional. Always tell your veterinarian and veterinary pharmacist what other medications your dog is taking.
- 1 teaspoon = 5 ml
- 1 pound = .45 kg
We suggest that if you have a specific question regarding your dog and dog medicine, leave a question for our veterinarian using the form at the bottom of this page. If you need an immediate response, we suggest using this online veterinarian answer service that has Vets standing by 24 hours a day to answer questions for a small fee.
Allergy Medicine: Antihistamines and Homeopathic Remedies
- Dosage: 2 mg per pound of body weight orally every eight hours
- Side Effects: The side effects of hydroxyzine may include sleepiness and sedation, lack of coordination, weakness, nausea and heightened thirst.
Precautions: Do not use if your dog is allergic other antihistamines. Use with caution in dogs with heart disease, glaucoma, urinary obstruction or intestinal obstruction. Do not use in pregnant or nursing dogs . Seek the advice of a veterinarian if using with with other CNS depressant drugs such as acepromazine; monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) such as selegilene and Preventic collars; anticholinergics such as atropine and metoclopramide; and medications used for wheezing such as theophylline, epinephrine or ephedrine.
Allergy Relief Biscuits (K9 Cookie Crunch) and Allergy Itch Ease
K9 Cookie Crunch is a natural dog treat formulated to assist with allergies and skin irritation. It is made with human-grade ingredients and will help to support the skin. The same manufacture produces Allergy Itch Ease, a natural combination of ingredients formulated to prevent dog allergy related itch. Learn more.
Dogs like people suffer from sinusitis symptoms such as nasal discharge, nasal congestion and inflammation. There are homeopathic remedies available that use non-addictive ingredients in a tablet form that can be sprinkled on the dog's tongue or taken whole. The products work by using natural ingredients that help to strengthen the immune system and the body's natural ability to fight this problem. It has the added benefit of helping to prevent or reduce the frequency of sinus infections. Products like Sinu-Rite are worth a try.
- Dosage: Apply dog medicine on skin - dilute to .2 percent (2 ml to 2 quarts of tap water). Apply topically. Used for cleaning wounds.
Chlorhexidine Solution (Nolvasan)
- Dosage: Dilute to .05% (25 ml to 2 quarts, 1.9 to 1, tap water). Apply to skin to clean wounds.
Arthritis and Pain Medicine: Analgesics and Anti-Inflammatory Medications
Dog pain medications range from over the counter to prescription medications. The goal of dog medicine in pain management, such as when managing canine Osteoarthritis (OA) is to reduce clinical signs, slow the progression of the disease, and to improve the comfort of the patient.
and/or buffered) is an anti-inflammatory and analgesic, given with food:
- Dosage: 5mg per pound orally every 12 hours. Works out to 1 adult
tablet/60lbs with food, 2-3 times/day. If it isn't helping, see your
veterinarian. Most pet stores sell aspirin made for dogs or you can buy it
online from Amazon.com.
- Side Effects: Possible side effects include vomiting and
diarrhea. If you see either side effect do not use and call your
- Precautions: Do not use if your dog is allergic to aspirin or or other NSAIDs. If symptoms last more than 3 days, stop use and call your veterinarian.
NEVER give your dog Tylenol/acetaminophen since it is toxic to the liver. Do not use it as a dog medicine unless under the direction of a veterinarian.
Ibuprofen (Nuprin, Motrin, Advil)
Ibuprofen is very toxic and fatal to dogs at low doses such as 1 human tablet. Only aspirin is safe for dogs, and buffered aspirin or ascriptin is preferred to minimize stomach upset. Ibuprofen and acetaminophen when prescribed under the direction of a veterinarian for dogs is in minuscule dosages (Acetaminophen at 15 mg/kg and Ibuprofen at 10 mg/kg to avoid liver and kidney damage.
There are natural agents called DMOAs or disease-modifying osteoarthritis agents that help dogs with osteoarthritis by improve the function of bone cartilage or fluid (synovial fluid, a fluid that lubricates the joints). These products include glucosamine (a substance the is naturally found in a dog's body) and Chondroitin sulfate (CS). Studies are inconsistent, with some showing improvement in relieving some arthritis symptoms in humans. Both are found in dog foods that promote joint health, although there are no studies that support their use at levels in food. There are also other ingredients that have some support for use.
Muscle and Joint
Natural products such as Devil's claw,
sulphate, Calc fluor (6C), Nat phos (6C) and Nat sulphuricum (6C) all
have properties that when combined provide natural support for dog
joint and muscle movement. Glucosamine sulphate in particular is
supported by multiple clinical studies and is approved in 70 countries
as being used for cartilage support. Muscle
and Joint combines all of these ingredients in one
There are several pharmacological types of dog pain medicine. These include:
NSAIDs: Anti inflammatory properties, reduces fever, analgesic effect
There are 6 approved anti-inflammatory and non steroidal medications (NSAIDs) for use in Osteoarthritic dogs. Clinical support for these medications are based on clinical studies that measured relief over a time period ranging from 7 to 60 days. Each dog medicine can cause side effects such as kidney, liver, blood cell creation (hematopoietic systems) and gastrointestinal problems.
Medications/Types (approved by the FDA for dogs):
- Carprofen (Remadyl®) - side effects in Black Labs, fewer side effects in other dogs overall
- Etodolac (Etogesic®) - 1x daily administration
- Meloxicam (Metacam®) - liquid and well tolerated in dogs
The Following Are Not approved in the U.S. for use with dogs:
- Flunixin (Banamine®) - some gastrointestinal side effects common
- Ketoprofen (Ketoprofen®) - not licensed for dogs in U.S., approved for dogs in Europe and Canada, injectable
- Phenylbutazone (Cox 1 and 2 inhibitor, not recommended in dogs)
- Gastrointestinal upset (vomiting, diarrhea, ulcers, stomach upset)
- kidney toxicity
- Impaired platelet function
Opioids: Effective sedative and for pain relief
General Dog Opiod Side Effects:
- Respiratory problems (effects the cough center)
- Gastrointestinal problems (vomiting, defecation followed by constipation)
- Excitabiity (panting, vocalization, noise sensitivity)
Steroids: decreases dog pain by decreasing inflammation.
- Polyphagia (excessive eating)
- Cataracts and Glaucoma
- Gastric Ulcers
- Delayed wound healing
- Hyperadrenocorticism (Cushings)
- Insulin Resistance
- Liver disease (Hepatopahty)
- Synovi (oral)
- Glycoflex Adequan
- Fentanyl (available in a patch, lasts for 3 days, side effects if used in excessive amounts)
- Buprenorphine - Buprenex®
- Naloxone - used to reverse effects of opiods/opiates
Alpha-2 Agonists work by decreasing nervous system sensitivity in area, referred to as thiazines. They are a potent sedative and a good muscle relaxant.
- Xylazine - Rompun®
- Medetomidine - Domitor®,
- Slow heartbeat (Bradycardia)
- Cardiac disturbances
Cough Remedies: Suppressants and Expectorants
Expectorant (to help with mucus):
Strength Cough Syrup
- Dosage: 1 teaspoon per 20 pounds orally every 4 hours as needed.
- Caution: Check the label to make sure the medicine does not contain ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Look for products containing Guaifenesin and/or Dextromethorphan
Robitussin Dm, Benylin Expectorant (destromethorphan) or Siltussin DM (Silarx)
Look for products
containing Guaifenesin (100mg) and Dextromethorphan. While these products are not approved
for veterinary use by the FDA they are common practice in the
- Dosage: (10mg) per teaspoonful..5 to 1 mg per pound (or 1 teaspoon
per 20 pounds) orally every 6 hours. The dose for Robitussin DM in
small dogs is 1/2 teaspoon every 4 hours. The usual dose in large dogs
is 1 teaspoonful every 4 hours.
- Side effects: Number 1 side effect is sleepiness. If your dog
shows other symptoms such as dry heaves and shows changes in behavior
such as lethargic behavior, take your dog to the Emergency Room or
veterinarian as soon as possible.
- Precautions: Do not use these products with an MAO inhibitor such
as Anipryl (selegiline) or Preventic Tick Collar.
Respo-K is a homeopathic remedy formulate to relieve symptom such as cold, watery eyes and sneezing. It decreases recovery time from respiratory infections and helps to prevent colds by strengthening a dog's immune system. It works by combining ingredients such as Calc sulph, and Verbascum to support natural breathing.
Digestive System Medications
Milk of Magnesia (magnesium hyroxide) - Mylanta - Maalox (magnesium hydroxide):
- Dosage: 2 to 5 ml per pound orally every 4 to 6 hours (antacid)
or 7 to 25 ml. per pound orally once only (laxative)
- Dosage: 1 mg per pound of body weight. Oral or injected. 1x or 2x per day.
- Dosage: .25 to .5 mg per pound of body weight. Taken orally 1x per day.
- Dosage: 150 mg to 300 mg per pound of body weight. Taken with food. Provide daily, divide dose over several meals given throughout the day.
- Dosage: 10 mg per pound of body weight, taken orally 2x to 3x per day
- Dosage: 1 teaspoon per 11 to 22 pounds of body weight. Add to dog food. Provide 1x per day, only for short term use unless advised by a veterinarian
Natural Moves for Pets:
- Natural Moves for pets promotes a healthy digestive system and promotes regular bowel movements. It contains Psyllium husk, oat straw and cape aloe for their beneficial effects on dog digestive health.
Dog Diarrhea Medicine:
See our guide to dog diarrhea medicine. It's best to check a stool sample for parasites first. If there is no vomiting, try a bland diet of broiled or boiled hamburger or chicken and rice for a few days. You can also use kaopectate, Pepto Bismol, and on large dogs, Imodium (2mg/60-80lbs). If there is vomiting or blood in the stool, it's better to take your dog to the veterinarian.
- Dosage: 1 ml per pound (or 1 to 2 teaspoons per 10 pounds) every 4 hours
Pepto-Bismol (bismuth subsalicylate),
- Dosage: .5 to 1.5 ml per pound of body weight orally every 12 hours
and Pectin (caution do not use formulations that contain
salicylates) - for persistent diarrhea:
- Dosage: 1/2 to 1 ml per pound of body weight (1 to 2 teaspoons per 10 pounds of body weight). Taken orally every 6 hours.
For Regular Bowel Movements:
Many dogs have trouble maintaining bowel, digestive health and cholesterol in a normal range. In nature, wild dogs would achieve balance by seeking out those foods and remedies by instinct. In captivity, dogs may need a little help from products formulated to replicate this outdoor experience. Ingredients such as Licorice and Marshmallow (Altheaea officinalis) are known for their ability to remedy digestive health.
- Products to consider include Digestive Support.
- Dosage: 10 to 50 ml. per dog, add to food
Charcoal (compressed activated charcoal):
- Dosage: 1.5 gm tablet per 10 pounds, keep at least 30 tablets available.
Dog Vomit Treatment
problems can be due to parasites, infectious diseases, foreign bodies,
and inflammation. The most common reason is when a foreign body or
something else that shouldn't have been eaten is digested. If vomiting
is occasional and the dog is acting normally, try no food or water for
several hours. Once vomiting has stopped, provide and small amounts of
water at a time or an ice cube. Click link for more information
bland diet options.
You can also try Kaopectate or Pepto bismal at 1 Tbsp/30 lbs 3-4 times. If the vomiting continues, see your veterinarian.
How to make a Dog Vomit:
Only make your dog vomit if what was
swallowed is not caustic (acidic)
or sharp (i.e.tennis ball, chocolate) and if swallowed within a half
Hydrogen Peroxide (3%):
- Dosage: 1 teaspoon per 10 pounds orally, may repeat every 15 to 30 minutes (3 times only). 1/4 to 1/2 cup depending on size of dog.
- Dosage: 2 to 4 mg per pound orally every eight hours
Skin and Coat
Skin and Coat Tonic:
There is an exhaustive list of ailments that can result in skin and coat problems. One approach is to add a supplement to your dog's diet that is formulated to improve coat and skin appearance. Natural ingredients such as Bladderwrack, Dandelion, Horsetail, Kali sulph, Lactose and Spirulina have various levels of clinical support for their effectiveness. See Skin and Coat Tonic for details, additional information on ingredients and descriptions of clinical support behind each ingredient.
Before treating dog worms, it is important to identify the type of worm that is the source of the problem. See our guide to dog worms for pictures and details.
Over the Counter Medications
A dog medicine for worms is specific to the type of worm your dog has. Popular dog medicine options include:
This product is for the control and treatment of roundworms, tapeworms,
hookworms and whipworms.
It is puppy safe over age 6 weeks, heartworm infected dogs and pregnant
female dogs. The product mixes into food and is provided for 3
(fenbendazole): Can be mixed with the dog's usual food to treat
tapeworms, hookworms, roundworms and whipworms. The usual dose for dogs is one packet, based on weight, 1x a day for 3
Tabs: Tapeworms are long thin white worms found at the dog's
Tapeworm tabs are specifically formulated to kill this type of dog
It is the only over the counter product that contains praziquantel as
the active ingredient.
- Evict: Evict is a FDA approved dog worm medicine that removes large roundworms and hookworms from puppies and dogs. Importantly, the product also prevents re-infestation
- This product is a natural alternative to the aforementioned dewormers. It contains multiple ingredients known to help dogs naturally expel parasites such as tapeworm, heartworm and roundworm.
- Epsiprantel (Oral-Local)
- Macrocyclic Lactones (Systemic)
- Melarsomine (Systemic)
- Tetrahydropyrimidines (Oral-Local)
Ask a Question or Share Your Story
References for Dog Medicine
(1) American Academy of Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics
(2) Giving Oral
Medications to Dogs, Washington State University College of
Canine First Aid Workshop
August 8, 1999, Standish, Maine
Presented by VMD Eve Knowles
The Hound Health Book
Betsy Brevitz, DVM
Pain Management for Canine Osteoarthritis
Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc., Topeka, KS, USA.