Tylenol is a rather common over-the-counter medicine that is mostly used for relieving headaches and reducing high fevers.
It might serve well for us humans, but does it work just as good for dogs? When our dogs are in pain, can we simply open our medicine cabinet, grab some Tylenol, and give it to our dogs?
When we see our dogs suffering, it is natural to feel the need to help them. But as much as you want to, there are things you need to understand about Tylenol before you hand them to your pet.
To know more about the benefits and risks of giving Tylenol to your dogs, continue to read further along as we explain various details about it.
What is Tylenol?
Tylenol is what people usually call acetaminophen products in the market. It is prescribed by doctors when treating common illnesses such as colds and fever. It is also used as a pain reliever for headaches, dysmenorrhea, arthritis, and muscle pain.
Acetaminophen is usually compared to Ibuprofen when it comes to painkillers. However, unlike Ibuprofen which is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), acetaminophen does not have any anti-inflammatory effect.
Scientists are still in the process of identifying the exact method of how Tylenol (acetaminophen) actually stops the pain. Some findings suggested that this substance blocks enzymes that produce pain. They classified these kinds of pain-relievers as non-oploid analgesics.
Tylenol for dogs: Can you give a dog Tylenol for pain?
The short answer is no. There are too many risks and possible adverse side effects that Tylenol can do to your pets. Hence, it is best to avoid it completely, if possible.
You can find some natural alternatives to Tylenol instead. However, the best way to handle your dogs’ suffering is still to immediately visit a veterinarian.
If you are still not convinced, here are some explanations on a few points about dogs and Tylenol.
1. Why you should not give Tylenol to your dog
Drug overdose – This issue is a very common one when it comes to medication. The issue becomes even worse when it involves pets. It is very hard to determine the exact dose necessary to treat dogs or other pets of varying sizes and breed.
Overdosing in Tylenol (acetaminophen) is very dangerous for your dog. It can damage your pet’s liver and kidney cells. It can lead to organ failure or other related diseases.
Allergy – Even if your dogs have not overdosed, they can still suffer from the side effects of potential allergies from the substances used in Tylenol. Unless you can guarantee that they are absolutely not allergic to Tylenol, it is a risk you will have to take.
Not enough information – There may still be other unknown side effects from Tylenol that can be harmful to your pets. There simply is not enough research about Tylenol in connection with pets.
Also harmful to humans – There are some cases of liver failure in people who have used Tylenol, resulting in their deaths. If even humans are not safe from its side effects, it is hard to believe that your furry friend will fare any better.
Read more: What Can I Give My Dog for Pain
Can you give a dog Tylenol anyway?
If you simply do not have enough money to go to a veterinarian and you have tried but failed in using alternatives, you may be desperate enough to just start using Tylenol anyway.
Hopefully, it does not come to this situation. Nonetheless, there are still some dosage guidelines you can follow when you need to administer treatment for your friend.
1. How much Tylenol can you give a dog?
The prescribed dosage depends on your dog’s weight. The recommended dose is 10mg – 15 mg of Tylenol per kilogram. You can give it to them twice or three times a day. To visualize this, here are some examples.
- A 2kg Chihuahua must only take 20mg – 30mg of Tylenol
- A 3kg Maltese dog must only take 30mg – 45mg of Tylenol
- An 8kg Dachshund must only take 80mg – 120mg of Tylenol
Considering that the typical Tylenol tablet is 325mg, you can see that even trying to give a precise amount to your dogs is already a struggle. Giving too much will result in poisoning. Giving too little will yield no effect.
2. Vet discussion
Technically, it is true that you can give companions some Tylenol to ease them from their suffering. However, it is strongly recommended that you visit a veterinarian first. The benefits in doing so largely outweigh the cost.
Your dog’s veterinarian may allow you to proceed with giving your dog some Tylenol. In which case, you can follow the vet’s dosage or have a look at the one above. However, if they have suggested some alternatives, it is simply better to try them first and see how they work.
Painkillers should always be your last resort.
Generally speaking, overdose for dogs will only occur if the substance is 75mg more than the prescribed dosage per kilogram. So if you follow the prescribed dosage completely, your dog should have lower risks.
However, following the dose is one thing, and actually administering it carefully is another. Sometimes, it’s very hard to be precise in measuring the amount of Tylenol that you are giving. Utmost discipline and care are needed so your dogs can safely be treated without worry.
An entire section is necessary to fully explain the negative side of using Tylenol. In particular, Tylenol ‘poisoning’ can happen. You should be aware as to what it is and why it is happening.
Poisoning happens when your pets’ bodies react negatively to the Tylenol that you are giving them. There are many situations that can lead to this scenario.
1. Possible Causes
Overdose from Accidental Consumption – In some cases, dogs may accidentally consume dangerously large amounts of Tylenol. It may be due to them discovering unattended medicine box. Or there may be a mix-up in their food. This can result in overdose which is, as mentioned earlier, toxic to your pets.
Allergy – If your dogs are allergic to Tylenol or even any inactive ingredient used to make the drugs, their bodies may respond badly to the medicine.
Inherent Side Effects – Tylenol may be inherently dangerous to your pets. Even when not overdosed or allergic, previously unknown side effects may pop up.
2. Symptoms and Side Effects
These symptoms and side effects may appear on your dog when they are suffering from Tylenol poisoning. It is important to identify them immediately so you can go to the vet as soon as possible.
- Strained breathing
- Unusually cold temperature
- Yellowing of the skin
- Swelling of some parts of the body
- At worst, comatose or even death
3. What to do when your dog gets Tylenol poisoning
When these symptoms appear on your dogs, you should not panic and calmly assess the situation. If you rush blindly, you may even hurt your pets even further. Here are some of the things you can do when your dogs take in toxic amounts of Tylenol:
- Go to the vet immediately. They will know best what to do in specific situations.
- If you just saw your dog consume large amounts of Tylenol, you can induce vomiting before it gets absorbed into the dog’s body. The best and safest way is to give them hydrogen peroxide (3% solution). Generally, 2 teaspoons per pound is just the right amount to induce vomiting while not being harmful to your pet.
- Just like in other types of poisoning, activated charcoal is also a great way to neutralize the effects of Tylenol in the body. Hence, if you have some lying around, you can use them instead.
What Are Tylenol Alternatives?
You may want to try some alternatives to Tylenol before giving it to your dog. There are many common methods of pain relief that does not require any potentially harmful medication.
Change in Diet – Some muscle and joint pains can be solved by simply changing the dog’s diet into a healthier route. Giving them food rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, for example, will relieve them of their arthritis.
Weight Loss – Other pains can manifest just from having a fat and unhealthy body. By trimming excess fats, it can help a lot in solving pain problems. This is true for dogs as it is for humans. Try reading how to help a dog lose weight.
Exercise – As long as your dog does not have any medical conditions that hinder them from running around, you can take walks with your dogs. It is good for you and your dog’s health.
Before you give your dog Tylenol
The most important part in giving your dogs medication is knowing what is harmful, and what is beneficial to them. Knowing the risks, and acting with these risks in mind, will help you and your pets in the long run.
So before you give your dogs Tylenol, proper research and vet consultation should be prioritized first. Always ask these questions first: can you give a dog Tylenol for pain? How much Tylenol can you give a dog?
After you give your dog Tylenol
All you can do after giving your dogs Tylenol is to wait. Always check for any improvements or any negative effects that Tylenol may have given to your dogs. Make sure you respond accordingly to the results. If there are any signs of Tylenol poisoning, immediately stop the treatment and visit the vet.
An Important Note About Our Posts
While we can assure that everything in this article is harnessed from thorough research, the team highly recommends every reader to visit a vet first – and actually make it a priority. No online advice beats professional diagnosis.
Can I give my dog Tylenol? Yes, you can. However, there are so many risks involved in giving them over-the-counter medication. At the end of the day, the best thing to do is to go to the veterinarian and ask them what to do.