Is Paracetamol Safe for Dogs? The Ultimate Guide!

Seeing your beloved pet dog in pain can be devastating for your heart and might make you do something as soon as possible. The first thought that might come to your mind is to give your dog Paracetamol. But can you give Paracetamol to dogs?

Human medicines might or might not be suitable for your dogs. This post will answer the most common query of dog parents- Is Paracetamol safe for dogs? But before this, this article will also introduce you to various other concerns like what Paracetamol is, how to tell if your dog is in pain, what happens if you give your dog Paracetamol, if this painkiller prescribed to dogs, and what is the right treatment for the pain of your dog.

Paracetamol: What is it?

The word Paracetamol is not new and is commonly used every day. It is a pain killer with a key ingredient- acetaminophen. This painkiller eases aches and pains while reducing the temperature in humans. Ingesting Paracetamol is safe for humans. However, if the thought of giving it to your dog tempts you to lower their pain, you must read this article till the end to know if it is safe to give it to your dogs.

Signs indicating your dog is in pain

Dogs often suffer from pain when they sustain an injury. But, injury is not the only cause of in dogs for pain. Some internal reasons might also cause them pain that might not be visible to you as an injury is. So, if your dog shows the following signs, it might be in pain.

  • Antisocial behavior
  • Unusual aggressive behavior
  • Habitual changes
  • Yelping or barking
  • Excessive grooming
  • Breathing changes
  • Restlessness
  • Trembling and shaking
  • Difficulty in moving
  • Bodily changes

Is Paracetamol safe for dogs?

Getting tempted by the thought of giving your dog a Paracetamol to ease their pain is easy. But, you must not. Yes, giving your dogs Paracetamol is not safe. So, restrain from giving it to them.

Although safe for humans, when given to dogs, especially in the wrong dosage, Paracetamol can be highly toxic for dogs.

What happens if a dog takes Paracetamol?

You have now got your answer that giving dogs Paracetamol is not safe. But why? What happens if a dog takes Paracetamol?

A dog ingests Paracetamol can result in side effects ranging from mild to severe, such as liver damage and death. The effect of this painkiller depends on the size of the dog. For example, if a dog weighs around 20 kg, the side effects are observed if it ingests a 500 mg tablet. If the dog weighs less, the side effects might be observed in a much lesser amount of the tablet.

After ingesting Paracetamol, dogs become unwell and might suffer issues with red blood cells and the liver. A dog might show the following signs if the ingestion of Paracetamol has negatively impacted it-

  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Drooling excessively
  • Stomach problems
  • Vomiting
  • Becoming withdrawn or depressed

If you have given your dog a Paracetamol or they have ingested it accidentally and are suffering from the above problems, you must immediately take your dog to a vet.

Is Paracetamol Prescribed to dogs?

Although not safe for dogs, a vet might prescribe a veterinary version of Paracetamol to dogs in certain situations after thorough consideration. However, in these cases, it is also prescribed in a quite low dosage. Some of the cases when a vet might prescribe Paracetamol to your dogs are-

  • Infection
  • Inflammation
  • Fever
  • Chronic pain

Prescribing this painkiller to dogs is not a decision taken in a hurry. A vet carefully considers if it is the right drug for your dog by considering its breed, weight, age, present liver condition and size. Usually, 10 mg per kg of dog weight is prescribed, which is to be taken not more than once for one or two days.

If your dog has been prescribed Paracetamol by a trusted vet, you must be careful with the dosage. Also, if you observe that your dog is facing issues like vomiting, stomach-related problems, or breathing issues, consult the vet immediately, as these issues might grow into serious ones if not dealt with in time.

Also Read: Does My Dog Have an Allergy? How To Spot and Treat Them

What are the alternatives to Paracetamol for dogs?

Seeing your dog in pain can be distressing, and you might wonder, if not Paracetamol, what can ease your dog from the pain? Fortunately, various other painkillers can be used. However, the crucial point to remember here is that treating or deciding on a medication on your own for your dog is never wise. Always take them to a vet to learn how to ease their pain.

Instead of Paracetamol, a vet may prescribe other painkillers such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. These drugs include medicines such as firocoxib, deracoxib, carprofen and meloxicam. They might also prescribe supplements like chondroitin, glucosamine, Tramadol or Gabapentin.

To sum up

Seeing your dog in pain and hurrying to cure it is quite natural. But this hurry can cause even more problems for your beloved pet. So, please do not panic and take the wrong steps, such as giving them Paracetamol. Instead, visit a vet and let the professional help your dog. DIYing is not always a good option, and when it comes to your pet’s health, it usually is not. So, restrain from giving your dog Paracetamol. If they accidentally ingest it or are prescribed by a vet in a certain situation and show any of the side effects mentioned in this article, consult a vet immediately.

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