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Can I Give My Dog Tylenol?

If your pup is whimpering, panting, or favoring a limb, it’s likely they are experiencing discomfort. Arthritis and common injuries like sprains, ACL tears, and luxating patella can stop even the most active canines in their tracks.

It’s completely understandable that concerned pet parents might start looking for solutions to their dog’s pain in their own medicine cabinet, but attempting to treat your pet with human analgesics can have dire consequences. 

can I give my dog TylenolWill Over-the-Counter Pain Medicines Work for My Dog?

Tylenol, aspirin, and ibuprofen are toxic to dogs. 

Tylenol is one of the most widely recognized brands of acetaminophen, an over-the-counter drug that reduces fever and relieves pain. Acetaminophen is metabolized in the liver. Healthy humans taking the recommended dose are able to break down the drug and safely excrete any toxic byproducts through their urine. The same can’t be said for our canine companions.

Differences in weight, organ systems, and metabolic rate mean that medications like Tylenol and ibuprofen can do serious damage to dogs’ bodies, even in very low doses. 

Symptoms of Acetaminophen Toxicity in Dogs

Between accidental ingestion and misinformed pet parents, OTC medications are first on the ASPCA’s list of the most common pet toxins of 2022

If your dog has eaten Tylenol, symptoms will likely appear within a few hours. Be on the lookout for: 

  • Heavy or rapid breathing
  • Discolored gums
  • Vomiting 
  • Swelling of the face or paws
  • Lack of energy
  • Weakness
  • Discharge from eyes

What to Do If Your Dog Has Tylenol PoisoningDog in cone pain relief

If you have a reason to suspect that your dog has ingested Tylenol, don’t wait for symptoms to appear before seeking help. Damage to your pup’s liver builds up as time passes, so an early intervention is critical to avoid permanent damage. 

Contact your vet or a pet poison helpline right away. A veterinarian can safely induce vomiting or administer medications to flush the drugs from your pet’s system and mitigate harm. 

How to Safely Treat Your Dog’s Pain

If you have a pup in pain, work with your veterinarian to explore safe, effective treatment options. 

Gentle Exercise

Dogs who are aging or recovering from an injury can benefit tremendously from moderate amounts of gentle activity. Promote a healthy weight, strong bones, and stable joints by making exercise a consistent part of your pup’s routine. 

Laser Therapy

Laser therapy uses very targeted wavelengths of light to encourage cell activity and speed healing. These treatments are a non-invasive way to help pets recover from injuries or surgeries and ward off pain from arthritis. 

Veterinary NSAIDs

Fortunately, there are pain relieving medications specifically formulated for pets. Your vet will examine your dog and take into account their size and any pre-existing liver or gastrointestinal conditions to prescribe a safe and effective dose to help your pup’s pain.