When it comes to your pet’s health, chances are you will do whatever it takes to keep him healthy and happy. A healthy diet, exercise, and regular veterinary check-ups are great steps to keeping your animal in the best of health. But even with the best care possible, sometimes your pet will need medication. Whether it is for an injury, infection or allergies, some conditions require treatment. And while you will do whatever you need to do for your pet, it’s nice if that treatment does not cost an arm and a leg. Luckily, certain over-the-counter medications for humans can also be used in animals. These meds are typically an affordable alternative to the prescription pet version, making them a great option for effectively treating your pet at the right price. But, not all human medications are safe for animals. Read on to learn which human medications can be used as pet medications.

Benadryl For Pets: Is it Safe?

If your dog suffers from allergies, you might be wondering, “Is Benadryl ok for dogs?” Lucky for you, the answer is yes–with a few caveats. As we discuss in our previous article, “Benadryl for Pets: Is It Safe?,” Benadryl is safe for dogs in most cases. Benadryl should not be given to dogs that have glaucoma, high blood pressure, or cardiovascular disease. It is also important to check whether the medication you buy is pure diphenhydramine, the active ingredient in Benadryl, and contains no other medications. Some over-the-counter treatments include Benadryl as well as other medications that could be harmful to your pet. With those precautions, Benadryl can be a safe and effective treatment for environmental allergies, reactions to bites or stings, and sometimes for motion sickness or as a mild sedative. If your dog has an acute reaction to an allergen, such that he is experiencing difficulty breathing or severe facial swelling, do not try to treat him at home but go straight to the vet. The Benadryl dose for dogs is 1 mg per pound of body weight, up to three times a day. If your dog has never taken Benadryl, check with your vet first.

Other Medications for Pets

There are a few other human over-the-counter treatments that can be as effective in pets as in people.

  • Pepcid AC or Tagamet HB: If your dog has an upset stomach, these meds can be a great treatment, especially if the trouble is caused by simply eating something that doesn’t agree with dogs.
  • Artificial Tears: If your dog has mild irritation in the eyes, such as redness or mild weepiness, artificial tears such as Genteal or Soothe XP can provide relief. Mild irritation should clear up in a few days. If not, or if the eye shows extreme redness, swelling or colored discharge, or if your dog is in obvious pain, skip the tears and bring him to the vet.
  • Neosporin or other antibiotic gels: These creams are a good choice for minor cuts and abrasions, but only if your dog is not interested in licking them off. For more serious wounds or at the first sign of infection, have a vet take a look.
  • Corticosteroids: Sprays, gels, and creams containing corticosteroids such as hydrocortisone are great for hot spots or other itching. But just like antibiotics gels, they are not a good choice if your dog licks them off.

You should always check with your vet about which human medications you can use as pet medications before giving them to your pet. But, with your vet’s okay, these medications can go a long way toward helping your pet feel better without putting a hurt on your wallet.