Human Meds You Should Never Give to Pets

Our team is formed for veterinarians, ethologists, and animal health content experts.

An alarming number of owners ask in Barkibu what medication they can give to their sick pets. Some even mention they are already treating their dog or cat with some human meds. But there are many human meds that are extremely dangerous for pets, even lethal.

If your pet is sick and needs a treatment, you should always go to the vet. Not all medication is suitable for them, and especially not in the same dose as humans.

Ibuprofen

A lot of people gives ibuprofen to their pets, especially their dogs, when they are sick. However, ibuprofen is highly toxic for pets. It can be lethal, or at the very least damage the liver or the kidneys.

Paracetamol

Its toxicity is lower for dogs than for cats. It can result in damage to the liver, since they are not able to process it correctly.

Loperamide (Imodium)

You shouldn't treat your pet with Loperamide when he or she has diarrhea, as you don't know what is causing it. The pet might have some foreign body that he or she needs to expulse. Loperamide decreases intestinal movement and if your dog or cat has eaten something dangerous such as a bone or a rope, it might be very dangerous.

Antibiotics

The problem here is different. Your pet can have human antibiotics, but you should never give it to them without veterinary prescription. An inappropriate use of antibiotics (when they don't need it or not finishing the treatment) creates resistance. If later your pet is sick and needs antibiotics, these might not work, putting your pet's life at risk.

One more thing that is very important: doses. Dogs and cats are not humans, and their bodies work different than ours, they process substances in a different way, and so they need different doses. It's not enough to extrapole their weight and compare it to what an adult or child should take.