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Pet Care. Pet Training. Pet Stories.
Pet Care. Pet Training. Pet Stories.

Can I Give My Dog Acetaminophen (Tylenol)?

02/20/2019 by Megan Scussel
February 20th, 2019 by Megan Scussel

can dogs have acetaminophen

Quick answer: no, do not give your dog acetaminophen.

Acetaminophen, more commonly referred to as Tylenol and sometimes called paracetamol, is a medicine many people use to treat aches and pains both mild and moderate in nature. When someone experiences menstrual cramps, arthritis discomfort, muscle sprains, fevers, or headaches, their doctor might point them to this popular drug. Because of its widespread and beneficial use, some pet parents wonder if they can give Tylenol to their dogs in times of sickness or misery. Is it safe to do so? You should never give any amount of Tylenol to an animal unless you receive express permission from a trusted vet. If you’re careless, your dog will suffer the consequences.

How Does Tylenol Work?

While experts have been unable to pinpoint exactly how it works, Tylenol (acetaminophen) is a pain reducer that tackles various health conditions. It doesn’t function as an anti-inflammatory.

If a human patient follows the directions provided by the packaging and their doctor, they should get the results they need.

Chewable tablets are available for children or those who struggle with swallowing pills. In the case of extended-release pills, however, people are instructed to swallow the medicine whole, as chewing or crushing a pill may cause harm and increase the risk of developing side effects.

Is it Safe for Dogs?

For certain cases, a vet may suggest giving your pet Tylenol to ease their discomfort. However, you should never use it unless your vet recommends it (and provides you with detailed instructions). Poor handling of this medicine could lead to the wrong dosage. Mixing certain prescription medications with Tylenol can also put your pet’s well-being at risk.

If your dog accidentally gobbles up your Children’s Tylenol, call the vet immediately.

Side Effects

Do you believe your pet has overdosed on or accidentally ingested Tylenol? If you’re feeling lost or confused, there are symptoms to look for so you will know when it’s time to take action. These include:

  • Jaundice (yellow eyes or skin).
  • Inability to keep food down, vomiting frequently.
  • Brown urine
  • Abdominal pain
  • Lethargy
  • Drooling
  • Pale or discolored gums
  • Abnormal breathing.

If the poisoning is severe enough, Tylenol might cause your pet to go into shock or die. Kidney damage or liver failure are additional possible health complications to keep in mind.

Please note that any amount of Tylenol, no matter how small, can potentially cause your pet great injury. Should you conclude that something is wrong with your dog, contact your vet as quickly as possible.

Toxic ingestion can be deadly, so get to the vet as soon as you can if you suspect your dog has swallowed something they shouldn’t have. The good news is that accidents like these are covered by your Healthy Paws Pet Insurance policy. Find out more about what you can give your dog for pain here, and learn more about pet insurance by getting a free quote.