15 Human Over-the-Counter Drugs Safe for Dogs

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Culturelle is a human over-the-counter product. It is available in capsules and in sachet’s (little packets like sweeter). The dose of the packet is generally easy as you sprinkle it on the food. The dose is 1/10 of a packet per 10 pounds of body weight daily. A 50-pound dog would get ½ packet once a day. ADD LINK AFTER ADD ARTICLE

  1.  Bisacodyl (Dulcolax®)

Bisacodyl is commonly known as Dulcolax® and is used as a laxative to treat constipation for dogs and cats.  Bisacodyl is available in 5 mg tablets, 5 mg and 10 mg rectal suppositories and 10 mg/30 ml enema bottles. For dogs, the dose varies between 1 to 4 tablets once daily. If you believe your dog is constipated, we recommend that you see your veterinarian to determine the underlying cause. Some dogs will strain and appear to be constipated and actually have a urinary obstruction or colitis.

Learn more about how to safely give your dog Dulcolax.

  1.  Docusate Sodium (Colace®)

Docusate sodium is commonly known as Colace® and is used as a laxative to treat constipation in dogs and cats.  It can also be used to clean out the intestinal tract in dogs before diagnostic procedures and surgery.

As mentioned above under Dulcolax, some dogs will strain and appear to be constipated but actually may be a life-threatening urinary obstruction or colitis. See your veterinarian if you have concerns.

Learn more about how to safely give your dog Colace.

Allergy Medications

  1.  Diphenhydramine (Benadryl®)

Diphenhydramine, commonly known by the brand name Benadryl® among others, belongs to a class or drugs known as antihistamines. Diphenhydramine is routinely used for dogs for treatment of symptoms associated with allergies or allergic reactions.  Signs of allergies in dogs often include excessive itching and licking of the skin. Dogs with acute allergic reactions can have swollen faces (especially around the muzzle and eyes) and hives. Dogs with chronic allergies often have secondary skin infections and Diphenhydramine can be used in conjunction with antibiotics and steroid medications to control clinical signs.

Although diphenhydramine is relatively safe, side effects may include sedation, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea and lack of appetite.

The most common dose used in dogs for diphenhydramine is 1 mg per pound. Therefore a 25-pound dog would get one 25 mg tablet and a 50 pound would get two 25 mg tablets. When buying diphenhydramine, make sure “diphenhydramine” is the only ingredient. It also comes in a liquid formulation made for children which makes it easier to dose in smaller dogs.

For more information, learn about how to safely give your dog Diphenhydramine.


For 15 more over-the-counter medications (OTC) that are commonly used in humans and can be used safely in most dogs, please visit this article: 15 MORE Human Over-the-Counter Drugs Safe for Dogs.


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