Can You Give Your Dog Paracetamol? - DogGear

Can You Give Your Dog Paracetamol?

Loving your dog is a natural thing to do, especially when you are born as an animal lover.  You give the best of you to your canine companion, and you take your time choosing the highest quality of dog gears just to make your pooch comfortable, happy, and safe. And when your dog gets sick, your initial instinct is to administer medication immediately because you cannot take it in your heart to watch your beloved pet suffer. Though caring for your furry friend is a good thing, never risk your pet’s life by giving paracetamol to your dog. No matter how tempting it is, fight the urge and bring your dog to the vet instead. 

What is paracetamol?

Paracetamol is an over-the-counter drug that is widely used by people worldwide due to its effectiveness, availability, and affordability. Acetaminophen is an active ingredient found in this drug medication, and it is known to alleviate mild pain and it significantly reduces the temperature of the human body when fever strikes. Paracetamol is a fast-acting medication that can treat any human.

Is paracetamol safe for dogs?

Paracetamol is an analgesic that is recognized to be the safest drug for the human species, but it is absolutely not safe for dogs. This human medication is toxic for your dog, and you must never give paracetamol to your beloved pet. Paracetamol is not recommended for dogs because this medication needs glucuronyl transferase, which is an enzyme that is required in order to integrate this drug into the body. Your dog is capable of producing the said enzyme, but digesting paracetamol can hinder the functionality of the liver, and causes liver damage.

Paracetamol dosage for dogs

Though paracetamol is not safe for dogs, there are select instances when vets prescribe paracetamol to an ailing dog. Canines suffering from inflammation, high fever, respiratory infections, and chronic pain may be given paracetamol by vets, but the administration is strictly monitored. And even in these cases, the dosage is typically only 10 mg/kg, to be given only once a day, and must not go beyond the second day. When vets make the decision to use paracetamol as a treatment for dogs, they look into various factors before giving a dose, such as the size, breed, age, and weight of the dog. Vets are very careful and meticulous in the prescription of paracetamol to dogs, because there is a very thin line between what is good for the dog, and what can be fatal to the dog’s health. Paracetamol is especially lethal to dogs with liver problems. So if your cherished pet has problems with the liver, then it is best if you stay away from paracetamol when it comes to your canine companion.

Symptoms of paracetamol poisoning

Paracetamol is not a safe medication for dogs. Always make sure that you bring your dog to the vet whenever you notice that your usually energetic dog is feeling blue, weak, and not in the mood to play with you. Giving your dog paracetamol can lead to the following symptoms:

  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Weakness
  • Unusual salivation
  • Anorexia
  • Depression
  • Respiratory difficulty
  • Seizures
  • Discoloration of tongue and gums
  • Black poop
  • Lack of coordination
  • Uncontrollable drooling
  • Confusion
  • Brown urine

If you have administered paracetamol to your dog without consulting the vet, always be watchful of the symptoms that signify that your dog’s body is not responding well to the medication. Your pet’s life is at risk, and you must drop everything you are doing and bring your canine friend immediately to the vet as soon as your pooch shows signs of paracetamol poisoning. You need to understand that the symptoms could be fatal to your canine friend. Though treatment will be made by the vet, it is not a guarantee that your pooch will survive. Paracetamol poisoning treatment typically includes fluid therapy, induced vomiting, and blood transfusion.

Health risk on dogs

It is crucial that you as a pet owner will avoid giving your furry friend paracetamol even if your dog is clearly suffering from pain. You must take your pet to the vet if your dog is showing signs of illness in order to receive proper treatment. Time is of the essence when it comes to paracetamol poisoning. Your dog can have a damaged liver as a result, and in more serious cases, death could follow. Indeed, paracetamol poses a great health risk to dogs, so you need to be very careful in your way of caring for your pooch.

Liver malfunction

Damage to the liver is the biggest impact of paracetamol to a dog’s body. The consumption of paracetamol can lead to hemolysis, which hugely contributes to the hastening of the breakage of your dog’s red blood cells. The breakage produces hemoglobin and bile that is collected by the dog’s system, and it results in the flow of brown urine and yellowish mucous membranes due to the presence of hemoglobin.


A lot of dogs had dies due to paracetamol poisoning, and the worst part is they die within hours after ingestion. Death typically happens especially when there is no veterinarian intervention, and the dogs have consumed more than 10mg in a day. Also, paracetamol causes methaemoglobin to form inside the dog’s body, and this toxic formation leads mostly to fatal deaths in dogs.

Final Say

No matter how busy you are, no matter how limited you time is, once your treasured dog shows signs of illness, take your pooch directly to the vet, or have someone else do it for you. Never ignore even the smallest signs of sickness, because you never know what is the underlying cause of your dog’s weakness and pain. Most especially, never attempt to self-medicate your dog with paracetamol, even if this human medication always works wonders on you. Remember that your body has different mechanism than your pooch, and what can heal your ailing body can have the negative effect on your beloved canine friend. Nothing really beats the proper consultation with your dog’s professional vet.

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