Answers on "Can I give my dog" questions

We've compiled over 80 of the most asked "can I give my dog" questions and their answers and listed them in alphabetical order.

Do you know which common household fruit isn't safe for your dog and could even kill it? (Hint: Lethal to dogs, but kids love it!)

Or how an antacid like Tums for an upset stomach could be the misdiagnosis that puts your pet in grave danger?

We've spoken with scientists, researchers, and veterinarians to find the answers you need. Learn what vets know about your canine's health.

This information may even save their lives. Find out now; It's free!

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Can I give my dog?… (Answers are in alphabetical order).

All dog owners have questions about which foods, drugs or OTC medications they can give safely to their dog.

These questions pop up when your dog is sick in the evening or on a weekend. Your vet isn't at work. You have both prescription and OTC medications in your medicine cabinet.

Or you are on your couch, eating chocolate ice cream, and your four-legged friend gives you those “Please, please, please ...” eyes. You think to yourself, “a little taste won't hurt.”

Before you give your dog anything, know this. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center has a list of the top 10 poisoning causes.*:

The number 1 toxin is human prescription medications.
The 3rd toxin is over the counter (OTC) medications.
The 5th toxin is people food.
The 6th toxin is medications prescribed by vets.

Drugs, meant for dogs or humans, should never be given without a professional exam. A doctor will determine the correct treatment for the dog's medical problem.

Below is a list of over 80 of the most commonly asked questions regarding food and drug safety as it relates to your dog.



Can I Give My Dog Acetaminophen? No.

Acetaminophen is a human medication in many OTC preparations. It's in Tylenol, some cold, flu, and sinus remedies, as well as some pain medications.

In dogs, acetaminophen destroys red blood cells. This leads to anemia and irreversible liver damage. Without treatment, death may occur.



Can I Give My Dog Advil? No.

Advil's active ingredient is Ibuprofen, which is toxic to dogs. Humans use it to reduce fever and as a pain reliever. But dogs process it differently than we do. Dogs who have ingested Advil may vomit, have nausea and diarrhea. It can reduce blood flow to the kidneys, causing kidney damage. If your dog has eaten Advil or Ibuprofen, call your vet or poison control center now.



Can I Give My Dog Alcohol? No.

People think because they enjoy alcohol, their dog will enjoy it too. However, it is dangerous for pets. Dogs don't process ethanol like humans because they have a smaller liver. Also, dogs have issues keeping their airway open while intoxicated. This leads to aspiration pneumonia. Resist the temptation to give your dog a sip of something alcoholic. Your pet will be better off for it.



Can I give my dog Aleve? No.

Aleve (naproxen), an NSAID, is an over-the-counter medication. It treats fever, pain and inflammation in humans. In dogs, NSAIDs can cause ulcers in the digestive tract. These can lead to bleeding, as well as liver or kidney damage, or even death.



Can I Give My Dog Amoxicillin?

Amoxicillin is an antibiotic for treating infections. Your vet may have given it to your dog in the past. But this medication may not be the right treatment for their current illness.



Can I Give My Dog Aspirin?

Aspirin is an anti-inflammatory (NSAID). It treats arthritis and pain in dogs. Your veterinarian may have given your dog aspirin in the past. But it may not be an appropriate treatment for their current illness. In dogs, NSAIDs can cause ulcers in the digestive tract. This can progress to bleeding, liver or kidney damage, or even death.



Can I Give My Dog Ativan?

Ativan (lorazepam) is a tranquilizer. It treats anxiety in dogs. Your vet may have given Ativan to your dog in the past. But it may not be an appropriate treatment for their current illness.

Stressful situations like fireworks can cause tension in pets. Dr. Andrew Jones, DVM offers behavioral tips on relieving your dog's anxiety.

Also, there are natural alternatives. Amazon.com has a supplement called Composure for Medium and Large Dogs.Note: This affiliate link helps keep this webpage up to date. Please let us know if you are a fan of a particular product.



Can I Give My Dog Avocado? Sometimes.

Dogs love avocado. It has many benefits, but varieties have the chemical Persin. Persin causes vomiting and diarrhea in dogs2. It may lead to fluid accumulation. In the abdomen, fluid build-up causes bloating. In the lungs, it causes difficulty breathing. And fluid build-up around the heart leads to a decreased heart rate.

Most avocado's meat/fruit aren't toxic. Your dog may enjoy them already. Manufacturers that use avocados have taken precautions. Their products are safe.



Can I Give My Dog Bacon? No.

Bacon and fatty foods can upset a dog's digestive system. This leads to vomiting, diarrhea, and pancreatitis. Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas. The pancreas is the organ above the liver. It secretes digestive enzymes into the small intestines. Signs of pancreatitis include abdominal pain, inappetence, vomiting, and dehydration. If severe enough, pancreatitis can result in death. Treatment of pancreatitis requires hospitalization. It includes IV fluids, antibiotics, and pain medications. Most people enjoy bacon and want to give some to their dog. Stick to lean meats and vegetables. Avoid gravies, sauces, and any meat from a pig.



Can I Give My Dog Bananas?

Bananas are a safe and healthy treat you can give your dog. You can give them fresh or added to baked homemade dog treats. Dried banana chips (avoid chips with excess sugar) are great too.

If your dog hasn't had bananas, give it small pieces to prevent digestive upset. Like people, some dogs may not be able to tolerate certain foods.

Recipe for banana chips: Preheat your oven to 225˚ F. Slice some ripe bananas into 1/8" slices. Lay them out on a baking tray covered with parchment paper. Brush the bananas with some lemon juice. Bake until the bananas have dried out, which should take 2-3 hours. Half way through this drying process, peel the bananas from the parchment paper. Flip them over so the hot air circulates to both sides.

Remove from the oven and let them cool for another hour. They will become crispier as they cool. If they don't crisp after a few minutes, put them back for another 20 minutes.



Can I Give My Dog Benadryl?

Benadryl (diphenhydramine) is an antihistamine. It treats allergy symptoms in dogs. Your vet may have given Benadryl to your dog in the past. But it may not be an appropriate treatment for their current illness.



Can I Give My Dog Bones?

Bones can cause a multitude of problems for dogs. Rib bones can splinter and lodge in the mouth, throat, or digestive tract. This will require surgical removal. The shards may cut the soft tissues of the gastrointestinal tract causing bleeding. Larger bones can bruise the soft tissues of the mouth and fracture teeth.

Bones are indigestible. Your dog can shave off tiny pieces of bone. These will then accumulate in their stomach or intestines. This will cause constipation or even form a mass that your dog can't pass. Small round marrow bones can lodge in your dog's throat. This can cause asphyxiation, where your dog can't breathe. Larger ones can get stuck around a dog's lower jaw. Raw bones are less likely to splinter, but the danger exists.



Can I Give My Dog Carrots?

Carrots are a healthy addition to your dog’s diet. They contain beta-carotene and antioxidants. Dogs can eat carrots as a "chewie". You'll need to be sure that your dog doesn't bite off a big chunk, try to swallow it, and choke. You can give carrots fresh, or added to baked homemade dog treats, or diced and cooked. Then added to your dog's dinner.

Fruits and vegetables can make up 10-30% of a dogs diet.If your dog has never eaten carrots, give small pieces at first to prevent digestive upset. Like people, some dogs may not be able to tolerate certain foods.



Can I Give My Dog Cheese?

No. Dogs lack the enzyme needed to digest lactose in dairy. Cheese may cause bloating, gas or diarrhea. This reaction will vary among dogs depending on their intolerance. Cheese has a high-fat content. Too much fat can lead to pancreatitis, a serious illness that needs prompt medical treatment.

However, most dogs love cheese and would be ok with a small amount. If your dog hasn't had cheese, give it small pieces to prevent digestive upset. Like people, some dogs can't tolerate certain foods in their diet.



Can I Give My Dog Chocolate? No.

Chocolate contains large amounts of the methylxanthines theobromine and caffeine. Both are central nervous system (CNS) stimulants. When dogs ingest chocolate in significant amounts, they can have problems. They can exhibit vomiting, diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst, urination, and hyperactivity. In severe cases, increased heart rate, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, and seizures can occur. The ASPCA Poison Control Center reported chocolate ingestion as the seventh most common poisoning in 2013.



Can I Give My Dog Chicken Bones? No.

Chicken and turkey bones are dangerous. Dogs should never have them. They are fragile and splinter easily. Pieces can lodge in the mouth, throat, or digestive tract, requiring surgical removal. They can cut the soft tissues of the digestive tract and cause bleeding.



Can I Give My Dog Cold Medicine? No.

Human cold medicine may contain acetaminophen and pseudoephedrine. Both are toxic to dogs. Call your vet or the Poison Control Center now if your dog has eaten some. Some poisonings require antidotes or supportive treatment.



Can I Give My Dog Cough Medicine? No.

Cough medicine may contain acetaminophen (Tylenol) and pseudoephedrine (Sudafed). Both are toxic to dogs. Call your vet or the Poison Control Center now if your dog has eaten some. Some poisonings require antidotes or supportive treatment.



Can I Give My Dog Cough Syrup? No.

Cough syrup may contain acetaminophen (Tylenol) and pseudoephedrine (Sudafed). Both are toxic to dogs. Call your vet or the Poison Control Center now if your dog has eaten some. Some poisonings require antidotes or supportive treatment.



Can I Give My Dog Cranberry Juice? No.

Cranberry juice is a home remedy for urinary tract infections (UTI) when taken along with a prescription antibiotic. A chemical in cranberries stops bacteria from sticking to the wall of the bladder. While drinking cranberry juice may be a good choice for humans, dogs shouldn't drink it. It has natural or unnatural sweeteners that may be harmful.

You can give dogs small amounts of dried or fresh raw cranberries. Remember that large amounts can cause diarrhea, and increase bleeding time. If your dog has a urinary tract infection, find out why. Your vet will administer the appropriate antibiotic. Consult with your vet before giving dogs natural or herbal supplements.

We compiled a list of the best cranberry supplements for dogs from Amazon.com. Please note that this affliate link helps keep this page updated. Also, if you have a favorite cranberry supplement for your dog, please let us know.



Can I Give My Dog Darvocet? No.

Darvocet contains propoxyphene napsylate and acetaminophen. Both are toxic to dogs. Call your vet or the Poison Control Center now if your dog has eaten some. Some poisonings require antidotes or supportive treatment.



Can I Give My Dog Dimetapp? No.

Dimetapp contains pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine. Both increase your dog'’s blood pressure. Never give them to dogs. Call your vet or the Poison Control Center now if your dog has eaten some. Some poisonings require antidotes or supportive treatment.treatment.



Can I Give My Dog Dramamine?

Vets prescribe Dramamine (dimenhydrinate) to treat motion sickness in dogs. Your vet may have given your dog in the past. But it may not be an appropriate treatment for their current illness.



Can I Give My Dog Eggs?

Eggs are an excellent source of protein. They contain all of the essential amino acids. Protein should equal 30-60% of your dog'’s total diet. Dogs usually don't have high cholesterol, so feeding them egg yolks is ok. If your dog is overweight, you can give him just the egg white.

You can mash up cooked eggs and add them to your dog's food. Or use them as an ingredient for baked homemade dog treats. Don't give raw eggs to dogs since bacterial contamination is a possibility. Raw eggs also contain a chemical that interferes with the absorption and use of the B vitamin biotin. Biotin deficiency will affect a dog's skin and coat health. If your dog hasn't had eggs, give only small pieces to prevent digestive upset. Like people, dogs may not be able to tolerate certain foods.



Can I Give My Dog Enteric Aspirin?

A dog's digestive tract is shorter than a humans. The enteric coating does't have a chance to dissolve in their system. Dogs may pass anthe pill before it absorbs the medication.



Can I Give My Dog Evening Primrose Oil?

The evening primrose plant (Oenothera biennis) provides oil from it's seeds.

Evening primrose oil (EPO) has gamma linolenic acid, an unsaturated fatty acid. Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) is a nutritional supplement with many benefits. They include skin and coat health, allergies, chronic ear infections, skin infections, eczema, psoriasis, difficulty healing, digestive disorders, and joint diseases. GLA may help reduce inflammation.

Dogs can convert linoleic acid derived from safflower oil to GLA. GLA is a superb source of omega-6 fatty acids.

Never give evening primrose oil to a dog with epilepsy or a seizure disorder. Increased bleeding time may be a side effect of EPO. If your dog is sick, speak with your vet before giving it any oils.

Need more information on essential fatty acids for dogs? Visit Benecoat® Essential Fatty Acids for Dogs from fish oil.



Can I Give My Dog Fish?

Fish is a great source of protein and many dog foods use it. Dogs should only eat fish a few times a week to avoid high mercury levels. Canned fish is a good alternative to fresh. Tip: avoid fish with tiny bones since they can get stuck in your dog's throat. Don't give your dog fish canned in oil since excess oil may cause diarrhea. As with all new foods, introduce fish bit by bit to avoid digestive upset.



Can I Give My Dog Fish Oil?

Fish oils are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. They reduce inflammation and improve hair, skin, and coat. Fish oils support the prevention and treatment of diseases. Studies show that fish oil may be helpful for aggressive dogs (Re, 2008). Remember, oils add calories and too much can lead to weight gain.

Fish oils can decrease blood clotting function. Don't give them to your dog if it has heart disease or a bleeding disorder. Consult with your vet before giving your dog supplements.

BeneCoat Essential Fatty Acids for DogsBeneCoat® Essential Fatty Acids for Dogs. This is an affiliate link which helps support the free information on this page.


Can I Give My Dog Flaxseed?

Flaxseed contains omega-3 fatty acid and B vitamins. You can add ground flaxseed in place of oils in the diet. Flaxseed is good for skin and coat health. Vets use it as a treatment for constipation. Flaxseed oil isn't absorbed as well as fish oil. It can cause stomach upset and diarrhea. Introduce ground flaxseed slowly into your dog's diet. Start with a maximum amount of ½ - 3 teaspoons daily, depending on the size of your dog (Allegretti, 2003).

Flaxseed may increase bleeding risk. It can enhance the effect of medications given to treat diabetes. It may decrease absorption of oral medications. Too much ground flaxseed and flaxseed oil can result in overdosage. Consult with your vet before giving your dog any supplements.



Can I Give My Dog Garlic?

Yes, in small amounts over a short period.

Large amounts of garlic or garlic given over long periods can result in the formation of Heinz bodies. Heinz bodies are a condition that destroys the blood cells. This results in a severe hemolytic anemia (Yamato, 2005). There is also an increased risk for the development of blood clotting abnormalities. Consult with your vet before giving your dog any supplements.



Can I Give My Dog Ginger?

Ginger is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. It treats digestive upset, nausea, gas, motion sickness, and heart problems. It helps joint inflammation due to arthritic conditions and to reduce fever. It is also useful as an anti-infective, especially against viruses. To make ginger tea, simmer two slices of fresh ginger in a cup of water, add a little honey and give small amounts before traveling (Allegretti, 2003).

Ginger can decrease blood sugar levels and can increase absorption of all oral medications. Too much ginger may cause nausea, especially when given on an empty stomach and can affect how well blood clots. Do not give to a dog with a gastric ulcer. Do not give to pregnant dogs, since high ginger intake in humans can lead to miscarriage. Always consult with your veterinarian before giving your dog any natural or herbal supplements.



Can I Give My Dog Glucosamine?

Dog glucosamine is produced naturally in the body. It helps make cartilage. It helps repair joint damage. Glucosamine is proven to be as effective as NSAIDs to reduce pain and increase joint mobility in humans (Skidmore-Roth, 2006).

Amazon.com sells liquid glucosamine for dogs. Veterinarians recommend glucosamine for osteoarthritis in dogs.



Can I Give My Dog Grapes? No.

As few as a couple of grapes can be toxic to dogs, causing kidney failure, vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite, lethargy, weakness, and decreased urine output. Scientists have not identified the substance in grapes and raisins responsible for kidney damage. One review of medical cases found that only a little more than fifty percent of the dogs survived following grape and raisin ingestion which resulted in severe kidney failure. (Eubig, 2005).



Can I Give My Dog Green Tea? No.

Green tea contains caffeine. Caffeine is a CNS stimulant similar to theobromine in chocolate. It is toxic to dogs. Vomiting, diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst, urination, hyperactivity, and in severe cases, increased heart rate and abnormal heart rhythm, increased blood pressure, tremors and seizures can occur when a dog ingests caffeine in large amounts. Green tea has antibacterial properties and is used as an astringent compress to help minor moist sores to dry out and heal. Consult with your vet before giving your dog any natural or herbal supplements.



Can I Give My Dog Ground Beef?

Ground beef is a neutral food in traditional Chinese medicine. You can give it to your dog along with rice when they have digestive upset. Brown the ground beef and ensure that it is well-cooked. Drain the fat from the cooked meat. If your dog hasn't eaten beef, introduce it slowly into their diet. Some dogs may not be able to tolerate it.



Can I Give My Dog Gummy Bears?

There are two primary reasons not to give your dog gummies. The first is because some types of gummies use xylitol as a sweetener. Xylitol is toxic to dogs and kills them quickly. See the FDA's warning on Xylitol and dogs. The second reason is sugars can cause gastrointestinal distress.



Can I Give My Dog Honey?

You can use honey as a sweetener for baked homemade dog treats. Give honey in small amounts, since a lot of sugar is not good for dogs. It can cause diarrhea. Honey contains small amounts of the botulism toxin. Human babies should not be given honey before their first birthday. Use caution when giving your puppy foods containing honey.



Can I Give My Dog Human Glucosamine?

The body makes glucosamine naturally. It is necessary for the normal production of cartilage. It repairs joint damage. Glucosamine supplements are mainly derived from shellfish. Glucosamine is as effective as NSAIDs to reduce pain and increase joint mobility in humans (Skidmore-Roth, 2006). Refer to the aforementioned "Can I give my dog glucosamine?" question above.



Can I Give My Dog Human Vitamins?

During periods of stress, illness, or injury requirements for certain nutrients can increase. While a dog can be given human vitamins, the dosage will be dependent upon the dog's weight and health status. Small dogs can be given children's vitamins, but care must be taken to avoid artificial colorings, dangerous sweeteners like Xylitol and possible overdosages. Always consult with your veterinarian before giving your dog any natural or herbal supplements.



Can I Give My Dog Ice Cream? No.

Dogs lack the enzyme necessary to digest lactose in dairy, which may cause bloating, gas, or diarrhea. This reaction will vary among dogs. Ice cream also has a very high-fat content and including too much in your dog's diet can lead to pancreatitis, a serious condition requiring prompt medical treatment. Just like people, some dogs may not be able to tolerate certain foods in their diet. Some retail locations serve dogs soft serve ice cream, which is 35% to 45% air and has less dairy in the product.



Can I Give My Dog Kaopectate?

Kaopectate (bismuth salicylate) is an over-the-counter human medication prescribed by veterinarians to treat diarrhea and digestive upset in dogs. While your dog may have been given Kaopectate in the past by your veterinarian, this medication may not be an appropriate treatment for their current illness.



Can I Give My Dog Laxatives? No.

Human laxatives will cause diarrhea in dogs. To prevent or treat constipation, you can add bran, one teaspoon of canned pumpkin (not the spiced pumpkin for pies), vegetables, or small amounts of olive oil to your dog's food. Psyllium can also be given: ½ - 2 teaspoons (depending on the size of your dog) mixed with broth or water once or twice a day. Avoid giving psyllium if your dog is dehydrated (Allegretti, 2003). Always be sure your dog has plenty of fresh water available throughout the day.



Can I Give My Dog Levaquin?

Levaquin (levofloxacin) is an antibiotic prescribed by veterinarians to treat specific infections in dogs. While your dog may have been given Levaquin in the past by your veterinarian, this medication may not be an appropriate treatment for their current illness. High levels of Levaquin can cause heart arrhythmias in dogs (Chiba, 2000).



Can I Give My Dog Liver?

Liver is high in fat. Eating fatty liver can cause pancreatitis. Large amounts of liver can result in vitamin A toxicity. Symptoms are a loss of appetite and weight loss, constipation, lethargy, limping, increased sensitivity of the neck and front legs, and stiffness. Most dogs love liver, and you can give small amounts as a treat. Introduce new foods slowly to your dog's diet, to avoid a digestive issue.



Can I Give My Dog Maalox?

Maalox (aluminum hydroxide, magnesium hydroxide, simethicone, and sorbitol) is an over-the-counter human antacid used by veterinarians to treat digestive upset in dogs. While your dog may have been given Maalox in the past by your veterinarian, this medication may not be an appropriate treatment for their current illness. Dogs with kidney or heart disease should never be given Maalox.



Can I Give My Dog Melatonin?

Melatonin is a hormone required for normal brain function and regulation of body rhythms and reproductive cycles. Melatonin is used as a sedative to decrease separation anxiety, to treat fear conditions and firecracker and thunderstorm noise phobias. Melatonin can help induce sleep in pets that won't settle at night and to treat elderly pets whose biological clocks are reversed. Melatonin is also an antioxidant and is used to boost the immune system, prevent and treat cancers, treat hair loss and cognitive impairment. Melatonin can affect blood sugar levels in diabetic dogs and alter the heat cycle in female dogs. Always consult with your veterinarian before giving your dog any natural or herbal supplements.



Can I Give My Dog Motrin? No.

Motrin (ibuprofen) is a NSAID, an over-the-counter medication used to treat fever, pain, and inflammation in humans. In dogs, NSAIDs can cause ulcers in the digestive tract which can progress to bleeding, as well as liver or kidney damage, or even death. Call your vet or the Poison Control Center now if your dog has eaten some. Some poisonings require antidotes or supportive treatment.



Can I Give My Dog Mushrooms? No, Some Mushrooms Can Cause Illness and Even Death.

While most mushrooms from the store will be ok for your dog, it's best not to give any just to be safe. Wild mushrooms can be toxic and can quickly kill your dog. Call your vet or the Poison Control Center now if your dog has eaten wild mushrooms. These poisonings require immediate procedures to remove the mushrooms. Vets will attempt to counteract the toxins. Your vet will try an emergency upper GI decontamination procedure (similar to vomiting). They will administer IV fluids and activated charcoal. The charcoal helps absorb toxins. You may have to give it to your dog multiple times.



Can I Give My Dog Nutmeg? No.

High levels of nutmeg can be toxic or even fatal to dogs. Scientists don't know what's responsible for the toxic effects. Signs of toxicity include tremors, seizures, central nervous system abnormalities, or death.



Can I Give My Dog Nuts?

You can give most nuts to dogs. They can give them as an occasional treat and dogs love peanut butter. Nuts have a high fat content and are usually highly salted. Both fat and salt aren't good for dogs. High fat can result in pancreatitis. There is a salt overload condition that causes health problems for dogs. You also need to be careful with the size of the nut. Some dogs will swallow the nut whole. This can lead to a blockage within the digestive tract.

Important note: Macadamia nuts are an exception. As few as six macadamia nuts can cause severe toxic effects in dogs. Signs of toxicity are weakness, abdominal pain, and vomiting. The dog can't walk, their temperature will rise, you'll see tremors and depression. These symptoms begin within 12 hours after ingestion. They will usually subside within 48 hours (Hansen, 2000). Scientists don't know what in macadamia nuts causes this toxic effect. Signs of toxicity usually go away on their own in 12 to 24 hours.



Can I Give My Dog Olive Oil?

Olive oil can be safely added to your dog's diet. Olive oil contains unsaturated fatty acids. They are great for skin and coat health and as a treatment for constipation. The amount of oil added depends on the size of your dog. The maximum values should be 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon daily (Allegretti, 2003). Remember, oil will increase the number of calories your dog eats. Too much oil can cause diarrhea in dogs.



Can I Give My Dog Omega-3 Fatty Acids?

Yes, Omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and improve immune response. They help increase the survival rate in dogs with cancer or heart disease. Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil treat skin and coat conditions. They boost the development of healthy nerves and brains in puppies. Studies show omega-3 fatty acids in older dogs helps prevent and treat cognitive disorders (Taha, 2009). Fish oils help in the prevention and treatment of cancer, diabetes, heart and kidney disease.

A study has determined that fish oil may be helpful with aggressive dogs (Re, 2008).

Remember, oil adds calories. Too much in a dog's diet leads to weight gain and diarrhea. Fish oils can cause deficiencies of other nutrients and decreased blood clotting time. Don't use them if your dog has heart disease or a bleeding disorder. Oils can contain large amounts of vitamin A. This can lead to toxicity. Symptoms of vitamin A toxicity are loss of appetite and weight loss, constipation, lethargy, limping, stiffness and increased sensitivity of the neck and front legs.



Can I Give My Dog Onions? No.

Dogs lack the enzyme needed to break down thiosulphate. Thiosulphate is in both onions and garlic. The ingestion of onions can result in gas, vomiting, diarrhea or severe gastrointestinal distress. It leads to the formation of Heinz bodies on the surface of red blood cells. These red blood cells are then destroyed by the body. This destruction causes a severe hemolytic anemia (Yamato, 2005). There is an increased risk for the development of blood clotting abnormalities.



Can I Give My Dog Oxycodone? No.

Oxycodone works on the central nervous system (CNS). Oxycodone is a potent CNS suppressant. It will decrease your dog's heart and respiratory rate. This can result in death. Call your vet or the Poison Control Center now if your dog has eaten some. Some poisonings require antidotes or supportive treatment.



Can I Give My Dog Pepcid?

Vets prescribe Pepcid (famotidine) to treat digestive upset, ulcers, and other gastrointestinal disorders. It is an H2-receptor agonist (Walter, 2008). Your vet may have given Pepcid to your dog in the past. However, this may not be the correct drug for their current illness.



Can I Give My Dog Pepto-Bismol?

Pepto-Bismol (bismuth salicylate) is an antacid. Vets use it to treat nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea in dogs. While your vet may have given it to your dog in the past, it may not be right their current illness.



Can I Give My Dog Pig Ears?

Pig ears can be a safe alternative to bones. Most dogs find them irresistible. However, studies find that pig ears may have bacteria. This bacteria may be resistant to antibiotics (Finley, 2008). Pig ears are also high in fat. This can lead to pancreatitis, a severe illness requiring medical treatment. Wash your hands after touching them due to avoid salmonella poisoning3.



Can I Give My Dog Pork?

Cooked pork is a neutral food in traditional Chinese medicine. It is an excellent source of protein. Bacon and ham have too much fat for your dog's system to handle. They can cause pancreatitis, a severe illness requiring medical treatment. Don't give your dog uncooked pork. Uncooked pork may have parasites and high germ levels.



Can I Give My Dog Raisins? No.

As little as seven raisins can be toxic to dog. They cause kidney failure, vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite, lethargy, weakness, and decreased urine output. Scientists don't know the substance in grapes and raisins that cause kidney damage. A review of medical cases found that roughly half of the dogs who ate grapes and raisins died. These dogs died from severe kidney failure (Eubig, 2005).



Can I Give My Dog Raw Meat?

Raw meat may have E. coli and salmonella (Lefebvre SL et al., 2008). While this bacteria may not cause illness in your dog, it can cause you to become ill. Handling raw meat can lead to cross-contamination with the bacteria. Households with an immune compromised member shouldn't feed raw meat to their dogs. Some dogs should not be given raw meat since their immune system may be compromised. Dogs on a raw meat diet will need carbohydrates (10-30% of the total diet), as well as calcium supplements. Check with your vet for the proper amount of calcium to give your dog. There may be other nutrients that your dog will need.



Can I Give My Dog Rice?

Rice is a neutral food in traditional Chinese medicine. Cooked rice, and most other grains are easily digested by dogs. Give rice as part of a bland diet when your dog has digestive upset. You can also give it cooked hamburger, if you drain the fat. 10-30% of your dog's diet should come from carbohydrates.



Can I Give My Dog Salmon?

Salmon is a good source of dietary protein for your dog. Be sure to completely cook salmon, and never feed raw salmon to your dog. Salmon may have parasites, in the form of flukes. These flukes release a rickettsial organism, Neorickettsia helminthoeca. This organism causes severe nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea It results in death if untreated. This infection can also affect humans. Canned salmon is a good choice; dogs can eat the bones in canned salmon without problems.



Can I Give My Dog Strawberries?

Strawberries are a safe and healthy treat for dogs. Rinse the strawberries thoroughly to remove any pesticide residue. Give strawberries fresh, added to baked homemade dog treats, or frozen as a summer treat. If your dog hasn't eaten strawberries, give small pieces to prevent digestive upset. Like people, some dogs can't tolerate certain foods.



Can I Give My Dog Sudafed? No.

Sudafed (pseudoephedrine) causes increased heart rate and blood pressure. You should never give it to dogs. Call your vet or the Poison Control Center quickly if you suspect that your dog has eaten this drug. Some poisonings require antidotes or supportive treatment.



Can I Give My Dog Human Toothpaste? No.

Brush your dog's teeth with toothpaste formulated for dogs. Human toothpaste may contain xylitol, which is toxic to dogs. Call your vet or the Poison Control Center quickly if your dog has eaten your toothpaste. Some poisonings require antidotes or supportive treatment.



Can I Give My Dog Turkey?

Unprocessed turkey is a safe protein source for dogs. Give white meat to your dog if its overweight since dark meat is high in fat. If your dog hasn't eaten turkey before, give it small pieces to prevent digestive upset. Like people, some dogs can't tolerate certain foods. White turkey meat is high in L-Tryptophan, an amino acid that causes sleepiness.



Can I Give My Dog Tums®?

Vets prescribe Tums® (calcium carbonate) as a dietary supplement for dogs. If your dog eats a well-balanced diet, they won't need calcium supplements. Give calcium with the proper ratio of phosphorus and vitamin D. Too much calcium can cause pancreatitis, an illness requiring medical treatment.

Your vet may have given Tums® to your dog to treat an upset stomach in the past. But it may not be the correct treatment for their current illness. If your dog has a foreign body blockage, you should take it to the vet quickly.

If your dog vomits, that can be an indication that it's severely ill. It may die. Please review these resources about intestinal issues in dogs:



Can I Give My Dog Tylenol®? No.

Your vet may have given your dog Tylenol® in the past. However, the wrong dose can be destructive to your dog's liver and red blood cells. It can kill your dog in less than an hour. Tylenol® is fatal to cats. Never give it to cats. If your dog or cat has ingested Tylenol® or Acetaminophen, its active ingredient, call your vet or the Poison Control Center now. This is usually is a life threatening situation.



Can I Give My Dog Unisom? No.

Unisom® contains doxylamine succinate and diphenhydramine. Vets can prescribe diphenhydramine for allergies in dogs. Buy doxylamine succinate is toxic and should never be given to dogs. Call your vet or the Poison Control Center now if your dog has eaten some. Some poisonings require antidotes or supportive treatment.



Can I Give My Dog Valerian Root?

Valerian is a sedative and a treatment for hyperactivity. It promotes sleep and decreases nausea caused by stress or anxiety. Valerian is also used for firecracker or thunderstorm noise phobias. However, some dogs may have the exact opposite effect from valerian. It may cause them to become increasingly agitated and anxious. Valerian given in high doses may cause vomiting. Consult with your vet before giving your dog any supplements.



Can I Give My Dog Valium?

Valium (diazepam) is a tranquilizer prescribed by veterinarians to treat anxiety in dogs. While your dog may have been given Valium in the past by your veterinarian, this medication may not be an appropriate treatment for their current illness.



Can I Give My Dog Vitamins?

During periods of stress, illness, or injury there may be increased requirements for certain nutrients. While a dog can be given vitamins, the dosage will depend on the dog's weight and health status. Always consult with your veterinarian before giving your dog any natural or herbal supplements.



Can I Give My Dog Vitamin C?

Dogs manufacture vitamin C in their livers and should not require vitamin C supplementation, unless under stress. Too much vitamin C intake can irritate the stomach causing bloating or diarrhea, and excessive amounts can also lead to the formation of kidney stones. Always consult with your veterinarian before giving your dog any natural or herbal supplements.



Can I Give My Dog Xanax?

Xanax (alprazolam) is a tranquilizer prescribed by veterinarians to treat anxiety or firework or thunderstorm noise phobias in dogs. While your dog may have been given Xanax in the past by your veterinarian, this medication may not be an appropriate treatment for their current illness.



Can I Give My Dog Xylitol? No.

Xylitol is a natural sweetener added to chewing gum, candy, toothpaste and other products. Dogs given anything with xylitol may develop a sudden drop in blood sugar, which can cause weakness, lethargy, vomiting, incoordination, and seizures. The toxic effects can begin within a half-hour and can last many hours. Other complications of xylitol toxicity are low platelet levels and decreased blood clotting ability, multiple hemorrhages, and liver failure (Dunayer, 2006).  (Special thanks to customer Marcie Caccavaro for her input on this topic).



Can I Give My Dog Yogurt?

Yogurt contains beneficial bacteria (probiotics), and one teaspoon to one tablespoon (depending upon your dog's size) can be given to your dog to maintain good digestive health (Allegretti, 2003). Yogurt may be given fresh, added to baked homemade dog treats, or as an alternative to ice cream. If your dog has never eaten yogurt before, give only amounts at first to prevent digestive upset. Just like people, some dogs may not be able to tolerate certain foods in their diet.



Can I Give My Dog Zinc?

Zinc, a heavy metal, is the 9th most common cause of dog poisonings in 2008. A normal immune system needs zinc for the formation of red blood cells. Zinc helps maintain blood sugar levels in diabetic dogs, is used to treat skin conditions and to aid wound healing. Excess zinc levels can lead to pancreatitis or toxicity.

Zinc toxicity happens to puppies that are known for eating everything in sight. Particularly dangerous are pennies minted after 1982; zinc toxicity can result from the ingestion of only three pennies. When the copper coating of the penny is broken, the zinc core is rapidly absorbed into the dog's system. Transport crates can have high zinc levels, and you should try to prevent your dog from licking or chewing on the wires. Signs of zinc toxicity are decreased appetite, diarrhea and vomiting, and weakness that can progress to kidney failure. Always consult with your veterinarian before giving your dog any natural or herbal supplements.



Can I Give My Dog Zyrtec?

Zyrtec (cetirizine) is an antihistamine prescribed by veterinarians to treat allergy symptoms in dogs. While your dog may have been given Zyrtec in the past by your veterinarian, this medication may not be an appropriate treatment for their current illness.



In Summary:

There are some human medications that can be safely given to dogs. During your next visit, ask your veterinarian for the dosage information of the medications about which you have a question, and keep that information in a safe place that is easily accessible in the event of illness in your dog or in case of an emergency.

Herbs, nutraceuticals, homeopathic remedies, human foods, and many medications formulated for humans have not yet been studied for use in dogs and their safety established. If your dog does get into your medication or eats food that you know can be toxic, take a moment to gather a few things before contacting your veterinarian or the Poison Control Center. You will want to have the medication container (or food) available in order to provide the name, dosage, the number of pills your dog ingested, the time you think the dog ingested the medication, and if the dog is showing any symptoms. The Poison Control Center or your veterinarian may tell you to induce vomiting in your dog. Keep a bottle of hydrogen peroxide or ipecac syrup on hand - but also keep them away from your dog!

Animal Poison Control Center (ASPCA)
Phone Number:1-888-426-4435 
$65.00 fee (as of March 2015)

References:


* "Top Pet Toxins of 2013." ASPCA. Web. 22 Mar. 2014. http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/top-pet-toxins-2013

2 "Avocado and Dogs, Avocado and Cats." Pet Poison Helpline. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Sept. 2013. http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/poison/avocado/

3 Clark, Clifford. "Characterization of Salmonella Associated with Pig Ear Dog Treats in Canada." National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, Nov. 2001. Web. 22 Mar. 2014. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC88472/

Acetaminophen Toxicity in Dogs. American Animal Hospital Association. Accessed May 7, 2009.

Allegretti J, Sommers K. The Complete Holistic Dog Book: Home Health Care for our Canine Companions. California: Celestial Arts; 2003.

Bauer JE. Responses of dogs to dietary omega-3 fatty acids. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2007 Dec 1;231(11):1657-61. PMID: 18052798

Chiba K et al. Proarrhythmic effects of fluoroquinolone antibacterial agents: in vivo effects as physiologic substrate for torsades. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2000, Nov 15; 169(1):8-16.

Crowell-Davis SL et al. Use of clomipramine, alprazolam, and behavior modification for treatment of storm phobia in dogs. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2003 Mar 15;222(6):744-8. PMID: 12675296

Dunayer EK et al. Acute hepatic failure and coagulopathy associated with xylitol ingestion in eight dogs. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2006 Oct 1;229(7):1113-7. PMID: 17014359

Eubig PA et al. Acute renal failure in dogs after the ingestion of grapes or raisins: a retrospective evaluation of 43 dogs (1992-2002. J Vet Intern Med. 2005 Sep-Oct;19(5):663-74. PMID: 16231710

Finley R et al. The occurrence and anti-microbial susceptibility of Salmonellae isolated from commercially available pig ear pet treats. Zoonoses Public Health . 2008 Oct;55(8-10):455-61. PMID: 18631234

Hansen SR et al. Weakness, tremors, and depression associated with macadamia nuts in dogs. Vet Hum Toxicol . 2000 Feb;42(1):18-21. PMID: 10670081

Hennet P. Effectiveness of an enzymatic rawhide dental chew to reduce plaque in beagle dogs. J Vet Dent. 2001 Jun;18(2):61-4. PMID: 11968913

Herron ME et al. Retrospective evaluation of the effects of diazepam in dogs with anxiety-related behavior problems. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2008 Nov 1;233(9):1420-4. PMID: 18980494

Lefebvre SL et al. Evaluation of the risks of shedding Salmonellae and other potential pathogens by therapy dogs fed raw diets in Ontario and Alberta. Zoonoses Public Health. 2008 Oct;55(8-10):470-80. PMID: 18811908

Pancreatitis: General Information. Accessed May 11, 2009.

Re S et al. Aggressive dogs are characterized by low omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid status.

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We've compiled over 80 of the most asked "can I give my dog" questions. We've listed their answers in order of A through Z.

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