Can Dogs Have Paracetamol?

Paracetamol medicines like Panadol are among the most popular OTC pain relievers. Many people find these medicines quite effective, and think they can also administer Paracetamol to their dogs in case of fever or pain. The truth is that even though a Panadol tablet helps relieve pain in humans, it's not for canines. A number of OTC human medicines can lead to dire consequences when given to your dog – they can be fatal in some cases.

Can Dogs Have Paracetamol?

The answer is NO! Paracetamol may prove beneficial for you, but it can be very toxic for your dogs. Even if doesn't kill your dog right away, its toxic content will surely hurt your dog in some ways. It is therefore important to ask your veterinarian what's suitable for your dog in certain situations.

After the question can dogs have paracetamol, many people have another question can dogs have aspirin? You may want to avoid aspirin in certain situations, but it is better than paracetamol and is sometimes prescribed by veterinarians for slight fever and minor pain. Your vet will consider giving your dog some antibiotics to treat the underlying infection that may be causing pain or fever. Panadol isn't a choice here.

Harmful Effects of Paracetamol on Dogs

The harmful effects don't become noticeable immediately. It is for this reason only that many people give their dogs a Panadol and think it has actually helped relieve their dog's pain and fever. In reality, the toxic effects accumulate over time and lead to liver or kidney damage, and stomach ulcers.

Paracetamol alters the blood cells, changing its red pigment into a compound called methaemoglobin.  This leads to extreme breathlessness in your dog with lips and gums of your dog turning blue. You may even notice fluid-like swelling develop around your dog's face. Even if paracetamol doesn't produce serious effects, you may still notice your dog having an upset stomach. They will appear tired, and when you don't consult your vet early, it may also produce signs of staggering, restlessness, and vomiting. There may even be blood in the urine and stool.

What Should I Do If My Dog Has Eaten Paracetamol?

Can dogs have paracetamol? No, they cannot. But, what should you do when you have accidentally given a Panadol to your dog? Contact your vet immediately even if you don't notice any signs of poisoning. Provide your vet with complete details about the medication who will listen to you and start by inducing vomiting. It is best to induce vomiting within the first 3 hours of taking paracetamol. If it has been more than 3 hours since your dog has eaten paracetamol, your vet may consider other treatment options to protect your dog's kidneys and the intestines. They may also use a drip to help maintain your dog's blood pressure. Gastric protectant medicines are given to your dog to protect the medicines.

My Dog Has Been Prescribed Paracetamol-Shall I Give It?

Paracetamol is basically formulated for use in humans, but your vet may prescribe the one formulated for use in dogs in certain cases. They will prescribe a specific dosage, and you should not exceed that under any circumstances. When administering paracetamol to your dog, be sure to report any problems such as difficulty breathing, vomiting, dullness, drooling, or a painful tummy. However, you should never give paracetamol to your dog if he has a liver condition. Similarly, it is advisable to avoid paracetamol if your dog is under analgesic or narcotic medication.

Options and Types of Pain Medication for Dogs

Since dogs cannot have paracetamol, then the question is-what should you give your dog to relieve pain and fever? Here are some better options:


Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are a good choice to reduce stiffness, swelling, and joint pain in dogs. They are equally effective for dogs with arthritis. It is better to avoid giving any medication meant for use in human to your pooch. You can find some NSAIDs formulated just for dogs. The list includes Novox, Etogesic, Deramaxx, Metacam, Previcox, and Zubrin.

Your vet may allow you to give aspirin to your dog for a short amount of time, but you should not use it for extended periods because it increases the risk of bleeding. If you're giving your dog aspirin, opt for the coated aspirin because it's light on the stomach.

These NSAIDs are usually safe, but they may produce certain liver, kidney, or stomach related issues. You should go see your vet if you've given your dog an NSAID and they are now showing signs of behavioral changes with skin redness, vomiting, and tarry stool.

Other Medications

NSAIDs work quite well, but sometimes, your dog doesn't respond to these medications and require other types of painkillers. Some other common options are amantadine, tramadol, and Gabapentin. Amantadine helps treat Parkinson's disease in humans, but helps relieve pain from disk disease, arthritis, and cancer in dogs. It has side effects such as agitation and diarrhea. Gabapentin is effective against pain caused by damaged nerves in dogs. Your dog may become sleepy in the first few days, but things will improve eventually. Tramadol is a mild opioid medication that is given usually to aging dogs. The side effects of Tramadol include decreased heart rate, constipation, panting, and an upset stomach.


You may not want to give your dog medications that cause several side effects. In this situation, the best alternative treatment is to give them supplements such as chondroitin and glucosamine. It is not clear how effective these supplements will prove, but there is research that confirms the effectiveness of supplements in treating swelling.

As you can see, there are different treatment options available to help your dog feel better. However, you should always consult your vet before giving your dog any type of OTC painkillers or even supplements. Keep a written copy of the treatment plan to avoid making any mistake pertaining to dosage requirements. Too little or too much of any medication will lead to dire consequences. Also, keep in mind that what your vet approves for one dog doesn't make it safe for other dogs. Talk to your vet and explain any signs of discomfort you're noticing in your dog to help them determine the best treatment option.

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