Over-the-Counter Medications That Are Safe for Dogs (And How Much to Give!)

While veterinary care, lots of love, and a healthy lifestyle is the absolute best way to keep your pet feeling great, all dogs will experience at least some form of injury or illness in their lifetime. Did you know that there are many over-the-counter human medications that can be safe and effective for dogs, when used correctly?

Benadryl, or another branded antihistamine, can be incredibly useful for treating allergies, bug bites, or other causes of itchy skin. Buffered aspirin is an excellent anti-inflammatory and pain reliever. Even Dramamine can be used for dogs with motion sickness, and Immodium can treat diarrhea. However, dosages for dogs are much different than for humans.

Use the chart below to determine if your OTC medication is dog (and cat) safe and how much should be administered. Always check with your veterinarian that understands your pet’s health and history before giving any medications. Additionally, be certain that you’re using only the medication listed, not other ingredients. Many antihistamines, for example, include added decongestants that can be lethal for your dog. Check labels very carefully and when in doubt, don’t use.


  1. I have a 7 lb. toy poodle that suffers from chronic pain. The vet prescribes her oral Buprenex, however I can’t afford that mediation or more so the vet bills I incur to get the prescription. I’m wondering what over the counter drug would help relieve her pain? Any suggestions?

    Thank you,

  2. you don’t have to print 70 pages all you have to do is print the page you need when u go to print it will say pages 1-10 or how ever many pages there may be all you have to do is scroll to see what page it is on if it is on page 3 just change the 1-10 to 3 or if its page 7 put 7 if it is page 1 and you don’t want to print 10 pages change the 1-10 just erase it to say 1 and bam you just learned how to make a printable version of anything you have to outsmart the computer.

  3. Why don’t you make a printable version of over the counter meds that can be used for pets. I had to print 70 pages to get the list of over the counter meds. I want to keep a list and amounts to be used on pets. This would be handy in an emergency.

  4. I need some help or input. My dog has a really bad cough and hacking I read on here to give him robitussin DM so I got some and I gave it to him and he instantly started foaming at the mouth and nose. Is this normal? My dog is like my child and I’m scared to death.

    • Hi Becky, my Jack Russell has asthma, she coughs sometimes to the point of gagging, she’s had asthma since she came to me at 2 years old. It has gotten worse over time, as Lizzie is 17 this winter!! So you may check if that is a problem, Lizzie sometimes gets stuffy nose too, I’ve started using saline nose drops and it has helped very well. I also put vaporub. Vicks on her collar, but never where she could lick it because it is toxic if eaten. The Vicks helps too, if asthma is the problem the vet can give an inhaler to use and that is the best relief for Lizzie. I recently moved from a house where mold was found in the walls. Since our move Lizzie’s coughing episodes have decreased dramatically!!
      I wish the best for you Becky and your furry friend<3

    • most likely he did not like the taste- I volunteered at a humane society- we had to medicate a cat w liquid kitty prozac- he hated it I felt horrible- he would foan at the mouth and slobber it out- so I bet your doggie is ok