Over The Counter Medications That Are Safe for Dogs (And how much to give!)


You may be seeing that your dog isn’t acting like themselves lately, and perhaps you’ve figured out that your dog is feeling sick. You also lack the time to go see a vet so that they could prescribe you medicine, so you wonder what you could do at a time like this. In this case, over the counter medications for dogs is an option to take into consideration. These medicines are always readily available to anyone and they will also save you time from seeing the vet and make your dog feel better sooner rather than prolonging their suffering.

Now that you are made aware of what your dog needs, the next question arises. What are over-the-counter medications that are safe for dogs? And what are safe dosages to give to them? There are various kinds of medications required for dogs for different purposes, and many of these are available over the counter. This article will cover the safest over the counter medications for dogs as well as inform you about the dosages you would need to give to them.


A very common over the counter medication for dogs is aspirin. Most commonly Buffered aspirin. Aspirin is a nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory drug. This feature places it in the same category as ibuprofen, carprofen, and other long lists of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that are specialized for both humans and animals.

So, when your dog is in pain these forms of nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs are used on them. They ease pain, inflammation, and even fever. It also acts as an anticoagulant, which means it prevents blood from clotting. They are very commonly available over the counter and can be bought affordably whenever you need them to treat your dog as quickly as possible.

Of course, all medicines come with side effects and aspirin is no different. Adverse reactions are prone to happen if the dosage is not properly given to them. A few symptoms you may need to be wary of are vomiting, diarrhea, ulceration, mucosal erosion, and black tarry stool. Other symptoms that may come with an overdose of aspirin are a loss of appetite, acid-based abnormalities, hemorrhage, seizures, etc. However, not to worry. As long as you get the dosage right, the side effects will become the least of your worries.

The dosage of aspirin which is recommended by The Merck Veterinary Manual is recommended to be around 10-40 mg/kg. This is just an average to consider because the dose that you give your dog depends on your dogs’ condition. One thing you should avoid doing is using aspirin we use for humans on dogs since they can create adverse side effects on dogs.


Antihistamines are one of the best over the counter medications for dogs. One particular antihistamine would be Dramamine. This particular antihistamine is known to alleviate the effects of nausea and motion sickness in dogs. It is known to be one of the most popular over the counter medications for dogs. This antihistamine works by affecting the dogs’ vestibular system, which is the dogs’ sensory system that sends messages to the brain about motion so that it will stop feeling dizzy and nauseous. It can come in both tablet and a liquid form and it is available over the counter, as well as being affordable.

Dramamine dosages can vary from dog to dog. Again, as the previous medication addressed, dosages depend on how severe the dogs’ condition is. It can also depend on the dogs’ weight and the form of medication that they are taking. However, regarding all this, vets still administer a certain dosage of this antihistamine for dogs. Generally, veterinarians recommend a dosage between 2 to 4mg per pound of the dogs’ body mass and it should not be given more than once every eight hours. It is best to give dogs the medicine at least thirty minutes before traveling anywhere.

There are side effects to this medication such as feelings of sleepiness, or even problems of urinating. Some dogs may even experience vomiting and diarrhea. But this is not to say that you should not provide your dog with the medication. As long as you keep the dosages to a safe amount, your dog will have no problems and will slowly recover from its illness.


Loperamide is typically sold under the name of Imodium and is one of the best over the counter medications for dogs. This particular medication, Immodium, treats dogs with diarrhea. The way it works is by slowing down the movement of the intestines, enabling the intestinal walls to absorb electrolytes and water which prevents food from moving down the intestine too rapidly. It is readily available and affordable in most pharmacies and can be brought over-the-counter. Though it is primarily used to treat diarrhea, it can also be used to treat acute colitis and irritable bowel syndromes, as well as malabsorption or maldigestion. It is recommended that even though this medication can treat diarrhea, one should not use it to treat it. Diarrhea is a good and natural way of the body releasing toxic substances, so taking medications are unnecessary for this.

Safe dosages would need to be administered when taking this medication, for certain. The usual dosage depends on the form of medication that is being used for the dog. If the liquid form of the medication is used, around 0.3 to 0.6 mL per pound of mass, two to three times a day is recommended. This is mainly fed to the dog by pouring it over their food. For the chewable form of this medication, your dog should take about 2 mg caplet or they can choose to chew for every 25 to 50 pounds of body mass, two to three times a day. Imodium multi-symptom relief contains 2mg loperamide, but it also contains simethicone. While it is safe for dogs, they should be having about one pill for every 25 to 50 pounds of body mass. Dosages can still be altered depending on the severity of the condition of your dog, but consulting a vet before doing so would be safe.

Some side effects that this medication includes are sedation, vomiting, soft stools, constipation, gas, loss of weight, and bloody diarrhea. That being said, as long as you give the safe dosages to your dog, these side effects should not be much of a concern to you and your dog.

Therefore, the best dosages for dogs can greatly vary from dog to dog, depending on a wide variety of factors. But even so, a general guideline is given by veterinarians to ensure that using over the counter medications for dogs becomes easy as well as accessible. In addition to this, these medications often come with a leaflet with instructions on how to use them. These typically also contain dosage information so you would not have to worry too much about what is safe for your dog if you follow those guidelines strictly. Finally, these three medications addressed in this article are the most accessible forms of medication for dogs and can be found almost anywhere over-the-counter. While they are safe for use, using them with caution is still highly recommended.

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