4. ADHD Medication
Even minimal ingestion of these drugs can be deadly to dogs. Tremors, seizures, elevated body temperatures and heart problems can result. Brutlag says it’s important to educate children taking these pills: “Make sure your children know how dangerous the pills are for the pets.”
It’s true that antidepressants are prescribed to pets, but Lee says the veterinary versions have a different makeup. The human version can actually lead to agitation in dogs.
This over-the-counter pain medication can be devastating to pets. And ingestion often isn’t accidental. “Pet owners think because it’s over the counter that it’s safe,” Lee says. Acetaminophen ingestion by dogs, however, can lead to liver failure or, in large doses, red blood cell damage.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories are another pain medication. Just one or two pills can lead to serious stomach or kidney ulcers, or kidney failure. “The only pain pill we ever recommend is aspirin,” says Lee. “People think aspirin is the same as Tylenol or Advil, but it’s not.”
Lee and Brutlag offer tips to help prevent accidental ingestions, based on the most common stories they get from hotline callers:
- Keep human and dog drugs in different locations. It’s easy to grab the wrong bottle if they’re next to each other on the shelf.
- If you carry drugs in your bag or purse, place it someplace high when you’re home.
- If you use a seven-day pill container, store it out of reach. Dogs often think it’s a toy.
- Don’t assume children’s medicine is safe. Species’ differences are significant enough that medications safe for children can still harm dogs.
- When you travel, be vigilant about safely packing your pills.