4 min read


Can Dogs Have Advil?



4 min read


Can Dogs Have Advil?


As a loving dog owner, it's only natural that you want to help heal your dog as quickly as possible when they're feeling pain. Sometimes, in order to do that, people will feed their pups human medicines. This often comes from a good place - they just want their pups to feel better - but unfortunately, this can be an ignorant, dangerous choice. 

Feeding your dog medicine that's intended for people (like Advil) can be a bad choice and cause your dog discomfort, make them sick, or even in some cases, kill them. So, to answer the question pretty directly - no, you should not give your dog Advil. As always, if your pup is feeling ill, a trip to the vet is probably the best medicine you can give him or her. 

Because Advil is designed for people, your dog won't be able to process the medicine correctly and can even get Advil poisoning if you're not careful. Read on for more information on how to learn which signs you should look out for if your dog has ingested Advil, learn about why you shouldn't feed your pup human medicine, and get a better understanding of how to train your pooch to avoid human medicines.


Signs Your Dog Might Have Advil Poisoning

When it comes to giving your dog Advil, or any human medicine for that matter, there's always a strong possibility of poisoning your pup. Ibuprofen, known as Advil, is a non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory medication that's designed for people, but unfortunately, it can be super toxic to your dog. 

There might be very small dosages that could be safe for your dog, but that window is so narrow that you run the risk of seriously hurting your pup if you go an mg over that dosage. If you've given your dog too much Advil, or if your curious pooch has gotten into your medicine cabinet on his or her own, you'll need to look out for signs of Advil toxicity. 

First, see if your dog is exhibiting any signs of physical discomfort. Does your pup show signs of vomiting, diarrhea, bloody feces, nausea, or increased urination and thirst? All of these are signs that your dog is suffering from Advil poisoning. Your pup also might be facing things like seizures, incoordination, comas, weight loss, anorexia, and gastric ulcers.

Body Language

Here are a few signs that your dog might be suffering from Advil toxicity:

  • Growling
  • Cowering
  • Panting
  • Pacing
  • Lack Of Focus
  • Back Hair On Edge
  • Dropped Ears
  • Whale Eye
  • Freezing

Other Signs

Here are a few other signs your dog might be giving you to let you know they've ingested too much advil:

  • Weight Loss
  • Coma
  • Stomach Ulcers
  • Confusion Or Disorientation
  • Seizure
  • Increased Urination
  • Increased Thirst
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Bloody Feces
  • Bloody Vomit

The History of Dogs and Advil


One of the main causes of Advil poisoning in pooches is due to the sheer curious nature of dogs. You've seen it happen a million times, your pup runs off into the house unattended, finds something that doesn't belong to them, starts to chew, and swallows it down. It's not improbable - if you're not careful - that your doggo could get into your Advil stash.

Unfortunately, that's one of the biggest causes of Advil toxicity. Worse though, a bigger cause is that people will actually feed this medicine to their pups. While this usually comes from a good place - they simply want their pups to feel better - this ignorance could cause major issues for your dog. Because Advil is made with human systems in mind, it will not be absorbed or digested properly by your doggo.

The Science of Dogs and Advil


As much as you'd like to relieve your dog's pain as soon as possible, it never pays off to feed your pup human medicines. Let's break this down by first addressing what Advil really is to get a better understanding of how it could harm your dog. 

Advil is a form of ibuprofen, a non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory medication that's used as a pain reliever and fever reducer for humans. Though you could give your dog Advil in small amounts, there's a very narrow margin of safety for your pooch and it can be highly toxic. Why is that? 

Advil works by inhibiting an enzyme called cyclooxygenase, which is responsible for fever, inflammation, and pain. When these functions are reduced for dogs to such a degree, it can cause bleeding disorders, kidney or liver failure, and a plummet in appetite - all very dangerous issues for your pup.

Training Your Pooch to Avoid Advil


While it can be terribly difficult to teach your dog to avoid specific things - don't take Advil versus do take their own medicine - it's possible to train them to avoid certain places where you keep the medicine to avoid any mishaps. Just as people train their dogs to stay away from the sofa, off the chair, or out of the kitchen while they cook, you can train your pup to avoid the medicine cabinet where you keep your people products.

Try to train your dog accordingly and positively. Teach your pooch that when they avoid following you into the bathroom where the medicine is, they get a treat! If they do follow you, though, punish them accordingly and safely. 

Another great way to ensure that your dog stays out of the area where you're keeping your medicine, especially while you're gone,  is to crate train your pooch. Make sure your dog feels comfortable and happy inside his or her crate. Make this area a safe space your dog is happy to be while you're gone. If your pup is happily locked in their crate while you're gone, you can guarantee he or she won't be able to get into your medicine.

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By a Great Dane lover Hanna Marcus

Published: 04/17/2018, edited: 04/06/2020

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