Can Dogs Be Given Tylenol?

James Glover
by James Glover
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QuestionMy puppy (18 lbs) ate one or two children's Tylenol. Is this a dangerous amount that I need to induce vomiting or will he be ok? (Brandi Grant - Missouri)

Answer

Tylenol® is a brand-name for Acetaminophen (also known as Paracetamol), which is widely-used in humans as an over-the-counter pain reliever and fever reducer, and is often contained in cold and flu remedies. Tylenol® is actually often administered by veterinarians to dogs for post-surgical pain relief, but it should never be given without veterinary supervision and directions. As a side note, Tylenol® is far more toxic to cats than it is dogs and under no circumstances should be administered to cats. The amount of Tylenol® required to induce a toxic effect in dogs is low, and depends on your dog's weight and overall health, which is why the most common cause of a toxic effect in dogs is an accidental ingestion (for example a dog that eats pills left on a counter).

You did not state the amount of active ingredients in the Tylenol® pills that your dog ingested, but I believe that in your case, if your dog has not exhibited any unusual symptoms by now, that the dosage you gave was significantly under the threshold for toxic effect that you don't have anything to worry about. Symptoms to look for would be vomiting, shortness of breath, and drooling, followed by swelling and coma. If left un-treated, the ultimate effect of such a toxic dose is likely to be liver failure and death. Therefore, if your dog displays any unusual symptoms you must have him examined by your veterinarian to rule out a Tylenol® overdose.

Disclaimer: This service is meant to provide advice only and is not meant to replace an appointment with a registered veterinarian. Users should always seek a second opinion. Unfortunately we are only able to answer several questions per week so not everyone gets a published answer. And, unfortunately we can't answer by email.
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