Can I Give My Dog Excedrin?

Can I Give My Dog Excedrin?Excedrin is a pain relief medication which is FDA approved for human consumption only. It’s made up of aspirin, acetaminophen and caffeine and is used to relieve headaches, toothache, migraines and backache.

Human use only doesn’t mean that your vet won’t suggest it for your pet. As you probably know pets can take small doses of aspirin for pain. However, it’s the other ingredients found in Excedrin which present a problem.

When unsure what you can give your dog without causing damage, a quick phone call to your vet can clear up any questions you have. Your veterinarian will also be able to advise dosage and directions for human over the counter medication. When administering medication to dogs, the dosage is determined according to the size and weight of your dog.

Can I Give My Dog Excedrin? Answer: No

Acetaminophen is found in Excedrin and this happens to be the main ingredient in Tylenol.

It’s highly toxic for dogs. It can give them severe side effects and too high a dose could actually be fatal. As a general rule of thumb, any medication which cannot be safely used for young children is also not suitable for dogs.

If your dog is in pain, a simple dose of aspirin according to their size can often provide some relief. Excedrin is definitely not the solution you are looking for. Even relatively safe human medicines can cause trouble for dogs. Just think of how the dosage will spread through their bloodstreams, a lot quicker, due to their smaller size.

Accidental Excedrin Poisoning

Dogs tend to be mischievous and will get places they shouldn’t. If your dog has managed to get a hold of an Excedrin bottle, and you’re not sure how many tablets they’ve consumed, phone your vet or animal poison unit immediately.

They will likely suggest that you give the dog some salt water to induce vomiting. If your pup is already lethargic, they may advise you to immediately bring them it. A vet can more effectively induce vomiting as well as provide a good laxative to remove or dilute the toxic ingredients from their system.

Symptoms to Watch For

If your dog has eaten too much Excedrin they may start displaying symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, weakness and clumsiness. Another quite serious complication can involve slipping into a coma. Of course, there have been many cases of deaths.

Unfortunately, dogs are all too often poisoned by human medications. Sometimes it’s due to their curiosity and other times it’s because they were given a harmful medication by an unwitting owner. Acetaminophen poisoning, like the kind in Excedrin, happens all the time which is sad because it is totally preventable.

Once you notice that your dog is suffering from any of these symptoms, you should find the empty Excedrin bottle and phone your vet. Then get them there as soon as possible.

Close Monitoring & Rehydration

Upon bringing your dog home from the vet, you’ll need to keep a close eye on them to ensure that they’re improving. If your dog doesn’t show signs of improvement, you will need to advise the veterinarian once again.

During this time, be sure to offer your dog plenty of water. If vomiting and diarrhea have been induced, they may be very sick which can lead to dehydration. Make sure there is plenty of fresh water available in close proximity and offer it to them on a regular basis.

Over The Counter Medications

The vast majority of medications that you can purchase over-the-counter from your pharmacy are potentially bad or even deadly for your dog. Remember this the next time you are tempted to self-medicate them with something like Excedrin.

Even though vets can be costly, your dog is worth it. Why not turn to them, the professionals, for advice? If your vet is honest, they will let you know if your dog can safely be given some human medication. If you are unable to afford consultation, a piece of an aspirin tablet for pain is sometimes suggested. But if there is no improvement, or they get worse, you really should get them to a vet for medical assistance.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Maggie April, 2015

I have a 16 year old mini Schnauzer that has liver problems. Her enzymes were to high and she started having seizures. My vet put her on Denamarin. I get the chewable kind. She likes the taste and the tablets were just to hard to get her swallow. I also give her liquid milk thistle and liquid Ashwagandha, both without alcohol and sugar. I give her baby aspirin for her arthritis. Naproxen, Excedrin and Ibuprofen are killers for dogs.


Tami April, 2015

I have a 15 year old Labradane. He is in pain because he has liver cancer and is not using his back legs. He has stopped following me around in the last two days. I don’t think he will make it past a few days. The vet’s office is closed. Is there any thing I can give him for pain? I only have Naproxen, Excedrin Migraine and Ibuprofen.


Anna John April, 2015

Tami, please let your dog go to sleep. I have had two dogs I watched suffer before we put them to sleep because my husband couldn’t let our dog go. I swore I would never let another dog suffer needlessly. How would you like to have constant unbearable pain? If there was a cure, I’d say the opposite but please end your dog’s suffering.


David June, 2015

I agree with you 100%. We all love our dogs so the problem is when to know the time to call it quits. I have a rescue dog with me now that is 15 years old and was in bad health. I have kept this large 120 pound dog going for two years now but I think I have run out of options. The dog doesn’t seem to enjoy life any longer.


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