Can I Give My Dog Sudafed?

Can I Give My Dog Sudafed?Giving your dog Sudafed is controversial to say the least. Most vets would not recommend doing so. This medicine can cause an increased heart rate, change in blood pressure, hypertension and many other complications for pets.

It’s true that some veterinarians use this popular over-the-counter nasal decongestant medication as a remedy for dogs with incontinence. So what’s the verdict on safely administering Sudafed to your pup?

Giving your Sudafed supply to an animal without a professional’s guidance is a bad idea. This doesn’t mean it cannot be successfully used, but don’t experiment when it comes to the family dog’s well-being.

Can I Give My Dog Sudafed? Answer: Only with a vet’s approval

A conservative and short-term dose is usually the way professionals utilize it for pets.

A natural laxative may actually be better than an over-the-counter solution.

Some Dosage Guidelines

Sudafed, especially for a dog, isn’t meant to be used long term. Regarding proper dosage, in smaller dogs a 30mg dose is ample and 60mg is enough for larger breeds. Canines with cardiovascular problems or diabetes shouldn’t take this medication under any circumstances. Talk to your veterinarian for dosing based on your dog’s particular situation.

For Treating Incontinence

Uncontrolled bladder in dogs may not be incontinence. It could be a bladder infection which needs to be properly treated with specialized antibiotics, not Sudafed.

Symptoms to Watch For

Problematic symptoms can include vomiting, diarrhea, excessive salivation, staggering, skin rashes, decreased appetite, fever, itching, and lethargy or restlessness. Contact your vet if you observe any of these!

Obviously Sudafed isn’t designed for dogs. It’s very dangerous if taken in large amounts even in humans. Phenylephrine is in most decongestants, including Sudafed, and dogs don’t handle it well. Complications may mean a dose was too strong or they may simply be rejecting it.

If you think your dog got into your medicine cabinet and ate some Sudafed, it’s highly recommended to take them to a vet immediately. Keep your dog calm during this time since Sudfed poisoning can bring upon a seizure in some cases.

If your dog is showing any of the above symptoms, visit your vet as soon as possible.

Monitor Your Dog

You know your dog’s behavior better than anyone which means you’ll notice any changes in them. With close monitoring, you can observe important signs right away and act appropriately. Think of your dog as a child who needs strict supervision when on medication.

Dogs have smaller bodies than us so things take less time to be digested and go through their blood streams. Expect to start noticing changes within a couple of minutes following an ill-advised dose of Sudafed.

In Case of Emergency

Should your dog collapse or start having seizures, get to the vet ASAP. Do not wait! Have the pill container on hand to answer any questions they may have. If you’re not sure which pills your dog ate, take all the possible medications with you.

While your vet may not be able to determine the exact cause, it will give them a good idea of what they are dealing with. They should be able to help your dog quickly and effectively.

Pet Poisoning Assistance

A vet will thoroughly examine a poisoned dog and likely give them activated charcoal to prevent further Sudafed absorption which can be a live saver. They may also induce vomiting, if it’s serious enough, as this can also help a dog rid themselves of toxins. Checking for an uneven heartbeat, which is another serious Sudafed side effect, is routine. Expert veterinary assistance is crucial for a possibly fatal dose of any human medication.

Conclusion on Sudafed

As with any medication, it’s advisable to confirm with a professional before administering it to a pet. Your veterinarian will know your dog’s medical history and will be able to make a well-informed decision based on many factors. Keep all human meds, including Sudafed and other decongestants, out of your dog’s reach. Severe symptoms following the use of this medicine, as discussed above, do require immediate veterinary assistance.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Daphne January, 2016

My 20 pound dog was sneezing, had watery eyes and a running nose. I gave him a half of a Sinutab and he is much better now. Is that okay?


Doc September, 2015

My 10 month old Border Collie has white gunky stuff in his eyes, especially in the mornings. Our vet says to give him Benadryl but all I have in my medicine cabinet is Sudafed. The vet seems to think his condition is caused from allergies. Is this a good alternative?


Holly October, 2015

I have been giving my dogs Benadryl over the years. The vet recommended it and it’s not harmful. Sudafed dried me out so bad and gave me major headaches.


Lyn October, 2015

My Border Collie has the same thing. We give him half a Zyrtec and it clears the redness. But the vet also suspects he may have an entropic eyelid which may need cosmetic surgery in the future. If it’s really irritated, we dab some warm teabags on his eyes which soothes it right down.


Don October, 2015

No, it’s not. Sudafed isn’t an antihistamine. Get some Benadryl for your dog. Sudafed can be challenging for the heart.


Lisa June, 2015

I meant to give my 28 pound dog 10mg of Claritin for his allergies but accidentally gave him a 120mg tablet of Sudafed. This occurred yesterday morning. He was somewhat hyper and dazed yesterday and licked his lips a lot. This morning he seems to be back to normal. Are there any potential long term effects we should be worried about? Thanks.


Dianna July, 2015

You just gave him too much. 120mg is for adults weighing over a 100 pounds. By now, you know that he will survive. Vets sometimes give Benadryl shots for allergies. At one time, you could buy pills that could be cut in half from the pharmacist.


Pamela May, 2015

My 110 pound German Shepherd has chronic nasal and chest congestion that has lasted 17 months. We cannot find what is causing it. Can I give him Sudafed to dry up the mucus?


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