How Dangerous is Tylenol For Dogs?

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It’s true that Tylenol can be downright deadly for your dog.

No doubt about it: This popular over-the-counter pain killer is easily poisonous.

When it comes to Acetaminophen, the active ingredient, your buddy’s liver is particularly vulnerable.

Can I Give My Dog Tylenol?
Keep reading for more specifics on how Tylenol can harm your dog. Our goal is to prevent at least one death by making the facts abundantly clear.

Tylenol Could Kill Your Dog

While the drug eases pain, it’s not safe enough for your animal — at least without your vet’s help.

Tylenol is easily toxic to dogs due to a small margin of safety. This is why veterinarians typically only use Acetaminophen in special situations.

Pain Killers, Dog Killers

There are so many branded OTC pain killers and their use is a real risk for dogs. Yup! Most of these drugs are too dangerous for animals.

You must keep certain pills, including Tylenol, well out of Fido’s reach.

The term Acetaminophen should be a red flag for dog owners. This goes for Tylenol as well as many other over-the-counter names.


Fact: Acetaminophen kills hundreds of pets each year.


Terrible Tylenol Toxicity

Be very familiar with signs that indicate Tylenol poisoning.

A dog could have:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Gum discoloration
  • Jaundice (indicator of liver damage)
  • Vomiting
  • A change in body temperature

A single Tylenol tablet may contain over 300mg of Acetaminophen.

Consider that even the human liver can be damaged by this pain killer, so you can image what it can do to your dog.

And such harm would be irreversible!

The dangers are not limited to Tylenol. The same goes for Motrin, Excedrin, Panadol and Midol. All of them are risky.

A Pet Poisoning Plan

You need to act fast if you mistakenly gave your dog Tylenol (or they somehow ate some).

Head to a vet ASAP!

The thing is much depends on the dose taken in relation to your dog’s body weight.

Blood work or a urinalysis may be necessary. And intravenous treatment, in combination with vitamin C, is often used to help recover from acetaminophen poisoning. Those are the lucky ones.

Pain Meds For Dogs

Not long ago there were few safe options for helping a furry friend to cope with pain.

Dogs would just deal with it (which is actually better than being harmed by poisonous Tylenol).

Today there are much improved non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Meloxicam and Rimadyl (Carprofen).

Be sure to ask your vet about those prescription drugs.

As far as OTC meds for alleviating pain in dogs, here is what Veterinarian Sara Redding Ochoa has to say:

“There are not a lot of good over-the-counter pain medications that can be given to dogs. Instead, I recommend glucosamine and chondroitin supplements or CBD oils. These have shown to help decrease pain and inflammation associated with arthritis.”

NSAIDs in General

The truth is all NSAIDs come with the possibility of side effects.

Another one that we get asked about a lot, besides Tylenol, is aspirin. Unfortunately, acetylsalicylic acid AKA aspirin is also unsafe for dogs.

For further confirmation about popular and readily available drugs, take it from this vet…

The Bottom Line

Without your vet’s guidance, Tylenol is not safe enough for your dog. Never provide Acetaminophen on your own.

Fairly safe NSAIDs exist, but they also require a prescription.

Tylenol is perilous. Keep your supply well out of your dog’s reach!

What Do You Think? Have Your Say Below…

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6 thoughts on “How Dangerous is Tylenol For Dogs?”

  1. My vet suggested Extra Strength Tylenol two years ago for my Alaskan Malamute, one pill twice a day. It’s for arthritis and has done wonders for him.

  2. I have a 10 year old boxer that has had arthritis for 5 years and I have always given him Tylenol. I crush it up and put it in some kinda snack and feed it to him. It helps. I just found out it is toxic to dogs and his vet says he is perfectly healthy other than the arthritis.

    1. Hello Kassidy. You are correct. Tylenol is poisonous for dogs but I think many people are giving it anyway without knowing. There is a similar post here. Glad your dog is doing fine!

  3. Never ever give any type of Tylenol (acetaminophen being the main and active ingredient). The name Tylenol is just a brand name. The only thing acceptable would be an Ibuprofen type med to prevent upset stomach. Also, don’t give long term aspirin unless directed by a vet because of potential stomach ulcers from aspirin.

    At times you have to find the money some how to take your loyal baby to the vet. In a dogs’ life they will need to go to the vet when sick. Some dogs are luckier than others in needing health care. Spay/neuter is good place to start so they don’t get an infected uterus that requires emergency surgery which can cost $1,300 dollars. This usually happens between 4-8 years old in female dogs or cancer in male dogs.

    If your dog eats certain items it can harm them. You can induce vomiting with hydrogen peroxide 5ml or 1 teaspoon. This must be done quickly or get to a vet before poisonous substances start circulating in the blood, it may be too late. You can repeat the 5ml of peroxide but after that, if your dog has not thrown substance up, get to a vet ASAP.

    I have had 1 dog die from ingestion of marijuana. After $1,000 was spent, her heart gave out. She did throw up on her own but didn’t help, but another dog did same just tiny amount and I induced vomiting.

    I didn’t know about peroxide with my 1st dog, but she did throw up on her own. It was a horrible death for her, just so you know for all of you out there thinking marijuana won’t harm or kill a dog. Yes, it will and it makes them hallucinate.

    I know vets are expensive especially if you have an emergency. I highly recommend you get insurance for your dog before an accident or they get sick. In bad cases, you have to put your dog down because you can’t afford it.

    There are lots of dog insurance companies, just research them. Look for the best one for the money. Also, look for the ones that are rated the best and pay the benefits without any problems. Your vet is your friend. Some are greedy, true.

    Look for county vets. They charge less. Also, know where your closest emergency animal vet or hospital is so you are prepared for an emergency. Dogs are like toddlers, curious, everything goes in the mouth!

    1. Stephanie says:

      My 4 year old Dachshund was diagnosed with Pyometra and had to have an emergency hysterectomy. It costs $2,800 now-a-days (you stated $1,300). These emergency vets are out for the money. They will lie, tell you you’re a horrible dog owner, etc. if you balk on the costs.

      There are no regulations with veterinarians like with physicians and so they can pull on your heartstrings and pocketbook all they want with no repercussions.

      1. I agree. I have spent thousands of dollars on vets for my Wheaten Terrier. No one has been able to cure him. I have seen four vets. He has an open sour with a tumor, raw. Now he has a fever. All the vets can only discuss money. It’s a business and they do not care really. It is about the money.

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