Safe and unsafe human medications for your pets part two

In a follow up to last weeks segment, Dr. Angela Gaeto of the Helen Woodward Animal Center joined Good Morning San Diego with some human medications that are safe and unsafe for your pets.


Antihistamines are medications commonly used for allergies. There are both over the counter and prescription medications available. Commonly available over the counter products such as Benedryl, Claratin, and Zyrtec are all safe for pets. They can be used for allergic irritation from food or environmental allergies. However, the dose for these medications is often higher than for people due to how animals process the medication. Ask your veterinarian if you think your pet could benefit from these medications and you can discuss a dose. It’s important to remember not all over the counter products are the same. Manufacturers will often combine antihistamines with other medications such as decongestants. Do NOT give pets combination medications or prescription antihistamines unless prescribed or recommended by your veterinarian.

With the passing of new legislation, many more people are using marijuana both recreationally and for medicinal uses. The active compound in marijuana, THC, causes changes in the brain with varying effects on people. Dogs typically have more THC receptors and therefore are much more susceptible to intoxication. Be careful about leaving these products accessible to pets. Even the leaves and plants can be tempting to pets and lead to lethargy, loss of bladder control, incoordination, and even in severe cases, seizures. There are many more products on the market for medicinal use in people that may advertise as being safe for pets. There is very little data on medicinal marijuana use in pets and most products cannot be reliably used until more studies are done. Always confirm with your veterinarian that it is safe to give your pet any marijuana products.

Categories: Good Morning San Diego