10 Of The Most Common Medications For Dogs

One of the most painful things for us dog owners is when our four-legged companions become ill or start having medical complications.

The only thing we want in the world is for them to feel better. 

However, that’s not always something we can control.

Fortunately, the medical and pharmaceutical industries have taken on the torch to care for our pets.

Medications for dogs with all types of symptoms and illnesses have come onto the market, giving dog owners around the world peace of mind.

Keep reading for the 10 most common medications for dogs and what they treat.

Choosing the Right Medications for Dogs

It’s important to seek professional and licensed medical help when dealing with a sick or injured dog. You wouldn’t go to a back alley doctor for your kids, you shouldn’t for your dog either.

Veterinarians have gone through great lengths to be in their position and know their trade well. Let them guide you in the right direction for how to treat your dog. Choosing the wrong medications for dogs could have serious side effects.

1. Hydrogen Peroxide 3%

Hydrogen Peroxide is a mild antiseptic. As humans, we generally use it for cuts, scrapes, scratches, and burns to prevent infection. For our dogs, we use it to help them vomit in the case of an emergency.


Hydrogen Peroxide is a great tool to prevent your dog from being poisoned by ingesting harmful chemicals or foods. Additionally, it can help them throw up indigestible objects. 

Side Effects

You should never use Hydrogen Peroxide to help your dog throw up if what they’ve swallowed is caustic, as it can cause more irritation to their system by being vomited up. See a veterinarian immediately in this case.

Additionally, any sharp objects that can cut or injure the dog by being vomited up should be left to the care of a veterinarian.

2. Levetiracetam

Watching your dog suffer through seizures is an emotional hardship. You can see their fear, confusion, and stress. Levetiracetam is an anticonvulsant drug, that can be paired with other anticonvulsants that have more negative side effects.

As far as medications for dogs go, this medicine is one of the best for treating seizures.


By pairing Levetiracetam with other anticonvulsants, you can effectively treat seizures while lowering the dosage of the other drug which likely has more negative side effects. 

Levetiracetam is a popular choice for dog owners who want to minimize negative side effects.

Side Effects

The side effects of Levetiracetam include drowsiness, changes in behavior, diarrhea, and vomiting. They may also include separate gastrointestinal issues.

3. Tramadol

Tramadol is one of the medications for dogs that is also used by humans. It’s primarily used to treat moderate to moderately severe pain.


Tramadol effects chemicals in the brain which process how your body feels and more importantly, how it reacts to pain. 

As noted above tramadol is one of the very few pain relievers that are safe for both dogs and humans. 

Tramadol is multifaceted. It’s effective for chronic pain, such as arthritis, and acute pain, such as recovering from surgery.

Side Effects

As long as directions are followed, most dogs handle tramadol well. Although, common side effects include nausea, dizziness, anxiety, tremors, vomiting, and diarrhea.

4. Doxycycline

Doxycycline is one of the most common medications for dogs. It’s widely used as an antibiotic to treat multiple types of infections.


Doxycycline is a great medication for dogs who contract Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, respiratory infections, and any other bacterial infections.

It’s also useful in preventing secondary infections. 

Side Effects

Doxycycline causes few side effects in dogs. However, common occurrences include nausea, vomiting, and trouble swallowing.

However, be wary of using doxycycline for pregnant female dogs, as it can cause birth defects in unborn puppies.

5. Chloramphenicol

Chloramphenicol is one of the best medications for dogs to treat infections. They also work well against single-celled pathogens.


Not only is Chloramphenicol effective against bacterial infections, but it’s also great for nervous system infections. These include Meningitis and Encephalitis.

Side Effects

Common side effects of Chloramphenicol include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. However, to avoid more severe symptoms, let your veterinarian know if your dog is on any other kinds of medication.

6. Diphenhydramine

Diphenhydramine, one of the common medications for dogs, is better known as Benedryl. 

It’s used as an anti-allergen, as well as a combatant against adverse reactions to bites and stings.


Diphenhydramine is most commonly used as an antihistamine for dogs who are atopic. However, it’s also a common remedy for dogs who get motion sickness.

Side Effects

The common side effects of Diphenhydramine in dogs is urinary retention, sedation, and dry mouth. There are other side effects, such as vomiting and diarrhea, though they are rare.

7. Metronidazole

Metronidazole is an antibiotic and an antiprotozoal. It’s used primarily for infections caused by Giardia, inflammatory bowel disease, and periodontal diseases.


Metronidazole is effective for a broad spectrum of conditions. It also can be sold singularly, although it does require a prescription.

Side Effects

Occasionally, Metronidazole has a few serious side effects. These include seizures, allergic reactions, fever, chills, and more.

The more common, less severe side effects include

8. Gentamicin

Gentamicin is an eye drop antibiotic treatment which can be used for dogs, cats, and horses. It also requires a veterinarian prescription.


Gentamicin is great for treating many forms of eye infections and is easy to use. It fights a wide range of bacteria.

Side Effects

As with any eye drop solution, dogs may experience itchiness, redness, and even swelling around the eyes. This is fairly normal but dog owners should still call their veterinarian for an opinion.

9. Famotidine 

Famotidine is one of the popular medications for dogs used to treat stomach ulcers by reducing the amount of acid they produce in their stomachs. This drug needs to be prescribed by a veterinarian.


Famotidine helps prevent and treat stomach ulcers. It’s also effective against gastritis and acid reflux.

Side Effects

Famotidine has few and far between side effects. These include diarrhea, fatigue, loss of appetite, and headache.

10. Sulfamethoxazole and Trimethoprim

Sulfamethoxazole and Trimethoprim are medications for dogs usually used in tandem. The work together as an antibiotic to treat urinary tract infections, respiratory infections, skin infections, and gastrointestinal infections.


Sulfamethoxazole and Trimethoprim work as a great team to treat a broad spectrum of infections. They are also very convenient for dog owners as they only require administration once a day.

Side Effects

Rare side effects for Sulfamethoxazole and Trimethoprim include allergic reactions, yellow skin, or random bruising and bleeding. 

More common, less severe side effects include dizziness, nausea, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and increased sensitivity to the sun.

Don’t Wait

If your dog is acting strange or is injured, don’t wait! The longer you hold of on appropriate medical attention, the worse things may be.

Call your veterinarian immediately. They have access to the best medications for dogs and can help get your best friend back on his feet!