My Dog Ate Advil

As a dog owner, it’s both frightening and distressing when your pet ingests something potentially harmful. Unfortunately, this is often the case when a dog accidentally eats Advil, a common nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that humans take for pain relief. Although suitable for us, ibuprofen—the active ingredient in Advil—is toxic to dogs and can lead to serious health issues. Here’s what you need to know and what to do if your dog consumes Advil.

Understanding Advil and Its Effect on Dogs

The Danger of Ibuprofen

Ibuprofen is a type of NSAID frequently used by humans to reduce inflammation, fever, and pain. However, our canine friends do not metabolize ibuprofen the same way humans do. The drug can be harmful, causing adverse effects such as stomach ulcers, kidney damage, and in severe cases, death.

How Much is Too Much?

The toxic dose of ibuprofen in dogs is generally around 50 mg per kilogram of body weight. This means even one regular 200 mg Advil tablet could be harmful to a small dog. Additionally, the risk of toxicity increases with the amount of Advil ingested and the size of the dog. Therefore, any ingestion of Advil by your dog should be considered a potential emergency.

What To Do If Your Dog Eats Advil

Immediate Response

If you suspect or know that your dog has eaten Advil, act immediately. Do not attempt to induce vomiting unless explicitly instructed by a veterinary professional, as this can cause further harm.

Seek Veterinary Help

Contact your local vet or an emergency animal clinic straight away. Provide as much information as possible, including the weight of your dog, the strength and number of Advil tablets consumed, and the time elapsed since ingestion.

Monitoring Your Dog

While you’re arranging for professional help, keep a close eye on your pet. Symptoms of ibuprofen toxicity may include decreased energy, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, and changes in urination habits.

Prevention and Future Measures

The best way to prevent Advil poisoning is by ensuring that all medications, including over-the-counter drugs like Advil, are stored securely out of your dog’s reach.

It’s essential to remember never to give human medication to your dog without consulting with a vet first. Different species metabolize substances in different ways, and what’s safe for humans can be extremely toxic to dogs.


Accidents happen, and quick action is critical when your dog ingests something potentially harmful like Advil. The most crucial steps are to remain calm, monitor your dog for symptoms, and immediately reach out to a veterinary professional. Preventative measures can help avoid such scary situations, and remember, when in doubt about your pet’s health, always consult with a professional.


Q: What happens if a dog licks Advil?

A: If a dog just licks an Advil tablet, they may not ingest enough to cause harm. However, it’s still crucial to monitor them for any signs of discomfort or abnormal behavior and contact a vet if needed.

Q: Should I induce vomiting if my dog ate Advil?

A: Only induce vomiting if instructed by a veterinary professional. Inducing vomiting improperly can lead to other complications, such as aspiration pneumonia.

Q: How much Advil is poisonous to a dog?

A: The toxic dose of ibuprofen for dogs is around 50 mg per kilogram of body weight. Even one 200 mg Advil tablet can be toxic to small dogs.

Q: Can Advil kill a dog?

A: In severe cases, the ingestion of Advil can indeed be fatal to dogs. High doses of ibuprofen can lead to kidney failure, severe stomach ulcers, and neurological issues, which can all potentially result in death. That’s why it’s crucial to seek veterinary assistance immediately if your dog consumes Advil.

Q: How soon will a dog show symptoms after eating Advil?

A: Signs of ibuprofen toxicity in dogs may appear within a few hours of ingestion. However, in some cases, symptoms might not show up until 24 to 48 hours later. These can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and changes in thirst and urination.

Q: Is there an antidote for ibuprofen poisoning in dogs?

A: There isn’t a specific antidote for ibuprofen poisoning in dogs. However, a vet can provide supportive care, including medications to protect the stomach lining, fluids to support kidney function, and in some cases, activated charcoal to absorb any remaining ibuprofen in the system. In severe cases, hospitalization may be necessary.

Q: What if my dog ate a coated Advil?

A: Coated Advil pills might delay the onset of symptoms, as they take longer to dissolve and be absorbed. However, they’re still potentially harmful to your dog. If your dog has consumed a coated Advil, it’s crucial to contact a veterinarian immediately, just as you would with a regular Advil tablet.

Q: How can I ensure my dog never gets into my medication again?

A: To prevent future incidents, always keep medications in secure containers out of your dog’s reach. Consider storing them in high cabinets or drawers with child-proof locks. Also, remember to dispose of any leftover or expired medication safely.

Q: Are there safe alternatives to Advil for dogs?

A: Never give your dog human medication without consulting a vet first. If your dog is in pain or has inflammation, your vet can prescribe safe, dog-friendly alternatives like carprofen, meloxicam, or deracoxib.

Q: Can a small amount of Advil cause harm to a large dog?

A: While size does play a role in the impact of Advil ingestion, it doesn’t make larger dogs entirely safe. Any amount of Advil can potentially cause harm, such as stomach upset or ulcers. More substantial amounts could lead to more severe problems like kidney damage. Therefore, you should still consult a veterinarian even if a large dog has ingested a small amount of Advil.

Q: How is Advil poisoning diagnosed in dogs?

A: If you suspect your dog has ingested Advil, your vet may perform several diagnostic tests. These could include a physical examination, blood tests to check for signs of kidney damage, and possibly abdominal ultrasounds to visualize any potential damage to the gastrointestinal tract.

Q: Can the effects of Advil poisoning be reversed in dogs?

A: If caught early, the effects of Advil poisoning can often be mitigated, and your dog can recover with appropriate veterinary care. However, if the poisoning has led to significant kidney damage, the effects may not be entirely reversible, and long-term treatment might be necessary.

Q: How long does it take for a dog to recover from Advil poisoning?

A: The recovery time for a dog from Advil poisoning depends on several factors, including the amount of Advil ingested, the size of the dog, and how quickly treatment was started. Some dogs may start to improve within a few days of receiving treatment, while others may require weeks of care.

Q: Can all breeds of dogs get poisoned from Advil?

A: Yes, all breeds of dogs can get poisoned from Advil. The breed does not influence how a dog metabolizes ibuprofen. The amount ingested relative to the dog’s size and health status is the crucial factor.

Q: What should I do if my dog accidentally ate Advil but seems fine?

A: Even if your dog seems fine after ingesting Advil, it’s crucial to contact your vet immediately. Symptoms might not appear right away, and internal damage could still be occurring. Quick action is essential to prevent potentially severe health issues.

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