Can I give Methylphenidate (Ritalin) to my dog for behavioral problems?

Methylphenidate for dog
Methylphenidate for dog

Can dogs be prescribed Ritalin?

Yes, Ritalin can be served to a dog but it is not as safe to them as it is for humans. It possesses a potential threat to a dog’s life. Ritalin is medicine consumed by humans to deal with mental health i.e., for ADHD ( Attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder) and ADD ( Attention deficit disorder). This antidepressant is extremely harmful to dogs if given in excess amounts and hence should be kept away from its reach.

What is Ritalin?

It is an antidepressant drug that is consumed by humans to deal with ADHD / ADD issues and narcolepsy. Some vets also use it to treat cataplexy, hyperactivity, and narcolepsy. For dogs, consuming more than 10mg can prove to be deadly. There are several vegetables/ food items that can be consumed by both humans and dogs, but medicines are a big No-No. Any human medicine can never be served to dogs especially, without the prescription of its vet. If your dog is suffering from ADHD, you can give other medications as prescribed by its vet, but do not ever give Ritalin medicine which is consumed by humans to your dog.

What are the Components of Ritalin?

The generic name for Ritalin is Methylphenidate ER which works in the human body for about 8hrs. A vet can prescribe this medicine to your dog as an extra-label drug.

If your dog consumed more than 1 tablet by accident it can cause Methylphenidate poisoning. Your dog might suffer from a heart attack and may pass out if consumed high doses of it by accident. Well, this component is usually prescribed by veterinarians to deal with depression or other mental illnesses in dogs but the medicines prescribed are of different kinds and contain different amounts of consistency.

Various medicines to contain Methylphenidate are Ritalin, Concerta, Daytrana, etc. which are not completely safe for dogs and hence not worth the risk.

How will overdose/Ritalin poisoning affect the health of my dog?

If your dog overdoses on this medicine it will suffer from blood pressure, nausea, dehydration, anxiety, restlessness, rapid breathing, hallucination, muscle and abdominal pain, fever, weakness, sweating headache, seizures, and if it consumes human medicine, in some cases, it can lead to coma or prove to be deadly. Younger dogs can even faint after overdosing on this medicine within 15 to 30 minutes of consumption. This medicine should be kept as far away as possible as it is not worth the risk.

What are the potential reasons for overdosing on Ritalin medicine? and what precautions should I take?

Well, there can’t possibly be a list for such potential situations but, make sure that you do not accidentally give the medicine to a dog twice or unknowingly give more medicine than prescribed. Also, make sure that you give the medicine away from your dog’s reach as some dogs might consume a whole lot of it just for curiosity. Make sure that you keep human and dog medicines separately to avoid any kind of confusion.

Is there a treatment for Ritalin poisoning?

If your dog has not consumed an excess amount of Ritalin, he can be treated on time, but make sure that you notice any weird behavior after consumption, if yes, take it to the hospital immediately. Most dogs will recover from it within 2-3 days of consumption, depending upon its effects.


If your vet has prescribed this medicine to your dog. Make sure that you know everything from serving quantity to side effects before serving it to your dog. Well, this medicine is not worth the risk, it is not as safe for dogs as it is for humans. It is always better to keep the medicine away from dogs’ reach and take necessary precautions.

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