Help! My Dog Ate Lisinopril

Help! My Dog Ate Lisinopril

Last Updated: August 18, 2023
correct answerThe Short Answer is:

Lisinopril can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and low blood pressure if your dog accidentally swallows it. Even though this sounds scary, keep in mind that your dog is in no real danger unless he ate a really large amount, like chewing through an entire bottle of pills. Keeping the dog under observation, especially if it’s a small breed or puppy, is the best thing you can do if it’s just one tablet.

The purpose of this article is to explain “Help! My Dog Ate Lisinopril“.

Dogs will eat any sort of medication they can get even if they do not taste tasty or have an irresistible smell. If your dog ate a Lisinopril tablet you do not have to feel bad. Other pet owners have faced the problem of their dogs eating a variety of medications.

Help! My Dog Ate Lisinopril

In any case Lisinopril is one of the blood pressure medications routinely prescribed to senior dogs with heart problems so it should not be toxic to your pet. Depending on how many tablets are ingested and the size of your pet the consequences can differ. Read on for more information.

What is Lisinopril and how is it used in humans?

High blood pressure and heart failure are two of the most common conditions that are treated with lisinopril. The drug belongs to the class of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors; it lowers blood pressure and prevents heart attacks. The drug relaxes blood vessels allowing blood to circulate easier. As a result the heart does not have to pump as hard thereby improving survival after a heart attack.

As a generic (cheaper) drug Lisinopril is also available under brand names like Zestril Prinivil and Qbrelis.

How is Lisinopril used in dogs?

Despite not being specifically approved for use in pets by the FDA veterinarians prescribe this medication to treat hypertension and heart disease in cats and dogs. Additionally veterinarians prescribe this medication for pets suffering from kidney problems.

You can prescribe lisinopril alone or with other medications. As a preventative measure for congestive heart failure in dogs with a heart condition it is also prescribed for them. Both empty stomachs and food can be taken.

Are the dosages different between people and dogs?

Lisinopril comes in various strengths ranging from 5 to 40 mg of active ingredient for human consumption. There are several concentrations of the same drug available at pet pharmacies ranging from 5 mg to 20 mg and 30 mg which is usually required for large dogs.

Nevertheless the dosage of the two pills is similar so it does not matter whether your dog ingested a pill meant for you or one meant for veterinary use.

You should keep in mind that the dosage for dogs is 0.2 mg/lb administered once or twice a day if your dog eats one or more Lisinopril tablets. Even if your German Shepherd eats a 5 mg tablet he or she would not have any problems as the dosage is well within the safe range. In contrast a curious Chihuahua swallowing a 30 mg tablet will probably experience side effects that require medical attention.

It is said that dogs can tolerate high doses of Lisinopril without significant problems but this is only to ease your mind for the moment. Even if the dog appears fine at the moment after swallowing a strong dosage tablet you should still check with your veterinarian.  

What should I do if my dog ate Lisinopril?

In the case of just one pill your dog will not experience any significant side effects. Nevertheless dogs can swallow many tablets accidentally spilled on the floor or can chew through a bottle to reach the ‘treats’ inside and this can lead to a dangerous overdose.

In this case the first thing you should do is induce vomiting. The most common remedy to induce vomiting in dogs is to administer a teaspoonful of 3-percent hydrogen peroxide. You can also make your pet vomit by giving him half a cup of water mixed with a teaspoonful of baking soda or a cup of water mixed with a teaspoonful of mustard.

At what point does Lisinopril become toxic?

The Lisinopril is probably already in the dogs system if he ate your blood pressure medicine while you were away and he then went on a rampage. Vomiting may not help. Immediately see a vet if you think your dog ate a lot of tablets while you were away. A Lisinopril overdose can cause dizziness sleepiness or lethargy as well as a rapid heartbeat

An overdose of Lisinopril can cause dangerously low blood pressure and your dog might need intravenous fluids to maintain blood pressure. Your sweet dog may find this unpleasant and costly but chances are you will be able to recover without enduring any harm.

You should speak to your vet if your pet has diabetes is on a low-salt diet or is taking other medications even if he only swallowed one tablet and seems to be doing well. Additionally if your dog has kidney failure you should immediately contact your veterinarian if he eats any blood pressure pills.

Common side effects of Lisinopril

Your main concern should be the drugs ability to lower blood pressure. Hypotension or low blood pressure is equally dangerous and needs to be controlled.

Dogs with hypotension are usually symptomatic of the following:

  • Gums that are pale
  • General weakness / Lethargy
  • Fainting
  • Excessive thirst
  • Peeing a lot
  • Confusion

The most common side effects are vomiting diarrhea and loss of appetite along with hypotension. Especially if your pet is on a potassium-sparing diuretic the drug can also cause high potassium levels in the blood. Hyperkalemia is a potentially life-threatening condition that occurs when the potassium levels in your pets blood are too high.

Lisinopril can cause a dry irritating cough in humans and you may notice the same effect in your dog as well.

In addition human patients who take Lisinopril for the first time often experience dizziness. When your dog steals a tablet from you for the first time and is not on this medication he may also feel dizzy but this is not dangerous.

What to do if your pet ate a different type of blood pressure drug?

One of the many high blood pressure drugs on the market is lisinopril. Examples of other ACE inhibitors are as follows:

  • The drugs are enalapril (Vasotec) and
  • quinapril (Accupril)
  • captopril (Capoten)
  • fosinopril (Monopril)
  • benazepril (Lotensin)
  • ramipril (Altace)
  • moexipril (Univasc)

Pets with high blood pressure or heart disease are commonly prescribed many of these human drugs. ACE inhibitors work in the same way as Lisinopril and accidentally ingesting one will have the same side effects. However you should check the dosage for the specific tablet your pet ate to make sure the amount isnot dangerously high for his weight. If the dog seems lethargic you should take him to the veterinarian right away.

How to store medicine safely

There are times when dogs will take a tablet you dropped on the floor just because it seems like a fun thing to do and there is nothing you can do about it. Drug storage mistakes are the most common cause of these accidents however.

You should not assume that your dog would not get to them if they’re on a high counter. When they’re determined to get their hands on something dogs will break records. Most medicine bottles are child-proof but dogs do not bother with the cap they chew right through it.

You should keep your medicine out of sight or your pets medicine for that matter. Not only medicine but also other dangerous stuff should always be kept in closed or even locked cabinets.

There is nothing more dangerous than leaving all the pills that seniors need to take carefully arranged on the nightstand or table for them to take when they live in the house. Do not leave the pills on a plate or in Ziploc bags. Make sure the dog can not open the drug dispensers.

In contrast while ACE inhibitors like Lisinopril are generally safe for dogs other drugs such as NSAIDs (Advil Aleve Motrin) and thyroid hormones can cause serious problems for your pet even if he eats a few tablets.


Lisinopril can cause diarrhea vomiting and low blood pressure if your dog accidentally swallows it. Even though this sounds scary keep in mind that your dog is in no real danger unless he ate a really large amount like chewing through an entire bottle of pills. Keeping the dog under observation especially if its a small breed or puppy is the best thing you can do if its just one tablet. If your dog has eaten several tablets encourage him to throw up as soon as possible. When your dog eats a very large dose of Lisinopril its best to take him to the vet right away as his blood pressure might drop too far and he will require treatment.

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Amanda Dogs Trainer

Amanda (Author)

With over a decade of experience, Amanda is a distinguished dog trainer. Her expertise in canine behavior has transformed countless lives, fostering harmonious human-canine connections. Through compassionate and personalized approaches, she empowers owners to understand and connect with their furry companions, creating a legacy of joyful tails and transformed lives.

Osvaldo Maciel Dogs Trainer

Osvaldo Maciel (Content Reviewer)

Osvaldo Maciel, a stalwart in the field with 14 years of experience, is a revered dog trainer. His journey is defined by a profound understanding of canine behavior, shaping unbreakable human-canine bonds. Osvaldo guides owners to connect with their beloved pets, leaving an indelible mark of happiness and transformation. His legacy shines through the countless lives he has touched.

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