This section provides information about the distribution, storage and effect of iodine tablets and about what you should do if a serious incident involving a nuclear power plant occurs.

You can download a PDF document containing all the questions and answers.


Pets and livestock such as dogs, cats and cows are mammals, which means that their thyroid glands work in the same way as human ones. However, since the dosage for animals is much lower (depending on the species it is between 10 and 1000 times lower than for humans) it is not advisable to administer iodine tablets to animals. Only cows would tolerate them well; these tablets would represent a massive overdose for all other animals. If you are interested in further information, please talk to your veterinarian the next time you see them and show them this leaflet, which contains additional information about use in animals.

Dosages for pets and livestock are usually considerably lower than for humans. The following dosage guidelines should be observed:

  • Dogs: 0.033 mg/kg (milligrams per kg bodyweight)
  • Cats (fully grown): 0.1 µg/kg (micrograms per kg bodyweight)
  • Kittens: 0.3 µg/kg (micrograms per kg bodyweight)
  • Poultry: 0.35 mg/kg (milligrams per kg bodyweight)
  • Cows: The European legislation permits up to 165 mg/cow/day for a milk yield of 15 kg/day. 50 ppm in feed is also recommended. Another source recommends 24 mg/day during the last phase of gravidity and 48 mg/day at the start of lactation.

Limit values:

  • Calves: Doses up to 80-100 ppm are tolerated with no problems; reduced weight gain is observed above this level.
  • Dairy cows: 400 mg/day were administered with no adverse drug reactions (ADR)
  • Sheep: up to 150 mg/day with no ADR (higher doses led to reduced weight gain)
  • Pigs: enlarged thyroid glands and a reduced iron concentration in the liver were observed at 400 ppm (other studies report up to 2500 ppm without ADR)
  • Horses: a 3% incidence of goitre was observed in the foals of dams given 48-55 mg iodine (10% with 56-69 mg and 50% with 288-432 mg)
  • Up to 59 mg/kg was tolerated with no problems by dogs weighing 15 kg (vomiting was observed in some cases).