Can I Give My Dog Aspirin?

Can I Give My Dog Aspirin?Some dogs seem to need aspirin a lot. Perhaps canines get so worked up it can take a toll. Their exuberance becomes their own undoing, resulting in accidents and situations causing pain. This, together with their genetic make-up, predisposes dogs to illnesses such as arthritis, heart ailments, etc. Time heals wounds but also contributes to them.

Common to these illnesses is often acute pain, especially for geriatrics. Old age brings with it weak joints, due to wear and tear, just like people experience as we age. Some dogs struggle to walk and getting around becomes excruciatingly painful.

A popular way to control pain in dogs is through medications. Aspirin is probably the most common over-the-counter remedy used to ease pain in dogs. But before purchasing a specific type of aspirin, it’s important to get your veterinarian’s advice first.

Can I Give My Dog Aspirin? Answer: Yes, as directed

Aspirin may be used to treat pain for dogs even though it’s manufactured, marketed and sold for human use.

It may be given to dogs with arthritis and other joint related problems by helping to reduce swelling and pain in the affected areas. Aspirin is generally fast-acting, which makes it good for quick pain relief in pets. You must, however, pay attention to any signs or symptoms as a result of complications associated with taking aspirin.

What Is Aspirin?

Aspirin is a drug under the classification of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID). They generally work by preventing the buildup of Prostaglandin that causes pain receptors to react. Yes, it works for dogs.

Canine pain management should always start with a vet consultation. This is especially true when you don’t know the root cause of your dog’s ailment. Once the underlying cause of the condition is known, only then can proper treatment be applied. Aspirin in particular is best used for dog pain caused by arthritis or similar ailments.

How Much Aspirin to Give?

As with all human medications, including aspirin, the appropriate dosage is difficult to determine for a K9. Generally, dosage should be adjusted according to the dog’s weight. A 10-20 milligram dose per kilogram can be given. This works out to approximately 5-10 mg/pound ratio which is conservative and works well for most dogs. For example, if your dog weighs 20 pounds you would provide 100mg of aspirin but never more than 200mg perhaps twice daily. This is only an example and every dog is different.

For reference, there are approximately 2.2 pounds in a kilogram. Always refer to the manufacturer’s dosage chart or literature, if applicable, to get more detailed and accurate instructions.

While taking aspirin medication it’s vital to monitor the dog and observe any gastrointestinal problems. They may need routine blood work as well. This could be critical since the drug may cause blood thinning and stomach ulcers.

If unsure about dosage levels and frequency of use, your best option is to ask your veterinarian for guidance. Giving medications to your pet is very tricky. Some dogs experience changes in behavior when ill. Find the best way to make your dog feel relaxed. This way it will be a lot easier for you to successfully provide medication.

Contraindications for Aspirin Use

Aspirin should not be given to young pets. It could be toxic for dogs weighing less than 5 pounds at any dose. This is why starting the treatment with a small dosage is so important. Use moderation whenever giving human formulated drugs to a dog.

No other drugs should be taken with aspirin such as Tylenol. Chemical reactions of the two drugs can cause severe complications for dogs, even death.

Aspirin can cause bleeding and stomach problems. Prevent this by giving your dog some food before administering medication. This lessens gastric irritation that causes ulceration of the stomach lining. For bleeding tendencies, keep your dog away from any sharp objects or activities that may cause trauma.

Always Use Caution

You cannot give your pets just any type of aspirin. While it’s an effective remedy for dogs suffering from pain, people confuse brands and variations of pain relievers which is very dangerous. Proper caution and monitoring should be observed to ensure safety and avoid any unfortunate complications.

Your dog may develop adverse reactions to a medication like aspirin even if it’s widely in use. That’s why it’s vital to always have your veterinarian’s contact info on hand.

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Mel October 14, 2014

My 3 year old half Lab/half Chesapeake Bay Retriever is very athletic. She is normally in great condition and runs one mile almost every day, I follow in my pick-up truck. Her affected leg does have a pretty severe skinned place on it. I am treating that part with triple antibiotic ointment for pain. Can I treat that with one tab of 8mg enteric aspirin and if so how often?

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Amy March 19, 2014

Can I give my 10 pound Dachshund mix the 81mg chewable aspirin? She was in a little scuffle with another dog and ended up with a cut. No stitches, thank goodness, but she seems very stiff and sore when I try to move her.

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Terence March 28, 2014

Vets say dogs can have a bad reaction to asprin. You can’t predict which dogs will react badly. One dose may be fine and the next time you give it, bam.

One thing to check for in any chewable tablet is that they don’t use xylitol as a sweetener, that can be deadly to dogs. Apparently it is starting to be used in some chewable kids vitamins, etc.

But do not use Aspirin on a long term basis. A better alternative is to try natural foods like omega-3 fatty acids, boswellia, yarrow, alfalfa, horsetail, dandelion root, devil’s claw, licorice, turmeric, white willow bark, vitamin C and other antioxidants, MSM and glucosamine and chondroitin.

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Toby March 4, 2014

A vet told me not to use aspirin for my 85 pound Rottie and instead gave me Rimadyl at $2.00 a pill at a dose of 2 a day. The medicine did nothing for my dog. I also found out that Rimadyl has killed thousands of dogs! But don’t use aspirin?

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Nikki March 4, 2014

Hi Toby. I have a dog who is happy, he walks and swims. In the heat he finds the going tough. But before I was ready to say enough is enough, and put him out of his misery. But Aspirin 300mg has been the answer, it’s a low dose for his weight as he is 35 kilograms. I walk him mainly at night. His dose is in the morning. I can only respond to how this works on my precious animal. If he has 3-4 more years, that is a bonus for us all. His eyes are bright and happy now. Each to his own and it works for me! I was scared to use it at first but had nothing to lose. Good luck with your Rottie.

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Terence February 11, 2014

Hi Nikki. It’s good to hear your dog is getting better. But do not use Aspirin on a long-term basis. A better alternative is to try natural foods like omega-3 fatty acids, boswellia, alfalfa, dandelion root, devil’s claw, horsetail, licorice, turmeric, yarrow, white willow bark, vitamin C and other antioxidants, MSM, glucosamine and chondroitin.

Terence March 5, 2014

It’s true that Rimadyl has killed many dogs through errors made by vets. Aspirin if used at the proper dosage helps. But it should not be used long term. Side effects that have been reported in dogs taking NSAIDs, including aspirin, are pancreatitis, kidney failure, liver failure, anemia, low placelet count, skin diseaes, seizures, paralysis, unsteadiness, aggression, depression, hyperactivity and cartilage damage.

Fortunately there are much safer treatments for pain and inflammation on the market, such as omega-3 fatty acids, perna, boswellia, alfalfa, dandelion root, devil’s claw, horsetail, licorice, turmeric, yarrow, white willow bark, SAMe, Vitamin C and other antioxidants, MSM and glucosamine and chondroitin supplement.

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Terence February 9, 2014

Meloxicam is a prescription medication that is not FDA approved for vet use. However, it is a commonly accepted practice for vet to use Meloxicam in dogs.

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Nikki February 11, 2014

Hi Terence. Thanks for your advice. I have actually started using Aspirin for ‘Bear’ and I can say for the last 10 days he has been able to walk with ease. I am only using 300mg tablets. He is around 36 kilos in weight, so far so good. Will watch for side effects and I always feed it with his nightly food. I also had him clipped so that this heat is not a worry for him either. He loves his beach swims, and looks like a young dog frolicking in the waves. I really don’t think the Meloxicam helped at all.

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