Can I Give My Dog Aspirin?

Can I Give My Dog Aspirin?Some dogs require aspirin or something similar. Whether you’re trying to treat canine arthritis or just general pain, is aspirin an appropriate option for your beloved dog? Or are there better options?

It’s a common question because many illnesses involve pain, especially for geriatric dogs. Old age brings with it achy joints just like people experience as we age. Some dogs struggle to walk and getting around becomes excruciatingly painful.

Controlling pain in dogs through over-the-counter medications is popular but often dangerous. But aspirin is probably the most common OTC remedy used to ease pet pain. You can consider using aspirin but find out as much as possible for your dog’s sake.

Can I Give My Dog Aspirin? Answer: Yes, but there are safer options

Although we aren’t crazy about NSAIDs, aspirin may be used to treat canine pain but you must be careful.

It may be best to try a safer all-natural alternative first. We give our older dog this natural antioxidant anti-inflammatory which works wonders for her.

Most vets will tell you that certain non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can be given to dogs with arthritis and other joint-related problems. These drugs help to reduce swelling and pain in the affected areas. Aspirin is generally fast-acting, which makes it effective for quick pain relief. You must, however, pay attention to any signs or symptoms as a result of complications associated with taking aspirin.

Aspirin for K9 Pain

Aspirin, commonly misspelled as asprin, works by preventing the buildup of Prostaglandin which causes pain receptors to react. Yes, it works for dogs. But canine pain management should really 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, then the most effective treatment can begin.

Indeed, aspirin is often used for dog pain caused by arthritis or similar ailments but there may be safer, better and more natural options as previously mentioned.

Perspective on Dosing

We’re reluctant to give dosing information because, as with all human medications including aspirin, the appropriate dosage is difficult to determine for a dog. Generally, dosage should be adjusted according to body 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. So if your best buddy weighs 20 pounds you would provide 100mg of aspirin but never more than 200mg daily.

The above is only a simple example. Every dog’s situation is different which is why getting a vet’s advice is best. Make no mistake, giving human medications to a pet is tricky, especially when administering a potentially dangerous NSAID such as aspirin.

Precautions & Side Effects

Aspirin should never be given to young pets. It could be fatally toxic for dogs weighing less than 5 pounds at any dose. That’s why starting treatment with a small dosage is important. Always use moderation whenever giving human formulated drugs to a dog if at all! In any case, close monitoring following aspirin use is critical.

Aspirin can cause bleeding and stomach problems among other complications. Help to prevent this by giving your dog some food before administering medication. This may lessen possible gastric irritation which causes ulceration of the stomach lining. For bleeding tendencies, due to blood thinning, keep your dog away from any sharp objects or activities that may cause trauma.

No other meds should be taken with aspirin such as Tylenol. Such chemical reactions can cause severe complications for dogs, even death.

Conclusion on Aspirin

You can cautiously provide aspirin to your dog but you should consult with a vet first. Further, don’t give them just any type of aspirin. While it’s generally an effective remedy for dogs suffering with pain, people confuse brands and variations of NSAID pain relievers which is very dangerous. There are often better alternatives to this popular drug.

The truth is that your dog may develop adverse reactions to a medication like aspirin. Closely observe your four-legged friend to ensure their safety and avoid unfortunate complications if you do decide to administer it. Know what to look for and always have your veterinarian’s contact info on hand.

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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Cathy May 5, 2015

The other day, my 1 year old Saint Bernard could hardly stand up and kept dropping to the ground. When he tried to stand, his back legs were close together and he was wobbly. I checked his legs and paws and all seemed okay. He didn’t whimper or seem in pain. I gave him aspirin twice on Sunday. Monday morning he seemed good as new again, and again today. What could have caused this?

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Kevin February 10, 2015

More websites say yes, you can give aspirin to mature dogs. But it cannot be given it to puppies or dogs that are 5 pounds or less. Dose it at 5-10mg per pound to be conservative and no more than 200mg, twice daily. It should be taken after eating something to prevent stomach upset and bleeding stomach (check for bloody stools). Plus a good fish oil tab about once a day to help the joints.

I am just a researcher on the internet like the rest of us. Always check with a vet to be sure, particularly if the issue continues on. Check the toes for burs, thorns and cuts. Gently feel the bone of the leg, foot and toes to see if you notice a break, or a tender spot. If necessary, sling the affected leg for a few days to give them rest.

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Arlene February 3, 2015

Don’t give your dog or cat aspirin. I was told by vets that it is poisonous to them. Instead, get a prescription for safe medicine. Also, use an anti-inflammatory such as fish oil. As for humans, aspirin takes away pain but also takes away bone mass. Don’t let your pet suffer. In bad cases, such as cancer, ask your vet for Buprenex since it works great.

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Susan January 22, 2015

My dog is a 12 year old Blue Heeler/Staffordshire Bull Terrier cross weighing 30 kilograms. She suffers from arthritis and the vet told me I can give her aspirin, but only for 5 days at a time. How long should I rest her between medication periods?

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Kerry February 18, 2015

Hi Susan. I also have a Staffordshire Bull Terrier and have been reading up on giving her aspirin for her arthritis. What kind of aspirin and dosage does your vet advise? Thanks.

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Michelle December 25, 2014

My dog was attacked by another dog. She has two small cuts but a lot of bruising. I will take her to the vet on Friday but it’s Christmas day and they are closed. Is there any pain relief I can give her from home?

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Trish December 31, 2014

Did you get any replies on this? I also have a dog that was attacked. I’m not sure what I can give her for pain.

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