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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{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Shirley August, 2015

I would like to try 81mg of aspirin for my 13 year old dog. She weighs about 24 pounds and doesn’t appear to be in pain but is limping on her right hip. Do I dare try aspirin?

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Peggy July, 2015

I found this somewhat helpful. I treat my dogs as they are children so I am always looking for ideas.

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James July, 2015

Can you give your dog aspirin? Yes. Should you give your dog aspirin? Probably not. If you notice that your dog is in pain, it usually means it’s pretty significant and they need a good anti-inflammatory. Aspirin is not a significant anti-inflammatory. As a matter of fact, the use of aspirin in dogs for osteoarthritis-associated pain is ineffective and bleeding is common.

I have encountered numerous emergency surgery patients that were on aspirin for pain. They ended up with less than favorable outcomes because the risk of bleeding far outweighed the benefits of anti-inflammatory pain relief. If your dog is in acute pain, be it from arthritis or other acute injury, use an ice pack. The following day, go to your vet and spend a little money for a great NSAID such as Carprofen or Firocoxib. In the end your pocketbook will be healthy, your dog will feel better and you will have peace of mind.

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Elizabeth July, 2015

My 12 year old dog weighs approximately 20 pounds. She is experiencing pain when she gets up. Can I give her a low dose, 81mg aspirin until I can get her to the vet?

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Cathy May, 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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