Can I Give My Dog Aspirin?

Can I Give My Dog Aspirin?Some dogs really do require aspirin or something similar for treating various kinds of pain. Is the most well known over-the-counter pain medication appropriate or are there better options?

Providing aspirin to an adult dog is generally safe when you properly dose it. Geriatric canines, in particular, often require some help due to achy joints and other arthritis-related symptoms. Puppies, however, should never be given this pain pill because it’s too dangerous.

All too often people recklessly give human-formulated pain medications to their pets and sometimes the results are fatal. Aspirin has a decent reputation for alleviating pain but find out all the details for your dog’s sake.

Can I Give My Dog Aspirin? Answer: Yes, but also consider other options

This NSAID may be used to treat canine pain but you must be very careful.

Aspirin is fast-acting and fairly effective for quick pain relief, but it may be best to try a safer all-natural alternative first. We give our older dog a natural anti-inflammatory in soft chew form which works wonders for her. In any case, most vets will confirm that certain non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can be given to dogs with arthritis and other joint-related problems. They help to reduce swelling and pain in the affected areas.

Pay close attention to your dog for signs of complications after taking aspirin.

Aspirin for Pooch 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. The most effective treatment can begin only after the underlying cause of the condition is known.

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

Information on Dosing

Dosage should be adjusted according to your dog’s body weight. As a rule of thumb, a 5-10 milligram dose per pound can be given. This is conservative and works well for most dogs. So if your best buddy weighs 20 pounds you would provide at least 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 can be tricky. Aspirin has the potent to be a dangerous NSAID so don’t take dosing lightly.

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 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 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 pet dog but you should consult with a vet first. A natural alternative may be equally effective and much safer. While aspirin is generally an effective remedy for dogs suffering with pain, people confuse brands and variations of NSAID pain relievers which is very dangerous. Adverse reactions are possible as a result of medications like aspirin. Closely observe your dog any time you administer such medications. Know what to look for and always have your veterinarian’s contact info on hand.

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{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Marie-Chistine January, 2016

My dog got hurt playing or running and can barely move without crying. He is a mutt and weighs about 50 pounds. Would a baby aspirin be appropriate in this case to help him move?

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Sharon December, 2015

I have a 9 year old, 115 pound Doberman who apparently has pulled a muscle somewhere. The first night he could not lay down at all and it was miserable for both of us. The next morning I started giving him dog aspirins (7 pills, as the bottle suggested). Today is day 3 so he gets a dose in the his morning meal and his evening meal. He is still showing signs of pain, just as the previous dose is wearing off.

How long can I continue to give him the aspirin? He has always had this certain maneuver that he does with his back leg in order to lay down comfortably and he is still not able to do the maneuver so that is how I know the muscle is still not healed. He is able to lay down when the aspirin kicks in but I can tell he doesn’t like having to do it a different way. Please advise on how long I can give him aspirin.

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Val October, 2015

It’s a definite no! You could do more harm than good and it could even cause internal bleeding.

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Darlene November, 2015

Yes! You can definitely and safely give your dogs aspirin. I treated my Rottweiler for 3 years during the end of his life, which by the way was nearly 16 years. They generally only live 10-12 years. I had also treated him with it over the years whenever his rear leg bothered him. Big dogs are more prone to hip and joint problems. So yes, if you are careful in giving it you can treat them without adverse side effects.

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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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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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Kevin February, 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, 2015

Don’t give any pets any 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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Frank Stein July, 2015

Obviously your vet does not want you to self medicate. I don’t think anybody here advocates treating dogs with aspirin forever, but to tide over an emergency until professional care is possible. Will you still take your dog to the vet if they’re bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in the morning? According to this article, dogs can have a low dose of aspirin as an emergency treatment or for joint pain.

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Susan January, 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, 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, 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, 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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Christine November, 2014

Is 100mg enteric coated aspirin okay to give my 6 month old Doberman puppy? He got off his lounge and had a slight limp. He was fine earlier but he runs fast around the house and I am worried he has pulled something in his leg. He favors his back left leg but then walks normally, then limps again, then walks normally so I doubt anything is broken. I have pet insurance so I am taking him to the vet. In the meantime, I am wondering if he can have pain relief and not Panadol which I know is dangerous for dogs.

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Mel October, 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, 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, 2014

Vets say dogs can have a bad reaction to aspirin. 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, 2014

A vet told me not to use aspirin for my 85 pound Rottweiler 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, 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 Rottweiler.

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Terence February, 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.

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Terence March, 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 platelet count, skin diseases, 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 roots, 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, 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, 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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Nikki January, 2014

Why don’t vets help you with this kind of information? Instead, I have a 13.5 year old retriever on an expensive anti-inflammatory drug that costs me approximately $129 per month. I am going to try Aspirin, how can it hurt? If it doesn’t work I can always go back to Meloxicam.

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Terence February, 2014

Hi Nikki. I have no idea why your vet prescribed Meloxicam. It’s a human medicine for pain reliever and inflammation. My Husky died because I trusted the vet too much without doing more research on the drug given by the vet. Hope you don’t repeat my mistake.

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Nikki February, 2014

Hi Terence. My dog gets stiff and can no longer enjoy our walks. He starts off fine, then stops and drops, pants, dribbles and needs 20 minutes recovery time. His heart is fine so they tell me! I was told it was more like arthritic pain and inflammation, that’s why I was prescribed Meloxican. The box claims it’s only for dogs and has a picture of a dog on the tube.

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Peter January, 2014

I just gave my 120 lb Dobie three 325mg of aspirin for a an inflamed paw from running. Did I give him 1 tablet too much?

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Terence February, 2014

Hi Peter. I think you have given your dog 1/2 a tablet too much of Aspirin. It should be about 812mg instead of 325 x 3 = 975mg.

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Terence December, 2013

Never give aspirin to puppies. Their bodies lack the enzymes to break it down.

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Penny Lindell April, 2013

My dog weighs between 80 and 90 pounds. He is a white lab. Can I give him an 80mg baby aspirin as needed?

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Joel the Just February, 2013

This is really helpful to me and many others so thank you!

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