Can I Give My Dog Ibuprofen?

Can I Give My Dog Ibuprofen?Ibuprofen is a very well known over the counter pain killer that’s effective for reducing common aches and pains. But providing this NSAID medication to your dog certainly comes with increased risks that could easily outweigh the benefits.

Pets experience many of the same pain problems that humans do. Unfortunately, Ibuprofen is not a drug that should be given to a dog. For fever, joint trouble or anything else these potentially dangerous tablets need to be viewed with an abundance of caution.

So we cannot, in good conscience, recommend the use of Ibuprofen for whatever’s ailing your beloved dog. Doing so could make matters much worse and fill you with regret. The good news is there are much safer pet painkiller options which are just as effective.

Can I Give My Dog Ibuprofen? Answer: No

Human pain medications, older NSAIDs in particular, can be very harmful for animals and even fatal in some cases.

Ibuprofen, as well as the brand names Advil or Motrin, are simply not safe enough for dogs. Toxicity is common and dosing is very tricky due to animal sensitivity to these particular meds. Consider getting high-quality canine pain relief tablets instead of using your supply of Ibuprofen. Another, more appropriate, painkiller for your dog would be Rimadyl, but even this drug must be prescribed by a vet.

Pill Perils for Pet Pain

Lots of loving owners are struggling to help their dogs with pain, both mild and chronic. A shorter life span usually means signs of wear and tear appear earlier and with more frequency. Canine arthritis is very common, but turning to Ibuprofen for dealing with your dog’s aches and pains is just way too risky.

The well-known non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, which includes Ibuprofen, can very easily harm your dog’s nervous system, GI tract as well bring upon renal (kidney) failure. Not to scare you but seizures, coma and even death is possible.

Some claim that Ibuprofen is okay in small amounts but don’t chance it with your dog!

Several Signs & Symptoms

Ibuprofen poisoning, as is the case with similar pain meds, can be quite serious. If you accidentally gave your dog some Ibuprofen then reach out to a vet and watch for diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, stomach pains, pale gums and/or loss of appetite. More concerning symptoms, as already alluded to, can include halitosis and seizures which definitely require a veterinary professional’s life saving assistance.

Tylenol is another pain product that can be extremely harmful for dogs potentially causing severe damage to the liver.

Ongoing NSAID Confusion

Time-tested analgesic drugs, which are so readily available at stores, should have more obvious warnings to prevent people from administering them to pets. Sure, it’s easy to give your dog a dose of Ibuprofen or similar over-the-counter painkiller. But, make no mistake about it, such drugs should never be given to dogs! Ibuprofen use for a pet may be seriously regretted later on.

Ibuprofen vs. Newer Drugs

Some of the newer non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are proving to be safer for dogs when compared to Ibuprofen. Metacam, Rimadyl and Zubrin are a few worth investigating. The authorities really should rename, or reclassify, these analgesic products because the new and old types get grouped together as regular NSAIDs. It’s really confusing!

Seek out a safe and appropriate carprofen brand for your dog instead of a conventional anti-inflammatory like Ibuprofen. Speak with your vet using this knowledge.

Conclusion on Ibuprofen

Familiarity with Ibuprofen in no way makes it safe for your pet dog. This NSAID should not be provided to a pet pooch, no exceptions. Many dogs have suffered greatly, or have died, after being given this drug. Instead of Ibuprofen, have your dog diagnosed by a vet and ask about a Rimadyl or Metacam prescription. Otherwise, consider using a well-regarded product made specifically for dogs to help ease pain.

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Myra May, 2015

I have spoken to our vet about the inability for our Beagle to get around on her own. She was acting as if in pain while walking or trying to climb stairs. It turns out that Beagles are very prone to arthritis. We have raised Beagles for over 20 years. Never ever give your dog Ibuprofen, even the smallest amount can kill them and cause irreversible damage.

He did say that one aspirin per day will help with her arthritis and is not going to cause damage. Be careful and watch for signs of bleeding, check the stools. This is now the 2nd time that one, a different one as we own 3 at the moment, is suffering from this. There was no physical injury as our dogs go out on a long leash one at a time. We live in the country and have foxes across the way. They have never come into the yard, but have been seen just across the street. Our dog’s barking does keep the foxes away.

We divide 1 regular aspirin into 2 pieces and give half every 12 hours. We have done this for years and it only takes about 1 week before they are their regular running self again. Also, make sure that their nails are clipped on a regular basis! Most dogs are not getting enough exercise and walking on pavement to help keep their nails short enough to walk with comfort. Pavement can be very hot and can literally burn the pads on their feet. Those can become raw and increase the risk of infection.


Laurie May, 2015

My dog has an ear infection and I can’t get her to the vet until tomorrow. I need to know what I can give her for the pain.


Natalie February, 2016

You can give your dog Tramadol for pain. The vet gave us them after my dog was castrated in order to cure his enlarged prostate gland. Beware that small dogs may be too little for an entire 50mg capsule! My dog is a 25 kilogram Staff Cross and is allowed 50mg two times a day. Just do the math, a dog that’s half this weight can have half these doses. You would have to split the powder into 2 and put the dose in the food.


Anita July, 2016

My dog, an Australian Shepherd Cocker Spaniel mix, weighs 25 pounds and just had a mass on her face removed. The vet gave her 1/2 a 50mg Tramadol every 10-12 hours for pain and she has done really good. She also just began showing signs of arthritis in her rear legs and has been on steroids, every other day for that and it has worked really well. Thank you Natalie for providing this info.


Ana October, 2014

I took my dog out for a walk and he was attacked by another dog who wasn’t leashed. He bit him on his right leg to where it left him with a limp and swelling. Can I give him Ibuprofen? Or what can I do to help with the pain and swelling?


Harry March, 2016

Do not give the dog Ibuprofen! Please, it can result in death!


Ariana October, 2014

My dog has road burn and I don’t know what to do. What can I give her for pain?


Eyra October, 2014

How is she, your dog, now? If you still don’t know what to do I really recommend vet. They know what to do. Good luck to you and your dog.


Acie September, 2014

My German Shepherd is not as frisky as usual, sleeps a lot. It’s hard for him to get around. What can I give him for pain and how to put a pep back in his step?


Anonymous October, 2014

First, a vet appointment is in order. Seems like arthritis or could be hip dysphasia. Shepards can have buffered aspirin one every 4-6 hours. If needed, try a heating pad while she is resting.


Jen July, 2015

About 3 years ago we noticed our German Shepherd was always sluggish. He’d normally jump at going for walks, eventually would make it half way up the driveway and then lay down to wait for us to get back. I took him to the vet and it turned out to be heart worms from mosquitoes. Shepherds seem to be more prone to these worms, said the vet. He had to have a special shot to get rid of them which was costly but well worth it. He became very active again.


Anita July, 2016

I also had a dog with heart-worms because I didn’t know any better. I did not have her on the monthly medicine. The treatment is rather harsh as they use arsenic to kill the heartworms. She had gotten sluggish, her hair was dull and stiff and she stopped spinning in circles when happy. Now all my dogs are on heartworm preventative meds.

In the US they are rather expensive but Australia sells them at very reasonable prices. I have 5 dogs from 3 to 30 pounds so value is a must. I get a 6 month supply for 18 US dollars per dog. Heart-worms will make your dog very sick and they are fatal if not treated.


Frances September, 2014

My dog was snakebitten causing some bleeding with lots of swelling under his right jaw. I gave him some Advil for the swelling and it’s going down. The vet said this may affect his kidneys. I’m giving him Pedialyte along with an antibiotic. My dog moves about on his own strength but, so far has not had an elimination. He does not appear to be going into shock.


Barbara December, 2014

Read up on Sovereign Silver for your dog. I’ve had great success with this. It works on many ailments for dogs and humans as well. It’s Colloidal silver, but I buy the brand named Sovereign for its purity. It’ll be worth your while.


CWood April, 2013

My Beagle was hit by a car yesterday and broke his leg really high up. The vet said the break is too high for a splint and to just let him lay around but its pretty swollen which I guess is expected. Is there anything I can do to ease the pain for him?


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