Can I Give My Dog Something for Pain?

Can I Give My Dog Something For Pain?It’s distressing to see your dog in pain. Illness, injury, old age, infection and arthritis are among the most common culprits. Some pain issues are more elusive requiring a vet’s diagnosis.

Treating canine pain is a broad topic. Here we’ll discuss the use of NSAIDs as well as safer and more natural approaches. Since you’re here, it’s likely you are a proactive dog owner. That’s a good sign you’re dog will start feeling better soon.

Certainly pain can be frightening for a dog, possibly causing aggressive behavior and a vicious cycle of unhappiness. We’ll try to recommend solutions which are safer than dangerous human medications.

Can I Give My Dog Something for Pain? Answer: Yes

Some prescription and OTC medications can be used to help ease your dog’s pain but several alternatives are much safer.

We aren’t crazy about using NSAIDs as canine pain medication. They’re often effective but can also be extremely dangerous for pet dogs. At the very least, consult with a vet before administering such meds. With any luck, they’ll prescribe Rimadyl if you wish to go that route.

Instead, for our dogs, we use two different all-natural anti-inflammatory products (this one and also this one). These work very well but there are many sources of pet pain. The above recommendations tend to help with pain resulting from inflammation and arthritis.

Diagnosis Comes First

A good veterinarian can provide a proper diagnosis, forming a solid basis for successful treatment. There may be something going on in your dog’s internals which can only be determined with a thorough check-up. Only then will you get the most appropriate medicine for treating the source of their pain.

Dangers of NSAIDs

There are so many reasons to avoid conventional pain pills when it comes to treating your beloved pet dog. Instead of alleviating pain, inappropriate use may end up causing more problems. This is particularly true for puppies and dogs with liver, kidney, heart and/or intestinal problems. We cover many of the popular brand name pain medicines. Do a site search for a particular NSAID drug.

Signs of Pain Problems

There are so many types of pain. It could be short-lived or long-lasting such as the type caused by arthritis. In any case, common signs include shivering, turning down food and/or water, whining, decreased level of activity, aggression, depression and physical problems like limping. You probably know the suffering all too well.

Hot or Cold Compress

The use of a hot or cold compress is another way to ease canine pain. These methods can relax and soothe your dog. Cold compress helps to minimize swelling. Hot compress, when applied to the back or shoulders, can alleviate some aches and pains. A hot compress is especially useful for a pulled muscle or general arthritis.

Another Possible Alternative

If your dog has been struggling with pain and you haven’t found much success, there are other options. Consider trying acupuncture if you are open minded. More vets are training to become knowledgeable in this ancient field of medicine. It really can help!

Some Other Tips

Constant movement can, in some situations, worsen your dog’s condition. To prevent your pet from moving about, consider temporarily crating them. Avoid taking them for walks for the time being. Have them take it easy until the pain subsides.

Eating may become a challenge during such vulnerable times, but it’s also an important indicator, when your dog is in pain. Pets tends to lose their appetites when they’re not feeling well. The same goes for water, so take necessary measures to keep your dog well-hydrated. If you aren’t having success, it may mean the pain is quite serious and you should seriously consider seeing a vet.

Conclusion on Treating Pain

There are many options for easing dog pain yet truly effective solutions can be difficult. Several human NSAID brands can work for dogs but you must know the dangers of providing such pain medications without a vet’s guidance. It’s best not to risk it! Consider getting a proper diagnosis. In any case, the use of natural alternatives such as those discussed here, instead of modern pain killers, is preferable when possible.

Add Your Own Answer to the Question Can I Give My Dog Something for Pain? Below

{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

Sharon February, 2016

I have a Toy Poodle who is 11 years old. She is overweight and has been drinking a lot of water. I noticed that she has knots on her back area. She won’t let me clip her and is temperamental and has bit me in the past. She seems to be constipated and had a large bowel movement that was stuck to her butt.

I put her in the tub of warm water 2 times to try to remove it and got some off. She won’t let me touch her to get the rest off and tries to bite me. She has been crying off and on since last night. I don’t have the money to have her groomed or take her to the vet, since I am a senior on a fixed income. What should I do to help her?


Patrice September, 2015

We have a 7 year old miniature Pinscher Chihuahua mix. He has developed a severe fear of the vet after having his nail cut which made him bleed. Now when we get into the vet’s clinic parking lot he just goes crazy and we are unable to even get him out of the car. He bit my husband in his frenzy last time. We have tried going to other vets but the same thing happens when we get into the building and we were refused service the last time.

Now he is acting like he has pain. I remember that he was trying to go out of the door yesterday and it hit him in the side and he yelped. He was okay after that but today he is acting like something hurts. When I picked him up, holding him under his belly, he yelped and jumped down. What can I do?


Regina July, 2015

My dog Walter went the groomer last Saturday, the same groomer for the last 5 years. He looked good and I brought him home. Later he began to scratch his shoulders with his hind legs, so bad that the shoulders began the bleed. I called the groomer and they claimed nothing new was used. Walter has an injury so bad, he can’t jump at all and has trouble walking sometimes.


Chris Carlier May, 2015

Thank you for sharing this information on what we can do when our dog is injured. I just bought a Golden Retriever and he is so much fun. Recently he has been having some problems with his back leg. He seems to be limping quite a bit and I am not sure what to do. Like you said, it would be important to find a good veterinarian to provide a proper diagnosis.


Keith April, 2015

We got a 6 month old Yorkiepoo from a breeder who was going to put the pup down because he broke his leg and it never set properly. He’s always limped but he’s now 2 1/2 years old and limps more noticeably when the weather is humid. Any ideas on how to treat this?


Jena April, 2015

I would take him to the vet to have x-rays done. Then they’ll be able to make a suggestion. They will likely want to re-break the bone and set it correctly, and may even want to put a plate in to keep in strong. I’d do it now, while he’s young, as the time to heal will be less than later down the road. Plus, depending on the severity of the injury, it may be affecting his kneecap which will cause unnecessary stress and eventually arthritis including Patellar luxation.


Jasmine March, 2015

I have an 11 month old Morkie who is normally very active. He was fine one minute, and then the next he was limping. I didn’t see it happen, but I believe he may have jumped from my king size bed and landed incorrectly. I checked his leg and he lets me touch it with no problem. There are no issues with his nails or webbing. I’m not sure how to ease his discomfort. Please help, it breaks my heart to see him uncomfortable.


Wanda March, 2015

My girl’s puppy can’t walk and I think she may have a broke leg. What can I do for pain? The pet hospitals are too expensive. I don’t like to see her suffer like this. Can she have any pain meds?


Marcella March, 2015

Take your dog to the veterinarian so they can set her leg if it’s broken. She is your baby so don’t let her suffer. If you can’t afford a vet, then surrender her to a vet so they can take care of her.


Kelly March, 2015

I have a puppy that cut her foot open on top. It is quite small, about 1 centimeter, but I can see in her actions and movements that she’s in pain. Can I give her aspirin?


Catholic June, 2015

No, do not give aspirin or paracetamols like Panadol. Those are poisons for dogs!


Jade March, 2015

I have an eight month old Labradoodle-Dogue de Bordeaux. He is really limping and very quiet. He’s always lying down and lost a lot of weight. What I can do to get my lively happy puppy back?


Kathleen February, 2015

My sister’s dog is a 14 year old Boston Terrier with very bad dental disease. She can’t afford a vet and I feel the dog is suffering. She has all the symptoms of periodontal disease. Her nose runs and she has few teeth as well as the worst breath on earth. She is thinning due to not eating much, feeling bad, old age and lack of teeth. How can my sister help her ease her way out of this life without the expensive care of a veterinarian? It pains me to watch both my sister and the dog, Molly, go through this. Can you help us relieve the pain for the dog?


Zack February, 2015

You need to put her down. 14 years is the end of the road for a dog. Your sister shouldn’t just keep her living a painful life.


Kathleen February, 2015

Thanks Zack. I would put her down if she were mine but she’s not and my sister has an extremely hard time dealing with it. I feel for the both of them.


Sheila February, 2015

My Shih Tzu is in pain. His tail is down and I see a lot of saliva around his mouth. The vet is really expensive, are there any home remedies?


Amanda January, 2015

My 7 month old dog has been neutered today and was wondering if I can give him some pain relief. The vet only gave him 2 days worth of pain meds. I don’t want to see him in pain.


John March, 2015

Take him back to the vet!


April December, 2014

I’ve been a parent to many animals through the years. Glucosamine, heating pad and massage are things that work for pain. Vets in Canada and the US are outrages in price, it’s amazing to me that they charge so much. If they made it cheaper to care for our pets, then maybe most of us would rush to the vet right away.


Janet Hennessey November, 2014

My parents have 2 dogs. Their Bulldog, he’s 10 years old, has a big tumor on his lip and is developing more tumors on his body. Their French Border Collie, 4 years old, has hip dysplasia and arthritis. This dog is in a lot of pain at times and can’t get up. He’s on strong pain meds and over time this is dangerous to his health. They spent 3,000 dollars on his knee because there was a tear. He was doing good at first but now he’s back to limping and pain. Any suggestions to sooth his pain and make him more comfortable?


Neelam January, 2015

Try a cold compress to ease his pain. Good luck!


Cheryl January, 2015

My friend’s dog is 15 years old and couldn’t walk on his own a year ago due to limited paralysis in his hindquarters. She put him on an herbal formula called Inflapotion and he showed improvement within 48 hours. Today, he runs and plays (he’s a little stiff – but still gets his puppy on) and still takes his herbs daily.


Sarah January, 2015

Cheryl, my dog has been experiencing pain in hind quarters as well. Where did you purchase this product called Inflapotion?


Cheryl January, 2015

Sarah, I got it from Glacier Peak Holistics.
They also have a great pain reliever called Herbal Aspirin. Check it out!


Sue November, 2014

My 8 year old 55 pound female dog snagged one of her nails and it broke off last night. It was bleeding for a minute or two and has not since. She is in pain and she will let out a little whine once in while. It’s her paw, I guess you would consider it her thumb, so she isn’t limping. The end of what is left of her nail is pink. Can I give her anything over-the-counter for pain?


Pat January, 2015

Please take your dog to the vet. You want to be sure that no infection developed or is developing. We just took Lucy, our 14 month old Labrador mix, to the vet for the same problem. There was damage to her cuticle and an infection present which wasn’t apparent to us. Had this infection worsened, amputation could have become necessary. Lucy’s nail was removed. She’s being treated with antibiotics and her nail is expected to grow back normally. Your dog is telling you something is wrong.


Ruth October, 2014

I have a 14 year old dog Lab mix weighing about 90 pounds. She can hardly walk outside to do her business twice a day. I bring her food and water to her. She is on Tramadol for pain. She has arthritis, maybe cancer, and heart murmur.

The vet can’t renew her prescription without seeing her again. I understand there are laws about this so I understand the vet’s standpoint. But she is not able to walk that far and I can’t get her in the car anymore to take her. Is there anything else I could give her? I don’t want her suffering through her last days.


James October, 2014

Ruth, this is not medical advice on dosage, but if the dog has already been taking it, consider going online and exploring. Google “medicine without a prescription.” Also, my sister lives near Mexico, and she makes regular trips across border.

You can walk into pharmacies there and buy most of the drugs we in USA would need an RX for. Have you spoken directly to your vet? My vet is very accommodating with regard to this sort of thing. If they are not in the business solely to prey on your pocketbook, they might have some options.


Jennifer January, 2015

My dog was on Tramadol during his last couple of months of cancer. It was too hard and too cruel to try to get him in the car for a new script. Instead, I went to my doctor and said I was suffering from neck pain. I told the doctor the truth, that I had taken Panadeine but it never helped. I asked for a Tramadol script. It’s lucky my neck improved and I had enough to keep our precious dog comfortable.


Cheryl January, 2015

Consider an alternative to drugs. There are herbal formulas out there that work remarkably well without the harmful side effects.


Terence January, 2014

Pain relievers that are safe for dogs include:

– Metacam
– Aspirin
– Baby Aspirin

Stick to baby aspirin or very low doses for puppies or smaller dogs.


Will February, 2014

Aspirin is not a great thing to give dogs or cats especially if they are bleeding or prone to bleeding easily, as it can make this worse. Aspirin is a blood thinner. Ask a vet before you give your dog any pain meds to be on the safe side.


Tony December, 2014

I have been a vet for 23 years. Advice from Terrance is not correct. You should never give your dog aspirin, Bayer etc. or other pain relievers which have Acetaminophen in them. Severe kidney/liver damage can occur from these over-the-counter drugs. Call you regular veterinarian and discuss this matter with him or her.


Hailey February, 2013

My dog won’t get out of her dog bed and she is shivering. What do we give her to help?


Anonymous July, 2013

Go to your vet!


Despina March, 2016

She is either cold or is afraid of something. Hold the dog like a baby in your arms until they calm down or go to a vet.


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