OK to Give Aspirin to a Dog? A Must Read!

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Can I Give My Dog Aspirin?Some dogs really do need medication for aches and pains.


Is Aspirin an NSAID that’s OK for canine use?

Great question because many dogs have suffered as a result of being given dangerous human meds.

You’ll be happy to know that aspirin, when used in moderation, is not easily toxic.

On a short-term basis, low doses of aspirin are fairly safe. It’ll do the trick when your dog needs temporary relief.

That said, it is too risky for puppies!

Adult Dogs Can Take Aspirin

This popular non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug can reduce a pooch’s pain.

Yup! Aspirin is effective for pain.


We prefer much safer buffered aspirin tablets (designed specifically for dogs).

It’s true that vets routinely utilize regular aspirin (though it shouldn’t be the first option).

Thing is…

There’s always a level of risk for a dog when going the pharmaceutical route.

You really have to watch for signs of side effects (which we’ll cover here) whenever providing a pet with aspirin.

Not a Perfect Pain Pill

Aspirin prevents buildup of Prostaglandin which causes pain receptors to react. It works for dogs too, but effective pain management usually requires that you do more.

Start by trying to determine the root cause(s) of your dog’s ailment. Get a diagnosis!

The most effective treatment can begin only after the underlying cause is known.

Here’s the good news:

Studies show that aspirin can be successfully used in the field of veterinary medicine (for K9s in particular).

Dosing Aspirin for Dogs

Carefully adjust dosage based on your dog’s weight.

Rule of Thumb: 5-10 milligrams per pound can be responsibility given.

Play it safe and be conservative.

Provide at least 100mg of aspirin but never more than 200mg total daily if, for example, your buddy weighs in at 20 pounds or so.

Every dog’s situation is different. Get a vet’s professional advice.

Make no mistake:

Human medications can be harmful for dogs.

Remember that aspirin is a human-grade NSAID. Do not take dosing lightly!

Understand Side Effects

Aspirin should never be given to young pets.

There’s potential for serious toxicity when it comes to dogs under 5 pounds.

Aspirin may cause bleeding and stomach problems among other complications. There’s also a blood thinning factor.


Keep your dog away from sharp objects or activities that may cause trauma.

Again, close monitoring is absolutely essential.

Warning: Other meds, like Tylenol, cannot be taken with aspirin. Such chemical reactions can be unpredictable and quite severe for dogs. Death can even occur.

It’s a Judgement Call

Aspirin is used for dogs in pain caused by arthritis or similar musculoskeletal inflammation-related pains. It is, however, one of many treatment options.

Do this:

Evaluate alternatives such as quality long-term anti-inflammatory joint supplements before choosing a treatment.

The truth is…

Your dog’s pain problems can’t realistically be handled with aspirin (at least on an indefinite basis).

The Bottom Line

OTC aspirin is generally not harmful. Dogs can take it too.


Alternatives are equally effective, a bit safer and more sustainable.

So, yes, aspirin works for pet pain (though adverse reactions aren’t out of the question).

It cannot be stressed enough:

Observe your dog closely while they’re on aspirin. Also, have your vet’s contact info handy.

What Do You Think? Is Aspirin Dangerous for Dogs? Have Your Say Below…

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37 thoughts on “OK to Give Aspirin to a Dog? A Must Read!”

  1. My vet said to never give my dog baby aspirin!

  2. Marie-Chistine says:

    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?

  3. 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.

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

    1. 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 also used it 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.

  5. 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?

  6. 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.

    1. My dad used to give his aging dogs turmeric, ginger and fish oil for aching joints. It was all hidden in the food and it helped a lot!

  7. Elizabeth says:

    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?

  8. 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?

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

    1. 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.

  11. 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?

    1. 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.

  12. 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?

    1. 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.

  13. Christine says:

    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. I am worried he has pulled something.

    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.

  14. 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?

  15. I have a 12 pound puppy who just had surgery. How much aspirin should I give?

    1. Does aspirin work as a blood thinner like it does in humans? If that is the case, then giving aspirin after surgery may not be the best option either.

  16. 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.

    1. 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.

      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.

  17. 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?

    1. 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.

      1. 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.

    2. 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.

  18. Meloxicam is a prescription medication that is not FDA approved for vet use. However, it is a commonly accepted practice for vets to use Meloxicam for treating dogs.

    1. 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 kilograms in weight and so far so good.

      I will watch for side effects. 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.

  19. 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.

    1. Hi Nikki. I have no idea why your vet prescribed Meloxicam. It’s a human medicine for pain relief and inflammation. My Husky died because I trusted my vet too much (without doing more research). I hope you don’t repeat my mistake.

      1. 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.

  20. 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?

    1. 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.

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

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

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

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