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