One of the worst things a dog owner can witness is watching his furry friend in pain and agony. Of course, you instantly want to help your dog feel better and back to normal. Most of us will visit the vet, but we will also search for other solutions to help our dog. Painkillers are one of those solutions. However, it can be tricky and even dangerous to use them, as they can cause more harm than good to your dog. But, how to know what is safe for my dog? What can I give my dog for pain?
Well, the answer to this question is not as simple as one may think. There is a certain proportion of risks and benefits in every medication. Whether the benefits outweigh potential risks is a hard decision to make and it’s best to leave those decisions to professionals.
However, this article can serve you as an educational platform to learn about the potential risks and benefits of painkillers for dogs. By reading this article, you will have basic knowledge about this subject.
So, What Can I Give My Dog For Pain?
Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
NSAIDs are the most common painkillers in the world. Their main role is the short-term reduction of pain, stiffness, and swelling.
NSAIDs achieve this by blocking the pain-inducing enzymes, thus reducing the pain and inflammation.
These pain medications are helpful for dogs, especially those suffering from arthritis or recovering from injury.
However, they can cause some serious side effects and should only be used if prescribed by a veterinarian.
Some of the most common NSAIDs that are used for easing the pain in dogs are:
Side effects of treating a dog using human NSAIDs
Never use human pain medications to treat your dog. Especially, Ibuprofen and Naproxen are toxic to dogs even in small doses.
Here are some of the most common dangers of a dog taking human NSAIDs:
- Liver failure
- Bleeding of the GI tract
- Kidney failure
Grey zone: Using the Aspirin
Aspirin is in the grey zone regarding its usage to relieve pain in dogs. It is not harmful to dogs in very small quantities. Therefore, the vets will prescribe it as a short-term solution. However, never administer aspirin without consulting your vet and following his guidance regarding the dosage. Improper or prolonged use of aspirin can cause serious health issues.
What Medications Should I Avoid?
To repeat once more, don’t ever give these medications to your dog.
- Acetaminophen (found in Tylenol)
- Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, Nupren)
- Naproxen (found in Aleve)
Other Pain Relief Options
Some dogs affected by cancer, severe arthritis, or disk disease need more powerful painkillers than NSAIDs. Therefore, we can treat these dogs with:
Gabapentin is a pain relief medication as it blocks nerve pain. However, we can also use it as a sedative for dogs that suffer from seizures.
The vets prescribe tramadol to dogs with constant pain or aging dogs.
CBD oils and treats have recently gained much popularity as products that can relieve pain and have a calming effect on dogs. However, veterinarians are unlikely to approve this type of therapy due to state legislations and lack of research and concrete evidence that CBD really helps the dogs. Therefore, if you want to try this option, the best course of action would be to visit and consult the holistic vet.
Watching as your dog fights with pain is a sight no owner wishes to see. However, don’t be carried by emotions as you can only make things worse. Therefore, do the research, contact and visit the vet, find out the best solution for your dog and stick to the plan. Never administer human NSAIDs to your dog, as it will cause serious health issues and may even cause death.