Can I Give My Dog Aspirin? A Guide to Aspirin for Dogs Dosage & More!

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By: CertaPet Staff Updated: April 21, 2021

can I give my dog aspirin

  • Aspirin is a Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory medication that can be given to dogs to help decrease pain and inflammation. 
  • This should be given under supervision of your veterinarian. If you need tips on how to find the perfect veterinarian check out our article here.
  • There are other natural remedies that you can use to help your dog deal with discomfort such as CBD, salmon oil, or turmeric.
  • Before giving your dog Aspirin or other pain medications consult with your veterinarian, as there are side effects such as vomiting, diarrhea and GI bleeding that can occur.

Is there anything worse as a pooch parent, to see your poor fur baby suffering and in pain? This can be one of the hardest things for pet owners to go through, and many of us are woefully unprepared when our dogs run into a situation where they need pain relief. Enter Aspirin for Dogs!

Surprisingly, there are many pharmaceuticals that are commonly used in humans that are also safe for use with our doggy pals. One of the over-the-counter medications that we all know is Aspirin, which aside from being excellent as a pain reliever for us, can also help our puppy pals with their pain too. If you think that Aspirin could help your pooch live their best life, we’ve got everything you need to know covered!

What is Aspirin?

Aspirin is a familiar name to most, but what is it exactly? Also known as acetylsalicylic acid, a metabolite of salicylic acid, Aspirin is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug commonly used as a pain reliever to treat minor pain.

Is Aspirin an NSAID?

Aspirin is a drug that is classed in the category of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, along with Ibuprofen and other household pain relievers such as Paracetamol.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs can relieve pain, decrease fever and reduce the likelihood of blood clots, but are not classified as steroids. Steroidal drugs use hormones to break down fatty acids which contribute to pain. Some people (and dogs!) are sensitive to steroid-based medication and experience adverse side effects.

Natural Pain Relief Alternatives to Aspirin

There are many great natural pain relievers you can give to your dog. 

CBD products, for instance, can help a dog dealing with occasional discomfort and occasional joint stiffness while also promoting a health inflammatory response in the body. 

Honest Paws CBD Oil for dogs is a great place to start when it comes to looking for the best CBD for dogs. Honest Paws offers all-natural, organic products that are certified with The National Animal Supplement Council and lab-tested to ensure the highest quality and safety for pets. They offer CBD in various forms such as CBD oil, CBD chews and bites, and even CBD-infused peanut butter! They also have over 1,000 glowing reviews across their products, with pet parents singing their praise for helping their dogs feel healthier and happier.

Other things that you can give your dog to help with pain and inflammation include: Turmeric, Salmon or Fish oil, Glucosamine, and Chondroitin.  All of these have shown to have benefits for dogs who are suffering with arthritis pain in particular.

You can also look into joint supplements for dogs! Ones such as Salmon Oil and Turmeric work to fight arthritis and age as well as preserve your dog’s hip and joint health.

What Does Aspirin Do, and How Does Aspirin Work?

To understand how Aspirin works, it’s important to know what happens inside the body to cause pain. When tissues of the body are damaged, they release chemicals called prostaglandins which cause the affected tissue to swell. When the nerves of the body sense pain, they send electric signals to the brain. Prostaglandins also serve to intensify these pain signals.

Aspirin works to treat pain and inflammation by blocking the effects of certain enzymes called cyclooxygenases that create prostaglandins, therefore reducing swelling and also the pain.

It also has other uses in humans besides pain relief. Aspirin is known to have the potential to reduce heart problems, blood clots in the body and even incidences of stroke due to its anticoagulant or blood thinning properties. Vary rarely is asprin needed for dog for heart problems. 

Aspirin vs Baby Aspirin for Dogs: What’s the Difference?

The difference between Aspirin and Baby Aspirin lies within the strength of the drug. Baby Aspirin contains a lower dose of the active ingredient in Aspirin, acetylsalicylic acid, than adult Aspirin.

One Baby Aspirin contains 81mg of active ingredient which is about a quarter of that of a regular adult Aspirin, which contains 325 mg.

Depending on your dog’s size and weight, and what the Aspirin is being used for, Baby Aspirin can often be a better choice for smaller dogs in particular due to its lower dosage.

painkillers for dogs

What Can I Give My Dog for Pain? The Benefits of Painkillers for Dogs!

We as humans know exactly how debilitating pain can be, whether it comes in the form of a headache, toothache or a backache. And we also know that it’s an easy thing to alleviate simply by taking a pill.  So why should our furry friends suffer?

When your dog has a minor injury or exhibits signs of pain, Aspirin is a gentle and effective way to ensure your dog is happy and comfortable.

The anti-inflammatory effects are fast acting and can soothe your pet quickly. Another advantage of Aspirin is that it is common in most households, and quite likely always on hand. This means that you won’t have to go to the store, and your you can deal with your dog’s pain sooner.

Some pain-causing health problems in dogs include:

Can Aspirin Prevent Other Health Problems in Dogs? 

This drug is well known to have other health benefits for humans, such as reducing the likelihood of heart attack, stroke and blood clots with regular low-dose Aspirin use.

Unfortunately, this is not the case in dogs. You should only use Aspirin for dogs as a short-term pain reliever.

Safety: Can I Give My Dog Aspirin? Can Dogs Take Aspirin?

Many dog owners have had success using Aspirin with their pooches. However its extremely important that you make all medical decisions regarding your pets in conjunction with your trusted veterinarian.

Many factors play a part in whether Aspirin is suitable for your dog, so ensure that you discuss these things with your vet before jumping into medicating your pet yourself.

Some important points for discussion with your vet are:

  • The age of your dog/s
  • The size of your dog/s
  • Any underlying medical conditions that your dog/s may have
  • Whether they are taking any other medication
  • Any allergies that your pet/s may have

Once you have had a discussion about these things with a vet, you can work together to work out the ways in which Aspirin could help your pooch, and also calculate the correct dosage for your pet.

For some dogs, Aspirin use is NEVER a good idea, including those with Von Willebrand’s disease (due to its ability to stop blood clotting), kidney disease or suspected kidney failure. Always speak to your vet before attempting to medicate your dog!

How Much Aspirin Can I Give My Dog? Aspirin Dosage for Dogs!

Before using Aspirin for dogs for the first time, the correct aspirin dosage for dogs is best left to veterinarians to calculate. They are able to take into account individual factors that may affect dosage for your dog.

how much aspirin can I give my dog?

For informational purposes, we have included a guide to aspirin dosage based on your dog’s body weight that will give you an idea of how much to give your pooch.

  • 0-5 pounds: 25-50mg of Aspirin or ½ a Baby Aspirin tablet (Common breeds: Chihuahua, Pomeranian)
  • 5-10 pounds: 50-100mg of Aspirin or 1 Baby Aspirin tablet (Common breeds: Pekingese, Miniature Fox Terrier)
  • 10-20 pounds: 100-200mg of Aspirin or ½ an Adult Aspirin tablet (Common breeds: Beagle, Miniature Poodle)
  • 20-40 pounds: 200-400mg of Aspirin or 1 Adult Aspirin tablet (Common breeds: Samoyed, Shar Pei)
  • 40-60 pounds: 300-600mg of Aspirin or 1-2 Adult Aspirin tablets (Common breeds: Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever)
  • 60-80 pounds: 400-800mg of Aspirin or 2 Adult Aspirin tablets (Common breeds: Akita, Rottweiler)
  • 80-100+ pounds: 500-1000mg of Aspirin or 2-3 Adult Aspirin tablets (Common breeds: Great Dane, Bullmastiff)

Remember this is only a guide of suggested dosages when using Aspirin for dogs. It is safest to work out the perfect aspirin dosage for your dog with the help of your vet.

Another important thing to note when giving dogs Aspirin is that tablets that are enteric coated. These are designed to be gentle on human stomachs, are often ineffective for dogs. Enteric-coated Aspirin dissolves slowly and therefore often remains undigested in doggy systems, rendering them useless.

The Importance of a Safe Aspirin Dose for Dogs!

One of the reasons dosage of Aspirin for dogs is so important is, the ease with which our furry friends can fall victim to Aspirin toxicity.

Aspirin toxicity occurs when there is too much acetylsalicylic acid in the body. This leads to a situation when a toxic level of the active ingredient found in Aspirin causes unwanted side effects and even more serious problems.

Potential Side Effects to Look Out for! 

Some of the potential side effects of Aspirin for dogs include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Mucosal erosion
  • Ulceration
  • Black, tarry stool

One unwanted side effect of the use of Aspirin for dogs can be stomach ulcers. Some researchers believe that Aspirin damages the lining of the stomach, and allows ulcers to develop more easily.

A rare disease called Reye syndrome, which affects the liver and brain, is known to be brought on by Aspirin use in both humans and dogs, so it’s important to know this is also a possible risk.

aspirin dosage for dogs

Signs and Symptoms an Overdose or Allergic Reaction

When using Aspirin with your four-legged friend, it’s extremely important to remain vigilant for possible signs of an overdose or allergic reaction. Some of the symptoms of these include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Acid-based abnormalities
  • Hemorrhage
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Death

If you notice your dog displaying any of these symptoms after giving them Aspirin, get your dog to the vet immediately!

Where Can I Buy It?

Aspirin is one of the most common over-the-counter drugs available in the U.S. You can purchase this effective treatment for pain without a prescription at your local drugstore, chain stores such as Walmart and Walgreens, and even online through Amazon.

Keeping your pets happy and healthy is the number one priority for every pet owner. Aspirin is a simple and effective medication that can help to soothe your pets pain quickly and easily, which is a win for both pets and their humans!

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