What Can I Give My Dog for Pain? The #1 Guide to Solving Your Pup’s Misery

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By: CertaPet Staff Updated: June 15, 2020

what can i give my dog for pain relief, chihuahua with pillsWhen cuddles with your four-legged friend aren’t enough to soothe their whimpers, you’ll soon find yourself asking, what can I give my dog for pain? From chronic pain relief to post-surgical pain, there’s a doggy painkiller you can try. Don’t just raid the medicine cabinet though! Knowing what you can give to your pet and what you can’t is essential.

Make sure you get plenty of veterinary advice and read through our pet owners guide before giving your pet drugs!

Mother Nature Knows Best: Natural Pain Relief for Dogs

What can I give my dog for pain that isn’t classified as a painkiller?

When your dog is in serious pain and your veterinarian prescribes pain medications, make sure you use them! Your vet always knows best.

However, when your dog is in chronic pain or regularly needs relief from aching joints and other symptoms of old age, natural remedies are sometimes preferable. Prolonged use of over-the-counter medications can cause more problems than they solve, such as kidney damage and stomach upset.

Natural remedies will soothe their pain without the harsh side effects – plus they may be a little easier on your wallet too!

How Honest Paws CBD Oil and Treats Works as a Pain Reliever for Dogs

CBD stands for cannabidiol, but don’t worry, you won’t be making your dogs high! CBD is a chemical compound that doesn’t contain tetrahydrocannabinol, the ingredient that gives you the buzz.

In fact, CBD oil and CBD dog treats can be very calming. It’s been shown to fight inflammation, relieve pain and even slow the progression of arthritis in both dogs and cats.

It’s not difficult to get your paws on either! No back-street alleyway deals needed. Take a look at Honest Paws range of CBD oil pain relievers, for example.

There’s a lot of research into CBD oil and the effects it has on your pets – so far, the only side effect discovered (and it’s extremely rare) is that your pet may feel a bit tired.

From Natural Pain Meds for Dogs to NSAIDs for Dogs: No Pup Should Ever Be in Pain!

Pain in dogs can be caused by any number of things! For older dogs, a long walk can cause joint pain and swelling the next day. Sometimes the pain can be annoying but far from dangerous, like a thorn stuck in a puppy paw. Other times, it can be a bit more serious, like hip dysplasia.

black lab needing pain meds for dogs back

It’s so important that you know why your pup is in pain before you treat them!

Not all dogs are vocal, so keep an eye on their behavior. Licking one spot over and over, changes in behavior (sleeping on their other side, for example) and irritability when petted in certain places are all signs of localized pain.

Loss of appetite, changes in behavior, limping and generally not being their usual happy selves is a huge sign that they are in pain or discomfort. This could be caused by an infection, disease or just the effects of aging. Take your pooch to a veterinarian to find out what’s wrong!

The sooner you have your diagnoses, the sooner you can find medication to make it all better.

Need an Anti Inflammatory for Dogs? Vets Preferred Has You Covered!

When your dog has arthritis, they’ll be in chronic pain with every step, caused by inflammation in their joints. Humans have arthritis too, but you can’t share your arthritis pain meds with your dog! If you’re not keen on CBD oil, or your pooch turns up their nose at Honest Paw’s products, try these instead!

Advanced Joint Support pills are tiny chewable meds for your dog to help strengthen their bones, improve joint mobility and encourage connective tissue support. There are 3 different formulas depending on the age of your dog. For the adult formula, you need 1 pill per 40 pounds of pup!

Vets Preferred also have a natural alternative that contains turmeric, coconut oil, and black pepper as active ingredients that provide anti-inflammatory effects. Bonus – it tastes like chicken!

Both supplements are ideal for dogs with arthritis who need a little support before going out for a walk.

A Look at OTC Meds for Dogs: What Can You Give a Dog for Pain!

Some OTC medications (over-the-counter drugs) that you purchase can help your dog, but it’s important to know which ones are safe and to get right dose! Don’t give your pooch these drugs without permission from your vet!

Rimadyl and Novox carprofen are both NSAIDs – which sounds like a great hip-hop band name, but actually stands for Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs.

These are great for pain relief from arthritis, aching joints and old injuries that have flared up. Make sure you stick to those 2 brands of carprofen or choose another NSAID that’s recommended by your vet, as the ingredients are completely doggy safe. These drugs are best for short-term use.

You must also be very careful with the dose, as what’s suitable for one dog may not be for another. If you notice any rashes or redness, loss of appetite, behavior changes, vomiting or tarry doggy do-dos, your pooch may be having a reaction to the NSAID. Stop giving your pet the drug immediately and make an emergency appointment at the vets!

mutt needing natural pain relief for dogs

Aspirin for Dogs: Can I Give My Dog Aspirin?

Yes, dogs can take human aspirin for a limited amount of time and only when your vet approves it!

How Much Aspirin Can I Give My Dog?

Around 5mg of aspirin per pound of dog body weight is appropriate. Don’t forget that the dosage needed will vary depending on the breed of dog, body mass and other medications they are taking.

Before giving any pet aspirin treatments, give your vet a call to find out how much your pooch needs.

What About Baby Aspirin for Dogs?

Baby aspirin is the same as regular aspirin, just in a much smaller dose. Baby aspirin contains just 80mg, which can make it easier for you to give your pet the correct amount based on their body weight.

Can Dogs Take Aspirin Regularly?

No, dogs should not take aspirin regularly. The longer they take it, the higher the chances of side effects. These side effects, including excessive bleeding, can be pretty severe so please do not take the risk!

Ibuprofen for Dogs: Can I Give My Dog Ibuprofen?

If the pharmacy is closed but you’re still sitting at home wondering “what can I give my dog for pain from my own medicine cabinet?” don’t give them ibuprofen! It’s extremely toxic to dogs!

what can you give dogs for pain with arthritis, old labrador hurting

How Much Ibuprofen Can I Give My Dog?

None. Even a few mg of ibuprofen can cause serious damage to your dog. Make sure to check the label of any meds that your dog takes (purposefully or accidentally) for ibuprofen. If you see ibuprofen listed, head to the vets immediately!

Advil and Nurpen are 2 brands of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications that contain the ingredient, so keep these safely locked away at home.

Can Dogs Have Ibuprofen Regularly?

This will make your dog very sick. To start with they’ll have stomach upset and stomach ulcers, leading up to kidney damage and eventually kidney failure.

Tylenol for Dogs: Can I Give My Dog Tylenol?

Tylenol painkillers contain acetaminophen, which is a toxic ingredient for dogs. It’s made for humans and should only be consumed by humans!

How Often Can Dogs Take Tylenol as Dog Pain Meds?

Dogs cannot take Tylenol as dog pain meds. No matter how much pain they are in, do not give them these drugs. The acetaminophen in Tylenol is metabolized by your dogs, creating harmful substances that will damage their liver and red blood cells.

Cats are up to 10x more sensitive to acetaminophen as dogs so don’t give any to them either.

Tylenol as a Pain Medication for Dogs: Dosage

A large dose of Tylenol will likely cause liver failure, leading to death. Even small doses will cause severe damage to your pet’s liver within 30 minutes of taking the pill, so you’ll need to really put your foot down as you drive them to your nearest vet.

what can you give a dog for pain, bulldog in misery

What Can I Give My Dog for Pain Caused by Arthritis?

Just because human drugs are out, doesn’t mean your pet has to suffer in pain! Besides CBD oil and dog-friendly NSAIDs, there are a few pain management drugs you can ask your vet about.

  • Amantadine – it won’t turn your pooch into Wolverine but it will help treat arthritis by soothing their pain and inflammation through blocking certain neurotransmitters.
  • Gabapentin – a drug that soothes nerve pain and calms seizures. It usually comes in treats, rather than chewable pills!
  • Glucosamine – this won’t treat the immediate pain, but evidence suggests that it can help repair cartilage and prevent future joint damage. Both humans and dogs can safely take this option!

A Look at the Best Dog Pain Relief Home Remedy

Dog owners who’ve had enough of seeing their best friend suffer from chronic pain or old age aches can try turning to natural home remedies!

This doesn’t mean mixing up a cocktail of drugs though. Instead, focus on healthy foods that will provide all the vitamins, minerals, fats and acids that your dog needs to function at their best. Did you know that your dog is an omnivore?

Painkillers are by far the most effective way of providing immediate relief for your dog, but natural remedies can help to prevent pain and further damage to their health in the future.

black pup needing a dog anti inflammatory medication

3 Of Nature’s Best Alternatives to Pain Medicine for Dogs

  • Fish oils like those from green-lipped mussels contain Omega-3 fatty acids which are essential for healthy, lubricated joints. Along with vitamin D, these 2 ingredients are fantastic natural remedies for treating joint problems in dogs. Try mixing the oil with their dog food or soaking hard treats in it to soften them up!
  • Turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory that’s ideal for relieving pain caused by arthritis! You can find turmeric treats from trusted dog food brands like Honest Paws, or you can whip up our CertaPet golden paste recipe yourself at home.
  • This last one isn’t actually a food, it comes down to natural exercise habits. To relieve joint pain and slowly strengthen doggy bones, take slower and shorter walks more regularly instead of long walks infrequently. This all goes back to when dogs were hunters and would be active each and every day – it’s their natural way of life, even if they’re just moseying around looking for truffles, they would be up and about on their feet!

Let your pooch decide on the pace to let them feel comfortable with walking again! If you know that trying to walk over that hill or hard pavement surfaces make your dog’s arthritis flare up, choose a different route with soft grass to walk on.

Always Speak to Your Vet About What to Give a Dog for Pain!

It’s so important that you talk to your vet! Even something as harmless as an aspirin could cause serious damage if the wrong dose is given or your pet has a pre-existing medical condition.

It only takes a few minutes to double check the label on those meds and give your vet a call to check if it’s safe to give to your dog – and it could be the difference between life and death.

For natural remedies, take a look at our blog for a wide range of guides covering all the foods your dog can eat from strawberries to avocado and find some yummy recipes you can cook up in your kitchen. Your vet will know which foods your dog needs from day to day, so ask them to help you come up with an all-natural diet that contains all the protein, carbs, fruits and veggies they need.

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Common Questions on What Can I Give My Dog for Pain Relief

Which painkillers for dogs are toxic?

What can you give a dog for pain caused by arthritis?

What are the best pain meds for cats? Is CBD oil for cats a thing?

What are the best over the counter pain meds for dogs?

Are there natural remedies for dog pain?

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