Can I give my dog OTC pain meds?

If you have ever had a pet, you know that they can sometimes experience physical pain, just like we do. Fortunately, there are a variety of over-the-counter (OTC) medications available to help humans when they experience pain. But can you give OTC pain medications to your dog? It is important to know that animals have different physiology than humans, and medications that are safe for humans may be toxic for animals. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the types of OTC medications that are safe to give to dogs and those that should be avoided. In this blog post, we will discuss the potential risks and benefits of giving your dog OTC pain medications and provide advice on how to safely administer them. With this information, you can make an informed decision about whether or not to give OTC pain medications to your pet.

Find food that fits your pet’s needs

No matter their age, breed, or sexual orientation, all dogs eventually feel pain. You may have wondered, “What can you give a dog for pain relief?” whether your dog seems to be gradually slowing down, has an acute injury, or just doesn’t seem quite themselves. Let’s look at some of the painkillers for dogs.

You might have been tempted to use ibuprofen or acetaminophen to treat your dog’s pain if you’ve ever looked through your own medicine cabinet when they started to limp. However, it’s crucial to understand that NSAIDs, including baby aspirin, that are available over-the-counter for humans should not be given to dogs.

While NSAIDs cannot be administered to humans, veterinarians frequently prescribe NSAIDs to treat canine pain. Some popular choices among veterinarians include:

Since decades, NSAIDs have been prescribed for dogs and are still generally well-tolerated and secure. However, they must always be used under veterinarian supervision. NSAIDs may cause gastrointestinal problems, such as stomach upset, or kidney or liver issues in both humans and dogs. Therefore, be sure to inform your veterinarian of any unusual symptoms your dog exhibits while taking these medications or any other medications.

According to some scientific research, giving glucosamine hydrochloride and chondroitin sulfate to dogs can help prevent and treat degenerative joint conditions like osteoarthritis. These supplements continue to be among the most widely used and trusted natural health products for dogs. Consult your veterinarian before adding this supplement to your dog’s diet because many dog foods already contain glucosamine hydrochloride and chondroitin sulfate. Alternatively, you could consider feeding a food that supports joint health.

According to the Open Veterinary Journal, glucosamine helps regulate collagen synthesis within the cartilage, and it is also believed to have some mild anti-inflammatory properties. Chondroitin helps prevent destructive enzymes from damaging cartilage, an important tissue within joints. While joint supplements take weeks to achieve adequate levels in the dogs body, dog parents may note a positive response and report improved pep in their dogs step when adding these supplements into their daily regimen.

It turns out a multimodal treatment plan is the best way to help relieve stress on your dog’s joints, instead of one single magic pill, since most dog-safe specific medications require a prescription.

  • Weight loss: When a dog has arthritis, the cartilage that normally functions as a billowy pillow within their joints begins to wear down. This causes painful bone-on-bone rubbing, swelling and inflammation. While you cant do anything to halt this process of degeneration, you can slow it. The less weight your pup bears on their joints, the less of a beating the cartilage takes. Reducing your dogs weight is an important way to manage their joint pain.
  • Exercise: Maintaining strength and flexibility is a cornerstone of a dogs health, from the early puppy days through the senior years. As a dog ages, its important to prevent muscle loss, which places more stress on joints because muscle helps stabilize them. A non-weight-bearing exercise such as supervised swimming is a wonderful way to maintain muscle tone when dealing with other painful issues, from degenerative bone disease to recovering from orthopedic surgeries. Your veterinarian may know of a dog physical therapist that they can refer you to.
  • Recognizing When Your Dog is in Pain

    Knowing your dog’s pain cues will enable you to seek assistance from your veterinarian. Once your pet starts taking any medications, it’s crucial to keep an eye on their development and any indications of pain. Pets should be able to enjoy the things that make them happy and have a high quality of life.

    There are several animal pain scales that allow you to rate your pet’s pain level, such as the canine acute pain scale created by Colorado State University veterinary school.

    The following are a few indications that your dog may be in pain:

  • Restless or distracted easily
  • Looking uncomfortable
  • Whimpering, crying, groaning, or howling
  • Licking, rubbing, biting, or chewing wound or surgery site
  • Droopy ears, looking worried (shifty eyes, arched eyebrows)
  • Not responding when called
  • Not moving all or part of their body
  • Not interacting with people
  • Shifting their weight or limping to protect certain areas
  • Growling, flinching, pulling away, crying, biting, or whimpering when touched
  • Alternative Therapies for Pain in Dogs

    When medications are ineffective or cannot be used, therapeutic laser is an alternative pain treatment. The laser being used belongs to a category of lasers that accelerates healing and reduces pain. When prescription painkillers are insufficient, acupuncture is an alternative that can be used. It is best carried out by a licensed veterinary specialist. Although laser therapy and acupuncture are more effective for treating pets with chronic pain, some other types of pain can also improve with these treatments. Laser and acupuncture pricing ranges quite a bit. Acupuncture typically costs $75 to $150 per session, and laser therapy sessions can cost $50 to $150 each. Physical therapy can be an option for patients who have injuries to their muscles, bones, or joints to help reduce pain. Once more, in these situations, a veterinary specialist is ideal because improper physical therapy can also make the issue worse. Physical therapy can be costly, ranging from $50-200 a session.


    What can you give a dog for pain relief at home?

    Natural Pain Relief for Dogs
    1. Hot and Cold Therapy.
    2. ​Ginger.
    3. Turmeric.
    4. Boswellia.
    5. Devil’s Claw.
    6. CBD Oil.
    7. Acupuncture.
    8. Fish Oil.

    Can dogs take human OTC pain meds?

    Never give your dog the most popular over-the-counter human pain relievers, including ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) and acetaminophen (Tylenol).

    What kind of human meds can I give my dog for pain?

    NSAIDs, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, help humans with swelling, stiffness, and joint pain, and they can also help your dog. They can provide comfort to a dog who has arthritis or has recently undergone surgery.