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Can Dogs Take Pain Meds? How to Deal With a Dog’s Pain

8 min read

There is nothing more upsetting than seeing any of our beloved in pain and not doing anything to help them.

When our four-legged friend is in pain we want to do our best to find something to relive them, the first thing that will come to our minds is ” Can dogs take pain meds?” Should I give my dog over-the-counter pain relief?

Dogs can’t take any human pain killers as they will badly influence their health. Over-the-counter pain meds shouldn’t be given to dogs as they would cause serious problems like Gastrointestinal bleeding, Ulcers, Holes in the stomach lining, lethargy, depression, liver and kidney damage, or even death!

a dog on the floor-Can Dogs Take Pain Meds

That’s why over-the-counter pain meds shouldn’t be given to dogs under any circumstances without consulting and taking the approval of your vet, even in this case, sometimes this calculated dose could do damage for the dog.

Can Dogs Take Pain Meds; What is NSAIDs and Why Dogs Shouldn’t Take It

Most of the pain killers or over-the-counter pain reliever fall in the category of being one of the NSAIDs.

pills and tablets-Can Dogs Take Pain Meds

NSAID stands for nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, Asprin,  baby aspirin ibuprofen and naproxen are common examples of this kind of drug. These drugs work by restraining the virus or bacteria by an enzyme called cyclooxygenase.

Cyclooxygenase is responsible for prostaglandins which promote inflammation, fever, and pain.

It also assists in many roles in the body; as maintaining the flow of the blood to the kidneys and helps in the production of mucus that is lining the gastrointestinal tract in the body which keeps the stomach away from the danger of blood clotting and the stomach acid.

When cyclooxygenase is reduced, these functions will do the same and it will affect the dog severely. Bloody vomiting and diarrhea are often one of the effects that a dog will suffer from along with intestinal problems, loss of appetite, many bleeding disorders, kidney failure, and liver dysfunction.

Sometimes, the risk of using NSAIDs gets worse, here are some of these cases;

When it is used for dogs that have high sensitivity of human NSAIDs even if the dog was given the right dose, also if a pet owner gave his dog the wrong dose of one or more of these drugs, the presence of a health problem that will become worse with taking any of these drugs and coincident use of other drugs that may lead to a disastrous effects.

Some of the NSAIDs that you shouldn’t give to your dog;

  • Ibuprofen(found in Advil, Motrin, or Nuprin)
  • Acetaminophen
  • Naproxen (Aleve)

Also, Tramadol is not a great option for your dog as it has serious withdrawal side effects and regular side effects that vary from being mild to severe. They include;

  • Chills
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Respiration issues
  • Drowsiness
  • Appetite loss
  • Constipation
  • Convulsions
  • Skin irritations or rashes
  • Slowing the rate of the heartbeat

What about Using Tylenol?

a question mark-Can Dogs Take Pain Meds

Some will think why actually Tylenol is one a “can dogs take pain meds” especially NSAIDs while Tylenol is not from this group.

Yes, Tylenol is not from the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, but using it also may harm your dog.

Acetaminophen or Tylenol has an effect on reducing pain and fever ( does nothing for inflammation) until now, no one ha figured out how this element work.

but when it is consumed with large amounts it will cause a lot of damage like destructing the liver cells, kidneys and converting the hemoglobin to methemoglobin and as a result, blood will be poorly reaching all the body parts and thus, damaging tissues.

So, never use these kinds of pain relievers for dogs except if your vet is giving your dog any of them under his supervision with specific dosage for a certain time.

There are signs and cues that when you see, you should keep in mind that maybe your dog is in pain or being distressed so, watch out of these;

What are the Signs of A dog is Pain?

a Pug sleeping on the floor-Can Dogs Take Pain Meds

Dogs and pets, in general, have a high tolerance for pain, so when we, as pet owners, feel that our pets seem to be in pain usually they have been suffering for a while and it started to get to aggravate and they no longer able to hide it.

Here are some of the signs that when you notice you should consider that your dog is in pain;

Energy

One of the noticeable signs that a dog is distressed is to find his energy levels is decreasing.

But first, you will need to know your dog’s normal energy level to be able to distinguish any difference. If your dog’s normal routine is to stay calm and lazy for most of the time and you think he becomes lazier then probably it is okay

But if your dog is bouncing and jumping all around and suddenly you find him taking the couch as his new friend then this may indicate that your dog is suffering from pain or suffering from other issues.

Appetite

Normally, if we are sick food is at the bottom of our to-do list, our dogs are no different. When a dog is in pain he will likely lose his appetite.

If you noticed that fido is not eating or drinking the usual amounts he is used to, probably, it is going to be because he is in pain.

Bites

a dog opening his mouth wide-Can Dogs Take Pain Meds

Dogs could turn to bite when they are in pain. They would bite you or even themselves when you are near a sensitive area(because of the pain of course).

If your buddy is not used to nipping on others or himself and he started to grab the habit of nipping on certain spots in his body, it may be because he is in pain.

Vocalizing

Some of the dogs will make a fuss with their voices when they are in pain, groaning, and yelping, howling, whining, whimpering or grunting are all expected from a dog in pain.

If your pup developed the habit of leashing the wolf in him at night, this may be because he is in pain or there is something that is causing discomfort to him.

Swelling

One of the most visually noticeable signs that your dog may be in pain is swelling. A dog with swelling or inflammation is a dog that is suffering from an injury or disease.

Pet parents should keep a close eye to their pets’ bodies and behaviors to be able to notice any unusual thing happening with their canines.

Looking through your dog’s body while grooming him is one of the effective ways to keep an eye for your dog.

Tail Position

Another sign that your dog is not feeling good is his tail position. If a dog’s tail is always upright and suddenly you noticed that his tail is sagging or leis between his legs it is probably because the dog is not in his best shape due to pain or distress.

The Eyes

When your dog is not feeling good it will be noticeable from his eyes. A dog with pain would have bloodshot eyes or dilated pupils.

You will know by looking at your dog’s face if there is something wrong or not, just like you see a friend or a family member “you are not okay, it’s all up in your face”.

Now, after answering can dogs take pain meds, the dangerous effect of human meditation and signs that indicates that a dog is in pain, Let’s discuss some of the meds dogs could safely consume.

What is Considered as Safe Medications for Dogs

Did you think by asking the question of whether can dogs take pain meds and seeing the answer is no that there are no other pain relievers a dog can take?

Here are some of the great options to relieve your dog when he is in pain;

Comfrey

Comfrey is a natural product that contains herbals and supplements that proved to be great with pain relief caused by injured joints, it also accelerates the cell generation making it an excellent choice not for pain only but also as a healing source.

Feverfew

It is one of the natural products that treat inflammation, it is one of the common remedies that help humans to get over arthritis and migraines and also showed the same effectiveness with pets while being safe for them.

A Balanced Diet

One of the easiest things that a pet owner could do to relieve his/her dog from joints pain is to keep the dog on a healthy balanced diet.

You could check our What to Consider as Balanced Homemade Dog Food?, 13 Homemade Dog Food Recipes Anyone Can Cook and 13 Human Foods Safe for Dogs (With Recipes!) for more knowledge about balanced food and recipes to maintain it.

CBD Oil For Dogs

A lot of people are changing and they start to use CBD oil and treats for their dogs as it is great for maintaining the dogs’ joints mobility and keeping it healthy, enhance bones’ health and joint fluid viscosity, and helps in maintaining connective tissues of the joints.

You can check the best CBD oil for dogs here.

Taking care of our pets is essential and crucial, but we have to take care of our options that we might think they are great and fulfilling for our dogs while they are the total opposite.

No one wants to see his pet suffering from anything, but in our journey for finding the best solutions, we need to keep an eye for the things that might hurt our dogs.

Share with us what do you use as a pain killer for your dog and how do you notice if something is unusual with your dog.

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