what pain pills can dogs take

What Pain Pills Can Dogs Take? 5 Popular Types

Pain pills for dogs are one of the most sought after drugs for dogs. They are an incredibly effective way of getting dogs in better health than they were before. In recent years, many pharmacies have stopped making certain drugs due to their side effects and even risks associated with using them. That is why finding the best ones for your dog can be a difficult task. However, it is not impossible. It is, however, a little harder than buying for humans because you need to consider what will work best for your particular dog. For starters, you need to check if the drug is regulated by the FDA.

What pain pills can dogs take?

It’s the question that every dog owner has had to face at some point, and the topic of many of the most memorable scenes from movies and television shows. “A dog can be trained to stay when he hears the whistle or to come to you when you call, but even the most well-trained dog will get loose from time to time.” The fact is, dogs can be trained to stay and come, but no one has ever taught a dog how to tell time.

What pain pills can dogs take? You probably know your dog is capable of taking some pretty tough drugs. But how about other medications? Do some of them help with pain in your dog? Here’s a guide for pain meds your dog can take.

Pain Relief for Dogs

Seeing your dog in agony is difficult for any pet parent to bear. For this reason, you’re undoubtedly wondering: what kind of analgesics may I give my dog? We humans, on the other hand, aren’t always able to just swallow a tablet.

If your dog has an underlying condition or is receiving other drugs, it may not be safe to provide pain medication. Fortunately, there are a number of methods that may be used at home to alleviate the discomfort of pets.

If you suspect that your dog is in discomfort, you should bring him in for a clinical evaluation at your local veterinarian. In the absence of therapy, your dog’s suffering may become more severe.

what pain pills can dogs take

How can I tell if my dog is in pain?

Pain and discomfort in dogs can be shown in a variety of ways, some of which are imperceptible to the human eye. There are many indications and symptoms that indicate that your dog is in pain, so it is crucial to be an attentive pet parent who is aware of them.

Canine indications of discomfort most commonly include:

  • Limping
  • Aggressive and/or antisocial conduct
  • Whining or yelping are examples of vocalizations that fit this category.
  • Licking a specific part of the body, such as a joint
  • excessive exhalation
  • Having a hard time getting to sleep
  • A shift in the way you eat, drink, or sleep
  • Excessive drooling
  • The tail is lowered.
  • difficulty bouncing or playing; difficulty going up and down stairs;

This is a sign that your dog may need pain medication, so take him to the vet as soon as you see any of these symptoms.

Common Pain Medications for Dogs

Your veterinarian is likely to recommend oral pain medication for your dog if he is in discomfort. There are certain medications that you may buy over the counter, however it is critical that you consult your veterinarian before administering any medicine to your dog. In order to properly manage a dog’s pain, pain medications must be given with extreme caution. Your dog’s life might be in danger if you provide the wrong dose or give the wrong medication at the wrong time.

What can I give my dog for pain? Here are some of the most commonly prescribed drugs for canines.

NSAIDs: Anti Inflammatory for Dogs

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines, or NSAIDs, are a class of medications. For dogs, they are the most common first-choice anti-inflammatory and pain reliever. These include meloxicam, carprofen, firocoxib, and deracoxib, which are the most commonly used.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are commonly prescribed for dogs suffering from osteoarthritis, which is the slow breakdown of cartilage that causes bones to rub against each other. Pain, inflammation, and lameness might result from the joint’s long-term damage if it is repeatedly rubbed.

Although ibuprofen and aspirin belong to the same class of medications, ibuprofen is extremely harmful to dogs and should never be administered. Veterinarians rarely prescribe canine aspirin since there are far more effective non-prescription NSAIDs (in other words, licensed for use in animals). NSAIDs for dogs are available, but they must be administered under the guidance and advice of your veterinarian.

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Even if your veterinarian says otherwise, NSAIDs should always be taken with meals to avoid stomach problems including vomiting, diarrhea, and gastric ulcers.

The digestive system, kidneys, and livers are the primary organs affected by NSAIDs.

Can Pain Meds for Dogs Damage Their Digestive Tract? 

NSAIDs produce both direct and indirect digestive system side effects. Because of the drug’s chemical composition, these are the only side effects you’ll experience. In many cases, NSAIDs get stuck in the intestines. They can also irritate the stomach lining since they are slightly acidic.

To explain the indirect effects, NSAIDs either inhibit the production of prostaglandins or impede their protective properties. The lining of the stomach and intestines is guarded by prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are produced in the digestive system, and if their production or function is inhibited, ulcers and perforations (holes) can form in the stomach and intestines.

NSAIDs and steroids such as prednisone should not be given to your dog at the same time. Instead of relieving a dog’s pain, this raises the chance of adverse consequences on the digestive system.

In spite of the possible adverse effects, they are incredibly successful at lowering pain, inflammation, and fever, therefore they are typically what your veterinarian will use to treat your dog’s pain.

Can Pain Meds for Dogs Damage Their Kidneys? 

Prostaglandins cause the arteries to the kidney to open when blood supply to the kidneys is reduced, such as when your dog is dehydrated, under anesthesia, or has renal disease. As a result, the blood supply to these important organs is maintained.

NSAIDs may restrict blood flow to the kidneys because they inhibit the generation of prostaglandins or disrupt some of their actions. This has the potential to cause irreversible kidney damage and perhaps renal failure.

If an animal has renal illness or other medical disorders that decrease blood flow, NSAIDs should be handled with care.

Tylenol for Dogs (Acetaminophen)

Over the counter medications such as Tylenol and Advil are commonly used to treat pain and fever in humans. But can dogs actually take Tylenol? Is it safe for dogs to take as well? Is it effective in relieving the discomfort of dogs in distress? It all depends.

OTC pain pills can put your dog’s health at risk, and they are not suggested as a form of treatment for dogs.

Aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen (Tylenol and Advil) should not be administered to dogs without the guidance of a veterinarian.

Rather than giving your dog acetaminophen, your veterinarian may suggest a low dosage of baby aspirin if the discomfort is mild to severe.

Even if your veterinarian prescribes acetaminophen for your dog, it is critical that you follow their dose and administration guidelines. That’s all you need to know about giving dogs ibuprofen (Advil) or naproxen (Aleve). Before giving your dog any medication, make an appointment with your veterinarian.

In the event that your veterinarian gives acetaminophen the all-clear, your dog may still encounter certain negative effects, including gastrointestinal distress, liver or renal disorders, and blood-related problems.

Acetaminophen, on the other hand, is not recommended for cats.


One of the most effective ways to alleviate pain is to use an opioid (such as morphine, oxycodone, fentanyl, buprenorphine, and hydromorphone). Butorphanol and buprenorphine, two opioids authorized for use in animals, are already on the market.

Pain treatment for dogs, especially acute and surgical, is the primary reason for its usage by veterinarians. It can also be used to treat some types of cancer and to alleviate the pain associated with arthritis.

Adverse reactions to opioids include drowsiness (sedation), mood swings, and euphoria. There is a strong correlation between these and central nervous system functions.

Because various animals’ bodies react differently to opioids, the dosage must be adjusted for each individual.

Tramadol used to be a common medicine used when NSAIDs weren’t effective enough. It was previously thought that tramadol worked like an opioid, however new study shows that this assumption is incorrect. Most vets no longer use it because of the adverse effects, which include drowsiness, mental changes, and constipation, as well as the lack of guarantee that it will work.

Gabapentin for Dogs

In dogs, Gabapentin is an anticonvulsant and analgesic medicine used by veterinarians to treat seizures, pain, and anxiety. Off-label” usage in veterinary medicine of a pharmaceutical for humans. This signifies that the FDA has not authorized gabapentin for use in animals. Pain relief can also be achieved at lesser dosages. If used in conjunction with another pain-relieving medicine, it is more effective than taking it alone. Nevertheless, most veterinarians use it as a backup medicine.

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Neurological discomfort in the brain or spinal cord, such as if your dog has a slipped disc in the back, might benefit from gabapentin.

Due to its anticonvulsant qualities, it can also be used to treat chronic and neuropathic pain as an adjuvant therapy and to prevent seizures. It takes between one and two hours for it to take action.

Be careful not to provide gabapentin in its human-made oral liquid form. Xylitol, which is poisonous to dogs, is found in it.

In dogs, gabapentin can cause drowsiness that ranges from mild to severe. Vets will prescribe a beginning dose and adjust it based on the dog’s reaction. Pain management medications used in dogs have a wide dosing range, however many dogs don’t seem to be impacted.


Amantadine, an antiviral treatment, works well with NSAIDs since it is an antiviral drug. It’s a versatile medication with a wide range of uses. Veterinarians often utilize it as a “off-label” medication. Pain medication for dogs with “wind-up” pain, which occurs when things that should not be unpleasant become so, is very beneficial. Even a light touch on an area might cause your dog to show indications of pain.

In general, human pain medicines like ibuprofen and aspirin aren’t suitable for dogs, and this includes several over-the-counter NSAIDs. It is safe for dogs to take amantadine, however.

Is your dog in discomfort and swelling? If so, this could be the answer. Despite the fact that it is a very safe drug, it is quite pricey. Based on your dog’s condition, your veterinarian will prescribe the correct dosage of amantadine. For dogs with persistent discomfort, amantadine can be administered once or twice a day. Ask your veterinarian if Amantadine is appropriate for your doghealth.

Natural Pain Relief for Dogs

Natural anti-inflammatories may be found in a number of home treatments for pain relief, and many of them are safe for dogs. These home cures for pain can be used in conjunction with any prescription prescribed by your veterinarian if he authorizes.

Heat therapy (cold/heat packs)

Using ice packs to reduce inflammation and discomfort during an acute injury is an excellent way to alleviate muscular soreness and joint stiffness. Wrap the packs with a towel before applying them to avoid irritating your dog.


Inflammation and healing can be sped up and reduced by gently massaging the region where the problem occurred. Use a rubber brush or your hands in a circular motion to massage the skin.

Joint Supplements for Dogs: 

Supplements including omega oils, glucosamine, and chondroitin have been clinically proved to help reduce inflammation in joints if your dog has osteoarthritis or a joint injury. Essential nutrients including Omega 3, 6, and 9 fatty acids are included into our Omega Chews to support your dog’s hip and joint function, immunological system, brain health and cardiovascular health.

You should also look into purchasing pills including Devil’s Claw and Turmeric, which have been shown to decrease inflammation, particularly in the joints. Turmeric, glucosamine hydrochloride, chondroitin sulfate, and MSM are potent natural anti-inflammatory components in our premium joint supplements for dogs. These compounds help support movement, decrease discomfort, and alleviate pain in your pooch.

A GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices)-certified and FDA-registered facility in the United States produces Alpha Paw’s dog supplements. They are devoid of maize, wheat and chemical preservatives in our gummy bears.

Weight Management:

Leg and back discomfort can be reduced by keeping your dog lean. The less gravitational force there is on the hurting region, the less aggravating it will be to it…

Alternative Therapies for Pain

There are various different complementary therapies that can help alleviate your dog’s pain without resorting to medicine.

In Western medicine, acupuncture for animals is becoming more accepted. Most veterinarians now acknowledge acupuncture as a safe and effective treatment option because of Western medical research that explains exactly how it works. Endorphins, the body’s natural opioids, are released when needles are inserted into the nerve system, triggering the production of endorphins. It also helps to stimulate the flow of blood, which aids in the healing process.

Only a veterinarian with a valid veterinary medical diagnosis can lawfully conduct veterinary acupuncture. Veterinary acupuncture may conceal pain and other clinical indications, which is why this is important. Functional issues such as paralysis, noninfectious inflammation (such as allergies), and discomfort can all be treated with this medication. Treating small animals using acupuncture includes:

  • arthritis, degenerative disk disease, and a traumatic nerve damage are all examples of
  • musculoskeletal issues.
  • Problems breathing,
  • rashes and other ailments of the skin

Diarrhea and other gastrointestinal issues are common.

  • While it may be utilized for big animals,
  • Sore backs and other musculoskeletal issues, such as downer cow syndrome
  • difficulties with the nervous system, such as facial paralysis,
  • allergic dermatitis, and other skin disorders
  • Heaves, “bleeders,” and other respiratory issues
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A widespread misconception about hydrotherapy is that it is solely used to alleviate discomfort. However, sessions enhance fitness and mobility without putting strain on joints. This means your dog’s compensatory body can better maintain itself in the face of discomfort, so minimizing the pain. Dogs can benefit from hydrotherapy, which includes shower massages and soothing warm water. In most cases, a canine hydrotherapist or veterinary physiotherapist performs the hydrotherapy procedure on the animal. Hydrotherapy also includes activities like using an underwater treadmill or swimming in shallow water on the beach.

Multiple ailments and health issues benefit from canine hydrotherapy, including:

  • Problems with the brain
  • Injuries to the ACL
  • Injuries to the bones and joints
  • After surgery, recuperation
  • Weight reduction is the goal.

Dangers of Pain Medications for Dogs

Your dog may not be a good candidate for a certain type of dog pain medication. The liver and kidneys must process and expel medications. It’s important to note, though, that medicine might exacerbate any underlying health issues your dog might already have. Consult with a veterinarian if you notice any of these negative effects. They have a better grasp on all of the possible side effects of the drugs they prescribe. When it comes to giving your dog medication, this is one of the most crucial things to keep in mind.

It is not recommended to give your dog many drugs at the same time. If you feed your dog NSAIDs and corticosteroids at the same time, they can cause life-threatening ulcers and bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract.

When your dog is in pain, it’s tempting to assume that you can just give him a painkiller tablet from your medical cabinet and hope for the best. Ibuprofen toxicity in dogs can be caused by this. Even if you have the best of intentions, you run the risk of doing more harm than good. You have nothing to lose by calling the on-call emergency vet and asking what you may give your dog over the phone. Home treatments for pain management that don’t include giving your dog medicine can be found if you can’t reach your veterinarian. Even if relieving your dog’s suffering may seem like the most vital aim, remember that his well-being comes first.

What Can I Give My Dog For Pain Relief?

A veterinarian should always be consulted before administering nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin and ibuprofen to dogs or other pets.

Unlike human pain drugs, pet pain meds have been developed by pharmaceutical corporations to be safer and more effective for dogs. In order to alleviate your pet’s pain, your veterinarian may prescribe a canine-specific analgesic.

Having a thorough understanding of your dog’s medical history and current health state allows your veterinarian to make an accurate diagnosis, prescribe the correct medicine, and devise a treatment plan that is as safe as possible.

Carprofen, etodolac, and meloxicam are some of the most regularly prescribed NSAIDs for dogs.

Other Pain-Relief Measures

A dog’s discomfort can be alleviated without the use of prescription drugs. Osteoarthritis, for example, frequently improves with dietary adjustment in chronic inflammatory disorders.

Acupuncture, cold laser treatments, and physical therapy can also help in more severe situations.

When it comes to medicine or therapy, consult with your veterinarian.


If you ever run into a dog who has ingested a large quantity of prescription pain pills, you need to know the side effects of those medicines. As many of you may have seen, the news media has recently highlighted that hundreds of pets have died from overdosing on powerful painkillers after taking them for various aches and pains. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), “Most veterinary medical centers do not recommend giving these types of medications to dogs as it is difficult for a vet to accurately weigh the benefit versus the risk and potential for toxicity.”

Princy Hoang
See more articles in this category: Dogs

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