Can I Give My Dog Aspirin?

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    Have you ever wondered if you can give aspirin to dogs for pain relief? Let just say, you should not be giving your dog aspirin for pain relief but your veterinarian may prescribe aspirin for your dog. This is an important  factor. It should only be administered if prescribed by a veterinarian as it can have fatal consequences. . Read below to learn more about Aspirin and whether or not it may be beneficial to your dog.

    What is Aspirin?

    bottle of aspirin tipped over

    Aspirin is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). Ibuprofen, naproxen, and carprofen are also NSAIDs. This category of medication is typically used to treat inflammation, pain, and fever. In addition, Aspirin prevents blood from clotting, acting as an anticoagulant. NSAIDs are often preferred over steroids, due to fewer side effects associated. Always contact your veterinarian before administering any new medication to your dog as aspirin may do more harm than good depending upon a number of factors.

    How Does Aspirin Work?

    Aspirin functions in dogs the same as it does in humans. The medication works by blocking pain messengers, called prostaglandins, in the body. This allows for pain and inflammation to be temporarily alleviated in the body. 

    What is Aspirin Used to Treat in Dogs?

    a hand holding aspirin to give a corgi

    Vets usually prescribe aspirin for dogs with osteoarthritis or musculoskeletal inflammation. The anti-inflammatory properties of aspirin help reduce the pain and inflammation associated with these conditions and can offer your dog relief from symptoms.


    Aspirin is commonly used for pain control in dogs including pain and discomfort related to osteoarthritis, leg injuries, and dental issues. For long-term management for arthritis, it is not the answer considering the risk of side effects outweigh the benefits. Aspirin is a reasonable option to treat an episode of pain and inflammation caused by arthritis. 

    Musculoskeletal Issues 

    The inflammation relieving component of Aspirin can be beneficial to treating musculoskeletal issues. However, there are many alternatives to treat musculoskeletal issues that may be safer long-term, so be sure to consult your vet. 

    What Are the Side Effects of Aspirin in Dogs?

    There are a number of side effects to be aware of when administering Aspirin to your dog. The most common side effects observed in dogs are: 

    • Vomiting
    • Diarrhea
    • Change in appetite 
    • Black, tarry stool
    • Mucosal erosion
    • Ulceration

    What Are the Signs of an Aspirin Overdose in Dogs?

    While there are side effects associated with Aspirin that may be commonly observed, it’s important to be knowledgeable of what the signs of an Aspirin overdose may look like. If your dog is experiencing any of the below, stop administering the medication and consult a veterinarian immediately. 

    • Lethargy
    • Fever 
    • Blood in vomit or stool
    • Disorientation
    • Coma
    • Excessive bleeding
    • Rapid breathing

    When Should You Avoid Using Aspirin?

    Aspirin should not be administered to dogs with certain existing medical conditions. In addition, inform your vet of any other medications that your dog is currently taking, as Aspirin may counteract with others. Dogs with the below medical conditions should not be administered Aspirin, including: 

    What Is the Dosage For Aspirin For Dogs?

    a hand giving aspirin to a black and white dog

    Aspirin dosage can best be determined by your veterinarian. If your vet does prescribe aspirin for your dog, make sure to follow the instructions carefully and keep an eye out for side effects. Your vet may fill a prescription in the office or suggest you buy baby aspirin. This is because baby aspirin is a lower-dose medication over adult aspirin that most people have at home. 

    The dosage of aspirin to give your dog will be dependent upon their size. Typically, smaller dogs receive a smaller dose while larger dogs require more.

    Can I Give My Dog Aspirin?
    Can I Give My Dog Aspirin?
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