Aspirin for Dogs: Uses, Side Effects, Dosage, and Best Alternatives
A dog in pain because of an injury or illness is a painful sight for owners. There are many ways to relieve a dog’s pain. One of these solutions is using aspirin.
Aspirin is a type of anti-inflammatory medication similar to ibuprofen and carprofen. Vets prescribe aspirin for dogs with a certain dosage. It’s used to treat fever, inflammation, and pain. It can also prevent blood clots.
Aspirin For Dogs Dosage
It’s best to leave the dosage calculation of aspirin to your veterinarian. Your vet knows your dog’s medical history and can give the right amount of aspirin to avoid unwanted side effects. He/She would also know if your dog can or can’t take aspirin.
There’s a general guide to know if your dog is getting the right dosage. It’s usually based on weight.
|Weight of Dog||Aspirin Dosage|
|0-5 lbs.||25-50 mg.|
|5-10 lbs.||50-100 mg.|
|10-20 lbs.||100-200 mg.|
|20-40 lbs.||200-400 mg.|
|40-60 lbs.||300-600 mg.|
|60-80 lbs.||400-800 mg.|
|80+ lbs.||500-1000 mg.|
You mustn’t give any aspirin to your dog if you have yet to take him to the vet. This dosage table is just a guide to see if your dog is getting enough or too much aspirin. The dosage may still differ depending on your dog’s case.
In case you miss a dose, you can do two things. First, if the dose is not too late, give it as soon as possible. And second, skip the missed dose and continue with your dog’s regular schedule. Don’t give him twice the dosage if he misses one because doing so can lead to overdose.
Aspirin for Dogs Side Effects
Even though aspirin is an OTC (over-the-counter) drug, it’s best to consult a vet before giving it to your dog. Your vet may only prescribe aspirin for limited time because it has unwanted side effects. Some of these side effects include:
- Diarrhea and/or black stool
- Change in appetite
- Thinning of the blood
- Mucosal erosion
In worse cases, a dog can experience overdose and would result in these side effects:
- Abnormalities caused by acid
- Liver or kidney disease
The price of aspirin may differ from the brand, dosage, and quantity per bottle. A bottle of chewable aspirin tablets may not go over $20. It would also depend on the drug store or vet clinic you buy it from.
Interaction of Aspirin with Other Drugs
Aspirin can have a negative interaction with certain drugs. This is another reason for you to not give your dog. Here are some drugs that can react with aspirin:
- Other anti-inflammatory drugs
- Drugs that can cause ulcers
You should always inform your vet about the medications your dog is currently taking. This will avoid any unfortunate side effects in case the vet prescribes aspirin.
Ingredients in Aspirin for Dogs
The active ingredient for all aspirin for dogs is aspirin or acetylsalicylic acid. Some brands of aspirin have inactive ingredients like powdered cellulose, corn starch, and triacetin. Some have flavorings to make it appetizing to take for pets.
As a pet owner, all you want is the best for your pet. Since aspirin has harmful side effects, you may want to go for alternatives with the same benefits with little to no side effects.
Instead of giving your dog medications, you can give him natural sources with anti-inflammatory properties. Some of these include:
- Fish oil. It can relieve a dog’s inflammation caused by arthritis, bowel diseases, and allergies. Besides pain relief, it’s a good way to help your pet cope with kidney diseases which can become worse with aspirin.
- Extra-virgin coconut oil. This natural painkiller has properties similar to aspirin. It can reduce inflammation in your dog’s body resulting in pain relief.
- Spices. Some spices like turmeric, rosemary, and ginger can also reduce inflammation. They have polyphenols and bioflavonoids which are natural anti-inflammatory compounds.
- Fruits. Blueberries, mangoes, apples, and blackberries also have natural anti-inflammatory properties. They contain vitamins, flavonoids, and carotenoids. These are not only great for pain-relief, but they can also support your dog’s recovery.
- Whole grains. These include barley, brown rice, and oatmeal. They can lower C-reactive protein (CRP) levels in your dog’s blood. CRP is responsible for many inflammation-related diseases.
- Dark leafy vegetables. Certain vegetables especially ones with dark leaves have vitamin C, carotenoids, and anti-oxidants. These are great pain relievers for your dog.
These natural pain relievers are better alternatives to aspirin for dogs. They won’t have any harmful side effects. They also have many health benefits besides pain relief.
However, they may not take effect quickly, which is typical of many natural remedies.
CBD Oil as an Alternative to Aspirin
Luckily, there’s another alternative to aspirin that you can use for your dogs. CBD’s popularity is continuing to grow because of its numerous health benefits for humans. However, many studies have found that it can benefit animals like dogs as well.
Like aspirin, CBD oil can give pain-relieving effects which improves your pet’s day to day life especially if they have conditions that bring chronic pain.
CBD has anti-inflammatory properties that can relieve pain and swelling. This can be great for dogs suffering from arthritis. It may also help reduce chronic joint and back pains because of old age.
In addition, CBD is known to have muscle relaxant and mood enhancing effects.
Using CBD oil for dogs may have side effects though. These include dry mouth, low blood pressure, and drowsiness. But, these side effects aren’t as harmful as the side effects of aspirin.
Unlike the other natural pain relievers, CBD oil can take effect after a few minutes of using. This is the same with aspirin with less negative side effects.
Aspirin can help dogs go through painful injuries and diseases as they recover. But, it’s important to know that it can have harmful side effects. You mustn’t give aspirin to your dog without a vet’s prescription.
Also, there are better alternatives to aspirin that won’t have any negative effects. You can give your dog foods that have natural anti-inflammatory properties. You may also resort to CBD oil which takes a few minutes to take effect but comes without the harmful side effects that aspirin has.