Can You Give A Dog Aspirin? All About Aspirin For Dogs

The last thing we ever want to see is our dogs in pain, it’s a sight that just breaks my heart each and every time knowing that I can’t do anything about it to help, and I’m sure it gives you the same feeling.

Here are some of the most common conditions that make your dog feel pain.

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Inflammation (such as arthritis)
  • Swelling
  • High temperature and fever

One of the first thoughts that comes to mind when seeing our little best friends in pain is giving them some aspirin in hopes that it’ll help relieve a bit of it.

Can Dogs Take Aspirin? Is Aspirin For Dogs Safe?

Yes, you can give your dog aspirin for relatively fast pain relief, as long as you make sure you do the following.

  • Stick to the recommended dosage (which we will be talking about in just a bit) and make sure not to exceed it or slack off on it
  • Do not give it to your dog for more than 5 days in a row without the permission of your veterinarian or an animal care professional, as un-monitored long term consumption of aspirin in dogs can lead to very negative repercussions. Both ways, you want to solve the main problem causing your dog pain, not only the pain itself which is only a temporary fix at best
  • Give aspirin to your dog with food in order to decrease the chances of them feeling any stomach pain

What Type Of Aspirin Should I Give My Dog?

When contemplating giving your dog aspirin, you’re usually going to be faced with 3 options.

  • Designed For Humans Aspirin: This aspirin is made un-coated and only meant for human use, and should never be given to your dog because it will lead to stomach problems.
  • Enteric-Coated Aspirin: This aspirin type is better for dogs than the completely un-coated aspirin, but is still not very effective for dogs because your dog’s body will not be able to completely digest the enteric-coat and make use of the complete dose.
  • Buffered Aspirin: This aspirin type is the best type you could give to your dog. Buffered aspirin is much more effective on your dog than enteric-coated aspirin and protects your dog’s stomach much more than the previous two types.

So, whatever Aspirin you decide to go with, make sure it’s buffered aspirin.

Aspirin Dosage For Dogs

Although you should consult a professional about this before you attempt to give your dog any dosage of aspirin based on “what you think is right”, the general recommended dosage of aspirin for dogs is around 5-10mg for every 1lb of your dog’s body weight, given once every 12 hours.

Again, you must calculate the exact dosage your dog needs based on their weight, because dogs of different size and weights could require very different aspirin dosages.

Let your veterinarian take care of calculating this part, as any mistakes in giving your dog an overdose of aspirin will put them at serious risk of damaging their organs.

A young puppy certainly does not need the same aspirin dosage of an older, senior dog that weighs 4 times more than him.

Giving the same dosage the older dog would take to the young puppy will most certainly result in an overdose and tragic consequences, while giving the same dosage the younger puppy requires to the older dog could very well not even meet the minimum threshold of aspirin to even begin relieving page.

You must, however, take careful note of the aspirin dosage contained in any aspirin package you get, because a baby aspirin package you get for your dog would contain 80mg in every unit while an adult aspirin package would contain around 300mg in every unit.

Aspirin Overdose For Dogs

Overdose of aspirin in dogs and toxicity from aspirin in dogs is most guaranteed to happen if you give your dog a dose of 30mg or more for every 1lb of their body weight.

This overdose and the toxicity it causes in your dog’s body is almost certain to result in serious organ damage and, very possibly, death.

Aspirin Side Effects In Dogs

One of the most important things you MUST do if you’re going to give your dog any aspirin is closely observe if they show any unusual signs or symptoms.

Given that you stick to the instructions on the label and the instructions given to you by your veterinarian, your dog should be just fine and chances of them experiencing any of these side effects are quite low.

However, it remains possible that your dog could experience any of the following, which is especially true when you attempt to give your dog aspirin dosages on your own and prolong the period of treatment with it.

  • Diarrhea
  • Dark-colored stool, which usually signals internal bleeding
  • Vomiting with dark-colored discharge
  • Weakness
  • Lethargy
  • Behavioral changes (anxiousness, depression, etc ..)
  • Decreased coordination abilities
  • Seizures
  • Decrease in appetite
  • Increase in thirst (due to dehydration)
  • Decrease in thirst
  • Stomach discomfort – This, however, can be minimized by giving your dog buffered aspirin tablets and making sure they take the aspirin with food. If your dog gives you a hard time swallowing the aspirin you give to them, you might want to give them the aspirin piece inside a food that you know they will immediately swallow without chewing.
  • Increase in temperature
  • Fluctuations in breathing patterns
  • Panting
  • Gums become pale due to blood loss
  • Allergic reactions

If you notice any of the following symptoms, immediately tell your veterinarian about them because something’s not right.

Your veterinarian will usually inform you of the changes which have to be made, which are usually a change in dosage, change in other day-to-day events or stopping the administration of aspirin altogether and substituting it with something else.

If your veterinarian is not available when you notice these symptoms, do not postpone taking action and wait for them to be available, take your dog to the nearest emergency center for pets instead.

The longer it takes before your dog gets the treatment they need, the more serious the situation becomes and the higher the chances are of your dog suffering from serious organ damage, which most often leads to the need for surgery.

When Is Aspirin Bad For Dogs?

Aspirin should not be given to dogs which suffer from the following conditions:

  • Arthritis – because when used for long periods of time, aspirin will damage your dog’s cartilage and make their arthritis problem much more complicated than it already is
  • Blood clotting – Since aspirin is a blood thinner, it should not be given to dogs which suffer from blood clotting problems or have any condition that makes them easily bleed, because it will make stopping bleeding from any wound a difficult process
  • Kidney problems
  • Liver problems
  • Vitamin K deficiency
  • Von Willebrands’ Disease
  • Pregnant dogs, as it can lead to birth defects
  • Nursing dogs
  • Puppies less than 8 weeks of age, as these young puppies haven’t yet developed the necessary enzymes required to properly handle aspirin
  • Puppies which weigh less than 5 lbs
  • Dogs on other medications – although it’s up to your veterinarian to determine whether aspirin will contradict with any other medicine you currently have your dog taking or not
  • Dogs that have previously shown bad reactions to NSAID’s before – which again is up to your veterinarian to determine what’s best to do in your dog’s case
  • Dogs which are currently recovering from a heavy injury or surgery, as it’ll lead to increased outer bleeding and even possibly internal bleeding
  • Dogs which have a scheduled surgery less than 1 week ahead, as it will only lead to heavy excessive bleeding during the surgery and afterwards


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