For the pet owner, there is nothing more stressful than a sick pet. Anyone who has owned pets can tell you all about the heartbreak of looking into the eyes of a pooch in pain, so if you’re thinking about giving human pain killers to your dog, let us assure you that you are not alone.
One of the most common questions asked of veterinarians is “ What kind of pain medicine can I give my dog?” In fact, every day many pet owners simply reach into the medicine cabinet and give Fido a dose of whatever headache remedy they have on hand – but is that really a good idea? Unless you’re certain that the medicine you’re using will not hurt your dog, you may be doing more harm than good.
Determine the Source of the Pain
The first order of business for any animal in pain is to determine why the animal is hurting. Has it eaten something it shouldn’t have? Is it injured? If you’re not sure, then you should get the doggie to the vet for an examination before giving the poor guy (or gal) any medicine at all. Simply dosing up your pet without knowing exactly what’s wrong may relieve your pet’s pain, but you could be simply masking the symptoms of a serious issue that needs immediate medical attention.
Aspirin for Pets
So, here’s the answer to the question: “ What kind of pain medicine can I give my dog?” The only – and let us repeat that for emphasis – the only over-the-counter medication that is safe for your dog to take is plain old aspirin. Now, don’t get ahead of yourself and give the dog a full human dose. You’ll want to use baby aspirin for your pets – one baby aspirin per 35 lbs. of body weight is the general rule.
Never, ever give a dog acetaminophen (or Tylenol, as it’s more commonly known) unless specifically instructed to do so by your vet. Acetaminophen has been known to be fatal to dogs and cats. Also to be avoided is ibuprofen, or Advil, as it can cause upset stomach and ulcers. Stick with baby aspirin if you must give your pet something, as it’s gentle and trusted.
Find a Vet!
If you have a cat or dog who isn’t feeling well, TalkLocal can help you find a vet in your local area who is ready to help you and your furry family member feel better. Our concierge service will connect you with local professionals, and is entirely free.