For us pet parents, it can be quite difficult for us to see our fur babies suffering from pain. We want our fur babies to feel alright as soon as possible, so we reach for over-the-counter human medicine in hopes that it will alleviate their pain. If you are also in the habit of reaching for that aspirin bottle every time your beloved pooch is in pain, then Stop. Human pain medications like aspirins may be harming rather than helping your dog.
This is because human pain medications contain chemical compounds that may benefit us but harm our dog’s biological system. Pain medicines meant for humans can even be fatal for our dogs if not administered properly. Thus if your dog is in pain, it is always best to talk to your vet first.
But if you do have the go-ahead from your vet, use this article as a complete guide on aspirin dosage for dogs. We will tell you what is the right dosage of aspirin for dogs based on their size and weight, how often it can be administered, any risks to be aware of, and when it’s best to skip the aspirin for dogs altogether and head straight to the vet.
What is Aspirin?
Aspirin is a very common over-the-counter pain medication for humans that fall within the category of a Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It is also known as acetylsalicylic acid and is mainly used to treat moderate pain, rheumatic fever, and rheumatoid arthritis. The medication can also sometimes be used to prevent heart attacks, strokes, and blood clots.
Prostaglandin is the main compound that is responsible for causing fever, inflammation, and pain. The active ingredient in Aspirin blocks prostaglandin production in the human body, thereby reducing pain and inflammation. However, the chemical compound prostaglandin also helps in regulating certain body functions in dogs.
Thus inhibiting prostaglandin production in dogs can lead to serious health complications. So if you are still wondering that can dogs have aspirin, the short and simple answer is No. You should not give aspirin to your dog without consulting your vet first and you should never administer aspirin to a puppy. If you think your dog is in pain, consider using pet-safe alternatives such as meloxicam for dogs.
When can you give a dog Aspirin?
Vets usually prescribe aspirin dosage for dogs suffering from medical conditions like musculoskeletal inflammation or osteoarthritis. Since aspirin is an anti-inflammatory drug, it helps to reduce inflammation and provide relief to dogs. Aspirin also has blood thinning properties which is why in rare circumstances it is prescribed to dogs suffering from blood clotting diseases.
Aspirin is one of the most common pain medications. As a result, it is available in the market in various formats like plain aspirin, buffered aspirin, baby aspirin and enteric-coated aspirin. Vets generally suggest using baby aspirin for dogs. This is because baby aspirins contains a lower amount of the active ingredient acetylsalicylic acid. Therefore it is less likely to irritate your dog’s stomach and intestines or cause any other side effects. If you have a small dog like a chihuahua or a Shi Tzu, you should ask your vet to provide you with a low dose aspirin for dogs dosage chart.
Side Effects of Aspirin for dogs
Aspirin is a human pain medication and therefore not safe at all for dogs. But dogs with arthritis or other joint issues can be given aspirin in small doses or as prescribed by the vet. But even when aspirin for dogs dosage is being administered according to a vet’s prescription, it can still cause some side effects in dogs. These include the following –
- Vomitting of blood
- Loss of appetite
- Black color stool
- Internal bleeding
- Mucosal erosion
If you notice your dog exhibiting any of the above symptoms, stop giving them aspirin and contact your vet. Apart from side effects, it is also important for you to know the symptoms of aspirin toxicity. If your dog has swallowed a large dosage of aspirin by mistake or if you have been giving aspirin to your dog on a daily basis, then it can lead to aspirin toxicity, which can be fatal for your dog.
The symptoms of aspirin toxicity are as follows:
- Loss of appetite
- Severe vomiting
- Vomitting blood
- Stomach pain
- Severe Diarrhea
- Black stool
- Rectal bleeding
- High fever
- Rapid breathing
- Pale gums
- Loss of balance
- Loss of consciousness
If you see any one or more than symptoms mentioned in the list here then you should take your dog to vet’s clinic immediately. Depending on the condition your dog is in, you may need to make your dog throw up at home.
When should dogs be not given Aspirin?
Pregnant and nursing dogs, as well as dogs with underlying health issues should not be given aspirin in any form. This includes dogs who are –
- Suffering from bleeding complication diseases or who have an internal ulcer
- Have liver and kidney disease
- Have recently had an injury or had a surgery
- Have vitamin K deficiency
- Have Von Willebrands’ disease
Aspirin should also not be given in combination with other NSAIDs or cortisone medications as it can lead to serious side effects. So always tell your vet what other medication your dog is on when they are prescribing aspirin dosage for dogs.
How much Aspirin should I give to my dog?
So at this point you probably want to know what is the correct aspirin dosage for dogs. The aspirin for dogs dosage depends on a few factors, including:
■ Your dog’s weight
For most dogs, the typical dosage is 5 to 10 milligrams of aspirin per pound of body weight, given two to three times a day. For example, a 50-pound dog could take one full-strength aspirin (325 mg) two or three times a day.
■ The reason for giving the aspirin
Higher dosages may be recommended for treating pain from arthritis or an injury. Lower dosages are usually sufficient for reducing fever or inflammation. It’s best to talk to your vet about the appropriate dosage for your dog’s condition.
If you dont know what the correct aspirin dosage for dogs is, you can use a aspirin dosage calculator for dogs available online. But it is better to ask your vet to help you calculate the correct aspirin dosage for your dog. Your vet will be able to recommend the proper aspirin dosage based on your pet’s weight, current health condition and medical history. But please note that aspirin is only a short term pain management solution for dogs. It should not be given to dogs for more than 5 days in a row.
Remember to always give aspirin with food to avoid any stomach upset. Similar to other medications, you can try giving aspirin to your pooch by putting the pill on his/her tongue and then slowly patting your dog’s throat to encourage them to swallow the pill. But if your dog doesnt like having pills in this way, you can try mixing it with their daily food. Or, you can try giving it to them by wrapping it inside meat or cheese or covering it with peanut butter.
Aspirin dosage chart for dogs
Check out the aspirin for dogs dosage chart to know the proper aspirin dosage for dogs by weight:
|Weight of Dog (In pounds)||Aspirin dosage for dogs (In milligrams)|
Note: This chart is here to give you a general idea about aspirin dosage for dogs by weight. For the right dosage, ask your vet.
Signs And Symptoms For Aspirin Overdose
As a dog parent it is important that you are aware of the differences between the signs and symptoms of aspirin overdose and side effects of giving aspirin to a dog. If you have somehow given too much of aspirin to your dog, you might witness the following symptoms.
- Hemorrhage (when blood vessel ruptures abd causes blood loss)
- Loss of appetite
Not just in case of aspirin, but you should keep an eye on your pup when they have been prescribed some new medicines. Notice if they have some negative effects to that, or how they are reacting to it.
Keep in mind that if your dog is injured, just relieving them of the pain is not only the objective here. The aim should be healing them. Giving them aspirin in these cases is not the best solution as Aspirin will reduce the healing ability of your dog.
For healing from any injury, a dog requires prostaglandins, and aspirin pauses the production. This lipid-like hormone is part of a dog’s natural healing process. Also, giving a dog aspirin for a long period has a tendency of joint issues for your dog.
Alternatives for aspirin
It is obvious, that your vet would know the best and have a good reason for prescribing aspirin to your dog. But it actually depends on the condition of the dog if they can be prescribed anything other than aspirin. Carprofen is a medicine that is often prescribed for the treatment of osteoarthritis, and it has been seen that it is better for dogs than aspirin does.
But if your vet has not recommended any such alternative, it is best not to interfere in between and take charge of it on your own. There are various human drugs that do not suit dogs well, and might have a negative reaction on them. You might think that it will be better for them, but instead it might harm them in a certain way, that is beyond your knowledge.
Instead of going through all this difficulties, take a little bit of time and have a detailed knowledge about aspirin, and could help your dog in the near future. Just give them the proper dosage that has been prescribed by your vet, and keep an eye for any side effects. And for any query consult your vet immediately.
So now you have the answer to your question that can you give dogs aspirin. Remember that while aspirin can be very effective for managing pain or reducing inflammation in dogs, you must be extremely cautious. If at any time you notice negative side effects or have concerns, don’t hesitate to contact your vet.
They know your dog’s medical history and are the best resource for advice. Since the most important thing is the health and happiness of your furry family member, remember to research as much as possible before giving aspirin to dogs. You can also consider alternate pet-safe medications as well as natural remedies for pain relief.