safety medical

Can I Give My Dog Aspirin?

Aspirin is pain medication which receives wide spread usage in treating a variety of conditions for human beings. It works by inhibiting prostaglandins and thromboxane. Prostaglandins are hormones which are responsible for the transmission of feelings of pain to the central nervous system whereas thromboxane plays a key role in the formation of blood clots. Aspirin's action upon prostaglandins and thromboxane put it into the class of medications known as NSAIDs or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Due to the wide availability and efficacy of aspirin in treating pain conditions in humans people often wonder if they can give their dog aspirin? The answer is yes, though there are some factors to be aware of as giving aspirin to dogs is slightly different than giving aspirin to humans.

Aspirin can be given to dogs to treat a wide variety of conditions, many which correlate to the conditions aspirin successfully treats in humans. Perhaps the most common usage of aspirin for treatment in dogs is for muscle pain and injuries. Aspirin inhibits prostaglandins in dogs in much the same way as it does for humans. This will result in a reduction of pain felt by the dog as well as a lessening of inflammation. The lessening of inflammation in canines is even more important than this effect is in humans. The reason for this is that dogs tend to further aggravate areas on their bodies with inflammation which in turn can lead to more severe and dangerous infections. Aspirin can also be used to relieve pain caused by arthritis in dogs. Often as dogs get older they like humans develop arthritis which can be very painful but can also fortunately be relieved by aspirin.

Aspirin dosage for dogs

The aspirin dosage for dogs can vary drastically from what it is for humans. This is because many dogs are much smaller than humans. Dog's metabolisms are also different than human beings which effects the amount of aspirin which can be tolerated as well as the frequency which it can be given. The recommended dosage of aspirin for dogs is 5-10mg of aspirin for every pound that the dog weighs. It is important to check with a veterinarian before giving dogs aspirin however. Dogs should only be given aspirin once every twelve hours. The dosage frequency for dogs is longer than humans due to the way their bodies process the medication.


The most common side effect aspirin produces when given to dogs is gastrointestinal problems. This can range from an upset stomach to a bleeding stomach and bowels. It is preferable to give dogs aspirin with a meal or a snack. This will help to coat the stomach and reduce the chances of the stomach becoming irritated. If an owner notices blood in the stools or vomit of their dog after ingesting aspirin they should take them to a veterinarian immediately. Aspirin may also cause the dog's blood the inability to clot properly. This can lead to excessive bleeding and sluggish behavior. If a dog has sores or cuts which are not healing and clotting properly after being given aspirin they should also be taken to a veterinarian immediately.

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