When your dog is in pain you want to do anything that you can to help.
While it’s widely known that you can give your dog Benadryl in small doses as directed by a veterinarian, the same isn’t true for pain killers.
Can You Give Your Dog Ibuprofen?
The short answer is that ibuprofen is not safe to give to your dog, even in small doses.
Ibuprofen is toxic to dogs and numerous animals are poisoned every year due to owners trying to manage their pet’s pain without consulting their vets.
If a dog is given ibuprofen, several problems can develop, most significantly in the gastrointestinal tract.
This can include diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, ulcers, and bloody stools.
Dog breeds that are predisposed to have GI problems will be at an even higher risk of complications from NSAIDs like Ibuprofen.
What Should You Do If Your Dog Ingests Ibuprofen?
If your pet has been given ibuprofen either accidentally or by someone who didn’t know any better, you should always contact your vet as soon as you know they’ve eaten it.
You should also keep your eyes out for a toxic reaction that could be a sign of poisoning.
These signs can include:
- Weakness and lethargy
- Loss of appetite
- Bloody, dark stools
Ideally, you should take your dog to your vet as soon as possible, but it’s important to know these signs so that you can let your vet know what they’re experiencing.
However, if you’re unable to get to your vet, you can call the ASPCA’s 24-hour Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.
When you call they will be able to tell you the best course of action, which might include emergency at-home treatments or inducing vomiting if the medication was eaten very recently.
What Can You Give Your Dog for Pain?
If your dog is in pain, the first thing you should do is talk to your vet about your options.
Pain can be caused by many things, some of which can signify larger underlying problems.
Some of the most common signs of pain can include:
- Excessive licking
- Limping and stiffness in limbs
- Avoiding touch
- Increased respiration
If your dog is exhibiting any of these signs, you can talk to your doctor who may then prescribe you an NSAID that is safe for dogs.
NSAIDs like carprofen, meloxicam, deracoxib, and firocoxib are available and designed to be safe for dogs.
You may also want to give your dog CBD for pain. We recommend Diamond CBD for dogs.
However, even these NSAIDs can come with the risk of side effects, which makes working with your vet even more important.
To find out if your dog is having a bad reaction to any of these prescribed NSAIDs, vets recommend remembering the acronym BEST.
- Behavioral changes
- Eating less
- Skin irritation/redness
- Tarry stool
If any of these symptoms appear, stop administering the medication and call your vet as soon as possible.
While NSAIDs are often the best for relieving pain, there are other options you can talk to your vet about if your dog is having bad reactions to these pain relievers.
- Gabapentin: This medication is sometimes prescribed by vets to help alleviate pain from damaged nerves. While it may make your dog a bit sleepy at first, that side effect usually disappears after a couple of days.
- Tramadol: This medication is sometimes prescribed to aging dogs that are struggling with chronic pain. The side effects of this can include upset stomach, dizziness, and vomiting in some cases.
Work With Your Vet to Find the Right Pain Relief
If your dog is struggling with pain either from an injury or old age, it’s important to work closely with your vet to find the medication that can help them most.
Never give your dog any medication without first consulting your vet, and never give them ibuprofen.
With all of this in mind, you can help your dog start to live a pain-free life without the risk of accidentally causing them more harm.