Aspirin For Dogs: What Are The Side Effects and Alternatives?


Medically reviewed by Nicole Wanner, DVM

Key Takeaway: Aspirin can be extremely dangerous to dogs, even at small doses. It and other human medications should only be given to dogs under the direction of a veterinarian. Its effects are similar to those it has on humans, but can include dangerous side effects like vomiting, diarrhea, tarry stool, and ulceration. There are alternatives, some of which are natural.

Aspirin For Dogs: What Are The Side Effects and Alternatives?

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When we see our dog in pain, it's natural for us to want to take action.

Before you grab aspirin out of the cabinet for your dog you should be aware of any potential risks.

Dogs should never be given human medication except under the direction of a veterinarian. The results can be hazardous and even fatal in some cases.

What is Aspirin?

Aspirin is a widely used over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). This is the same class as carprofen and ketoprofen.

As Aspirin is so readily available, people often ask the question: can I give my dog Aspirin?

In some cases, vet's may prescribe Aspirin for dogs suffering from a variety of conditions, including osteoarthritis and musculoskeletal inflammation.

Aspirin has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce the pain and swelling from many ailments.

Dosage of Aspirin

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hasn't approved Aspirin for use; therefore, there is no definitive research to determine the proper dosage of Aspirin for dogs.

Overdoses of Aspirin can be fatal, so you should always talk to your vet and confirm the dosage before giving it to your dog.

As a general guideline, you can use the following table to determine the recommended dosage.

Dog’s Weight Aspirin Dosage
5 (or less) lbs. 15-50 mg.
5-10 lbs. 25-100 mg.
10-20 lbs. 50-200 mg.
20-40 lbs. 100-400 mg.
40-60 lbs. 200-600 mg.
60-80 lbs. 300-800 mg.
80 (or more) lbs. 400-1000 mg.

Side effects of Aspirin

If your dog is displaying one or more of the following symptoms, immediately stop giving your dog aspirin and contact your vet.

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea or black, tarry stool
  • Mucosal erosion
  • Ulceration
  • Change in appetite

The following symptoms could indicate an Aspirin overdose:

  • Liver or kidney disease
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Seizure
  • Coma
  • Rapid breathing
  • Weakness
  • Incoordination
  • Death

Aspirin can have more severe side effects than other NSAIDs, so you must watch your dog closely while they are taking this medication. 

Cost of Aspirin

You can buy and administer Aspirin to your dog in different forms, such as tablets, chewable, or liquid drops. The price will differ depending on the brand, dosage, and quantity per bottle.

The drug store or vet office you buy it from can also impact the difference in price.  

How does Aspirin interact with other drugs?

As many drugs can have harmful interactions when taken with Aspirin, you may want to seek safer, natural alternatives. Here are few drugs which can have potentially harmful interactions with Aspirin:

Drug Drug
ACE inhibitors (benazepril, enalapril) Alendronate
Aminoglycosides (amikacin, gentamicin) Anticoagulants (rivaroxaban, warfarin)
Calcium channel blockers (diltiazem) Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors (acetazolamide, dichlorphenamide
Clopidogrel Corticosteroids (dexamethasone, prednisone)
Furosemide Glucosamine
Insulin Methotrexate
Omega-3 Fatty Acids (fish oil) Omega-3 Fatty Acids (fish oil)
Tetracycline Vitamin E

If you are still planning to give your dog aspirin, it’s important to tell your vet about any medications (including supplements or vitamins) that your dog is taking to avoid potentially harmful side effects.

Are there any Alternatives to Aspirin?

A few studies have explored CBD as an alternative to pharmaceuticals for pain in dogs, including pain from arthritis, mobility issues, and inflammation. Still, while early research is positive, more thorough research is needed.

One of the various side effects of Aspirin is seizures, unlike CBD, which has the potential to reduce the frequency of seizures.

The known side effects of CBD are mild and reversible.

In conclusion, early research shows that CBD has the potential to help with pain in dogs. But this has only been demonstrated in certain situations, at relatively high dosages.


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