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

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

Nali Macklin - March 11th 2020

 Accuracy Review & Edit: Nicole Wanner, DVM - August 24th 2021

When we see our dog in pain, it's natural for us to want to take immediate action to help them feel better.

Before you grab your dog aspirin from the medicine cabinet, STOP.

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).

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:

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
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, but though research is positive, there is not enough evidence to say it is a viable alternative. 

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

Some dogs may experience side effects, including dry mouth, lowered blood pressure, or drowsiness, but these are all reversible by merely reducing the dosage or stopping.

In conclusion, early research shows that CBD has the potential to help with pain, but you should always go to the vet for a diagnosis if you think your dog is in pain, as they are qualified to diagnose the issue and advise you on the CBD oil for dogs with arthritis and other associated pain. 

Another potential alternative for mobility issues is phytoplankton for dogs, as it contains fatty acids which may be beneficial for joint health.
Accuracy Review by:
Dr. Nicole Wanner is a veterinarian and published scientific researcher. She studies the effects of CBD as a Ph.D. candidate.

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