Novox For Dogs: Side Effects, Dosage, And Alternatives

Medically reviewed by Nicole Wanner, DVM

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As dogs age, they tend to develop various health issues. One of the most common health problems your dog may develop is arthritis.

Unfortunately, you can't entirely cure arthritis. With the help of modern medicine, however, you can ease pain with an anti-inflammatory like Novox for dogs. Though, it can have some side effects, especially with long term use.

If you'd like to learn more about Novox, read our guide below.


Novox ( Carprofen ), also sold under the name Rimadyl, is a prescription non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug ( NSAID ). Vets prescribe it to treat pain and inflammation in different animals.

Although Novox works with many animals, it's only FDA approved in the United States to treat dogs.


You can use Novox to treat pain associated with many different diseases and disorders in your dog. However, dog owners most commonly use Novox to reduce inflammation from arthritis or other joint problems since Novox is an anti-inflammatory drug.

By giving your dog Novox, you can reduce the pain associated with arthritis and improve your dog's mobility.

Additionally, veterinarians also give Novox to dogs immediately after surgery, or to reduce fever.

Novox reduces levels of the hormones in your dog's body which cause pain and inflammation. 


You'll find Novox in the form of liver-flavored chewable tablets or caplets, typically 25, 75, or 100mg.

The recommended oral dosage for dogs is around 1mg per pound of your dog's body weight twice a day, or 2mg per pound if taken once a day.

Your vet will advise you on the duration of use, as it varies widely depending on your dog's condition.

You should give your dog Novox along with a meal, and make sure that there is plenty of water available.

If you miss a dose of Novox, you should never double up on the next dose, skip it and return to normal on the next scheduled dose.


Novox is well-tolerated in most dogs, but, as with all NSAIDs, there is a real risk of side effects, especially when taken long term.

In rare cases, serious side effects such as liver problems, or even death may occur. Side effects are most likely with overdoses of Novox and in older dogs with underlying health concerns.

Keep an eye out for these possible side effects:

  • Change in appetite, vomiting, changes in bowel movements
  • Change in behavior or activity levels (more or less active than usual)
  • Seizures (convulsions), in-coordination or weakness (stumbling, clumsiness), or aggression (threatening behavior)
  • Yellowing of skin, gums, or whites of the eyes
  • Changing in drinking habits and urination habits
  • Blood clotting problems
  • Changes in skin (redness, scabs, or itchiness)

If you notice that your dog develops any of the above symptoms, immediately stop giving them Novox and contact your veterinarian.


You should make sure you notify your vet if your dog is taking any of the following medications, as potentially serious drug interactions can occur when taken with Novox:

  • Anticoagulants
  • ACE inhibitors
  • Aspirin
  • Corticosteroids
  • Nephrotoxic (kidney-harming) medications
  • Dacarbazine
  • Insulin or oral antidiabetics
  • Loop diuretics (furosemide)
  • Tricyclic antidepressants

It would be best if you also made your veterinarian aware of any herbal remedies or supplements that your dog is taking before they prescribe Novox.


Do not change or stop your dog's medications without talking to your veterinarian.

Here are a few of the most common Novox alternatives:


The first natural pet supplement to come to one’s mind is often glucosamine. Several studies in dogs have shown that glucosamine helps arthritis pain in dogs, especially when combined with chondroitin. Chondroitin is a key component of cartilage and supports healthy joints.


Most people are familiar with acupuncture; it is a staple of traditional Chinese medicine. However, what you might not know is that veterinary acupuncture exists and that it is often used to assist with pain associated with arthritis in dogs.

A veterinary acupuncturist inserts fine needles into your dog, allowing your dog's body to release feel-good hormones, including endorphins. You can search for a veterinarian certified in acupuncture in your area here.

Weight Management

Getting your pet down to a healthy body weight can eliminate the need for treatment and medication. Even just a five percent decrease in your dog's weight can do wonders. Visit PetMD to learn more about the importance of weight management in pets and calculate your dog’s healthy weight.

CBD Oil for Dogs with Arthritis

Another natural alternative you might want to discuss with your vet is cannabidiol (CBD). It comes in the form of chews, oils, and topicals. CBD works with your dog's endocannabinoid system to support mobility and relieve discomfort.

Research on CBD in pets has only just begun, and while there is still a lot to learn, early evidence shows that CBD oil for arthritis in dogs could help.

CBD may be what your dog needs to regain that spark of youth. However, not all CBD products are made with care, resulting in low-quality chews, oils, and treats that adversely affect your dog. 

The anti-inflammatory properties of CBD may help your dog all naturally battle pain, stiffness, and swelling in the joints, allowing your best friend to live with less pain.


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