Carprofen For Dogs: Dosage, Side Effects, And Alternatives – Relievet

Carprofen For Dogs: Dosage, Side Effects, And Alternatives

Molly Weinfurter - November 20th 2020

Accuracy Review & Edit: Nicole Wanner, DVM - July 19th 2021

Many pet parents consider Carprofen for dogs. There is nothing worse than seeing your fur family suffer from pain and inflammation, and you will do anything to help.

We understand what it's like to search endlessly for solutions, only to be let down by ineffective products or side effects worse than the original issue.

What is Carprofen for dogs, what are the side effects, is it safe, and are there any better natural alternatives?

Table Of Contents

  • What is Carprofen for dogs?
  • What is it used for?
  • Is it safe?
  • Carprofen dosage for dogs
  • Carprofen side effects in dogs
  • Cost
  • Drug interactions to be aware of
  • Natural Alternatives

What is Carprofen for dogs?

Carprofen for dogs goes by many names. The brand name Rimadyl is the most common. It belongs to a group of drugs called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID). Other examples of NSAIDs are aspirin and ibuprofen.

Carprofen is typically for dogs and cats, so you'll need to get a vet's recommendation before using it.   

What is it used for?

Carprofen is commonly known for treating conditions related to pain and inflammation, such as Osteoarthritis. It functions by blocking messenger molecules involved in inflammation and pain.

 You can give it to various animals, but it is mainly used in dogs. Cats tend to respond poorly to this medication. You should only give carprofen under a vet’s guidance, as getting the right dosage is very important.

Is it safe?

When used at the correct dosages, this drug is relatively safe for short- and long-term use in dogs. As with all NSAIDs, there is a risk of liver, kidney, and stomach complications.

According to Pet Poison Helpline, Carprofen only has a mild toxicity level. When given in proper dosages, it’s generally safe, but giving too much or leaving the pill bottle somewhere your dog could get into could be risky.

Dogs who eat toxic amounts of Carprofen could experience:

  • Vomiting with or without blood
  • Diarrhea
  • Not eating
  • Black, tar-like stool
  • Seizures

If your furry friend suffers from any of the above symptoms after consuming too much Carprofen, contact your vet immediately.  

Carprofen dosage for dogs

Giving your dog the lowest dose of Carprofen for the shortest duration is recommended to keep them healthy and safe. When your vet prescribes Carprofen, they will provide directions with the prescription.

The recommended dosage for dogs is approximately 2 milligrams per pound of body weight. You can split the dosage into two servings of 1 mg/lb each day, or you can serve it all at once. Your vet will help you determine which dosing schedule is best for your dog. 

Dosage Chart

Dog's Weight (lb)Dosage of Carprofen per day (mg)

Carprofen side effects in dogs

There are many potential side effects of Carprofen for dogs. Never give your dog more than their recommended dosage. If you forget to feed them with their dose one day, give it to them as soon as you remember. However, if you remember it too close to their next scheduled dose, skip the one they missed.

Some potential side effects include: 

  • Gastrointestinal upset
  • Liver, kidney, or gastrointestinal damage
  • Disorientation
  • Behavioral issues
  • Paralysis
  • Seizures

In general, milder side effects like stomach upset are more common while serious ones like seizures are rare.

If your dog is suffering from one of these side effects, you might notice some unusual symptoms. SIde effects are more likely in dogs who are older or have an underlying illness, like kidney disease. If your dog is receiving the recommended dose of carprofen and you notice side effects, your vet may adjust your dog’s dosage.

Carprofen could also interfere with lab results, including blood cell counts, thyroid levels, potassium levels, kidney values, and liver enzymes. If your dog displays unusual behavior after taking Carprofen, visit your vet right away.  


Carprofen's cost for dogs greatly varies based on the tablets' milligrams, where you buy them from, and how many tablets you order. Depending on your dog's weight, you may have to give them multiple pills daily or cut pills in half. Most carprofen tablets come in 25 milligrams, 75 milligrams, or 100 milligrams.

A single 25-milligram tablet of Carprofen ranges from $0.25 to about $1.07. One 75-milligram tablet can range from $0.31 to $1.32. Finally, a 100-milligram tablet will cost you $0.40 to $1.63.

Most dog parents will buy 30 to 60 pills at once, depending on their dog's needs. So, you can expect to pay anywhere from $10 to $90 for a bottle. If you have a larger dog, you may need a larger amount at once.

Drug interactions to be aware of

It's best if you're always careful when giving your dog two medications at once. If your dog already takes a prescription before using Carprofen, consult your vet to ensure the two are safe to take simultaneously.

These medications should be used with caution if given with Carprofen: 

  • Anticoagulants (blood thinners)
  • ACE inhibitors (enalapril)
  • Cyclosporine and other kidney-damaging medications
  • Insulin
  • Diuretics (furosemide)
  • Methotrexate
  • Tricyclic antidepressants (clomipramine)

Since there are so many potential drug interactions, you should always inform your vet of new drugs your dog is taking. Otherwise, taking two medications at the same time could cause additional or increased side effects.

Natural alternatives

If you're uneasy about giving your dog Carprofen, why not try a natural option? In one recent study, dogs with Osteoarthritis were given CBD oil twice a day. After two weeks, 70% of dogs showed improved mobility and less visible discomfort.

The best part is CBD is all-natural and doesn't carry the same risk as Carprofen for dogs.

Now that you have found something that might help make your lives easier, which product is the best?

Science has shown that not all CBD products are created equal, and the chance of your dog finding comfort will vary depending on the company and product you pick.

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Fortunately, there is research on CBD for dogs. This article breaks it down and draws from our decades of experience to help you find the best CBD for dogs with arthritis.

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Accuracy Review by:
Dr. Nicole Wanner is a veterinarian and published scientific researcher. She studies the effects of CBD as a Ph.D. candidate.