What Can I Give My Dog For Pain – Relievet

What Can I Give My Dog For Pain

Christopher Kjolseth - December 11th, 2019


For an animal lover, there aren't many things worse than seeing a dog in pain. If you are anything like us, you consider your dog a member of the family, and you want to ease their suffering in any way possible.

Before you reach in the medicine cabinet, be aware that you may do more harm than good.

From Turmeric to Tramadol, and Ginger to Gabapentin, we will explore many of the pain relief options available to our four-legged friends, some of which can be effective and some you should avoid. 


Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAID) are a class of medications frequently given to dogs and people.

NSAIDs can control pain and inflammation, including joint pain, stiffness, swelling, and inflammation associated with arthritis. They do this by moderating the production of inflammation-causing enzymes. 



NSAIDs designed for people can be dangerous for dogs; they can even cause death in some situations. Do not give them to your dog unless advised to do so by your veterinarian.

There are some NSAIDs for dogs; a veterinarian must always prescribe these drugs; they include:  

  • Carprofen (Rimadyl / Novox / Vetprofen / Carprieve / Quellin)
  • Deracoxib (Deramaxx / Doxidyl)
  • Firocoxib (Previcox)
  • Meloxicam (Metacam / Orocam / Loxicom / Meloxidyl)

Side Effects of NSAIDs for Dogs 

The side effects of NSAIDs for dogs are usually mild, but they can sometimes be severe, and in rare cases, lead to death.

If you see any of the following signs, you should stop using the medication and consult a veterinarian immediately: 

  • Dog behavior changes
  • Eating less
  • Skin redness, scabs
  • Tarry stool/diarrhea/vomiting
cbd oil for dogs

OTC (Over-the-Counter) PAIN MEDS FOR DOGS 

The most important thing to know about OTC human medications is that you should never give them to your dog without consulting a veterinarian.

In 2008, Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen, and Aspirin were responsible for approximately 10,000 calls to the Animal Poison Control Center (APCC). These readily available drugs can cause serious health problems and even death in dogs.

There are two commonly used types of OTC medicines for people: NSAIDs and Acetaminophen (Tylenol). When used correctly, these drugs have many benefits for people. Unfortunately, they can do more harm than good when taken by our pets.   


Unlike the other OTC drugs in this section, Tylenol (Acetaminophen) is not an NSAID. It is used by people to ease pain and fever, but not inflammation. If your dog ingests Tylenol, there could be some severe side effects.

Can you give a dog Tylenol?

No, Tylenol is toxic to dogs. It can cause liver damage and destroy red blood cells rendering them unable to move oxygen to organs. In some extreme cases, it can even lead to death.  


Ibuprofen (Advil / Motrin), when appropriately dosed, is relatively safe for humans. People use it to relieve arthritis, pain, fever, and inflammation; this is, unfortunately, not the case with Ibuprofen for dogs.

Can I give my dog Ibuprofen?

No, according to the APCC, most of the calls they receive about poisoned pets are due to Ibuprofen. If your dog does eat Ibuprofen, the consequences can include kidney failure, stomach ulcers, and even death.

WARNING: This pill often has a sweet sugary coating which dogs find very tasty, so be sure to store the bottle in a secure location, out of your dog's reach. 


Aleve (Naproxen) is used by people to temporarily relieve pains due to arthritis, backache, menstrual cramps, cold, toothache, and headaches. Though this drug works well for us, it can have devastating consequences when eaten by your dog.

Can I give my dog Aleve?

You should never give Aleve to your dogs. Even small amounts of this OTC drug can cause life-threatening health problems for dogs. 


Can I give my dog Aspirin?

Yes, Aspirin is one OTC drug that you can use to relieve pain and inflammation in dogs when advised by a vet.

Usually, it has relatively minor side effects for your dog, though kidney damage and internal bleeding are possible.

Finding the correct dosage of Aspirin for dogs is very important; you should always consult a veterinarian. They will more than likely recommend coated Aspirin as this will cause less stomach irritation.

All varieties of Aspirin, even baby Aspirin, can cause serious health problems if taken long term by dogs. 




A vet will often prescribe Tramadol for dogs in acute pain or constant discomfort.

Tramadol changes the way the brain feels and reacts to pain.

Vets often prescribe it for dogs with: 

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Cancer
  • Lameness
  • Post-operative pain
  • Anxiety
  • General pain from a variety of other conditions

Tramadol is a synthetic opiate narcotic. This narcotic was developed for use in humans but has been used widely by veterinarians to treat pain in dogs.

Dosage and Side Effects of Tramadol for Dogs 

You should always follow your veterinarian's guidelines on Tramadol dosage for dogs. Its potential side effects include: 

  • Tremors
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Anxiety
  • Dizziness
  • Diarrhea
  • Drowsiness
  • Loss of appetite


Gabapentin (Neurontin) is often prescribed along with an NSAID or opioid to treat chronic pain in dogs.

Vets usually prescribe it for dogs with: 

  • Cancer
  • Chronic arthritis
  • Seizures
  • Anxiety
  • Idiopathic epilepsy
  • Neuropathic disorders

Gabapentin works by influencing calcium channels in the nervous system to inhibit the glutamate neurotransmitter, which decreases your dog's capacity to feel pain.

When used for dogs with seizures, Gabapentin emulates the GABA neurotransmitter and, in turn, calms nerve activity in the brain.

Dosage of Gabapentin for Dogs 

The dosage of Gabapentin for dogs will depend on whether your vet is prescribing it to treat pain or seizures. The dosage for seizures will be a lot higher than the dosage for pain.

Side Effects of Gabapentin for Dogs  

The typical side effects of Gabapentin for dogs include tiredness and instability. If you notice any of the following you should contact your veterinarian immediately:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Bulging eyes
  • Oversleeping
  • Loss of coordination
  • Depression

WARNING: It is imperative to taper dogs off of Gabapentin; if stopped abruptly, it can cause seizures and other serious health complications.


Prednisone is a human-made steroid that is often given to dogs as an immune system suppressant, to treat inflammation, or for dogs with allergies.

Prednisone works by weakening your dog's immune system; it reduces the production of inflammation-causing chemicals.

Prednisone Dosage for Dogs 

Prednisone is a prescription drug. Your veterinarian will decide the dosage based on your dog's weight and condition.

Side Effects of Prednisone for Dogs 

When used short term the side effects of Prednisone are usually relatively minor, they include: 

  • Increased thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Increased appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Aggression
  • Slower wound healing

Prednisone can have serious side effects for dogs when used long term, including:

  • Addison's disease
  • Cushing's disease
  • Digestive tract ulcers
  • Diabetes
  • Loss of hair
  • Stomach distension
  • Heart problems (including heart attack)

WARNING: It is critical to taper your dog off of Prednisone. If stopped abruptly, it may cause serious health complications.

Read about other prescription medications for pain here:

Buprenorphine (Buprenex).
Hydromorphone for dogs


With the slew of side effects associated with human-made drugs, it's not surprising that people are increasingly turning to natural pain relief for dogs.

Now, we will explore some of the most popular home remedies for pain relief in dogs.

NOTE: There is often a lot of misinformation surrounding natural pain relief for dogs; we will only include substances supported by research. 



Boswellia (Frankincense) is a natural resin that farmers tap from the Boswellia Serrata tree. People have used this resin for centuries due to its anti-inflammatory effects, effects which are said to resemble NSAIDs. Boswellia is considered a natural remedy for arthritis in dogs.

Research shows that Boswellia may be beneficial for dogs with: 

  • Cancer (including skin cancer)
  • Arthritis
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Asthma

In a Swiss study, dogs with chronic joint and spinal disease were given 40mg of Boswellia resin per kg of body weight once a day for six weeks. After two weeks, 71% of the dogs showed reduced signs of pain.

Is Boswellia safe for dogs?

Boswellia is relatively safe for dogs, though it can have some minor side effects. Potential side effects of Boswellia for dogs include nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. 


Humans have used Ginger for thousands of years in culinary and medicinal applications. It is an antioxidant-rich root that belongs to the same plant family as Turmeric and cardamom.

Ginger is most well-known for its nausea prevention properties. It also has the potential to reduce pain and inflammation. 


One study showed very positive results when using Ginger to treat heartworm in dogs. Another found Ginger to have mild anti-arthritic effects. Research has also shown that Ginger has the potential to fight cancer, slow the growth of tumors, and relieve bloat in dogs.

Can dogs eat Ginger?

Yes, Ginger is safe for dogs in small amounts. Raw or powdered Ginger can be added to their food or baked into dog treats. The quantity of Ginger you give your dog should be based on weight and should not exceed a ¼ teaspoon a day for small dogs, 1/2 teaspoon for medium-sized dogs, and one teaspoon for large dogs.

Is Ginger good for dogs?

Ginger has a very long record of safety, and when used in dogs at the correct dose, it can have many health benefits.

The main side effect is minor gastrointestinal irritation. It can also thin the blood; you should consult a veterinarian if your dog is pregnant, diabetic, or has any other health condition. 


Turmeric is a bright yellow root. You most likely know of it in either its raw or powdered form. This spice, which people use in kitchens across the world, is from the same family of plants as Ginger.

It is one of the most well-known home remedies for pain relief in dogs, and for a good reason, it has thousands of studies to back it up.


Is Turmeric good for dogs?

Curcumin is Turmeric's most active compound; it has potent anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial, and antifungal properties; this gives Turmeric the ability to help in the battle against, among other things: 

  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Arthritis
  • Liver disease
  • Gastrointestinal problems

One study has found Curcumin to be more effective than Ibuprofen in the treatment of arthritis in people.

Other research has found that Curcumin may help fight against cancer, and also use it as an alternative to steroids or Benadryl for dogs with allergies and joint pain.

Turmeric Dosage for Dogs

It is important to note that Turmeric has a low absorption rate when taken on its own and that it leaves the body very quickly once absorbed. Because of this, you will want to do a couple of things: 

  • Make a paste consisting of turmeric powder, water, black pepper, and coconut oil.
  • Make sure to give small amounts of this paste multiple times a day.
  • Small dogs should have about ¼ teaspoon of turmeric paste a day. Medium dogs can have about 1/2 teaspoon a day. Large dogs may have approximately one teaspoon a day.
cbd oil for dogs


Watching the family dog suffer in pain is one of the worst things an animal lover can experience. Still, you should never give them human medications without the recommendation of a veterinarian.

Natural pain relief for dogs can often replace human-made drugs, without the severe side effects. Though this is not always the case, and the safest solution is still to consult your veterinarian, we think this should always be the first choice for your fur-family.

Always consult your veterinarian before giving any new medication to your dog, natural or human-made. 







Related Posts

Feline Aids: Everything You Need To Know

Feline Aids: Everything You Need To Know

Dec 09, 2020Molly Weinfurter

Everything you need to know about feline AIDS. We will cover transmission, symptoms, treatments, and show you some ways to support your cat’s immune system naturally.

Lethargic Dog? Symptoms, Causes, And Natural Remedies

Lethargic Dog? Symptoms, Causes, And Natural Remedies

Dec 18, 2020Mickella Rast

If you have noticed that your dog is more tired, you probably want to know why and what you can do about it. We will cover some common reasons that your...

Is Your Cat Lethargic? Some Common Causes And Natural Remedies.

Is Your Cat Lethargic? Some Common Causes And Natural Remedies.

Jan 05, 2021Molly Weinfurter

If your cat is lethargic, you will want to know why. We look at some common causes of cat lethargy, let you know when you should visit the vet, and explore some natural...

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

Net Orders Checkout

Item Price Qty Total
Subtotal $0.00

Shipping Address

Shipping Methods