It hurts when our pets are in pain. Most dog owners have experienced the stress associated with an unexpected injury or illness. But what pain solutions are suitable for dogs? The answer may surprise you. As it turns out, most of the over-the-counter drugs humans use for everyday pain are dangerous for dogs. Here are the do’s and the don’ts for managing your dog’s pain.
DO: Check With A Vet
The first step in relieving your dog’s pain should always be contacting a vet. If your pet is whimpering, fatigued, or simply isn’t acting like themselves, playing it safe is always recommended. Give your vet a quick call and decide whether you need to schedule an appointment to get your pet checked out.
Humans are used to taking a Tylenol or two when they feel a bout of pain coming on. You may assume the drugs you use will be safe for your pet. Unfortunately, pain relievers like ibuprofen, aspirin, Advil, and Tylenol are dangerous for dogs.
Do not give your dog any over-the-counter drugs without consulting a vet—especially not ibuprofen. This painkiller (and drugs like Advil and Midol, which contain ibuprofen) is extremely toxic for dogs.
DO: Ask A Vet’s Permission To Use Aspirin
With a vet’s approval, aspirin can be a good short-term solution to your dog’s pain. But the specific type of aspirin matters. Uncoated aspirin will irritate your dog’s stomach lining and enteric-coated aspirin can’t be fully digested by dogs, but buffered aspirin is an okay over-the-counter drug to reduce your pet’s pain—but only with a vet’s permission!
DON’T: Proceed As Normal
When your dog is in pain, it’s especially important that you make them feel comfortable. Prioritize your dog’s health by supplying them with extra comfort items (like old blankets and pillows) and access to fresh water.
More than anything else, be attentive to your dog and show them some extra love while they’re in pain. After all, watching your pet closely is the only way to tell if they’re getting better or worse.
DO: Supplement Naturally
There are several natural solutions to pain that involve minimal risk. These include supplements like chondroitin, glucosamine, ginger, turmeric, and licorice root.
These natural supplements are great for dogs with arthritis pain, especially, as they’re all anti-inflammatory. Better yet, chondroitin and glucosamine can be taken preventatively to reduce the likelihood of pain.
DO: Use Benadryl For Allergic Reactions
If the source of your dog’s pain is an allergic reaction, there’s one human-grade drug that can be administered with confidence: Benadryl. Veterinarians regularly give dogs a dose of this antihistamine when experiencing a minor allergic reaction.
In general, veterinarians suggest administering your dog ½-1 mg of Benadryl per pound of body weight. As always, checking with a vet is recommended before dosing your dog.