What can I give my dog ​​for pain? Pain relievers and anti-inflammatories


Ibuprofen is dangerous for dogs and, like other human drugs such as paracetamol, it causes poisoning and even the death of the animal

  • Author: By EVA SAN MARTÍN
  • Publication date: April 25, 2017

Can ibuprofen be given to the dog? And paracetamol, if you are not well? The answer in both cases is a sharp no. Both ibuprofen and paracetamol are dangerous medicines for dogs that cause poisoning and can even cause the animal to die. This article clarifies why ibuprofen and paracetamol are poisonous to dogs, in which cases they can be used under prescription and veterinary surveillance and what effects He has medicate the dog with human drugs.

Can ibuprofen or paracetamol be given to the dog?

Medicines made for humans can be very beneficial for people, but very dangerous for dogs. However, when the dog suffers from discomfort, it is not uncommon to resort to human medicines, a practice that entails serious risks to the animal's health, and that even endangers its life. "Unfortunately, it is common for someone to be tempted to give their dog drugs made for people," says veterinarian Mercedes Gonzalez. The reasoning - very dangerous - is the following: "If I take this medicine when I have a fever, when the dog has a fever, I will offer it," González adds.

The Human medications, however, should never be offered to the dog without consulting the veterinarian.. In addition, it is important to always keep medicines out of the reach of four-legged friends, and never in plastic bags that can nibble on dogs.

The self-medication of dogs explains, however, why ibuprofen and paracetamol poisonings are some of the most frequent domestic accidental poisonings in dogs, along with the intake of chocolate. And it is that they are the drugs that owners most often offer to their furry friend, without first consulting with their veterinarian.

Ibuprofen in dogs is not authorized by the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products. This organism does allow, however, some types of compounds with paracetamol. But, again in this case, it is important to consult with the veterinarian first so that it is he who indicates what drug the animal can take or in what quantity. "In many cases it is not necessary for the person to request a consultation with the veterinarian. A simple phone call may be sufficient and, in some cases, save even the dog's life," says veterinarian Laura Pérez.

The dog is not a person, so his body does not work the same as ours, nor is it capable of attacking medicines that are harmless to humans in the same way. "The enzymes of the dog that must attack the drugs are different from ours, and the way of eliminating the substances is also different," says González. This explains why both ibuprofen and acetaminophen are dangerous for dogs and can cause poisoning and even cause the death of the animal.

This is the reason that justifies that many substances containing human drugs do not leave the body of the four-legged friend. Your body is not prepared to eliminate them. These toxic components are accumulated in your body, in organs such as the liver and kidneys, which clarifies that, over time, serious damage, bleeding and even death of the animal can occur.

Why are there veterinarians who prescribe human drugs to dogs?

Human medicines have been used for years by veterinarians. Y some are still used during serious operations. The Spanish Agency of Medicines indicates which products can be used, and which not, in the animals.

But, fortunately, veterinary medicine has advanced a lot, and now there are specific medications for dogs, whose prospects indicate how many you take and how much the animal should take based on its weight.

The problem - frequent and dangerous - comes when someone decides to self-medicate their dogs with the same products that he would use for himself. A practice that obviates the specific ailment of the furry friend and the amount of medication that must be supplied. Prospects for humans do not indicate whether or not the drug can be used with dogs or in what quantity.

Are there human medicines that dogs can take?

Although the Medicines Agency authorizes the use of certain human drugs in dogs, it warns that these must have been prescribed before by a veterinarian, since its use and quantities will depend on the ailment and the weight of the animal.

"Medicating a dog at home is a very dangerous practice", warns Laura Pérez. When an owner offers a human medication to his animal, he does so with good intention. However, he does not know that his drugs can be very harmful for his furry friend. "What the owner surely ignores is that his medicines can cause serious poisoning to the dog and even his death," adds the veterinarian.

This imprudent practice is not, however, so strange. One in three people acknowledge that self-medicate or not consult with the veterinarian before offering a drug to their four-legged friends, according to a study conducted by the Iberoamerican University of Science and Technology, based in Chile.

Why should the dog not take human medicines?

There is another compelling reason for the dog not to take the medicines prepared for people: although the Medicines Agency allows its use in the dog, the leaflet rarely contemplates the necessary dose information that the furry friend needs.

It is also not useful to try to calculate the amount that the dog should ingest by extrapolating the information contained in the leaflets for children or for the adult, and making the calculation based on their weight. The dog is simply not a person and using our medicines for them implies a serious risk.

How to interpret pain in a dog?

The first question we must answer is the following: How to know if a dog has pain and how to identify where it comes from? If we want to quickly relieve your discomfort, we must try to understand what kind of pain it is and what causes it. Otherwise, we cannot apply any type of palliative.

There are several types of pain, of which we will highlight the two main ones:

  • Acute: It is the one that appears after trauma or injury and is relieved immediately after providing the cure.
  • Chronic: It is the pain that remains after the injury has passed or because it has become constant.

Acute pain

In this first case, the pain can come from a cause that we can clearly identify, such as a cut or blow by fall, but also by some internal cause that we do not know.

If it is an identifiable cause, it will be easier to take a specific action, although we do not always know what to do even knowing the reason for the problem. In both cases the most advisable thing is to consult the veterinarian to be the one who evaluates the pain and the best way to treat it.

Chronic pain

The second type, chronic pain, comes from pathologies that we already know because they have already been diagnosed and, in general, we have been prescribed treatments to improve it.

This is the case of joint or bone pain caused by age, dysplasia or arthritis. In these situations, the discomfort can be greatly reduced by providing glucosamine supplements or chondroprotectors.

Also adopting some practices that do not have to do with medicines (although they can complement them) but that significantly reduce the ailments, such as resting the dog in a good orthopedic bed.

Another way to help is to limit access to places that involve great physical effort such as a ladder. Simply placing a good and safe fence, you can restrict these demands for your muscles and bones, relieving certain discomforts greatly.

In cases of chronic pain that does not disappear with these tactics, the veterinarian will indicate an adequate analgesic, always taking into account that prolonged treatment with this type of medicine in dogs is not recommended.

How to know that my dog ​​suffers a pain?

This question worries (and much ...) to any companion of a dog. It's the same thing that could happen to you with a child. How to know if it hurts, how much it hurts and where the pain comes from?

Unfortunately we do not know a unique answer to this question. Each dog reacts in a different way. You can manifest it with complaints, howls, rare postures, stopping eating, or moving, among many other forms of each animal and each type of ailment.

In addition there are several types of pain, which will also define the reaction of the animal. If you know your dog well, you can read some sign of annoyance without a doubt. In those cases try to be very careful and play very softly the areas where you think you identify problems to see if you can discover any other clues.

What to do when you identify the pain?

The first reaction we all would have to the pain of our faithful friend is to try to placate him. And this is where we must be very careful. Although there are several analgesics that we can apply, not all can be administered freely in dogs.

Additionally, not all medications are used for any type of pain, so identifying the cause is so important. Providing some analgesic, without solid criteria, may be worse than not giving any! Not only that it can have adverse and dangerous effects, but it surely will not have any impact on the cause of the pain.

Therefore, what we really recommend for any canine pain is to visit your veterinarian immediately. He can diagnose the problem and prescribe the necessary medicines.

Question for the veterinarian: What can a dog be given for pain?

Once the professional identifies the pain he can prescribe the necessary medication. Pain medications are the famous painkillers. When asked what analgesic can I give my dog? Veterinarians will give us a more complex answer than we expect since there are several different types:

Primary painkillers

  • Pure anti-thermal analgesics: they act as analgesics and antipyretic agents (they help control fever) but they are not anti-inflammatory. They have fewer adverse effects. Example: Paracetamol.
  • Non-estero anti-inflammatory drugs> Secondary analgesics:

These are reduced spectrum analgesics applicable to more particular pains such as muscle relaxants, local anesthetics, antidepressants, among many others. Within this group we can find steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs also known as corticosteroids.

Medicate dogs

Although it shouldn't be said, only veterinary professionals can prescribe medications for pets. It is not correct to assume that what works in humans will also do it in dogs.

It is true that there are drugs whose active principle serves both humans and dogs but always, we insist, it will be the veterinarian who prescribes them to us. Even drugs that are as common and seemingly harmless as paracetamol can be, have different effects depending on the species, since they will be metabolized and eliminated, or not, differently.

Also, even if we could share certain drugs with our dogs, the dose It does not have to be the same, precisely because of what we have explained that its metabolization is different. To the question of whether dogs can take paracetamol, the answer is yes, but always under strict veterinary control, as we will see in the next section.


Paracetamol is a very common drug in first-aid kits in every home. It can be bought without a prescription, it does not usually have side effects, it is used as analgesic to relieve mild or moderate pain and as antipyretic To lower the fever.

Perhaps this ease of acquisition and use makes us forget that it is a drug and, as such, will present a series of side effects that, in dogs, will be more serious than in humans. In addition, as we have said, it is not metabolized the same in all species, and in dogs can damage the liver, causing the clinical picture that we will see in the next section.

So can dogs take paracetamol? Yes, but never without consulting with our veterinarian, since the dose and time of administration should be prescribed by him. In any case, we currently have alternatives with better results in dogs and fewer risks to their health.

Paracetamol poisoning in dogs

Therefore, we must insist, the veterinarian will be the only professional responsible for prescribing the medication of our dog. As we said, only he will decide if our dogs can take paracetamol. If we medicate our dog with paracetamol on our own we run the risk of poisoning it, which could even have fatal consequences. The symptoms that can be observed in a dog intoxicated by paracetamol are the following:

  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Abdominal pain
  • Salivation
  • Anorexy
  • Depression
  • Respiratory distress

If we observe these symptoms and have given our dog paracetamol or think that he may have accidentally ingested it, we should go to the veterinarian, informing him of what has been taken. The biggest problem with paracetamol in dogs is liver damage. Can also occur hemolysis, a process that involves the accelerated breakage of red blood cells. Bile and hemoglobin that originate from this rupture accumulate in the body, causing a yellowish color in the mucous membranes (jaundice) and the excretion of a brown urine due to its hemoglobin content.

Depending on the circumstances, the veterinarian will decide the most appropriate treatment, which may consist of causing vomiting, providing fluid therapy or even performing a blood transfusion. In the most serious cases the dog can die. This should make us reflect on the importance of never medicating our dog on our own.

Precautions with medications

We have seen that dogs can take paracetamol only under veterinary control, so to avoid accidents that can have fatal consequences, it is convenient to observe the following precautions:

  • Never medicate our dog if it is not under veterinary prescription.
  • Always keep medications away from our dogs.
  • When we have to medicate them, we must always do so scrupulously following the instructions of our veterinarian, in terms of dose and duration of treatment.
  • If we suspect that our dog has been able to ingest a high amount of paracetamol or we have given it to him, we must transfer it to the veterinarian immediately.

This article is purely informative, at we have no power to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any kind of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian in case he presents any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Can dogs take paracetamol?, we recommend that you enter our Prevention section.

Would you give a paracetamol pill to a baby? Why a dog or cat yes? Let's reason the answers ...

Today I am sad, very sad.

Yesterday I felt anger, grief and helplessness.

Today I decide to tell you about this topic, to inform you as a veterinarian and with practical data because yesterday a lovely dog ​​died because its owners did not know that paracetamol MATA. They gave him a tablet of 1 gram, which is taken by an adult of 60-80kg, every 8 hours, that is to say 3 tablets to an animal of less than 4 kilos. Let's make the comparison so that you understand me, it is as if you or I took 20 paracetamol pills every 8 hours ... do you think it's a barbarity right?

Paracetamol is a drug with analgesic properties, with antipyretic properties (low fever) and without important anti-inflammatory properties. Being widely used in humans, in veterinary medicine it is not very useful because we have other much more effective and safe anti-inflammatories.

It is common that when seeing our dog or cat decayed, with apparent pain, we decide to give him a paracetamol, since we are doing so well. In the dog a therapeutic dose of 15mg / kg has been established and in the cat 4 times lower. However one 150 mg per kilo dose for a dog and only 50mg for a cat is lethal.

High-dose paracetamol damages the liver (hepatocellular cytolysis) and red blood cells (hemolysis, destruction of the cells that carry oxygen through the body). The signs that can make us suspect that the animal has ingested this medication at toxic doses are: weakness, depression, becoming more still, dyspnea (shortness of breath), tachycardia, the mucous membranes become increasingly pale to pass to be a bluish color. If the animal manages to survive this phase, it will have the mucous (gums, inner face of the ears) icteric (yellow) and digestive symptoms will also appear.

In dogs, symptoms appear 1-2 days after intake and one third of the animals die within the first 24-72 hours.

Before the possibility that our pet has consumed paracetamol at toxic doses, we should go as soon as possible to the veterinarian. If it had been a few hours you will be vomited, gastric lavage and drugs to prevent absorption.

If it had been more than 3 hours after its intake, it will proceed to put life support treatment before the severity of the poisoning: the antidote will be given to reduce the harmful effects, fluid therapy, oxygen therapy and even blood transfusion. In the most severe cases in intoxicated people, a liver transplant is performed due to the fulminating effect it has on this organ that unfortunately in pets cannot be performed.


But then can human medicines for dogs be used?

Yes and no. Confusing answer… True?. The truth is that some analgesics for human use can be applied in dogs prior medical indication and very carefully. Therefore, if you are at home and you realize that your friend is in pain and you wonder what to give a dog for pain, The last thing we recommend is to take any analgesic from the medicine cabinet and supply it.

Anti-inflammatories for dogs (for human use) can be harmful if they are not applied in very controlled doses. It happens, as with meals. Some that are fabulous for us, for our dog They are forbidden foods. The same goes for painkillers. Let's see in detail the most common cases:

Enantyum for dogs

It is a dexketoprofen from the NSAID group. Unlike Ibuprofen or Paracetamol, it is usually used more especially for pain:

  • Musculoskeletal.
  • Teeth and teeth.
  • Post-operative pain.

Being a newer drug, there are no good studies of its use at the veterinary level. However, as it is an NSAID, it can have very adverse effects if it is supplied without strict medical control.


What can I give my dog ​​for pain? This is the usual question we ask the "family" of a dog to a disease. It should be borne in mind that the best answer to this question can only be given by a veterinarian.

The causes and types of pain can be many and varied. Medicines for human use can be terribly toxic to a dog. Therefore, in the face of pain, it is best to follow the expert's advice and avoid any type of self-medication.

Remember that, even if we love them as humans, they are not and treating them as ourselves can be detrimental to their health.