Dogs are absolute love; they become a family member quickly enough, and everything at home starts revolving around them.
From which sofas to buy to which food to cook, it depends on their suiting. Some say they care for their dogs more than themselves, as nobody wants to see them in pain.
When they suffer from pain or disease, you will feel like giving them relief and treating them as we treat ourselves with painkillers like aspirin.
But it is not that simple. Aspirins are given by vets to dogs when they are in pain or suffering from a disease. Aspirins are given in a certain dosage and have side effects of it.
We will discuss and try to learn every detail about Aspirin, its correct dosage for dogs, and its side effects. Let’s start the chapter.
What Is Aspirin?
Aspirin is one of the most common drugs for pain relief. Aspirin is an NSAID or Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug. NSAIDs are very helpful in treating and reducing pain, inflammation, and fever.
Our bodies are very similar to animals; they produce an enzyme called prostaglandins. When our body is affected by a disease, ill, or injury, these prostaglandins cause inflammation in our body which is required by the body to heal.
When the inflammation takes place, it causes pain and often fever. Aspirins work by blocking compounds like prostaglandins, reducing inflammation, pain, and fever.
Aspirin for humans may vary from aspirin given to dogs; hence you should be cautious and only give aspirins when consulted by a vet, and that too in a prescribed dosage.
Why Do Vets Prescribe Aspirin for Dogs?
More often than not, it is advised to give aspirin dosage to dogs only after consulting a veterinarian.
There are a few reasons for it. The first reason is they know the disease or the issue by which your dog is in pain and discomfort.
Second, they know what medication is required, and they will also advise you on the dosage for your dog after considering many aspects like disease, weight, age, breed, and size.
The vet gives aspirins to dogs with disease or health problems like osteoarthritis or musculoskeletal inflammation.
But it is not limited to that. Vets give aspirins when they feel the dog needs it, which may help relieve some pain. Aspirins are known to have side effects; hence a vet is very cautious in recommending aspirins and only recommends them when they see fit.
How Much Aspirin Should I Give My Dog?
It is always good to ask, especially in medical and health-related issues. If your vet has recommended aspirin, make sure to follow every instruction carefully and keep an eye out for any side effects it may cause.
If you are unsure how much aspirin to give your dog, do not proceed without the proper information. Since the FDA has not approved aspirins for dogs, the exact value or unit of dosage is yet to be determined by a conclusive study.
Although some veterinary manuals recommend administering a dosage of 10-40 mg/kg, its range will change depending on the dog’s condition.
Dosage will also depend on the type of aspirin you are giving your dog. Some vets even prefer giving baby aspirin instead of adult aspirin as baby aspirin has low dosing, lowering the risk of overdose and side effects.
Avoid giving aspirins to puppies as their body system finds it hard to break medicine down. You can give aspirins to your adult dog, but never on an empty stomach.
Always consult a veterinarian before giving any kind of aspirins to your dogs. After giving the medicine, keep your eyes open for any side effects and take them in if unsure.
Can Human Aspirins be Used For Dogs?
While your vet can recommend a baby aspirin used for humans, aspirins made specifically for dogs are the better option. There is a layer in human aspirins that prevents stomach irregularities from happening.
That layer does not do well with dogs, preventing the desired results.
Recommended Dosage of Aspirin For Dogs
Only a vet can and should recommend the exact aspirins dosage for your dogs. Below is the recommended chart to educate you on the basic rule of administering aspirin to your dog.
It does not guarantee the correct dosage or can be used as an alternative to a veterinary prescription or suggestions.
First, consult your veterinarian to determine if aspirin is the ideal medication for your canine partner. Your veterinarian will prescribe a dosage based on your dog’s accurate weight. The below chart can be used as a general guideline.
Aspirin for Dogs (once or twice daily)
|Amount of Aspirin
|Common Dog Breeds
|25-50 mg OR half of the baby (low dose) aspirin
|Chihuahua, Pomeranian, Chinese Crested
|50-100 mg OR one baby (low dose) aspirin
|Pekingese, Boston Terrier, Miniature Fox Terrier
|100-200 mg OR half of adult aspirin
|Miniature Poodle, Pembroke Welsh Corgi, West Highland Terrier
|150-300 mg OR half to one adult aspirin
|Beagle, Cardigan Welsh Corgi, Border Collie
|200- 400 mg OR one adult aspirin
|Samoyed, Vizsla, Shar-Pei
|250-500 mg OR one to one and a half adult aspirin
|Airedale Terrier, Portuguese Water Dog, Irish Setter
|300-600 mg OR one to two adult aspirin
|Staffordshire Terrier, Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever
|350-700 mg OR one to two adult aspirin
|American Staffordshire Terrier, Chow Chow, Dalmatian
|400-800 mg OR two adult aspirin
|Akita, Cane Corso, Rottweiler
|450-900 mg or one to one and a half to two to two and a half adult aspirin
|German Shepherd Dog, Bloodhound, Chinook
|500-1000 mg OR two to three adult aspirin
|Bullmastiff, Great Dane, Saint Bernard
A dog’s weight is the key to administering the right dosage amount. As a general rule, 5mg to 10mg of aspirin is recommended per pound of the dog’s weight.
Your dogs can be given these dosages based on our veterinarian’s prescription every 12-hour gap. Also, remember that human aspirins can not go for long periods and should not be administered over 5 days.
Side Effects of Aspirin For Dogs
Despite the pain-relieving attributes of aspirins, it is no surprise that long-term usage or ill-administered usages are a health risk.
Side effects of aspirin dogs can occur in a large single dosage or small frequent or multiple dosages. Some major and common side effects are:
1. Ulcer And Bleeding
As mentioned earlier, aspirins block prostaglandins forming to relieve inflammation and pain. These prostaglandins also protect the stomach and intestinal lining of your dog.
Without prostaglandins, ulceration is formed and is a common side effect of aspirins. And continuous usage of aspirins after ulceration has taken place can cause bleeding.
These aspirin side effects are detected very late and pose a major life risk.
2. Liver And Kidney Issues
Another major side effect of aspirin is liver and kidney damage. A dog’s body functions differently than that of humans.
A dog’s liver absorbs toxins from aspirins and can detoxify, but too many aspirins frequently are too much to handle and lead to liver failures.
Prostaglandins help circulate blood to a dog’s kidney. Aspirins block prostaglandins and reduce blood flow to the kidney, making it viable for kidney failure.
You should get your dog checked by a veterinarian immediately if you see any of these symptoms:
- Aspirin allergies
- Decreased appetite
- Mucosal erosion
- Black, tar-like stool
- Skin irritation
In most cases, your dog will be just fine after taking an aspirin prescribed by a veterinarian. Side effects are a risk, and one should be aware of it, as early detection of such symptoms can be life-saving.
The answer is as little as you can. But always consult your veterinarian before giving any medication to your dog, as it may happen that they do not require any medication.
For as limited a period as possible. Do not continue giving aspirin to dogs for continuous days or longer periods, as every time a dog takes an aspirin, and some residue is left in the system. The more it remains in the body, the more harm it will do.
Yes, there are many alternatives to aspirin, and you can try other medications or even home remedies to treat your dog, but always consult your veterinarian for effective treatment.
Seeing your dog in pain is heartbreaking, so I tried to share some insights on what aspirin is, how aspirin works in pain relief, how to administer dosage, and its side effects on dogs, along with the types of aspirin and dose chart.
Always visit a veterinarian if your canine partner is in pain, and let me know what other topics you want me to cover.[wpdatatable id=68 responsive= stack responsive_breakpoint=”phone”/]
Dr. Lillian is a D.V.M. passionate about promoting awareness of dogs. She shares her expertise through her blogs on canineweekly.com and provides animal care services, including internal medicine, dermatology, and emergency care. Dr. Lillian is committed to contributing to animal welfare.