Can I give my dog a baby aspirin? Surprising Answer

The Potential Dangers of Aspirin for Dogs

Although aspirin and other NSAIDs, as well as acetaminophen, can all be prescribed to dogs to help relieve pain and inflammation, they come with risks. The danger lies in the side effects that the medications can cause.

Generally speaking, dogs are harmed by aspirin and other painkillers in one of three ways:

  • A pet parent gives their dog aspirin designed for human use in an attempt to relieve pain, and the dosage is far too high.
  • A dog gets into a bottle of aspirin pills or a cold-and-flu medicine and ingests the medication without the dog parent’s knowledge.
  • A dog is prescribed aspirin by a veterinarian, but is especially sensitive to NSAIDs and experiences adverse effects even though the dosage is correct.
  • It’s also worth noting that using other medications at the same time as NSAIDs, like corticosteroids, can make NSAID use riskier for dogs. A dog suffering from certain conditions like kidney disease or gastrointestinal problems is also likely at a higher risk for serious side effects from NSAIDs.

    Can I give my dog a baby aspirin?

    Aspirin Prescribed by Your Veterinarian

    Most often, aspirin will be prescribed for short-term pain relief for your dog. It’s unlikely that your vet will prescribe aspirin for a long time period or to manage chronic pain since the long-term effects can be serious.

    Your veterinarian will tell you about the proper dosage needed to help lessen your dog’s pain and give you the exact amount of pills that you’ll need. In some cases, you’ll be instructed to purchase baby aspirin, also known as low-dose aspirin. It’s still an NSAID and still poses risks, but can be given for short periods under the close supervision of a veterinarian.

    Did you know that changing your dog’s diet can help reduce pain? Find out more.

    Side Effects of Aspirin for Dogs

    The side effects of aspirin for dogs include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea (possibly bloody) or black, tarry stools
  • Bleeding disorders
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Kidney damage or kidney failure
  • Liver damage or liver failure
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • If a dog suffering from aspirin poisoning isn’t treated in time, it’s possible for the issue to prove fatal.

    Acetaminophen poisoning, like NSAID poisoning, damages your dog’s liver and kidneys. It also causes hemoglobin in the blood, which carries oxygen to all cells in the body, to convert to methemoglobin, resulting in poor oxygen delivery and possible tissue damage. Symptoms of acetaminophen poisoning include respiratory difficulties, swelling in the face, neck, or limbs, vomiting, and jaundice.

    Aspirin for Dogs: is it safe?

    It’s heartbreaking to see your dog in obvious pain and not being able to help him or her feel better. It’s tempting to reach into your medicine cabinet and pull out whatever pain reliever is close at hand to relieve their whimpering and wincing. Most of the time, that would be aspirin or some other common over-the-counter painkiller.

    But is aspirin safe for dogs? The answer is no. While aspirin can be prescribed to dogs, and often is, it’s not safe to simply give your dog the same pills that you and your family members take for headaches, muscle soreness, and other minor aches and pains. That medication is made for humans, not for our canine companions.

    Let’s dive deeper into how aspirin and other common pain medications work, what kind of danger they present to dogs, and how you can give your pet some pain relief if they’re suffering.