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Prednisone For Dogs: A Word Of Caution

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Prednisone For Dogs: A Word Of Caution

Posted by Michael Jones on
Updated at: February 18, 2021

Prednisone For Dogs: A Word Of Caution | Innovet Pet

When our furry family members become ill, it can be a terrifying experience. They are members of our family, and we'd certainly hate to lose them! Luckily, there are a few things you can do to help your pet. Making sure to get them to the vet right away is one way to help, and it can ease a lot of the tension!

However, you may soon find that other anxieties start to pop up after your visit. With so many medications, you might wonder what exactly they are, how they can help, or how adverse effects could leave your pet feeling bad when they need to get better.

One of the common prescriptions your pet may receive is prednisone. While this is a popular medication, it is one worth looking into! Consequently, we're breaking down the uses and side effects of prednisone and providing some more natural options to help your pet.


1. Breaking Down Prednisone For Dogs
2. What Are Steroids/Corticosteroids?
3. Looking At Prednisolone
4. Using Prednisone For Dogs, How Do You Use It?
5. What Is Prednisone For?
6. What Side Effects Can Occur?
7. How It Works Alongside Other Medications
8. Consider A Natural Prednisone Alternative
9. CBD For Dogs
10. Top CBD Products
11. Using CBD Oil For Dogs
12. How Can It Help?
13. Other Natural Options
14. The Final Verdict

Breaking Down Prednisone For Dogs

In short, prednisone is what's known as a synthetic steroid, and it's one that is prescribed pretty often. This is also an option used for a variety of human illnesses. It's key for bringing down inflammation in pets and humans alike. Prednisone can do a lot for your pet, and we'll take a look at how that happens below.

What Are Steroids/Corticosteroids?

Steroids and corticosteroids are essentially the same. They are artificial drugs, which are made to be very similar to the corticosteroids produced naturally in the body. It's important to keep in mind that the steroids prescribed by a doctor are not the same as those used illegally.

Steroids for dogs have involvement in many places, including their immune system response, metabolism, stress response, and a whole lot more. These steroids are made to replace the naturally-created cortisol when your dog is not feeling well and cannot create enough of the hormone.

Looking At Prednisolone

Both prednisolone and prednisone are steroids, so they are both used for the treatment of issues that can create inflammation. These can also include simply helping to keep your pet's immune system regulated. That said, there is a key difference in how the two options are processed.

Prednisone is typically processed in the liver, which allows it to then become prednisolone. However, if your pet has liver issues of any sort, then a vet will be likely to choose prednisolone over prednisone for dogs, which can make sure it can easily be processed easily. It's not generally a good idea to make the liver work harder when it's already having problems. As a result, it's worth looking into prednisolone for dogs with weakened livers.

Using Prednisone For Dogs, How Do You Use It?

Typically, professionals recommend that you only use prednisone for dogs on a short-term basis. Otherwise, there can be negative consequences. The idea is essentially to use enough for it to work, but the smallest amount possible for your pet.

That said, it's important to keep in mind that even a small dose on a daily basis can have negative effects. If you're using prednisone for dogs, and your dog hasn't received it before then it's exceedingly important to keep a close watch on them for negative reactions.

A standard dosage of 0.25 mg per pound is often used for reducing the symptoms of allergies. A dosage of around 0.5mg - 1mg per pound is used for anti-inflammatory purposes, depending on the desired results. However, it's going to be up to your vet to determine the correct amount for your furry friend, as well as guide you through how to help your pet take prednisone. You'll also want to avoid missing doses, as it can lessen the effect. It's best to provide the dose at the same time daily until your vet tells you to stop.

It's also wise to remember that prednisone shouldn't be used on a long term basis. There are other options to seek out if your pet has a hormone deficiency that might require the steroid.

What Is Prednisone For?

Prednisone for dogs can be used in a number or ways, for a variety of situations.

These can include things like:

Prednisone For Dogs: A Word Of Caution | Innovet Pet
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Lupus or Asthma
  • Allergies
  • Arthritis of the joints
  • Anaphylactic shock
  • Central Nervous System disorders
  • Liver problems

There are plenty more uses for the steroid, but typically your vet will know exactly when it should be used, so make sure to heed their advice. For the most part, prednisone doesn't take long to get working, which is a major convenience.

What Side Effects Can Occur? 

Short-Term Side Effects

Just like medications that we take, medications for our pets can have some side effects that aren't the most pleasant.

Prednisone side effects in dogs can include:

Prednisone For Dogs: A Word Of Caution | Innovet Pet

Long-Term Side Effects

Generally speaking, prednisone for dogs is only prescribed for a short time. If for any reason your vet does want your pet to use it longer, then frequent trips to visit the vet will be needed to make sure it isn't having any serious effects.

Potential side effects of prednisone in dogs involving long-term use can include:

  • Development of Cushing's Disease or Diabetes
  • Changes in pet behavior
  • Weakness or lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Heightened infection risk
  • Urinary Tract Infections
  • Inhibited growth
  • Slowed healing
  • Digestive tract ulceration
  • Diarrhea

If you need a deeper understanding of how long your dog can remain on prednisone, it's important to bring this up with your vet.

How It Works Alongside Other Medications

If your dog is prescribed prednisone, then you'll absolutely want to make sure to let your vet know of any other medications that you might give your pet. Otherwise, both prednisolone and prednisone can have some harmful effects when they are mixed with certain other substances.

Some medications to look out for are:

  • Insulin
  • Anti-inflammatories that are non-steroid based
  • Diuretics
  • Digoxin
  • Other steroid medications
  • Phenobarbital
  • Ketoconazole
  • Mitotane

In addition, keep in mind that prednisone for dogs can cause vaccinations to be less effective. Check with your vet to make sure this doesn't cause problems for your dog.

Consider A Natural Prednisone Alternative

When you're looking for something that can assist your dog with inflammation or other more common issues, there are a lot of natural resources out there that can help. Check these options out, and discuss them with your vet to see if they're the right choice for your pet!

CBD For Dogs

CBD can be incredible for just about everyone, including your pet. PurCBD+ for dogs can provide your pet with a lot of great benefits, including assisting easing stress and anxiety, reducing physical pain, and even helping with a reduction in seizures.

Though it is still a relatively new route, scientists are already beginning to explore the benefits it can provide. From assisting the immune system to allowing your pet to be happier and more relaxed, there is little this product can't do. On top of that, it's completely natural, which makes us very happy.

Top CBD Products


There are a number of great CBD products out there that you can try. Products like Innovet's Hemp Dog Treats and these delicious Hemp Soft Chews can help your dog in so many ways, and they find them delicious! In addition, they can provide some help to limit the amount of non-natural medications your dog needs.

The Hemp Dog treats are great when your pet is dealing with inflammation, and the Hemp Soft Chews are the ideal solution when your pet is in need of some immune system help.

The latter can help greatly in dealing with issues like:

  • A dull coat
  • Itchy or irritated skin
  • Dandruff and excessive shedding
  • Allergies
  • Damaged paw pads

If your furry family member is getting older and needs some joint help, you can also try Turkey and Apple Hemp Soft Chews, which are tasty and will allow older dogs to move around more easily.

Using CBD Oil For Dogs

Another great option for keeping your pet healthy and happy is our PurCBD+ PhytoCannaBinoiD Oil. This product is made to absorb easily and work quickly to both calm current symptoms and may help prevent future pain from occurring. It's truly a great option for inflammation and skin issues, and it's a lower cost option than many prescriptions. 

CBD OIL FOR DOGS | Innovet Pet Products

What many people love about CBD Oil is that it's natural and safe. You won't need to deal with bacterial infections, bloody vomit, or a higher risk of diabetes in your beloved friend while using it. Consequently, it's a product that can really only help your pet.

Furthermore, the product is specially designed so that you have complete control over how much you use. Because of that, you can easily start with a very small dose, and feel it out so that your pet can get used to it, and the fresh, new health that comes along with it! While CBD is considered to be perfectly safe, it's still always better to allow your pet to acclimate to the product. That way, they enjoy feeling better gradually and don't get so excited that they accidentally injure themselves upon first or second use.

How Can It Help?

Decreasing Anxiety and Stress

CBD is a great way to help your dog with stress and anxiety in a highly natural way. It allows you to avoid the side effects of pet anxiety medications and allow your dog to feel calmer. These fantastic Hemp Dog Treats are great options for helping with anxiety and come in three delicious flavors: Steak & Cheese, Maple Bacon & Berries, and Salmon & Sweet Potato.

Physical Pain

CBD is also fantastic for helping with symptoms of physical pain. Whether it's arthritis, cancer symptoms, or back pain. It's a great option to leave your pet feeling better naturally!


If your dog has issues with epilepsy, then CBD can also help with relieving the seizures. You and your pet will feel so much better without having to deal with those nasty symptoms!

Other Natural Options

While CBD is the top option, there are plenty of other helpful natural resources out there! The more information you have on your options, the better prepared you'll be.

Change In Diet

It can be all too easy to forget about your dog's diet, especially when you're used to just feeding them the same thing every day. One of the top choices out there is a raw food diet, which allows dogs to eat similarly to what they'd have in the wild. This allows them the greatest potential for health.

More Exercise!

In addition to a high-quality diet, exercise is key to keeping your dog healthy and happy. Making sure your pet is at a healthy weight and gets regular exercise will go a long way toward their physical and mental well-being.

Yucca Root

Yucca root can do a number of things for your dog, including alleviating the symptoms of arthritis, allergies, and boosting a lacking appetite. Do make sure to use this supplement sparingly, as it can cause digestive distress if used on a daily basis.


Turmeric is a fantastic option for getting a handle on any inflammation your pet may be experiencing. There's a good reason it's one of the ingredients in our Hemp Dog Treats.

Licorice Root

Licorice root is helpful because it's a corticosteroid that is naturally created. As a result, it's able to help the body to create the very same hormones that your pet might otherwise take prednisone for. It can also be great for skin allergies!


Comfrey is a great choice for handling inflammation of the bones!


Echinacea is a great choice when your dog needs some help with their overall immune system. It's all-natural and quite effective. However, it's best to use it off and on, because your dog's body can acclimate to it and stop getting the effects.


Ginger is a blocker for leukotriene and prostaglandin, which are inflammatory chemicals. As a result, it's ideal for swelling and painful symptoms.

The Final Verdict

Whether you choose natural or prescribed solutions, we can all agree that your pet's health is at the top of the priority list. That's why it's extremely important to be armed with information about common medications and the negative effects they can have.

A natural way of healing is absolutely worth trying out, and it can often avoid unpleasant side effects!


CBD Helps Reduces Anxiety
CBD Aids in Easing Pain
CBD and Epilepsy
CBD and Dermatology
CBD Aiding with Anti-Inflammatory
CBD Treatment in Osteoarthritic Dogs


Approved by:

Dr. Ivana Vukasinovic

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, University of Belgrade

Ivana Vukasinovic grew up in Serbia and attended the University of Belgrade where she received a degree in Veterinary medicine in 2012 and later completed surgical residency working mostly with livestock. Her first year of practice was split between busy small animal practice and emergency clinic, and after two more years of treating many different species of animals, she opened her own veterinary pharmacy where an interest in canine and feline nutrition emerged with an accent on fighting animal obesity. In her free time, she acts as a foster parent for stray animals before their adoption, likes to read SF books and making salted caramel cookies.


Thanks for stopping by!
P.S. We Love You!

The Innovet Team

Please do not ask for emergency or specific medical questions about your pets in the comments. Innovet Pet Products is unable to provide you with specific medical advice or counseling. A detailed physical exam, patient history, and an established veterinarian are required to provide specific medical advice. If you are worried that your pet requires emergency attention or if you have specific medical questions related to your pet’s current or chronic health conditions, please contact or visit your local/preferred veterinarian, an animal-specific poison control hotline, or your local emergency veterinary care center.

Please share your experiences and stories, your opinions and feedback about this blog, or what you've learned that you'd like to share with others.


GG - June 11, 2020

Hi my dog has IMHA and is on steroids
Would medicinal mushrooms be of any help?
Since trying to suppress the immune system I wasn’t sure

Deborah Pacicca - June 11, 2020

I have a 14yr pug been healthy all his life, has stage 2 lymphoma, he’s on prednisone, 10mg, when it time to wean him off, will his symptoms come back from the lymphoma?

Rhonda Ramos - September 25, 2019

Can you give a 3 lb Yorker steroids and CBD oil? He has a compressed disc

MAry - September 14, 2019

For Erin, i’m sorry to read about your fur baby’s cancer. The most effective natural product for canine cancer is K9 Immunity Plus, by Aloha Medicinals. It’s a fantastic company, and this combination of medicinal mushrooms can be used to boost to be effectiveness of any cancer therapy. It can also be used alone. It helps the dogs to feel better while they’re here, to reduce the size of cancers and to keep it at bay. The same medicinal mushrooms are in the human forms of the supplement and are used by cancer centers worldwide. It stimulates the immune system where it needs to be (keeps the cancer patients immune system strong so that they can continue chemotherapy treatments) and it calms an overactive immune system, as in cases of auto immune disease. The medicinal mushrooms are known to kill cancer cells, but they are also anti-bacterial and anti-viral. They may help your pup to fight off and prevent the infections you speak of. Some of my friends whose dogs are being treated with cortical steroids for auto immune disease give their dogs K-9 immunity to counteract the depressed immune system that the cortical steroids cause. When they start using the supplement, they are dogs stop getting sick. It’s worth a try! There are so many articles online about medicinal mushrooms, I know you’ll find the information you need. It takes 10 days of twice daily dosing of K-9 immunity for the animals body to reach saturation level. You will not be disappointed. All the best to you!

Julie - April 27, 2019

My dog has had addison’s disease for well over a year. The whole time he has been on prednisone. We recently had to put him on more steroids (10mg a day, 85 lbs where he was on just 5 mg a day). He has constant urinary tract infections, runny nose/nasal infections, increased thirst and increased urination. Today he got into our other dogs food and was very aggressive with me when I tried to get him to stop eating. His fur was completely raised, he took a stance and growled at me. He has never been aggressive before and certainly not towards my husband and I or any other person. Any suggestions?

Erin - November 25, 2018

I want to start my furbaby on hemp oil. She is 8 years old and has cancer. She has been on prednisone since April 2018 and I was wondering if I can start her on hemp oil while she is being tappered off prednisone or do I wait to start the hemp oil. She was taking 2 per day prednisone but is now on one per day and not sure how long before I give her 1/2 a day. Please any information will be appreciated.

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