What Can I Give My Dog for Pain Relief
Our pets are family, and as with any family member, it can be very difficult when you see that they are in pain. While medications can help, sometimes it can be tough to find the right ones to use, especially in the case of an emergency. Many pet owners are also a little skeptical about using over-the-counter pills to help heal pain in their dogs because of the many side effects they can cause. Below you’ll find more about how you can help your dog if they are in pain and some medications and natural solutions you can consider using.
Ways to Tell My Dog is in Pain
There are a few ways you can tell your dog is in pain. Below are some common signs that your dog might not be feeling very well.
They are Agitated
A common sign that a dog is in pain is that they are agitated. If you find that they nip at you or growl, it might be a way of telling you that they are suffering from some sort of external or internal issue.
They Don’t Want to Walk
If your dog doesn’t want to walk or is limping when they do, it could be a concerning sign. This could show that they have an injury to their leg or paw or feel dizzy and lethargic when they move to stand up.
They Have a Loss of Appetite
Almost every dog loves to eat, so if you find that they have a loss of appetite, it can be a problem. A loss of appetite can be a sign that they could have stomach or throat pain, and by eating or chewing, could make that problem worse.
They are Excessively Scratching Themselves
Excessive itching or licking can be a sign of your dog trying to soothe themselves when they are in pain. While they might try to lick outer wounds they have, sometimes they might lick themselves in certain areas that might be painful inside them.
They Have a Change in Posture
If your dog is walking funny or has a sudden change in their posture and gait, it could be a way to help them adapt to pain they have. This can be a sign of inflammation or even abdominal pain as your dog is trying to move in such a way that can help to relieve some of their symptoms.
What Can You Give a Dog for Pain Relief?
Thankfully, there are many options you can use to help give your dog pain relief. However, you need to be careful with some of them as human pain medication can be harmful to your furry friend.
What Painkillers Can I Give My Dog?
There are a handful of painkillers you can give your dog. Many of these options come either in a powder, tablet, or chewy pill form which can feature flavors like roast beef and chicken.
This anti-inflammatory drug is a canine version of Ibuprofen. This painkiller is usually given to dogs who have pain from arthritis or extreme inflammation. Carprofen works by stopping the COX enzyme, which is known for causing inflammation. This option comes in a few different forms, such as a pill or chewable tablet. Your vet can also give your dog Carprofen shots if there is a specific painful area.
This medicine also works to help with reducing inflammation in your dog. It’s usually given to dogs who have just had surgery, such as orthopedic surgery. However, this type of medicine must be given regularly in order for it to work well as one missed dose could end up making your dog start to feel pain again.
Deracoxib is a popular option to help dogs in pain. This medication is mainly intended for dogs who have osteoarthritis and need to be given it in a tablet form, although this can be mixed in with their food.
Meloxicam, another optional of painkiller is one of the most common types of pain medications that vets prescribe for dogs in pain. It can help to reduce stiff and sore muscles as well as severe inflammation.
These four options are specifically designed to help dogs in pain but in a safe way. Sometimes you can find them in local pet stores or you can have your vet prescribe some for your dog if they need a special dosage.
As with almost every medicine, these can cause severe side effects, such as an upset stomach, liver disease, and high blood pressure. Because of this, it’s a good idea to talk things over with your vet first to see if your dog can benefit from them or if you should go a more natural route.
Can I Give My Dog Motrin? Tylenol?
They are common questions - Can dogs take Motrin? Can dogs have Tylenol or Motrin? Motrin is a common drug many humans use to help relieve headaches and other forms of pain, but for dogs, it can be deadly.
NSAIDs can sometimes be given to dogs to help them, but certain types can be lethal. Tylenol and Motrin fall into the category of NSAIDs which can cause major problems with your dog. These can cause issues such as digestive problems, redness of the skin, and even a loss of appetite. In other words, they can give your dog even more pain. Unless your vet prescribes you with Motrin or Tylenol, it’s important to not give your pet any form of these medications.
Can I Give My Dog Aspirin?
Aspirin is usually fine to give your dog, although it shouldn’t be often. This medication should only be given to your dog for emergencies and short-term usage rather than for long-term purposes. To find the right amount of aspirin to give your dog, you can use a dog aspirin dose chart to help you make sure you give your pup the right quantity.
However, you need to be very careful giving a small breed, such as dachshunds, aspirin. This is because the pill might be a little too strong for their body which can lead to them getting very sick.
Overall, the best way to tell whether it’s safe to give your dog aspirin is to call your vet. They will know your dog’s medical history and medications and be able to tell you the right amount to give them if necessary.
Natural and Home Pain Relief for Dogs
So, what can I give my dog for pain relief that is a natural option? If you prefer to use more natural solutions to help calm your dog, you can consider some of these suggestions.
CBD oil is one of the best natural ways to help provide pain relief for your dog. This liquid, taken from the resin of cannabis flowers, works to help calm the body’s pain receptors. This way, your dog can have a little relief from the pain they are in. CBD oil in small amounts is safe to give dogs as it is not psychoactive.CBD oil for dogs comes in various forms. Two of the main types you’ll find for dogs is in liquid and pill form. CBD oil by itself can be measured and mixed into your dog’s food. You can also massage the oil on any possible painful areas your dog might have. CBD pills are pre-measured and can be given to your dog as a chewy treat about once or twice per day. These pills are usually flavored with cheese or meat to help make them more appetizing.
While CBD pills will have a chart on the back of them to help you figure out the correct amount to give your dog based on their weight, CBD oil can be a little tricky. To measure it out, you can use about one drop per every 10 lbs. However, you can talk to your vet if you are still a little hesitant about the correct amount or have additional questions about it.
Yucca root has been shown to help reduce pain in dogs, although it needs to be given sparingly. You’ll find plenty of yucca supplements for dogs which can help with reducing painful inflammation in their body. However, be very careful when giving your dog this root as too much of it could result in an upset stomach or vomiting. Because of this, it’s a good idea to give your dog yucca root every few days.
Turmeric for dogs is surprisingly very helpful when it comes to pain relief. In fact, it’s believed to be even more powerful than common painkillers, such as Ibuprofen. Ideally, you should mix turmeric in your dog’s food or make special treats with this spice in them. Otherwise, it will be difficult for your dog to ingest it. You can find the right amount of turmeric to give your dog by using about ⅛ teaspoons per every 10 lbs.
You can also make a turmeric paste. You can stir about two cups of water, a tablespoon of coconut oil, and ½ cup of turmeric spice over a stovetop for about seven minutes until it makes a thick paste. Then, refrigerate it so it can cool down before you give it to your dog.
Licorice has been proven to help reduce inflammation in dogs. This is due to a compound called Glycyrrhizin which helps to improve the immune system and liver. You can give your dog licorice oil or rub the oil on the affected areas. You can mix the oil into their food or water, or take a few drops and massage it carefully on them. This massage is ideal for dogs with bone and joint pain as it will seep into their skin directly where needed.
However, you need to be very careful when using licorice as too much of it could be extremely toxic to your dog. It also shouldn’t be given to dogs who have medical problems such as heart disease and kidney disorders. Because of this, talk with your vet beforehand to ensure you give your dog a safe amount of it
If your dog has chronic pain, acupuncture could help them. An acupuncturist can try to calm the nerves that are causing pain with pins to help relieve and reduce inflammation in the area. The pins can be put into certain meridians on the body which can stimulate the nervous system to help remove toxins in it that might cause this pain. The pins can also directly touch the inflamed areas and help to calm them down and provide your dog with relief. Acupuncture is ideal for dogs who have spinal pain, back problems, arthritis, and even sometimes skin lesions.
Acupuncturists can also sometimes give a deep tissue massage that can help to calm sore muscles and nerves in your dog’s body. They do this through the use of acupressure where they apply pressure with their hands to certain sections on the body. While it might look painful, it actually helps to stop tingling nerves and other body parts from throbbing.
To help ensure the acupuncturist finds the areas that need the most help, x-rays will usually be done. This way they can see inflamed or stiff areas. While this practice does tend to help provide relief, it will take a few tries before noticeable results are seen. Some dogs might also feel a bit tired or sore after their session.
For dogs who have long-lasting pain, vitamins can also help to relieve their symptoms. These vitamins will not only work to help their immune system, but can reduce pain as it softens inflammation in the body.
Many dog vitamins will contain Omega-3s, Vitamin C, and Glucosamine. These ingredients will work quickly to help improve your dog’s joints and muscles, making them perfect for dogs with hip pain or arthritis.
This fish oil supplement can significantly help dogs in pain, especially those with chronic arthritis and other bone problems. In fact, many studies have been done to help prove the power of Omega-3s for dogs as it helps with significantly reducing inflammation. These fatty acids are taken from fish such as sardines and salmon and then made into a pill or kept in a liquid form.
You’ll find many different Omega-3 products you can give your pet. There are chewy pills you can give your dog as a snack, a gel pill you can prick to release the liquid inside, or just a pump bottle where you can pump fish oil into your dog’s food and then mix it in.
The right amount of Omega-3s to give your dog usually is done by giving them 300 mg per 30 lbs. of body weight. However, if you are still unsure as to the right amount to give your dog, it’s always a good idea to talk it over with your vet.
While there is plenty of evidence that Omega-3s can help, some dogs might get side effects from them. For instance, itchy skin and weight gain. If you find your dog is having strange effects from the fish oil, don’t continue to give it to them.
Many dogs love the taste of sweet potatoes which is great because this vegetable provides their body with plenty of benefits. Sweet potatoes contain high levels of amino acids which get to work reducing inflammation and even building up muscle. This can help dogs who have painful bones or joints to have better support which can work to reduce any pain they might have. The amino acids can also help to fight off future problems by keeping their body healthy and stopping cell damage.
You can give your dog mashed sweet potatoes mixed into their food or smalls chunks they can have as a snack. However, make sure to thoroughly cook the sweet potato so it’s soft and easy for your dog to chew. You also should ensure that this vegetable is fully cooled down to prevent burning your dog’s mouth.
If your dog is overweight, it could cause them to feel pain because this excessive fat is pressing on their bones and joints. This can end up leading to their body losing bone density because of the pressure put on these areas. So, you can work to have your dog lose a few pounds to help possibly reduce extra pain.
However, keep in mind this is only for dogs who are evaluated by a vet and told they need to lose weight. If your dog is at a healthy weight or even just a pound or two over, this option is not the best to use.
Seeing your dog in pain can be tough, but there are plenty of ways you can help them out. You can try to give them medications, such as Carprofen, or use natural methods, such as CBD oil. By keeping the information mentioned above in mind, you can be sure that you can help your pet feel better when they are in discomfort.
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.
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