Aspirin is a very common type of medication for humans. It’s been used for decades to alleviate pain, but it also has many other beneficial effects. When it is used daily, it can be helpful in lowering the risk of clot-related strokes or heart attacks. About 20% of Americans take aspirin on a daily basis or every other day.
But is aspirin safe for our pets? If you’re a cat owner, giving aspirin to your feline friend is probably very unlikely to have crossed your mind. But if you are a dog parent, you might have asked yourself (and the vet) whether there are any side effects to giving aspirin or it can do the same good things for our Fidos as it does for us.
Let’s look at some very important information that you should be aware of before you give your canine buddy any aspirin.
What Is Aspirin, Anyway? Is It Safe for Dogs?
Aspirin is a synthetic drug that is utilized to relieve inflammation and pain in humans. It does have the same effect on animals, including dogs. Cats are not capable of breaking down the main (and active) ingredient in Aspirin, so if you have a cat, you are not allowed to give her any of this medication at any time.
If you do follow the correct dose, you are allowed to give your dog aspirin. So, in a nutshell, and to answer the question which is the title of this article, yes, dogs can take aspirin as long as the dosage is correct.
One of the most important pieces of information that dog parents have to know is that, since aspirin has the effect of reducing the risk of clots forming in the patient’s blood, it’s never a good idea to give aspirin to your canine buddy for too long. Talk to your veterinarian to find out more about this type of drug.
So, what dosage of aspirin can your dog take? The guidelines that we will showcase below are offered for informational purposes. We do not recommend starting to give your dog aspirin without even having a conversation about it with a vet beforehand. Make sure you consult your veterinarian to find out whether your dog doesn’t have any diseases that might make aspirin side effects even more severe.
As you can expect and since dogs come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, it would be completely incorrect to give a dog that weighs 10 pounds the same amount of aspirin that you would give to a dog that weighs 40 pounds.
As such, the recommended aspirin dosage is 5 to 10 mg per pound of body weight. 10 milligrams is the maximum dosage per pound. Another important note that we have to make is that it’s recommended you give your dog aspirin twice a day (once every 12 hours) but it is advised to start with the minimum dosage first. This means that you have the opportunity to notice your dog’s behavior and clinical symptoms and see whether he or she is exhibiting any side effects.
Any dose over 30 mg per pound is considered deadly to dogs.
How Can You Give Aspirin to Your Furry Friend?
The most important thing here is that you need to understand that giving too much aspirin or failing to follow a schedule can be life-threatening to a dog, particularly a puppy or one that is already suffering from chronic diseases, such as an old dog.
You need to give your dog aspirin or Advil with food. Dogs have trouble digesting coated aspirin, so if you want to protect your pet’s stomach and gut against irritation, you should always administer the medication with food.
It is not advised to give aspirin to dogs that have arthritis or osteoarthritis as some studies have shown that this medication can cause damage to our pet’s joint cartilage.
Some of the relatively common adverse effects that a dog can experience upon starting treatment with aspirin consist of gastrointestinal distress, nausea, abdominal pain, black stools, vomiting, and lethargy.
Overdoses can even kill pets as they irritate the stomach, as well as the intestinal lining, and they cause inflammation and ulcers. They can also cause renal failure.
So, Should You Give Your Dog Aspirin?
If you use the correct dose, you can give your dog aspirin, but the consensus seems to be that doing so isn’t a good idea. Bear in mind that aspirin and Advil have never been approved for veterinary use, and there haven’t been enough studies performed so as to determine the exact dosage for dogs. Since overdosing can be lethal, it is actually a better idea to choose different types of medications.
In case you didn’t know, there are very many non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that have been approved to be used on dogs. NSAIDs can be used for a longer amount of time compared to aspirin, although your dog’s urine and blood need to be tested regularly to make sure that he or she remains healthy under treatment.