Ever wondered, “What can I give my dog for pain”? We’re here to help you.

Witnessing your pet’s suffering can be excruciating, so knowing how to identify the first stages of pain is crucial. Low energy, whining, and swelling are only a few of the signs that your puppy might be suffering.

But how do you treat it? Should you go for NSAIDs or maybe try a more natural approach? And what about human medications for pets?

Here, we’ll answer all your doggy pain questions and give you some of our best recommendations:

A while Labradore laying on the floor and looking sad

Signs That Your Dog Is in Pain

I know how awful it can be to watch your beloved puppy suffer without knowing how to help it. Dogs have pretty high pain tolerance, so when you start seeing the obvious signs of pain, it’s usually been a few days or even weeks since the pain has begun.

Before using any pain meds for dogs, first, we need to spot that our pup is suffering. But how do we recognize the minor, “insignificant” signs of the early stages of their pain?

Here’s what you should look for if you suspect your dog is in pain:

  • Low energy
  • Tired-looking eyes
  • Loss of appetite
  • Biting — either people or dogs who try to touch it or itself
  • Swelling
  • Tail tucked between the legs
  • Whining, groaning, howling

What Can I Give My Dog for Pain

Some medications are better than others, and others are really not a good idea. Whatever you decide — always visit your vet first and ask them to examine your pup.

NSAIDs for Dogs

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and lower a high temperature. We most commonly use them to soothe symptoms of painful periods, headaches, arthritis, and colds.

Examples of NSAIDs include ibuprofen, aspirin, and diclofenac.

These are all great, but it’s important to remember that it’s not recommended to use human pain meds for dogs. That can cause unpleasant and even life-threatening side effects such as:

  • Gastrointestinal ulcers
  • Bloody vomiting and diarrhea
  • Internal bleeding
  • Kidney and liver damage
  • Death

So to avoid these terrifying consequences, always opt for a pain killer for dogs. It’ll be specifically formulated for your pet’s needs. Here are some examples of NSAIDs that are made just for our fluffy besties:

  • Meloxicam (found in Metacam) 
  • Firocoxib (found in Previcox)
  • Deracoxib (found in Deramaxx)
  • Carprofen (found in Rimadyl)

Other Pain Relief Medications for Dogs

Apart from NSAIDs, vets often prescribe these medications for the pain of fluffy patients:

  • Gabapentin — This drug is an anticonvulsant, often prescribed for dog seizures. Also, it’s an effective painkiller. Most often, vets prescribe it for pain caused by osteoarthritis, but it’s effective for chronic and neuropathic pain, too. 
  • Tramadol — Some vets prescribe it for pain management in puppies. It’s one of the few human painkillers that are safe for dogs. This medication works by altering the perception of pain, and it’s a member of the opioid family.

Many people also wonder: “Can dogs take Tylenol (a.k.a. Acetaminophen) for pain?” but in contrast to the meds above, this one isn’t safe for your pup. It’s not an NSAID, yet it can still cause severe issues like depression, vomiting, and even death.

Joint Supplements

Sadly, as our beloved puppers get older, they often suffer from joint discomfort. It’s common for dogs to develop arthritis. Even though plenty of exercise and quality food can delay its onset, it’s still possible to suffer from it at some point. 

Apart from vet-prescribed medications, supplements can help your furry old pal in its fight with joint pain. So if you’re wondering, “What can I give my dog for joint pain?” we have a few suggestions.

The best joint supplements for dogs will contain glucosamine, chondroitin, or both. These are natural compounds found in cartilage that decrease cartilage degradation and reduce pain caused by osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

NaturVet’s soft chews with glucosamine and chondroitin are specifically formulated for dogs. They maintain joint flexibility while alleviating aches and discomfort caused by exercise and old age. They also contain Yucca schidigera, vitamins C and E, and even Omega-3 and 6 to help the overall health of your dog baby.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Instead of starting your pup on vet-prescribed pain pills for dogs, you can go for a more natural and side-effects-free option if the discomfort isn’t too severe.

One such alternative is Omega-3 fatty acids. These fats are beneficial for your puppy’s skin and fur health. But they’re also excellent at decreasing inflammation and pain associated with arthritis in both humans and animals.

There are three types of Omega-3 fatty acids:

  • Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
  • Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
  • Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)

All three are great, but your pup mainly needs EPA and DHA for decreasing inflammation and pain.

So where can you find these?

You can supplement your pup with Omega-3 fatty acids by pouring a bit of fish oil on top of its food or feeding it whole fish (e.g. salmon, sardine, or mackerel). Also, you can get food with fish as a protein source.

Turmeric for Dogs

When I first became a doggy mom, I was constantly panicking and wondering what can I give my dog for pain if it ever occurs. Little did I know back then that I have an excellent holistic remedy sitting in my kitchen drawer just waiting for a chance to shine.

Turmeric is a popular plant worldwide. We use it to add a beautiful yellow color to dishes. But the active compound in turmeric — curcumin —also gives it some well-known healing properties to reduce inflammation, thin blood, and improve skin allergies.

Turmeric for dogs can help your pup fight arthritic pain, as well as reduce “bad” cholesterol and inflammation. Coco and Luna’s turmeric for dogs is an excellent option as it contains no harmful additives, and it’s a great holistic supplement for small and large dogs.

Home Remedies for Dog Pain

Some home remedies can be quite effective for pain management. But bear in mind that it’s still essential to take your puppy to the vet before self-prescribing a treatment.

Here are your best options to try for natural pain relief for dogs:

Hemp and hemp oil in a bottle placed on a table.
  • CBD — Cannabinoids are chemical compounds found in the hemp plant. They’ve been found to reduce anxiety, inflammation, and pain. CBD oil for dogs has become a hit in the past five years. Customers report amazing results — from alleviated depression to reduced seizure frequency. One of the best CBD products for pets is Honest Paws’ CBD oil for dogs. It contains organic full-spectrum hemp oil and ginger that support your pup’s healing and relieve its pain.
  • Massage — Lightly stroke your pup, starting at the neck and slowly working downward. When your dog is calm, begin to press gently and apply tension to the muscles and tissues. It’ll help your puppy relax and soothe the pain.
  • Boswellia — Extracted from the Boswellia serrata tree, this potent anti-inflammatory can relieve dog pain and reduce the degradation of cartilage caused by arthritis. So if you’re struggling to find effective and safe over-the-counter pain meds for dogs, try Boswellia.
  • Green Lipped Mussels — This particular kind of mussels can reduce pain and improve movement and mobility in those suffering from osteoarthritis. For example, Austin and Kat’s Green Lipped Mussel for Dogs contains only two ingredients — curcumin and mussels. That’s enough to provide your pet with much-needed Omega-3 fatty acids and help support muscle and joint recovery after exercise.

Conclusion

It’s devastating to watch your fluffy friend suffer from pain without knowing how to help it. So learning to spot the early signs of pain in your puppy will undoubtedly make your life easier. Some include low energy and loss of appetite.

Now that you’ve learned how to identify doggy pain, you have several options as pain meds for dogs — NSAIDs, prescription medications, or natural home remedies. Some supplements can also help as a preventative measure for dogs’ pain. These include Omega-3 fatty acids, turmeric, and CBD.

These are helpful in different situations, so don’t forget to visit your vet and ask them about your best option.

Q&A

Do you have a doggy pain question we haven’t answered? We’re not done yet. 

What Can I Give My Dog for Stomach Pain?

Bone broth, chicken and rice, and pumpkin are only a few of the remedies for dogs with an upset stomach you can try. But you should first determine the cause. Your puppy’s tummy might hurt due to dietary changes, food allergies, or antibiotics.

What Can I Give My Dog for Arthritis Pain?

Arthritis is a complex degenerative condition that happens to many pets after a certain age. But one of the most promising remedies for it isn’t complex at all. CBD oils and treats can help your dog stand on its legs again and run after the stick like it’s a little puppy again.

What Can I Give My Dog for Hip Dysplasia Pain?

If you suspect your dog has hip dysplasia, take it to the vet immediately. The condition causes gradual loss of joint function and can be quite painful. So it needs medical attention — your vet will most probably prescribe pain killers and polysulfated glycosaminoglycan injections

What Can I Give My Dog for Tooth Pain?

Depending on your puppy’s teeth condition, your vet might prescribe NSAIDs like Carprofen and Meloxicam. Another helpful remedy is CBD oil that can reduce inflammation. But to prevent tooth pain in the future, you should brush your puppy’s teeth regularly and give it dental chews for dogs.

What Can I Give My Dog for Ear Pain?

Before proceeding with any form of pain relief, visit your vet. Your puppy’s ears might need medical attention, especially if they smell yeasty. Afterward, you might need to buy anti-inflammatory pain relief and ear drops. To prevent such issues, clean your dog’s ears regularly with a wet cloth.

Can You Give a Dog Aspirin?

In some cases, a vet might prescribe aspirin for your dog’s pain. But aspirin is an NSAID for humans, so you shouldn’t give it to dogs without medical supervision. Never self-prescribe human drugs to your dog.

Can You Give a Dog Ibuprofen?

It’s usually not a good idea. If your vet prescribes it for pain, listen carefully and write down the precise instructions — NSAIDs overdose can cause internal bleeding and death.

What Painkillers Are Safe for Dogs?

If you’re asking, “What can I give my dog for pain?” here’s the answer — Metacam, Previcox, Deramaxx, and Rimadyl are safe to use on dogs. They’ll help your pet feel better and pain-free. But you should always consult your vet before beginning such treatment.

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Miglena loves spending time with friends and talking about science over a glass of wine. Born and raised in a small town, she’s always been surrounded by animals. Cats, dogs, chickens, cows, and goats have all been her companions from an early age. Her passion for the animal kingdom became even stronger after she went to study microbiology in Scotland. Miglena’s love for writing, combined with her curiosity, makes her a valuable member of the pawsome advice team.