Should You Give Aspirin or Other Painkillers to Your Dog?

Aspirin is one of the most commonly used types of medication. As a result, many people tend to give aspirin to their pets. But is it really a good idea?
Should You Give Aspirin or Other Painkillers to Your Dog?

Last update: 22 June, 2019

Dogs can eat many of the same foods that we do. This often leads people to believe that they can also take the same medication that we do. Aspirin is one of the least offensive and most commonly used types of medication. As a result, many people tend to give aspirin to their pets. But is this really a good idea? And can it be dangerous for your animal?

Can you give aspirin to your dog?

A dog taking a pill.

As everyone knows, when a dog catches a cold or any other illness, a vet will prescribe medication, a lot of which contains similar ingredients to those found in aspirin. But what is the difference between the medication a vet gives you, and the everyday aspirin you buy at the store?

Although many of the ingredients may be similar, or even identical, the difference is in the proportions. This has a huge impact on the effect the medication will have.

The aspirin that we use only really comes in one form. By this, we mean that it can be given to almost anyone (with the exception of children, for whom there are special kinds of aspirin.)

However, when it comes to dogs, there are lots of different types of painkillers, depending on the breed, size, and health of the dog. As a result, it’s possible that giving a puppy aspirin, for example, could cause more harm than good. Conversely, if you give aspirin to a large, adult dog, it may have no effect at all.

So, what should you do? The best thing to do is never give any medication to your pet without a veterinary prescription. The same goes for any other painkillers, such as paracetamol and ibuprofen.

What to do if your dog gets a cold

As we’ve said before, even if you give aspirin to your dog, the chances are this won’t help with a cold. As long as it’s only a slight cold, there are some homemade recipes you can give them to help alleviate symptoms. Let’s take a look at some of the home remedies you can use:

  • If your dog has a cold, you will generally notice a loss of appetite. This can have a negative impact on its immune system, and cause recovery to be slower. To help your dog keep eating plenty of food, try adding water. The water will make it smell even stronger and more appetizing to your four-legged friend, and hopefully encourage it to eat.
  • Humidify your home: you can also use steam or essential oils. This will help ease respiratory issues.
  • Limit exercise: let your dog get plenty of rest. Exercise can exacerbate a cough.
  • Let sleeping dogs lie: just like humans, dogs tend to sleep more when they’re ill. Sleep is essential for helping your dog to get better quickly.
  • Make sure it drinks plenty of water: hydration is extremely important. Make sure your dog drinks lots of water. If you think it’s not drinking enough, you can feed it water from a syringe.

If you think your dog is suffering from something more serious, or symptoms persist for more than two or three days, seek veterinary attention immediately.

What to do when your dog is sick – further advice

A husky at the vet.

Remember, a vet will also be able to prescribe medication to help your dog get better. Under no circumstances should you ever give your dog medication without consulting with a vet.

Take their temperature regularly, and apply cold compresses if necessary. The best place to put them is on the stomach and large muscles, which are areas that tend to be warmest. You can also buy decongestants from your vet, which will help to reduce the constant flow of mucus and reduce any discomfort.

By doing all this, you’ll soon notice that your dog will start to feel better, and it’ll be back to its old self in no time.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.