Pain relief pills for dogs

Updated November 21, 2016

If you're like most dog owners, you simply can't stand it when your dog is in pain. Whether it's from arthritis, an injury, surgery or old age, there is likely a pain pill you can give your dog that will help. Some are over the counter, while others require a prescription from your veterinarian. Always talk to your veterinarian before giving your dog any medication, just to make sure there isn't a reason the medicine could hurt the dog. Some dogs will eat pills mixed in with their food. If yours won't, try putting the pill into a snack he enjoys, such as cheese or bread. Some dog treat manufacturers also sell treats with an open space made for a pill.


Many people have aspirin in their medicine cabinets. Just as it can help people with aches and pains, it's generally acceptable for your dog to take as well. To figure the dosage for your dog, give him 10 milligrams per pound of body weight every 12 hours.


Acetaminophen, most commonly known as Tylenol, is another over-the-counter pain reliever that's likey fine for use in dogs. Your dog can take 25 milligrams per pound of body weight every eight hours. Veterinarians disagree on whether acetaminophen has any effect on dogs. If your dog doesn't seem to improve after he takes this medication, try something else.


Etodolac is a prescription pain medication your veterinarian can prescribe. It is sold as Lodine or Etogesic. Your vet will tell you the best dosage for your dog based on weight and condition. This medication provides good pain relief for long-term health conditions, but it can cause a decrease in your dog's tear production. That can be a severe side effect of the medicine, so watch for eye problems if your dog takes etodolac long term.


Tramadol is sold as Ultram and is another prescription medication veterinarians may prescribe for long-term use in dogs. Your vet will tell you the best dosage for your dog. Major adverse effects in dogs haven't been reported.

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