Over-the-Counter Arthritis Pain Relief for Dogs

Updated February 21, 2017

Dogs are susceptible to arthritis. According to the Arthritis Foundation, 20 per cent of all adult dogs in the United States suffer from arthritis to some extent. There are over-the-counter treatments that will help the dog enjoy a more pain-free life.

Over-the-Counter Pain Relief for Canine Arthritis

Arthritis is defined as an inflammation of the joints of the body and can occur in many species of mammals. Symptoms of arthritis in dogs include limping, less interest in play or hesitancy to move, and sleeping more.

The Arthritis Foundation suggests either feeds or supplements containing glucosamine or chondroitin sulphate are useful in alleviating pain of arthritis in dogs. Diets or supplements containing omega-3 fatty acids are also helpful. These items are often available at health-food stores.

Aspirin provides short-term arthritis pain relief for dogs. Common dosage is 5 grains, 325 milligrams, of buffered aspirin for each 31.8 Kilogram of dog body weight to be administered up to twice a day. Many aspirin pills are formulated in 5-grain dosages, so a single pill would treat a 70-pound dog for up to 12 hours. The proper dosage for a dog of approximately 15.9 Kilogram would be half a pill. A large dog of 63.5 Kilogram would be given two pills at a time.

Giving a pill to a dog can be difficult. Some commercial providers have formulated aspirin into a beef-flavoured pill to make the job easier.

According to the American Veterinarian Medical Association, a veterinarian should be consulted before giving a dog aspirin if the animal is on prescription medications.

The AVMA also suggests if the need for aspirin continues for more than two weeks, a prescription pain killer for the dog may be more effective for the dog's comfort.

There are veterinarian versions of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen. The human versions of these medicines should be used with extreme care in dogs due to possible toxicity. Before beginning any treatment for arthritis, the dog should be diagnosed by a veterinarian; the pain-relief regimens can be discussed at that time.

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About the Author

Keith Allen, a 1979 graduate of Valley City State College, has worked at a variety of jobs including computer operator, medical clinic manager, radio talk show host and potato sorter. For over five years he has worked as a newspaper reporter and historic researcher. His works have appeared in regional newspapers in North Dakota and in "North Dakota Horizons" and "Cowboys and Indians" magazines.