Get an instant quote now and take the first step to protect your furry best friend.

» See My Rates

Retrieve Saved Quote

Pet Care. Pet Training. Pet Stories.
Pet Care. Pet Training. Pet Stories.

Can I Give My Dog Aspirin?

02/18/2019 by Megan Scussel
February 18th, 2019 by Megan Scussel

Quick answer: no, do not give your dog aspirin.

Aspirin, also referred to as acetylsalicylic acid (ASA), is a medicine frequently used to treat inflammation, aches, and pains. When humans experience a toothache or headache, this over-the-counter pharmaceutical is considered indispensable. In some cases, it’s also used to reduce the severity of a fever. Can it be used on dogs, however? The quick answer is that it’s possible under controlled circumstances. As tempting as it might be to grab that bottle in your bathroom cabinet, avoid using aspirin to help your pet with their discomfort unless told to do so by a vet. Misuse of this medicine puts your pet’s health at risk in more ways than one.

How Does Aspirin Work?

Aspirin works in humans as an anti-inflammatory and pain reducer, tackling everything from arthritis symptoms to back pain.

How does aspirin produce results? It’s not as complicated as you might think. In the case of inflammation, aspirin helps fight off what the science community calls “prostaglandins.” Prostaglandins develop when body tissue is irritated, leading to the development of inflammation. With the right dosage, the sufferer experiences relief and can therefore function with less difficulty.

To make sure aspirin can properly reduce the severity of a problem, people are usually encouraged to swallow pills whole without chewing or crushing them.

Is it Safe for Dogs?

Unless your vet recommends using it (and provides you with strict instructions to follow), stay away from aspirin. Medicating your pet without clearance from an expert is dangerous. Not only could you accidentally give your dog the wrong dosage, existing medications might mix poorly with it, increasing the likelihood of side effects.

Side Effects

If you suspect your pet has consumed aspirin, there are several symptoms to look for and make note of so you can take appropriate action. These include:

  • Lack of appetite. For example, they might ignore their food bowl or refuse to eat a favorite treat.
  • Diarrhea and vomiting; black stool
  • Tremors, seizures
  • Abnormal breathing
  • Difficulty with mobility

In serious cases, aspirin poisoning can lead to a coma or even death.

Remember that any amount of aspirin can potentially harm your pet. If your dog seems “off” in any way, take the situation seriously and act as quickly as you can.

Toxic ingestion can be deadly, so get to the vet as soon as you can if you suspect your dog has swallowed something they shouldn’t have. The good news is that accidents like these are covered by your Healthy Paws pet insurance policy. Find out more about what you can give your dog for pain here, and learn more about pet insurance by getting a free quote.