When Should You Give Ibuprofen to Your Dog?

Every pet owner will probably agree with the statement that it is never an easy situation when their furry friend is in visible pain. Not only is it hard because you love them, but also because it is impossible to communicate with them about the level of their pain and what it is exactly that’s hurting them. You have to figure it all out on your own, at least until you finally take him to the vet.

One of the most common mistakes new dog owners make when it comes to relieving their pups’ pain is instinctively reaching to their own medicine cabinet for medications that have been proven to work great on their own, human pain. While it probably won’t kill your pet, it is not advisable to give them medications that have not been approved for use in animals by the appropriate authorities. Don’t bother searching for the right ibuprofen dosage for dogs — there isn’t one!

Although pills that contain it, such as Advil, are not the kind of steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that can carry a grave threat to your dog, they may cause some unpleasant side effects. If they’re in visible pain, and you’re thinking to give your dog any kind of pain medications, you should always make sure that it isn’t going to make the problem worse.

What Can You Give Your Dog for Pain Relief?

When it comes to doggy pain, there are quite a few approved drugs that were specifically designed to suit canines. The general rule is that any sort of pain relief medication for pets should belong to the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory group of drugs. If you’re looking for something that was made for dogs, and is almost guaranteed to work, you should go with one of these four medicines as first resort options:

  • deracoxib
  • meloxicam
  • carprofen
  • firocoxib

There are various brands of drugs containing either one of these — check the ingredients on the label to make sure if you’re buying the right stuff.

You’re probably wondering: what if none of these pet medicines are available? Can I just give my dog aspirin? While there are quite a few medications out there that market themselves as literal dog aspirin, even the regular ones you can buy at any pharmacy should not cause your pet any harm.  They tolerate its composition fairly well, and if you don’t apply too much, you should have no side effects to worry about.

Can One Ibuprofen Kill a Dog?

The short answer is no. But when you get into the details of it, you might want to reconsider using this drug on your doggo.

If you have any other alternatives, you should never choose ibuprofen as the go-to pain relief medication for your dog. Aspirin is by far the best choice if you don’t have any dedicated pet medicine laying around. However, your pupper probably won’t die from one Advil you gave him because you couldn’t stand him suffering anymore.

With that said, dogs have a different sensitivity to ibuprofen than people. You should consult your veterinarian before you give them any sort of pill that contains it. If you don’t apply the correct dosage, you might want to end up hurting your pet even more!

Many people successfully treat their household animals with ibuprofen. Veterinarians may even recommend it to deal with certain conditions, such as reducing fever or swelling. On the other hand, they can potentially cause serious damage, such as liver injury or even kidney damage. If your dog’s doctor suggests using ibuprofen, make sure that he’s aware of any other medications the pup has been taking, as well as thoroughly walk them through your pet’s medical history. Only then will the veterinarian know enough to recommend ibuprofen with full certainty.

How Much Ibuprofen Can You Give a Dog?

The dosage question is a very important one, and it shouldn’t be overlooked unless you want to drag your dog through hell and back. The appropriate dose depends on your pet’s size and weight, amongst other things. The average recommended amount oscillates around 5mg/day.

Don’t take the amount of ibuprofen your vet allows your dog to ingest lightly. One Advil capsule contains 200mg of the stuff, which is more than enough to cause irreversible damage to your pet. Taking in 600mg in one day is fatal for canines.

This is another reason why consulting ibuprofen use with a veterinarian is so important! If your dogs have a particular sensitivity to this compound, it can prove too toxic for their bodies to handle.

Bottom Line

Although there is not a shortage of vets who would recommend using ibuprofen on a dog, there are potentially safer alternatives. You shouldn’t resort to using it as a regular pain relief drug for your pet. It should be used in rare circumstances when a professional deems it the most effective method of treatment.

If you’re a cat owner and have stumbled upon this article while considering using ibuprofen on your furry friend — don’t do it! It’s even more toxic to cats, and shouldn’t be used even in the direst of circumstances.

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