Uses for Aspirin
Dogs are most commonly given aspirin for
treatment of arthritis and associated joint pain. There may be
other situations where your dog is in pain, where aspirin may give
Aspirin has good anti-inflammatory effects that
reduces swelling. It can also reduce pain and fever. These effects
will help make your dog more comfortable.
Note that a dog is not a human. Just because
your dog "does not feel good" is not a reason to give it
an aspirin. Usually, aspirin is given to relieve extreme
conditions of discomfort. Also note that most vets prescribe
Rimadyl as a better pain-killer and anti-inflammatory than
You should use caution in administering any medication to a
pet, because too much may be toxic, the medicine may not be
tolerated, or it can cause an upset stomach or ulcers in the
Can be toxic
It can be toxic if given in high doses of about 30 mg per pound
of the dog. This means that even baby aspirin could be poisonous
for dogs weighing two pounds or less. An adult aspirin which is
320 mg. would be toxic for a 10-pound dog. To be sure that you are
using the aspirin for the right reason and at the right dose, you
should consult your veterinarian first.
Not for young dogs or cats
Aspirin is poorly tolerated by young dogs, since they lack the
enzymes necessary to process the aspirin. The same is true for
Aspirin can cause gastrointestinal upsets and ulcers in dogs,
just as in humans. You should pay attention to your dog's eating
habits when administering aspirin to watch for signs of an upset
stomach. If there are any signs of ulcers, such as blood-tinged
vomiting, it is important to stop the aspirin.
Giving the aspirin with food and using buffered aspirin is the
best to prevent stomach problems.
I prefer to grind up the aspirin and put it in some food to
make sure it does not irritate the stomach lining.
You should not give your dog such products as Tylenol as
a substitute for real aspirin. Some people say their vet
prescribed Tylenol, but most sources say it should not be given to
Most veterinarians recommend between 5 mg and 10 mg per pound
of the dog's weight every 12 hours. Going on the safe side, a
recommended dosage of aspirin of about 5 mg/lb seems to work well
for most dogs. If you are going to give more, it is a good idea to
check with your vet. Also, note that a small dog should take less
Enteric coated aspirin is not recommended in dogs because about
half the time the coating isn't digested and the aspirin is
excreted whole in the stool.
It is better to start off small and work your way up to the
maximum. If the dog has relief with a smaller dosage, that is
A standard aspirin is 320 mg. A baby aspirin is typically 80
mg. That means that 5 mg/lb works out to be one baby aspirin per
16 pounds of body weight twice a day.
The following chart can be used as a guide. Note that this is not