There are many ways to help a dog in pain, but some are safer than others. Pain relief remedies for humans could be toxic to dogs, so you need to be careful what remedies you use.
Likewise, some pain relief treatments made for dogs can be dangerous in large doses or when used long-term. This may leave you wondering, “what to give my dog for pain?”
You should consult a veterinarian before trying to treat your dog's pain at home.
It's important to fully understand the cause of the pain before treating it. Your vet will also assist you in considering the pain relief options available, and which will be best for your pet based on his age, breed, and health condition.
Never give your pet medications intended for humans before consulting your veterinarian. Some human medications are safe, but others can have fatal side effects.
When given too much, they will be toxic. If given over a long period of time, they can do damage to a dog's vital organs.
Read on for information about what to give my dog for pain, and what common pain remedies you should avoid.
What to Give My Dog for Pain?
Human pain drugs like Tylenol, Ibuprofen or aspirin can kill a dog. These medications are referred to in the medical field as Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs or NSAIDs.
While these medications can be dangerous to dogs, there are NSAIDs that are made specifically for dogs.
Some of them are available as over-the-counter, but the most strong ones will need to be prescribed by a veterinarian. The most common FDA-approved NSAIDs for dogs include:
- Carprofen (many different brand names)
- Deracoxib (brand names include Deramaxx and Doxidyl)
- Firocoxib (most common brand name is Previcox)
- Grapiprant (most common brand name is Galliprant)
- Meloxicam (many different brand names)
- Robenacoxib (most common brand name is Onsior)
NSAIDs work by targeting an enzyme called cyclooxygenase. Cyclooxygenase, or COX, stimulates cells to produce a substance called prostaglandins, which are present throughout a dog's body.
This substance contributes to pain, inflammation, and fever.
When NSAIDs for dogs block cyclooxygenase, this reduces the amount of pain, fever, and inflammation the dog is having.
By blocking the enzyme, your dog’s body has fewer prostaglandins and feels less pain.
Before using any pain relievers, ask your vet about their stance on NSAIDs and specifically inquire about all the potential side effects.
They will recommend an appropriate pain reliever and dose for your dog’s condition. It is absolutely crucial that you follow these dosage instructions exactly.
2. Cannabidiol (CBD)
More commonly known as CBD, this supplement is growing in popularity among pet owners. It is quickly becoming known as one of the best natural dog pain relief home remedies.
Many studies have shown that CBD can be used to treat a number of ailments in pets, including chronic pain and pain associated with inflammation (arthritis).
There are numerous ways to use CBD for dogs. Depending on where you live, you can buy CBD dog treats, supplements, topical creams, tinctures, and more.
The right CBD product for your pooch will depend on the type of pain he is suffering from. Many veterinarians are beginning to recommend CBD for their patients, too.
If you have questions about this treatment option, always consult your vet first.
If your veterinarian is not willing to discuss the topic, as it is still a controversial remedy (especially in some U.S. states), seek the advice of a holistic veterinarian.
For minor pain issues in dogs, you can also try dietary supplements or foods that offer medicinal benefits.
Alternative treatments are often the first choice for some dog owners because they wish to avoid unnecessary side effects from prescription medications.
However, these remedies aren't usually as effective as their chemical-based counterparts.
Two popular supplements for arthritis pain are glucosamine and chondroitin.
They work overtime by helping the body heal and repair cartilage, which also reduces swelling.
Likewise, Omega-3 fatty acids (commonly found in fish oil) contain enough eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) to reduce joint inflammation and pain.
Turmeric provides many benefits for dogs. It contains a compound called curcumin, which is its essential “active ingredient”.
There have been thousands of studies done on its benefits. Just be sure you're buying pharmaceutical-grade turmeric, not the stuff in the baking aisle at the grocery store.
One study found that curcumin worked better than ibuprofen at reducing pain from arthritis. Another study found it to help treat ailments from diabetes to cardiovascular disease and even Alzheimer's.
Discuss natural options with your veterinarian. If they are not open to natural treatment options, I would recommend seeking the advice of a holistic veterinarian.
Massage therapy for dogs is a type of alternative therapy to specifically relax your dog while also promoting physical and mental health. This type of therapy can assist dogs who suffer from a variety of ailments.
Massaging is one of the things animal physical therapists do to help rehabilitate wounded dogs, reduce pain and swelling, and promote range of motion.
This process also helps in healing injuries faster, including a variety of muscle spasms, sprains, and strains.
Some therapists even claim that it can keep scar tissue to a minimum while also improving a dog's bodily functions.