Can you give dogs paracetamol and what is the best pain relief for dogs?

can you give dogs paracetamol and what is the best pain relief for dogs
Can you give dogs paracetamol?Faba - Getty Images

Are you wondering whether you can give dogs paracetamol? There are lots of pain relief options to help stiffness, soreness and muscle pain in dogs, but what pain relief is safe for pups and how much should you give them?

What can you give a dog for pain relief?

Paracetamol can be given to dogs, however it requires a different dose. It can be toxic to your dog if you give them too much. This must always be approved by a vet.

"Many vets do prescribe paracetamol for dogs, as it can be an effective pain relief in some circumstances. However, before doing so, they will carefully calculate a safe dose, taking into account any health issues your dog has, and any other medications they are taking," PDSA Vet, Claire Roberts, tells Country Living.

"It's important never to give paracetamol to your dog unless your vet tells you to - it can be very dangerous if it's given incorrectly."

Claire explains that you should always head to your vet for advice, including if your pup accidentally digests a painkiller. She tells us: "If you feel that your pet is in need of pain relief, you must seek advice from your vet – never give them human pain relief unless your vet has asked you to, some forms can be highly toxic. If your pet accidentally eats a human painkiller you should contact your vet immediately."

Vet Nick from ProDog Raw says that paracetamol should not be given to cats under any circumstances, as they are very sensitive to the drug. "Dogs are less sensitive to paracetamol than cats. A 20kg dog would need to ingest over seven 500mg tablets to suffer toxicity. For cats, one 250mg paracetamol tablet could be fatal. Paracetamol causes severe damage to the liver and red blood cells."

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Can you give dogs Aspirin?

"Aspirin can be used in dogs, but paracetamol is safer. Aspirin is toxic to cats, even at relatively low doses, so can only be used under veterinary supervision," Nick adds. "Herbal pain relief tablets can be effective in dogs. Boswellia, White Willow and Devil's Claw are routinely used in dogs. Talk to a herb vet to get dosing right."

How much paracetamol can you give a dog?

Paracetamol can be highly dangerous if the wrong dosage is given. Remember to always dose with food and stop if there are signs of vomiting.

"Paracetamol is licensed in dogs as Pardale V for 5 days. The dose in Pardale V works out at 33mg of paracetamol for every kg of body weight, three times daily. The listed dose in most vet formularies is 10mg/kg twice to three times daily," Nick explains.

"For a 10kg French Bulldog, for example, this would be 330mg three times daily at the top end of the dose range, down to 100mg two or three times a day."

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Can I give my dog human paracetamol?

In short, Nick tells us: "Yes, but it's always best to consult a vet. Never dose for more than five days without vet supervision."

What can I give my dog for pain relief at home?

"Paracetamol is your best bet. If your dog has pain and you've got no paracetamol, your best bet is to see your vet."

Can I give ibuprofen to my dog?

According to Willow Vets, you should not give ibuprofen to your dog or cat under any circumstances. Ibuprofen and naproxen are common and effective medications used to treat inflammation and pain in humans, but they should not be given to pets.

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