There’s no doubt that when it comes to your pets, you’re a loving parent. But sometimes, even the best intentions can have unintended consequences for our furry friends.
This is especially true when it comes to medications such as painkillers and antibiotics, drugs that you may prescribe or administer to your pets for their ailments or injuries.
It’s heartbreaking to watch your dog suffer, so you’ll do anything you can to ease their suffering as soon as possible.
There are various pain relievers specifically created for dogs that are both safe and effective. However, you must never give your dog anything from the bathroom cabinet, including vitamins and supplements. In the United States, there are about 232,000 incidents of pet poisoning each year. You have to be very cautious about what you are feeding your furry friend.
Over-the-counter pain medicines intended for human use can be extremely harmful, if not lethal, to dogs.
What Can I Give My Dog to Relieve Pain?
Your veterinarian can prescribe a variety of safe and effective pet pain drugs designed specifically for dogs. NSAIDs for dogs are efficient at reducing pain, inflammation, and fever while avoiding the potentially harmful side effects of human painkillers.
These drugs are frequently recommended to dogs recovering from surgery or suffering from chronic inflammatory illnesses such as arthritis or hip dysplasia to relieve inflammation, swelling, stiffness, and pain.
Medicines like Rimadyl are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medications used in dogs to treat pain caused by arthritis and joint illnesses. It works by lowering hormones in the body that induce pain and inflammation, and because it has fewer negative effects than steroids, veterinarians typically believe it is safer for long-term use.
NSAIDs for dogs are generally safe, although they can cause kidney, liver, or intestinal problems in some circumstances. Carprofen (Novox or Rimadyl), Deracoxib (Deramaxx), Firocoxib (Previcox), and Meloxicam are some of the most often used NSAIDs in dogs.
If you give your dog NSAIDs and notice any side effects, such as diarrhea, vomiting, or a change in behavior or appetite, you should contact your vet immediately.
Why You Should Never Give Human Pain Killers to Dogs
If you suspect your dog is in pain, avoid speculation and schedule an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible. In order to treat your pet’s suffering safely and efficiently, your veterinarian will prescribe the appropriate medication and dose based on their specific situation and medical history.
Veterinarians are well-versed in the AAHA Pain Management Guidelines. Experts agree that a proactive, preventative approach to pain management is better than a reactive, “damage control” method. Hence, instead of going for instant damage control, seek professional help.
Here are some lesser-known dangers of giving human painkillers to your dog:
Human Pain Killers May Contain Toxins
Painkillers, such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen, can be harmful to your pets. These medications may contain toxic ingredients that are dangerous for pets to consume. While some pain relievers pose very little risk to dogs, other types of medication can cause severe liver damage or death.
It’s important to know what you’re giving your pet before administering any human medications or supplements: if it contains acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil), or aspirin, do not give it to your dog. According to American Veterinary Medical Association, Ibuprofen has been linked to stomach ulcers and kidney failure.
Consult with your veterinarian before administering them in large doses or on a frequent basis. If you give your pet any medication, make sure it specifies “safe for pets” on the label.
Human Pain Killers Mask the Problem
Human painkillers are not designed to be given to animals. They’re meant for people and will not address the underlying cause of your pet’s discomfort. In fact, giving your pet human medication can mask their pain and make them appear better when they need emergency care.
Painkillers can lead to addiction or overdose if they are misused or abused. They also pose many other risks, such as liver damage, kidney problems, gastrointestinal ulcers, and bone marrow suppression.
Human Pain Killers Can’t Treat Pets
There are several differences between humans and our furry friends: the size of their bodies, metabolism, anatomy and physiology, pain receptors, and body temperature, to name a few. Additionally, many human medications have been tested on animals but not vice versa.
These significant differences mean that the same dose of medication will either be ineffective or lethal when given to your pet. Remember that painkillers designed for people can be harmful or fatal to your pets, so don’t give them any human painkillers.
Prescription medications aren’t the only approach to providing pain treatment for your dog. Supplements can be a good and natural method to decrease pain and inflammation without the risks associated with pharmaceutical medicines.
Here are some of the most popular supplements for reducing chronic inflammation, which is the main cause of pain and discomfort in conditions like arthritis and hip dysplasia:
- Glucosamine is a naturally occurring molecule composed of glucose (a sugar) and glutamine (an amino acid) that is required for healthy cartilage and joint function. It is a component of the cartilage matrix that promotes the formation of cartilage cells and has been shown to normalize the synovial fluid that lubricates joints.
While glucosamine is not a solution for degenerative joint disease, it can help your dog feel more at peace and stay mobile for longer.
- Chondroitin is a cartilage component that supports water retention (important for healthy joints) as well as the suppleness required for mobility. It also inhibits the enzymes that break down cartilage and joint fluid.
It is a natural cartilage matrix component with anti-inflammatory and anti-osteoarthritic properties, making it an authorized dietary supplement in the United States and Europe.
- Omega-3 supplements relieve pain from chronic inflammatory ailments such as arthritis, boost heart health, assist calm skin diseases, and improve brain function, among other benefits.
While fish oil is the most well-known Omega-3 supplement, green-lipped mussel supplements have been shown to be more helpful in reducing pain and inflammation in dogs. Flexerna Omega combined with GlycanAid HA can assist your dog’s joints significantly.
Painkillers designed for people are toxic to pets. Human medicines can be bad news for animals because they’re not intended for use on animals and may cause more harm than good.
Painkillers designed for people may cause more harm than good in some situations by making it hard for the animal’s body to fight off infections or other illnesses. Instead, talk with your vet about safe ways to treat your pet’s pain and discomfort.