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If your dog is in pain, finding a solution to treat and manage discomfort is an essential part of providing care. But should you give your dog over-the-counter (OTC) pain medicine meant for humans?

The answer is simply—no. When it comes to pain medicine for dogs, you should never give your dog over-the-counter pain medicine. Human-grade NSAID medications (such Aspirin and Ibuprofen) and products containing acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) should not be given to dogs as a way to treat pain. These OTC pain medications can cause serious health problems in dogs and cost pet parents hundreds or thousands of dollars in expensive treatments.

NSAID medications may cause gastrointestinal bleeding and ulcers in dogs. Tylenol or other pain medications containing acetaminophen can lead to liver and kidney damage. If your pet accidentally ingests OTC pain medications, it’s important to seek immediate veterinary care.

Dogs who are experiencing pain may mask their symptoms, so if a pet is showing any signs of discomfort—such as stiffness, whimpering or yelping, and a lack of appetite—it’s important to see your veterinarian to discuss the treatment options. Your vet may recommend a pet pain medication to help your dog cope.

Make sure to keep your canine companions at a healthy weight, as regular exercise and a proper diet will help ward off joint problems, arthritis and back problems in dogs caused by carrying too much weight. It’s also a good idea to monitor your dog while playing or roughhousing to prevent injury. 

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