Is your dog not acting like itself? Are they acting strangely or whimpering?

It may be that your dog is experiencing pain.

As the dog owner, it’s your job to advocate for your pet and look after their health. None of us wants our dog to suffer, and although you want to take away your dog’s pain, you need to do it safely.

People often ask, “what can you give a dog for pain?”

Some people think they need to treat dog pain like you would treat that of a human. However, treating a dog for pain doesn’t mean popping an ibuprofen.

So, let’s discuss pain management for dogs and what you, as an owner, can do for your furry friend.

Is Your Dog in Pain?

Signs of your dog being in pain are generally obvious. Dogs tend to vocalize their pain with barking or whining when they move or are touched.

Dogs experiencing chronic pain, like people, can become depressed, unfriendly or lose weight.

Acute, quick-onset pain may cause rapid heart rate, high blood pressure and panting.

The most common change for dogs with mild or moderate pain is difference in activity level. They may not want to walk, avoid playing, and eat less.

Other symptoms your dog may be in pain:

  • Abnormal Posture
  • Lowered Tail
  • Lower Energy
  • Red Eyes
  • Dilated Eyes
  • Swelling or Inflammation

Causes of pain can range from a variety of natural issues and injuries. For instance, older dogs may suffer from arthritis. Also, traumatic injuries may be the reason for a fracture or other orthopedic problem.

Can I Give My Dog Human Painkillers?

No one should ever give their dog human pain medication.


Because it’s highly toxic to dogs. Even over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications including Tylenol (acetaminophen) and Advil (ibuprofen) have the potential to cause health issues in dogs and even death.

OTC medications are for human adults ONLY. Even though those medications are harmless to humans, they are potentially lethal for dogs.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) treat a variety of illnesses in people like fever, swelling and joint pain. For dogs, however, this medication may damage kidneys and the stomach.

As with all your medications, you should store them away from where your pets can get them.

What if Your Dog Accidentally Ingests Human Painkillers?

If your dog ingests an over the counter painkiller, it’s best to call your veterinarian. Symptoms of poisoning include: bloody diarrhea, vomiting, stomach ulcers, internal bleeding, irregular heartbeat, lethargy, black feces, and anemia.

Your vet might recommend a blood transfusion if your dog has suffered from internal bleeding.

It’s crucial that you get your dog medical assistance immediately.

What You Should Do if You Think Your Dog is in Pain

If your dog is in pain, your vet is the only person that can recommend a safe treatment plan. As your dog’s owner, it’s your job to care for your pet with lots of love and attention.

There are alternative, natural ways to fight pain for dogs. Acupuncture, dog-safe herbs, and even cannabinoid oil is now being used to treat dogs in pain.

The best way to protect your dog from pain is to create a safe environment for them to live and play in.