Aspirin for Dogs: Can I Give my Dog Aspirin? Is It Safe?

Aspirin for Dogs
Aspirin for Dogs

Is Aspirin safe for dogs? How much can you give per weight? Aspirin is a common pain reliever that is also used in dogs to get rid of the fever and treat inflammation. If used correctly it can cure pain due to injury and diseases such as cancer, arthritis and Cushing’s syndrome. Care should be taken in proper dosing and frequency of administration to prevent possible harmful effects to your dog.

So, how much aspirin can you give your dog per weight? What is the best brand to use in dogs? Are there any side effects of using aspirin in dogs? Here is a detailed guide on how to use aspirin in dogs even after shots and pain due to neutering.

Can I Give My Dog Aspirin

Aspirin is an over the counter Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug (NSAID) that can be used to help relieve pain swelling and another form of inflammation in dogs as it is used in humans. It is safe and effective when used for short periods of time. NSAIDs are considered safe for dogs save for a few side effects. In rare cases, they can cause kidney and liver problems.

Aspirin for Dogs
Aspirin for Dogs

Note that just because aspirin has all these pain relieving benefits for your dog, does not mean that you should always give it when in pain. There are better options preferred by vets for pain relief such as Rimadyl. It is important to note that you should never give your medication or human grade or regular aspirin to your dog just because they function in the same way. Other NSAIDS specifically meant for dogs include:

  • Meloxicam
  • Tepoxalin
  • Deracoxib/ firocoxib
  • Etodolac
  • Carprofen

Is aspirin bad for dogs?

Is aspirin Ok for Dogs? Giving dogs aspirin is safe as long as it is given appropriately. Dogs are commonly given aspirin to offer pain relief due to injury, arthritis, and post-surgery. The anti-inflammatory effects of aspirin also help to reduce fever and swelling.

Aspirin can, however, cause stomach upsets and ulcers especially when given in large doses over a long period of time. It should always be given with the utmost care and with food. When not to give your dog aspirin:

  • Puppies below 8 weeks
  • Bleeding disorders or health conditions that cause easy bleeding
  • Liver/ kidney disease
  • Vitamin K deficiency
  • Stomach ulcers
  • When Pregnant or nursing
  • If taking corticosteroids or other medications

Always make sure you administer the correct dose per your dog’s weight.  Consult your vet before giving your dog aspirin for any reason.

Aspirin or ibuprofen for dogs?

While ibuprofen is relatively safe for people, it can be potentially dangerous for dogs since it has a relatively low margin of safety. This means that it can only be given within a very narrow dosage range. Toxicity with ibuprofen can occur in both cats and dogs. Any signs of toxicity can be immediately addressed by a veterinarian.

Baby Aspirin for Dogs

Is baby aspirin safe for dogs? Baby aspirin is low dose aspirin. It is safe and well tolerated. Higher aspirin doses have been found to increase the likelihood of stomach ulcers with no extra benefits for your dog. Baby aspirin or low dose aspirin for dogs is the best option with reduced chances of stomach bleeding.

Note that giving high doses of aspirin to your dog (30mg per pound) could be toxic meaning that even baby aspirin may be unsuitable and poisonous for dogs weighing 2 pounds or less. It is always best to consult a vet or use a dosage chart or guide. This ensures that you are giving the correct dose of aspirin to your dog and for the right reason.

Baby aspirin comes in 80mg tabs while a standard aspirin is 320mg. This means that baby aspirin should be given as one tablet per 16 pounds body weight twice a day. There are quite a number of reviews on the use of St. Joseph’s baby aspirin for dogs. Try baby aspirin for dog ear infection and other ailments that cause your pooch to hurt.

Buffered Aspirin for Dogs

Aspirin also is known as acetylsalicylic acid is an anti-inflammatory agent that offers pain relief. It, however, can cause side effects that result in stomach bleeding and ulcers. Buffered aspirin can be used instead to provide the same benefits with reduced gastrointestinal side effects. According to, “Buffered aspirin for dogs is a type of aspirin that is coated with a substance that can neutralize the acid.”

Buffered aspirin for dogs
Buffered aspirin for dogs

How does buffered aspirin for dogs work? Buffered aspirin for dogs works by inhibiting the one type of the COX enzymes. While the COX-1 enzymes protect the mucosal lining of the stomach, there are COX-2 enzymes which lead to inflammation and pain. Buffered aspirin is meant to work on the COX-2 enzymes without attacking the COX-1 enzymes. Buffering the aspirin helps to reduce the effect on the stomach lining. Petco Buffered Dog Aspirin is a commonly used example of buffered aspirin used for dogs.

Buffered aspirin is safe and can be given to old or young dogs to reduce pain and inflammation. Available in tablet form, this type of aspirin is especially recommended if you have to give repeated doses of aspirin over some time.

Enteric Coated Aspirin for Dogs

Note that buffered aspirin is not the same as enteric coated aspirin. Coated aspirin for dogs is also meant to protect the stomach lining from irritation by the action of acetylsalicylic acid on the COX-1 enzymes. However, since the digestive tract cannot break down the coating, it goes through the stomach unchanged making it less effective than the buffered type. An example of coated aspirin for dogs is Excel Enteric Coated Aspirin.

Is Bayer Aspirin for Dogs Safe?

Can I give Bayer aspirin to my dog? Bayer aspirin is a form of branded aspirin. The Bayer Corporation invented aspirin at the end of the 19th century which makes them a big name for it. Later the company sold and lost its trademark rights to many countries. Any drug company can now make and distribute aspirin. So, while it is not necessary to give this specific brand of aspirin, it is safe to give your dog Bayer aspirin.

Chewable Aspirin for Dogs

Your dog may find it hard to swallow or keep down whole tablets. You can give a chewable aspirin as it is convenient and easy to administer compared to the coated type. Liquid aspirin for dogs may even be a better option.


  • Never give your dog human grade medicines unless your vet directs so.
  • Make sure the chewable aspirin does not contain xylitol as a sweetener- it is poisonous to dogs.

Human Aspirin for Dogs

Aspirin as an anti-inflammatory is meant to help reduce pain and swelling in humans but can also be used for the same purpose in dogs. However, unless directed so by your vet, you should never give your dog human grade medication. There are brands and doses specifically meant for your Fido.

Liquid Aspirin for Dogs

Liquid aspirin is widely used for cattle, swine, and poultry for easy administration and faster absorption. When using this form of aspirin it is easy to overdose and it is also said to have more side effects if not prepared correctly.

Aspirin Dosage for Dogs

Proper dosing and administration are very important when it comes to giving aspirin to your dog. It is always good to be well aware of conditions that warrant the use of aspirin and how much to administer.

Aspirin dosage for dogs
Aspirin dosage for dogs

How Much Aspirin for Dogs?

Before that, it is important to know that a standard aspirin is 320mg while a baby aspirin is 80mg. Aspirin for dogs is available in different dosages. There are 60mg tablets for small breeds and 300mg tablets for large breeds. Be sure to get the right dosage especially when treating small dogs or puppies. Small dogs have immature liver and kidneys and are for this reason not able to metabolize medication as efficiently as adult dogs.

The recommended aspirin dosage for dogs is 5-10mg per pound of body weight. This can be given twice daily. Note that the dosage and frequency of aspirin for dogs are different from that of humans due to the difference in metabolism of medication. It is best to start with the minimum dosage and frequency working your way up to the maximum. Your dog may feel better at a smaller dose which saves you the worry of a whole lot of side effects.

Aspirin for Dog’s Dosage Chart by Weight

Here is an aspirin dosage chart for dogs to guide you on how to get the recommended dosage for your dog by weight.

Aspirin for Dogs Guide
Aspirin for Dogs Guide

Consult your vet for a recommendation in case your dog has had liver or kidney problems.

Low Dose Aspirin for Dogs

Low dose aspirin or baby aspirin can also be used to relieve mild joint pain and inflammation with fewer side effects as described above. You can buy low dose aspirin at a pet store or use the children’s formulation.

Aspirin for Dogs with Arthritis

Arthritis is a common problem in dogs especially older ones. Aspirin is a common over the counter medicine used to treat pain due to arthritis and other joint inflammations. There are quite a number of pain medications that can be used in pain treatment due to arthritis, it can be dangerous with a whole lot of side effects.

Aspirin for dogs with arthritis helps to reduce swelling and ease the pain in the affected joints. Note that while all NSAIDs are very effective in pain management due to arthritis, they all have side effects. I will suggest you have your dog examined by a vet including blood work to determine what pain medication is best for him.

Giving Aspirin to Dogs with Cancer

Pain management is an important part of cancer treatment. A dog may be in pain during the different stages of cancer especially the last stages. Grown tumors may press on organs and bones causing untold pain to your dog. NSAIDs such as aspirin are commonly prescribed for dogs with cancer.

Aspirin can also be used to manage pain in dogs post-surgery. Surgical removal of tumors can leave your dog in untold pain. The vet may prescribe other analgesics or opiates for intensive and more effective management.

Aspirin can also be given to dogs;

  • After neutering
  • After shots
  • After surgery/ stroke
  • With congestive heart failure
  • With hormonal disorders such as Cushing’s and Diabetes

Is Aspirin Safe for Dogs

Aspirin is safe for dogs as long as you keep within the recommended dose and stipulated times. It is not common to appreciate any side effects for most dogs if you are only giving aspirin for a few days.

Puppies and small dogs such as Chihuahuas are at the biggest risk of developing problems due to overdosage and prolonged administration. You need to be extra careful when calculating the correct dosage. Known side effects of aspirin for dogs include;

  • Irritation or damage of the gastrointestinal lining
  • Interferes with the blood clotting process
  • Can affect the kidneys and liver
  • False glucose tests
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Black tarry stools
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite

If your dog has an overdose of aspirin, you should consult your vet immediately. Aspirin overdose in dogs should be treated immediately. Blood tests will be done to determine the level of toxicity and what treatments are appropriate. Signs of an overdose include;

Caution regarding aspirin and dog dangers

  1. Do not use aspirin in pregnant or nursing dogs
  2. Do not give aspirin to dogs with Von Willebrand’s disease or pre-surgery- it thins the blood and could lead to intra-surgical complications
  3. Vitamin C and furosemide increase the levels of aspirin in the bloodstream. Avoid giving aspirin if your dog is taking any of these medications
  4. Aspirin should not be given with anticoagulants
  5. Do not give aspirin together with other NSAIDs

Best aspirin for dogs formulas include:

  • Nutri-vet K-9 Aspirin Chewables for Small, Medium and Big Dogs
  • Excel Enteric Coated Aspirin for Dogs
  • Ecotrin Coated Aspirin
  • GNC Mega Dog Aspirin
  • Hartz Aspirin Care for Dogs
  • Vetrin / Vetrynol Canine Aspirin

You can get these from your vet or pets stores such as Petsmart.

Tip for administering aspirin to dogs

Place the pill on the back of your dog’s tongue and stroke his throat to encourage him to swallow.