Can You Give a Dog AspirinWhen you have a dog that is showing pain from an injury or from arthritis and degenerative joint disease, you want to help alleviate their pain and keep them comfortable. We know aspirin is a good pain reliever for many people, but is aspirin safe for dogs? If you are considering whether or not to give your dog aspirin, you should consult with your veterinarian. The proper dose of dog aspirin is safe provided they do not have other underlying conditions and are not on other anti-inflammatory drugs. However, there are some good natural alternatives available for treating chronic pain.

Can Dogs Have Aspirin?

When you feel pain, you may reach for aspirin as a first choice for pain relief. It is natural to think that aspirin and dogs are a similar combination. You need to remember that dogs do not metabolize drugs the same way as people. Giving enteric coated or buffered aspirin that is formulated for humans can reduce absorption resulting in a build up in the stomach. Over time, your dog could get a toxic dose of aspirin. This is one of many reasons you want to consult with your veterinarian about aspirin and dogs. They can provide you with buffered aspirin for dogs like Excel Aspirin.

Excel AspirinWhen you are asking "is aspirin safe for dogs?", you need to consider more than the source of the aspirin. Your veterinarian will evaluate your dog's health and age to determine if aspirin for a short course of treatment is a good option. Dogs with a history of digestive problems or bleeding issues are at greater risk for negative side effects like ulcers or stomach bleeding. In this case, you should consider other alternatives. If your canine friend is older, your veterinarian will likely request blood and/or urine tests to make sure there are no underlying kidney or liver problems. Aspirin is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) and can have damaging side effects on the stomach, liver and kidneys especially with long-term use. Because aspirin is an NSAID, it should not be used in conjunction with other anti-inflammatory drugs. Combining with another NSAID or a corticosteroid could increase the risk of side effects.

How Can I Give Aspirin to My Dog?

Aspirin for DogsAspirin can be used short term to treat acute pain symptoms in dogs. As stated above, it is important to use a product that is formulated for dogs to ensure it will be properly digested and absorbed. Buffered aspirin for dogs is effective as an analgesic and an anti-inflammatory if given in an appropriate dose. To treat pain, the recommended aspirin dosage for dogs is 5 milligrams per pound of body weight once or twice a day. Because aspirin can be hard on the stomach, it is important to give this medication with food. If you do not notice improvement within a few days or if your dog is vomiting, gets diarrhea or refuses to eat, stop giving aspirin immediately and call your veterinarian. It may be time to consider other alternatives that do not produce these digestive symptoms and that are safer for long term management of chronic pain.

What Alternatives Are There for Pain in Dogs?

In addition to aspirin, there are other NSAIDs and corticosteroids for pain in dogs. However, these can lead to similar side effects of gastrointestinal upset, ulcers and on rare occasion kidney or liver damage. If your dog is already showing symptoms like diarrhea and vomiting or refusing to eat, you need to find an alternative that will not make the symptoms worse. There are some very good natural products available that provide anti-inflammatory and pain relieving effects without the side effects of aspirin and other medications.

Yucca IntensiveOne natural product that is very effective is Yucca Intensive, an all natural extract from the Yucca plant. This extract contains steroidal saponins that have strong anti-inflammatory properties and no known side effects. Yucca has a very bitter taste and should be diluted and mixed with food to give to your dog. Another alternative to aspirin is white willow bark. This is an herb that is often available in health food stores and has been dubbed "natural aspirin". It has a similar chemical structure to aspirin and should not be used in conjunction with NSAIDS or corticosteroids. While safer than aspirin, it does have a small risk of gastrointestinal symptoms, bleeding issues, or liver and kidney effects. These natural pain killers are most useful to treat acute pain for the short term.

If your dog's pain is linked to arthritis or joint pain, you can use joint health and nutritional supplements to help manage and alleviate symptoms long term. Supplementation with products such as GlycoFlex III which contains glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM helps to support joint health. By providing these nutrients to your dog, you give their body some key building blocks needed to repair cartilage and keep it healthy. Use of these products long term often alleviates or reduces the pain of degenerative joint disease. Additionally, nutritional supplementation with omega 3 fatty acids contributes to joint health and provides the body with essential fatty acids that are instrumental in reducing inflammation.

Glycoflex IIIWhen you notice pain in your furry friend and ask, "can dogs have aspirin?" there are many factors to consider. While aspirin can be used safely in dogs that are not on other anti-inflammatory drugs, there are risks and side effects associated with this and other NSAIDs. If aspirin is not working short term, or if you notice symptoms of digestive upset, you should contact your veterinarian. If traditional medications are not viable to treat your dog's pain, there are good natural alternatives available to treat acute pain and to help manage chronic conditions for the long term.

Fatty Acid Supplements for DogsFatty acids have been used for years to promote a healthy, shiny coat in dogs. More recently, veterinarians have discovered that fatty acids serve many other roles such as controlling inflammation and supporting joint health. Dogs can produce some fatty acids but not others. The fatty acids that a dog needs but cannot produce are known as essential fatty acids. They are needed for different functions in the body, so they need to be obtained through the diet.

Essential Fatty Acids for dogs include omega 3 fatty acids and omega 6 fatty acids. Key omega 3 fatty acids are alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Essential omega 6 fatty acids include linoleic acid (LA), gamma linolenic acid (GLA), dihomo-gamma-linolenic acid (DGLA) and arachidonic acid (AA). ...continue reading

Hip and Joint Supplements for DogsLike humans, dogs feel the effects of aging. As they get older, they can experience deterioration in their joints and the pain of arthritis. If you have a dog that is entering the senior years, joint and hip supplements can help prevent the breakdown of cartilage and fluids in the joints. The best hip and joint supplements for dogs will help promote healthy cartilage and provide relief from the daily wear and tear stresses on joints.

When you are choosing between dog joint supplements, you will want to search for key ingredients that help promote healthy joints and allow your aging canine to walk and run comfortably. ...continue reading

toilet-training-puppyHouse training a puppy can be a huge test of your patience!  Here are 7 great tips to help take the pain out of the process...

  1. First and foremost, remain consistent and patient in your training you don't confuse or frighten your puppy.
  2. After eating or drinking, always take the puppy to the appropriate toileting place.  Refrain from playing with your puppy in this area.
  3. Reward your puppy whenever it goes to the toilet in the correct place.
  4. If your puppy makes a mess where it shouldn't, clean it up with a paper towel and place the spoiled paper towel in the place you want your puppy to use.
  5. If you see your puppy doing the 'wee wee dance' (circling around), firmly but gently say 'No' and place the puppy where you want it to toilet. Reward the puppy when it does go where it should.
  6. Never yell at the puppy!  This can actually frighten a puppy so much that it will involuntarily wet itself.
  7. If your puppy will be home alone and unable to go outside, make sure you encourage it to use a pet training pad.

...continue reading