What’s the Right Aspirin Dosage For Dogs?

aspirin dosage for dogsBefore we begin this article, a warning, ensure you have had your dog checked by your vet as he/she is qualified to estimate the correct aspirin dosage for dogs. aspirin is effective for pain and inflammation control. Make sure it is a buffered form of the product as this will be less likely to irritate your dogs stomach.

The dosage you give your dog will be dependent on his weight. It is very important to only administer the appropriate  aspirin dosage for dogs as even baby aspirin can be lethal in a dog that weighs only a few pounds. A high dose of
aspirin is say thirty milligrams per pound of weight.

A normal adult aspirin capsule/tablet delivers around three hundred and twenty milligrams of  the drug. So, if you gave a small (under 10 pounds) dog just one aspirin it could cause a dangerous reaction.

So just how much should I give my dog?

Just a heads up – the majority of vets prescribe Rimadyl as a preferred pain-killer and anti-inflammatory over aspirin.

Before we get to the recommended aspirin dosage for dogs please observe the following list of precautions:

  • Do not give aspirin to young dogs or puppies – they are missing critical enzymes necessary to digest the drug
  • Even If you are giving the correct aspirin dosage for dogs, observe how he is eating. If he goes off his food or is bringing it back up this points to stomach irritation. If this happens cease giving aspirin and contact your vet.
  • Do not give aspirin to pregnant dogs as it thins the blood and can cause uncontrolled bleeding.
  • Always make sure to give aspirin with food as this lessens stomach irritation.
  • Do not use Tylenol or Advil as a substitute for aspirin – it is not well tolerated by dogs and may well prove lethal.

Recommended Aspirin Dosage For Dogs

Five to ten milligrams per pound of weight over a twelve hour time frame is the recommended aspirin dosage for dogs. (Roughly 10-20 mg per kilogram of weight). It is prudent to err on the side of lesser doses (say 5mg per pound) especially when the dog is a small breed (under 10 pounds).

Enteric coated types of aspirin are not digested completely and can appear in the excrement intact,so it is not recommended.

Incremental Doses

By testing whether  your dog achieves pain relief by giving small doses that are increased gradually, you can oftentimes resolve the pain with lower doses.  So, an adult aspirin tablet contains around 320 milligrams of aspirin whilst a baby aspirin contains a quarter of that, or around 80 milligrams.

As a guide, the matrix below outlines suggested dosages. Only act on these guidelines after consulting your vet!

Weight in pounds

(or kilograms)                                      Number of tablets each 12 hours

8 lbs (3.6 kg)                                                        1/2 baby aspirin or less
16 lbs (7.2 kg)                                                     1 baby aspirin
32 lbs (14.4 kg)                                                   1/2 adult or 2 baby
48 lbs (21.6 kg)                                                   3/4 adult or 3 baby
64 lbs (28.8 kg)                                                   1 adult or 4 baby
80 lbs (36 kg)                                                       1 1/4 adult or 5 baby
96 lbs (43.2 kg)                                                   1 1/2 adult or 6 baby

Aspirin is an effective analgesic to control pain and inflammation although it is no longer recommended for long-term treatment of osteoarthritis as it has a destructive effect on the joints. There are better analgesics available that do not have this disadvantage.

The message is to talk with your vet and, once you have agreed on a treatment plan and what is the correct aspirin dosage for dogs, you can safely control your pets pain and discomfort at home.