Can I Give My Dog Ibuprofen?

Last updated on November 5th, 2016 at 07:39 pm

When your dog is injured or suffer from chronic pain, it makes sense that you would like to do anything you can to make him feel better.  Even though you may already have ibuprofen in your cabinets, it is not a good idea to administer any of it to your beloved pooch.  Some pet owners have reported being able to ease their pet’s name with a very small dose of ibuprofen with no ill effects. However, those individuals were just lucky and there is no reason to assume that you will be similarly lucky in the future.

When only a small amount of ibuprofen could make your pet very sick or even kill him, there is no reason to risk it.

Can I give my Dog Ibuprofen?

No,Ibuprofen is not safe for dogs.Please also note that ibuprofen goes by many commercial names like Advil, Motrin, Medipren, Motrin, Nuprin etc. none of which are safe to administer to a dog for any ailment or health concern.

What Happens to a Dog Who Has Been Given Ibuprofen?

Just as with humans, a dog’s kidneys are responsible for processing, or attempting to process, the

Can I give tylenol to my dog for pain?

Can I give Ibuprofen to my dog?

ibuprofen. Just a single dose is enough to cause kidney failure and only very expensive medical procedure would be the only way to save its life. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that even that would be helpful and your dog could still die.

Ibuprofen belongs to a class of drugs known as NSAIDS, which stands for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. They ease pain due to their ability to slow down the development of an enzyme known as cyclooxygenase.  That enzyme produces prostaglandins, which are inflammatory chemicals that cause or contribute to inflammation and by extension, pain.

One interesting aspect of those nifty enzymes is that there are multiples of them. Although some are involved in the pain process, others are necessary for the body to function adequately. Because ibuprofen attacks all of the cyclooxygenase equally, it can cause a serious problem in a brief period of time.

Common problems include the quick development of stomach ulcers and kidney failure, due to a reduced or eliminated blood supply to these areas.  Possibly due to their smaller size and physical construction, dogs are much more likely to sicken after as little as a single dose of over-the-counter ibuprofen, while smaller dogs will be affected with even less.

The problem begins with stomach ulcers, with vomiting that may include blood and very black stools.  This may be the only symptom your dog shows before succumbing to the problem, but if larger amounts of ibuprofen were provided and your dog still lives, you will soon see them experience kidney failure. With immediate medical care, your beloved four-legged family member may recover, depending on your dog’s health prior to the medication and how much they ate. Symptoms to look for here will be continued vomiting, diarrhea, and a reduced body temperature.

The final stage manifests with tremors that turn to seizures, then coma and eventually death.

How Will the Dog Be Treated after Ingesting Ibuprofen?

As mentioned immediate medical care is crucial to save the life of your dog.  It is important to point out that there have been cases where a dog did not survive after a single dose of ibuprofen has been received, even with the introduction of immediate medical care. However, if you are aware of the situation and can get your dog to see its veterinarian or to an emergency hospital for pets with two hours of the exposure, you can increase its chances of survival significantly.

Typically, you should plan for induced vomiting if you can get them immediate medical attention. Unless blood is already present in the vomit or it is too late for vomiting to help, it may be accompanied by activated charcoal. The goal of activated charcoal is to stop whatever ibuprofen that is still in the dog’s system from being digested and it is not a pleasant experience for anyone.

At least two days of fluids that are administered intravenously will be in your pet’s immediate future and many veterinarians are seeing better results if the fluids can be provided for three days. Your canine will also need to take powerful prescription medications to protect the lining of the stomach.  On a case-by-case basis, some dogs need dialysis as part of their recovery, which may be needed permanently, depending on the extent of kidney damage.

In rare instances, it may even be required to sedate the dog into a coma or to keep them deeply asleep using other medications, to allow adequate healing time.  Because each animal is unique, there is no guarantee of how long your pet will need care or how successful it will ultimately be.

Which Medications Contain Ibuprofen?

It is very fortunate for the American public that many medications are available in both over-the-counter and prescription strengths. In addition, store brands, off-brands and medications that include two or more chemicals are very helpful when treating a minor illness or injury at home.

The problem with that is that there are many ways that you can access the same medications and you might have to look at the bottle to see it. For instance, there are both cold and insomnia products that can be purchased at a grocery or drug store that contain ibuprofen and other chemicals. Ibuprofen is the active ingredient, while Advil and Motrin are two common brand names.

You will also note that ibuprofen is available in prescription strength, at both 600 and 800 milligram doses. These doses are high enough for humans that extra warnings often accompany them, including the caution to take them with milk or food to prevent stomach upset. Therefore, it is all too easy to imagine how much damage that a larger dose would do to the small and more delicate system of a canine.

What Can Your Dog Be Given for Pain?

The good news is that there are options that can be used to help your animal recover when they have been injured or have pain. Ibuprofen is obviously not the right one, but you can use the natural item, Dog Pain Away, for great results. Another option that many dog lovers swear by is Mobility Care, made by Pet Vitalix. Finally, you should speak with a veterinarian to determine if a low dose of aspirin would be appropriate for your pet. If so, Pro-Sense Enteric Coated Aspirin for Dogs is very effective.

Please DO NOT administer your dog ibuprofen for fever, joint pain, arthritis or any other condition.

In conclusion, it is important to consistently know what medications you have and store them safely, away from even the most curious and intelligent pet.  A good rule of thumb is that anytime you think your dog has ingested any human medication or a medication designed for another animal, you should call the veterinarian as soon as you can. You may also find that asking for child-proof bottles of your medication is also a useful idea.

roberta k
roberta k
Roberta S is the chief editor of A to Z Pet Care. She also contributes many of the articles on the site. She is well-versed in pet care with a background in dog training and lives with her 5 dogs and 3 cats. She uses her extensive experience to contribute quality articles to the site and also ensures that no errors creep in with her editing skills.

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