Are NSAIDs Safe for Dogs?

 If you’re a pet owner, you have likely searched the medicine cabinet looking for ways to relieve your furry friend’s aches and pains. A sore paw after a long hike or stiffness in old joints are signs that your dog could use something for the pain and discomfort. NSAIDs like ibuprofen are commonly used by humans but are they safe for our furry companions? While these anti-inflammatory drugs can provide relief, not all are approved for dogs, and some may even pose hidden dangers. Below, we’ll explore the dangers of NSAIDs for dogs, the symptoms of NSAID toxicity, and what to do if you find yourself in a medical emergency with your pup. By the end, you’ll have a better understanding of managing mild aches and pains for our loyal friends without putting their health at risk. 

Dangers of Human NSAIDs to Dogs 

NSAIDs are commonly used in both human and veterinary medicine for treating osteoarthritis, inflammation, and pain. While both human and veterinary NSAIDs can be used for similar treatments, human NSAIDs can be extremely dangerous for dogs. Therefore, it is essential to refrain from giving your pets any human NSAIDs, including common medications like ibuprofen, Aleve, and Advil. Instead, your veterinarian may suggest dog-specific NSAIDs such as carprofen, deracoxib, or meloxicam, which are generally less toxic for animals. 

To ensure the safety and effectiveness of any medication, it is crucial to seek guidance from your veterinarian. They will provide you with specific instructions regarding dosage and administration. By carefully following these directions, you can prevent an overdose of NSAIDs in your pup. Poisoning can occur if your dog consumes too much or the wrong type of NSAID. NSAID poisoning can affect pets of all sizes, health histories, and ages. 

NSAID Poisoning Symptoms 

Monitoring what your dog consumes as well as their environment is crucial for their safety. Dogs are naturally curious and can find themselves in risky situations, like accessing the medicine cabinet and eating something toxic. If your pup consumes a toxic dosage of NSAIDs they can experience severe symptoms of poisoning. Common signs to watch out for include: 

  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Black-tarry stool 
  • Abdominal pain 
  • Lack of appetite 
  • Increased thirst and urination 
  • Seizures 


If you suspect your dog has been poisoned by NSAIDs, it is important to immediately call your veterinarian and Pet Poison Helpline at (855) 764-7661 for first aid guidance. Take your dog to the veterinary clinic as soon as possible for treatment. Avoid trying to induce vomiting at home, as this can put your pup in further danger. At the clinic, the veterinarian may administer activated charcoal to prevent further absorption of the toxins and provide IV fluids to protect the kidneys from damage. Specific treatment will depend on the dosage, symptoms, and your pet’s overall health. For expert advice in case of suspected or confirmed pet poisoning, please contact the specialists at Pet Poison Helpline.