Dogs often suffer from painful ailments and discomforts just like humans do. Ibuprofen is a common over-the-counter medication that is often used by humans to reduce pain and inflammation associated with various conditions, such as arthritis, headaches, cramps, as well as to lower mild fevers. If ibuprofen is safe for humans to use, that means it’s safe for dogs too, right? No, dogs and cats are highly sensitive to this medication and its use is not typically recommended by veterinarians. Veterinarians can prescribe animal specific pain medication. Never give your pet any medication before clearing it with your vet. 

Pain Medication Alternatives for Dogs

When it comes to providing pain relief for dogs, there are a number of dog-specific NSAIDs available, including: Rimadyl, Deramaxx, Previcox, and Metacam. These medications are specifically designed for use in dogs and can provide effective relief from pain and inflammation. However, it is important to consult with a veterinarian before administering any of these medications, as they can have serious side effects if not used correctly.

NSAID Poisoning in Pets

It is important for pet owners to always consult with a veterinarian before giving any medication to their pet. Despite the dangers, some pet owners may mistakenly give their pet NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen without understanding the risks. NSAIDs are known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Common poisoning symptoms include: 

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Black-tarry stool
  • Lethargy
  • Lack of appetite
  • Increased urination or thirst
  • Seizures


If you believe that your pet has ingested ibuprofen, it is important to call your veterinarian and Pet Poison Helpline® at (855) 764-7661 right away for life-saving treatment advice. Ibuprofen can cause serious side effects in pets, and it is important to get the appropriate treatment as soon as possible. Do not wait for symptoms to appear, as this can lead to further complications and even death. Your vet will need to act quickly to remove as much of the medication from your dog’s system as possible. In some cases, activated charcoal may be used to prevent further absorption of the toxins. IV fluids may also be administered to protect your pet’s kidneys from damage. The prognosis of this condition will depend on your pet’s size and the amount of ibuprofen they have ingested. If possible, try to bring a pack of the drug to the clinic so your vet can determine the severity of the condition.