Can Dogs Have Aspirin for Pain?

By Angela Ardolino

Updated on June 17, 2021

Pain from inflammation often affects dogs at some point in their lifetimes. Over-the-counter drugs, like Aspirin and other NSAIDs, as well as prescription anti-inflammatory medications, are readily available to pet parents. But that leads to the question, “Can dogs have aspirin for pain?” NSAIDs like Aspirin, and other OTC pain medications are chosen because they treat pain and inflammation quickly, but unfortunately, they don’t get down to the root of the problem. They mask the symptoms, but do not help the root cause of the pain and inflammation. Additionally, NSAIDs are notoriously known for their poor side effects.

How Does Aspirin Work?

When the body begins to produce inflammation, prostaglandins begin to form. Prostaglandins are a group of lipids, made at sites of tissue damage or infection, that are involved in dealing with injury and illness. They control processes such as inflammation, blood flow, and the formation of blood clots.

Aspirin is an NSAID, which stands for nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug. NSAIDs work by blocking enzymes known as COX-1 and COX-2; the enzymes responsible for creating prostaglandin. This in turn blocks the pain and inflammation. Unfortunately, NSAIDs are not selective in which of the enzymes (COX-1 or COX-2) it inhibits. This results in more side effects

Aspirin Side Effects In Dogs 

All NSAIDs, including Aspirin, have the ability to cause adverse reactions, some of which can even be fatal. Since NSAIDs affect the COX-1 enzymes responsible for the stomach and intestinal tract, one of the most common side effects is vomiting. The most serious side effect is gastrointestinal (GI) ulceration. 

NSAIDs cause the inability of the GI tract to bring out what are basically the protective soldiers of the body. Since the enzymes aren’t able to do their jobs, the barrier protecting the stomach is not able to prevent injury to cells and blood vessels. This is where the ulcers come in. No protection, no barrier. 

Other side effects can include:

Bleeding in the GI tract
Gastrointestinal ulcerations
Abdominal pain
Upset Stomach and Heartburn
Liver problems
Kidney problems
High blood pressure
Heart attack
Heart failure, or even death

CBD As A Natural Alternative To Aspirin For Dogs 

Full spectrum hemp extract (CBD) offers a wide variety of health-boosting benefits, with specific applications to help ease pain due to inflammation, injury, chemotherapy, age, arthritis, and hip dysplasia in dogs.

Cannabis has been used as an effective analgesic dating back thousands of years. One of the ways it does this is actually by changing the way the recipients’ central nervous system communicates the sensation of pain to their brains.

For example, when an injury occurs, like a dog hurting his paw on a sharp rock, the damaged tissue tells inflammatory and immune cells to begin repairing the damage. The cells release chemicals and proteins to activate receptors on nerves. These nerves move to the spinal cord up to the brain causing our dog to feel the pain in his paw. CBD products can be utilized long-term to reduce pain effectively by weakening pain signals.

Not only does CBD help manage pain on a neurological  level, but it also stops the physical conditions that cause pain. How you may ask?

CBD helps reduce joint pain by providing inflammation relief for dogs.

Inflammation has long been a well-known symptom of most infectious diseases. However, research now suggests that chronic inflammation is not just a symptom, it actually causes and advances many common diseases. Allergies, anxiety, chronic pain, autoimmune disease, and diabetes are all examples of conditions associated with inflammation in the body. When we soothe that inflammation, we are treating the cause of the problem and also preventing the hurt.

Research on CBD For Pain and Inflammation

A study published in 2006 in Current Neuropharmacology states that CBD has therapeutic benefits for both people and pets suffering from acute and chronic pain episodes. They concluded that compounds found in cannabis reduce inflammation. In fact, the most abundant phytocannabinoid in cannabis, CBD, has strong anti-inflammatory properties. Additionally, CBC, CBG, and THCV have also demonstrated anti-inflammatory properties, which is why we recommend a Full Spectrum extract.

CBD also outperformed Aspirin as an anti-inflammatory, in a study involving mice, published in Pharmacology & Pharmacy. In the study, they also tested CBD isolate against a Full Spectrum CBD, with the full spectrum performing about 5x better than the pure CBD.

In addition, an 8-month, double-blind study conducted by Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, researchers found that dogs with Osteoarthritis who were given CBD saw a significant decrease in pain and an increase in activity with no side effects.

The benefits of Full Spectrum CBD are more than just anti-inflammatory. Research published in Nutraceuticals in Veterinary Medicine states that CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system in dogs to aid against cancer, improve sleep, prevent obesity and metabolic diseases, resolve anxiety and stress, treat inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and pancreatitis, improve pulmonary and cardiac conditions, and act as a neuro-protectant.

Related: CBD Dosage for Dogs

Success Stories

It comes as no surprise that dogs who are experiencing pain turn to CBD for relief.  Including my own schnauzer, Odie, who began experiencing joint pain and inflammation in 2016. Odie was having a hard time walking, and also suffered from debilitating noise anxiety. Within one week of giving him a daily dose of our Ease CBD tincture, he was able to walk without difficulty. He was walking so well, in fact, he felt comfortable going up and down the stairs again. His inflammatory response significantly decreased, resulting in better overall health.


About Angela Ardolino

Can dogs have aspirin - Angela Ardolino Schnauzer Odie

Angela Ardolino is a holistic pet expert who has been caring for animals for over 20 years. She operates a rescue farm, Fire Flake Farm, in Florida. Angela is also the owner of  Beautify the Beast,  a natural pet salon and shop. After getting her certificate in Medical Cannabis Biology and Therapeutic use from the University of Vermont School of Medicine, she founded CBD Dog Health to provide high quality, all-natural medical cannabis products designed specifically for pets.

Angela has seven dogs, Odie a 12-year-old mini-schnauzer, Nina an 8-year-old Doberman. Jolene a 7-year-old mutt, Maza a 7-year-old mutt, Rhemi an 8-year-old poodle. Potato a 15-year-old shih-tzu, and Miss Daisie a 15-year-old black lab. Plus 4-10 more at any time she is fostering or boarding. She uses Full Spectrum Hemp Extract on all her pets at her rescue farm every day, and has since 2016. She is a member of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians, the Veterinary Cannabis Association and has trained hundreds medical doctors and veterinarians about the therapeutic uses of medical cannabis on animals. Visit for more information.

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