It’s horrible to see your dog in pain and suffering, but what’s worse is giving him meds that can make him worse. NEVER give aspirin, ibuprofen or other people medications without checking with your Vet. The results can be tragic.

The confusing world of pain medications

OTC or over-the-counter pain medications can be confusing, but here’s a brief rundown. 

There are two main types of non-prescription pain relievers: NSAIDs and Acetaminophen. Both work to help relieve pain and reduce fever. NSAIDs also reduce inflammation for conditions like arthritis.


Dogs should never be given either kind of pain reliever – NSAIDs or Acetaminophen – without specific instructions from your Veterinarian.

NSAID Brands

The most common kinds you’ll see on pharmacy shelves are:

  • Aspirin (Bayer, Bufferin, Excedrin)
  • Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB)
  • Naproxen (Aleve)

The most common brand of Acetaminophen is Tylenol. Others are:

  • Actifed
  • Alka-Seltzer Plus
  • Contac
  • Coricidin
  • DayQuil
  • Dimetapp
  • Dristan
  • Excedrin
  • Midol
  • Mucinex
  • NyQuil
  • Robitussin
  • Saint Joseph Aspirin-Free
  • Sinutab
  • Sudafed

The worst part is -- your Morkie can't tell you when he's in pain.

NSAIDS for dogs

Given NSAIDS, dogs can develop vomiting and diarrhea (often bloody), intestinal problems, loss of appetite, bleeding disorders, kidney or liver dysfunction or failure.

They can even die without fast treatment. It is not safe to give your dog any amount of aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil), naproxen, or other anti-inflammatory meant for humans.


Acetaminophen can be extremely toxic for dogs; too much can destroy their liver cells, plus damage the kidneys along with red blood cells.

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What can dogs have to help ease pain?

With your Vet’s approval, you can give your dog one of the specific canine pain control medications, such as Carpofen, Etodolac and Meloxicam.

Other ways to help your dog with pain

Conditions like arthritis can be helped with changes in diet and omega-3 fatty acids. Physical therapy, acupuncture, and cold laser treatments are other avenues your Vet might suggest.

Low dosage aspirin for dogs

Vets will prescribe aspirin on occasion, but never decide and give it yourself.

A number of websites sell aspirin for dogs, but don’t give it to your Morkie without checking with your Vet first. He/she can advise if it’s safe for such a small dog, and what the dosage should be.

Do not take matters into your own hands.


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