When it comes to pain, knowing your dog can help  identify behaviors that could mean he is experiencing pain.  Being aware of those signs as early as possible means controlling your dog’s pain as quickly as possible. While every dog is different, there are universal behaviors that your dog could display  that mean he is feeling pain.  A natural question is,  what can I give my dog for pain?  First, let’s see how your dog could  show you they have  pain.


5 Signs Your Dog Is In Pain

  1. Loss of appetite – Whenever you notice that your dog’s not interested in eating, you need to go to the vet as this could be a sign of many serious ailments.
  2. Excessive panting – If your dog is panting heavily and it is not hot or your dog has not been active, he may be in pain.  If you notice heavy panting with no known reason, it is time to see the vet.
  3. Constant grooming -When your dog becomes obsessive about grooming, especially if it is one area only, it could be a location of pain for your dog. Dogs will constantly lick an area to alleviate pain even if there is no injury. When you notice this, keep an eye on that area to determine if a trip to the vet is needed.
  4. Being shy or aggressive – If you notice that your dog is not as social as he once was, does not want to be picked up or petted, it very likely that  pain it to blame. Your dog could also become aggressive , or hides from attention. Either of these behaviors could be triggered by pain. Since you dog cannot tell you about his pain, he is doing his best to avoid the pain and needs to be seen by his vet.
  5. Changes in behavior – if your dog is having accidents, sleeping more than normal, avoiding stairs, limping or has a lack of intpug-1210025_960_720erest is activities they normally enjoy, any of these signs could mean that your dog is experiencing pain and should see their vet.


So now that you know the signs that your dog could be in pain, it is time to ask what can I give my dog for pain? The following list is common over-the-counter(OTC) medications that your dog can safely take along with general dosages. Before using any OTC drugs for your dog, it is important to check with your veterinarian on the safeness of a medicine for your dog.



Safe OTC Medications For Dogs

  • Buffered Aspirin – relieves pain and inflammation. Can give 5mg per lb of body weight every 12 hours. It is very important to speak with your vet about the use of buffered aspirin if your dog  takes steroids
  • Immodium AD – Relieves diarrhea. 1 mg per 20 lbs of body weight every 8 hours
  • Mineral oil – relieves constipation.  Safe to give up to 4 tbs daily
  • Canned pumpkin – receives both constipation and diarrhea. Dosage is 2 -3 tsp every 8-12 hours
  • Pepto Bismol – relieves diarrhea, vomiting, and gas. Can give 1 tsp per 5lbs body weight or 1 tablet per 20 lbs every 6 hours
  • Benedryl – relieves allergies and itching, 1/2 to 1 mg per lb of body weight
  • Robitussin DM – relieves coughing, 1 tsp per 20 lbs body weight every 8-12 hours
  • Pepcid AC (Famotidine) -can  help a pet with stomach issues or stomach inflammation. Please check with your vet to be certain that your dog can and should take this and at what dosage.  My Beagle is prone to stomach issues and  she takes Famotidine twice daily. Please note that Pepcid AC is a brand of Famotidine and is pretty expensive. Purchasing a generic Famotidine works just as well, the ingredients are the same and it costs just a fraction of what the brand name product costs.
  • Corticosteroid sprays and creams – can help soothe itchy skin or hot spots. The cream is a better choice to use on your dog since the spray contains alcohol and can burn when first applied. Also, be aware of where you use this as you do not want your dog to lick it off.


So now you know of ways that you can help your dog with pain, ways that may be in your medicine cabinet right now. Please leave comments or questions below and I would love to hear your experiences with giving your dog OTC medicines.




10 comments on “What Can I Give My Dog For Pain? How To Help Right Now

  • Ahh.. your article will definitely help me in the future if I decide to have another pet.

    My last pet is a dachshund and I love her. I think we took care of her really well that she died of old age.
    It died in front of my bedroom door.

    I was so shocked when I found it didn’t move after I accidentally stumbled over her.

    Well, it was good old days. I think I will get another dachshund for a pet.

    • Hello, it is so sad when we lose a pet, but it sounds as if you took good care of your dachshund to have died of old age. I recently had a cat pass away and that was so unexpected as she was not ill and was not that old. Remember what you learned here so you are prepared if your future dachshund should show signs that she is in pain.

      Take Care,


  • I like how you mention that you should visit your vet as soon as possible when you see any of these signs that could mean that they are in pain.

    You give some good advice on OTC medications as well which would be very useful in the interim before you can see your vet, it may solve your problem without the need of seeing them.

    Would I be right in thinking that some of signs of pain that a dog may experience would be the same for cats as well?

    • Hi Adrian, I am doing research now on cats and pain so that I can give our feline friends equal time so please stop back for that post. It is good to know what OTC products are safe for dogs…I have a Boston Terrier whose eye became very swollen and of course this was on the weekend. I took her to the emergency pet hospital and they ended up given her benedryl. So after I paid the LARGE bill, I thought well I could have given her that myself at home!

      Take Care,


  • What can I give my dog for pain is a question that will cross most dog owners’ path. Like babies, dogs can’t speak to us when they are in pain. We have to learn their language and sometimes it is not easy. Thank you for shedding light on the signs that show that a dog is in pain. Even the list of over the counter medicines will come in handy.

    My daughter wants a puppy and I am still debating on whether to get one for her or not.


    • Hey Danielle, I think that most dog owners, whether they know it or not, are in tune to their dogs’ body language. Any behavior out of the ordinary for your dog can be a sign that not all is well with them. I have a 13-year-old Boston Terrier who developed extreme anxiety. The vet diagnosed dementia and I was glad that I paid attention to her behavior. While I am not sure of the age of your daughter, dogs teach children such valuable lessons of responsibility and love. I have to vote yes to a puppy!


  • Hi Erin,
    I really like this page! It has a lot of great information on what to give your dog when he/she is in pain. Some of these things I didn’t even know you could give to animals. These are great recommendations until you can get your pet to a vet. Your page was very easy to read, clean and not to complicated. It was easy to navigate through the other articles. Very good site, keep up the good work. Have a good weekend.

    • Thanks Mary, I appreciate your vote of confidence on my website! My vet has suggested some OTC medicines that my dogs can take regularly. This information is important to know, especially for the pet parents that are on a tight budget. Thanks for your great comments and hope you stop back again!

      Take Care,


  • Wonderful, i like the article, i have been looking for the medicine to give to my dog ,showing the signs of loss of appetite for the two weeks ago now and now my dog is loosing weight and starts to change its behaviour now.Now i got the clue that its a disease and thank you for providing me with the medicine to give to my dogs.


    • Hi Jose,

      Thanks for visiting my site and for your comments. I am sorry that your dog is not feeling well. I am glad that you know now there are medicines that you have at home that your dog can take. As I mentioned in the post, whenever your dog has lost weight, you need to take your dog to the vet as this can be a sign of something serious. I am hoping that your dog is feeling better real soon!

      Take Care,


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