The absolute last thing any pet parent would wish for their pet is pain, so it can be a heartbreaking event if and when it occurs. Although you might want to rush to the medicine cabinet for human painkillers, even halving the dosage could be too much for your pet. Few medications for humans work safely for pets, but it’s not recommended to just guess which ones you can use along with how much you should give.

Let’s take a look at what you can and can’t do when trying to comfort your poor dog when they’re in pain.

Stop Googling - Ask a Real Vet


  1. Do Dogs Feel Pain Like Humans
  2. Can I Give My Dog Aspirin or Tramadol for Pain
  3. Can I Give a Dog Baby Medicines for Pain
  4. Home Remedies for Pain in Dogs
  5. FAQs
  6. Conclusion

Do Dogs Feel Pain Like Humans

Yes, dogs can feel pain, and we assume it is the same for them as it is for us. They can’t talk, unfortunately, so they can’t exactly tell us.

Dogs and cats are very similar in the sense that they’d rather curl up, sleep, and hide rather than display signs of sickness. Cats are worse for their behavior than dogs, but they both tend to hide pain for a long time. It can be some time before you notice that your pet is suffering. This behavior is biological, designed to prevent them from appearing vulnerable and weak and thus becoming prey.

Symptoms of pain in dogs include:

  • Changes to sleeping patterns – increased or decreased;
  • Changes to eating and drinking patterns – increased or decreased;
  • No interest in playing or exercising;
  • Different vocal sounds: whining, groaning, and grunting (particularly when moving around);
  • Changes to posture or movement, such as a limp;
  • Unusual snapping and poor behavior;
  • Excessive panting;
  • Increased licking or scratching;
  • Behavior that YOU think is unnatural or unusual.

If you notice any of these symptoms, you must make an appointment for your dog to get checked out. The last thing you want is for your pet to be in pain, right?

Can I Give My Dog Aspirin or Tramadol for Pain

Aspirin is an NSAID, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, which Pet MD research shows is occasionally used by vets for blood clotting reduction. In rare cases, your vet will prescribe aspirin in small, specifically calculated amounts to solve issues such as pain, inflammation, and a high temperature or fever. You should NOT give your doggo aspirin unless your vet has directed you to. You will also want to be cautious with pre-existing liver, kidney, or gastrointestinal issues.

Some human medications can cause great harm to dogs, including liver issues, disease, and failure; internal bleeding, particularly from the stomach; and kidney issues, disease, and failure.

You should NEVER give your dog the following medications:

  • Aleve, Naprelen, Naprosyn, or Aflaxen (Naproxen);
  • Codeine, Vicodin, Percocet, or OcyContin (Opioids);
  • Tylenol (Acetaminophen);
  • Advil (Ibuprofen).

Tramadol is an opioid pain relief medication occasionally prescribed for pain in cats and dogs. It is considered "off-label" because it is not medically approved for dogs by the FDA.

When giving pets human medication, your vet will likely advise you to keep a close eye on them. This will be a lot easier with pet tech, such as a Petcube Cam. Even when you’re not at home, you’ll be able to check in on the health and welfare of your furry family members.

Studies have shown that dogs can experience side effects from tramadol, including stomach upsets, dizziness, heightened anxiety, seizures, no appetite, and extreme tiredness or sedation. Some pets can also be sensitive to Tramadol, which is why you shouldn’t try the medication on your dog without veterinary advice.

Can I Give a Dog Baby Medicines for Pain

It is not recommended to give your dog medicines that are designed for your babies or children. Even in smaller amounts, the medication could contain ingredients that are highly toxic to dogs and other pets, such as the ones listed above.

Dog bodies are different from human bodies. They look different, the internal organs are positioned differently, and they need different things to stay fit and healthy. For that reason, it is a bad idea to feed your pooch human foods, drinks, or medications.

Home Remedies for Pain in Dogs

In the same way that you can use home remedies to treat pain in humans, you can use them to help make life less painful for your pampered pets, too. As always, do not make any changes to your pet’s exercise, diet, or lifestyle without first consulting with your vet. The last thing you’ll want to do is make things worse or more painful.

Holistic treatments include doggy (medical) massage, heat therapy, cold therapy, acupuncture, dietary supplements, and doggy-specific physiotherapy. Love, hugs, and a bit of slack won’t go amiss, either. There is no guarantee that these approaches will work to reduce your pet’s pain, however, and all the while those treatments aren’t working, your doggo is experiencing growing pain and discomfort.

Petcube’s Emergency Fund gives you peace of mind and answers in situations just like this one, when you’re not sure what to do but perhaps don’t need a face-to-face vet appointment. For under $1 per day, you’ll get access to fully qualified and licensed veterinarians at any time of day or night – even on the holidays! And that’s not all: you’ll also get emergency care cover for up to six pets, with costs up to $3,000!

As a loyal blog reader, you’ll get 27% off by following this link — and thank you, from Petcube!


What can you give a dog for pain relief over the counter?

Do not give your dog over-the-counter medicines designed for humans unless your vet has explicitly given you the go-ahead to do so. The dosages for humans and dogs are often remarkably different, so you could cause your pooch harm by guessing how much to give them.

What can I give my dog for pain after shots?

Most dogs feel slightly unwell for a day or so after having vaccinations, and it is not normally a cause for concern. If pain levels are high, your vet might prescribe pain relief, but you shouldn’t administer any kind of treatment without consultation first. This is even more so if your pet is already on some kind of medication or treatment plan.

My dog is dying – what can I give him for pain?

First of all, I’m really sorry that you and your doggo are going through tough times. In cases like these, NSAIDs are often a good choice for end-of-life pain relief, but you will need to get the right type and dosage from a vet. The dose will be heavily dependent on existing conditions, other medications, the size and breed of your dog, and more.


I know you don’t want your pet to be in any discomfort or pain whatsoever, and the only way to undo that is to have a chat with a vet and find out what’s causing the issue. Petcube’s online vets are available around the clock with the Emergency Fund, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Pet emergencies never happen at convenient times!

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