Note: We strongly advise you to consult with your vet before giving any medications to your dog!!!

In a study about dogs’ sensitivity to pain, it has been found that these pets are quite similar to humans. Dogs’ group identity and physical appearance affect how they respond to pain. This is not to say, however, that dogs with lower pain sensitivity should be left to withstand it.

No matter how your pet is handling their illness, you must be aware of it, so that you can help them the best way you can.

Pain, especially one that’s felt for an extended time, can be dangerous to your dog’s health. This is because it is a stressor, and when your pet is exposed to this, its body releases stress-related hormones that will affect its metabolism and systems of the body. Your pet might then experience problems with the thymus glands, heart, immune system, or adrenal glands.

study from the University of Wisconsin Veterinary School concluded that dog pain relief is important to decrease stress response and faster recovery.

So you might be wondering right now, “What can I give my dog for pain?” To answer this question, you must first be able to detect signs that your pet is indeed in pain.

How to Tell That Your Dog is in Pain

Pain recognition and assessment have always been part of animal care. You don’t have to be a veterinarian to recognize that your dog is suffering and needs help.

There are some signs that you must watch out for to identify your dog’s illness. If it displays any of the symptoms listed below, then you might have to take direct measures to ease your pet’s pain:

Decreased Energy Level
The most common sign of distress is a low energy level. If your furry friend is ordinarily active and has started to withdraw from everyday activities that it likes, then it might be experiencing some health problems.

A small dose of lethargy might not be alarming. However, if the change in behavior is extreme, you might want to consider going to the veterinarian for a professional assessment of your pet’s condition.

Low Appetite
Long-term and chronic pain has been proven to interfere with the appetite. This is true for humans and dogs alike. Thus, if you see your pet, not eating or drinking as much as it used to, it might just be suffering from pain.

Biting
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are many reasons why dogs bite. They may be in a stressful situation, feeling threatened, or trying to protect their possession. Biting can also be because the dog doesn’t want you or anyone else near a sensitive part of their body.

If your pet is not one to nip at themselves or others and is suddenly doing so, then it might be under stress.

Swelling
Swelling and inflammation are sure signs of pain and distress. They’re usually caused by an injury or disease.

When you see these signs in your dog, it might be best that you ask the help of a professional veterinarian.

Vocalizing
Whimpering, howling, whining, groaning, and grunting are sounds that dogs make when they are in pain. When you notice that your pet is making these sounds at night, you might want to check if it’s feeling any discomfort.

What Can I Give My Dog for Pain Relief

Once you are sure that your pet is in pain, you can then help ease it. Your vet will be the best person to recommend medication based on your dog’s health history and current status.

Here are the different pain relief medications that you can use:

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

NSAIDs are the most common over-the-counter drugs that you can buy to help reduce stiffness, swelling, and joint pain in your dog. They can also relieve arthritis and pain after surgery.

NSAIDs include naproxen, ibuprofen, and aspirin. However, you should not give your dog anything from your own medicine cabinet. NSAIDs for dogs are firocoxib, deracoxib, carprofen, and meloxicam. 

These medicines are generally safe for dogs and only comes with a few side effects. If your dog, however, shows some lousy reaction towards the medication, make sure to stop treatment right away and consult the doctor. 

Adverse reactions to NSAIDs include skin redness, behavior changes, low appetite, and diarrhea. If you spot these symptoms, contact your vet right away. 

Tramadol

NSAIDs are often effective dog pain meds, so veterinarians rarely prescribe other types of painkillers. However, if your pet does not react well to these usual medications, you can ask your vet about tramadol. 

Tramadol is a kind of painkiller that is similar to opioid medications. It is milder, but it might give dogs constant discomfort, especially if they are already aging. 

Side effects of this medication include dizziness, upset stomach, and vomiting. In severe cases, you might have to make your dog throw up intentionally. If your dog still continually vomits, however, it might be a sign of a different health problem. Consider deworming your pet

Gabapentin

Another alternative to NSAIDs is gabapentin. This medicine is usually used to treat pain caused by damaged nerves in both humans and dogs. This medicine is commonly prescribed with another drug. 

In the first few days, it may make the dog sleepy, but then the sleepiness will eventually go away. Ask your vet if your dog shows any adverse reactions to the medication.

Conclusion
What can you give a dog for pain and swelling? It might depend on the severity of your pet’s condition. While there are a number of over-the-counter NSAIDs for emergency pain relief, you should ALWAYS CONSULT WITH YOUR VET for better and quicker treatment of your dog’s ailment.