Can You Give Dogs Ibuprofen for Joint Pain in Hips?

By Kimberly Coghlan


Can You Give Dogs Ibuprofen for Joint Pain in Hips?

Kimberly Coghlan,,,,

What to Do?

It's been said that dog is man's best friend. So when your dog is in pain, you want to provide relief. If you Google the question of giving ibuprofen to dogs, you will find pages of conflicting answers. So what is the answer? Is it okay? Is it safe? Will it relieve my dog's pain?

What Is ibuprofen?

Ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory non-steroidal drug. People use ibuprofen every day. It typically is used to relieve inflammation and pain. Studies have shown that overuse can cause stomach and intestinal problems. See for more information on the drug itself. There is no doubt that, at the correct dosage, the drug is safe for you. But is it safe for your dog?

Is It safe?

First of all, if your dog is in pain, call a vet you trust. In regards to home medicating, evidence regarding ibuprofen use for dogs is conflicting. Ibuprofen is extremely toxic in cats. but experts disagree in the case of dogs. Heartland Vet Supply does not endorse the use of ibuprofen in dogs for any reason at all. The company suggests that the medication can cause serious side effects, including seizures. However, Dr. Mike Richards, a representative of, says he has never seen a dog die from use of ibuprofen. He does say, however, that continued use of the drug will more than likely cause ulcers. Ulcers may not be a terminal condition, but they can be serious if left untreated.


Before you give your dog any medication, research the medication through the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) pet poison guide. According to the AVMA, acetaminophen (Tylenol®) is the least harmful to your dog, while ibuprofen is the most dangerous. Dr. Mike Richards agrees that ibuprofen is the worst drug to give. Although in his experience, Richards says, aspirin is least damaging; acetaminophen is only a bit more damaging.

For a solution? Give your dog a few baby aspirins, and if the pain persists, take him to the vet. Dr. Richards says that one dose of any of the pain relievers will not cause permanent damage to your dog.