When our furry best friends aren’t feeling their best, it’s natural to want to do what you can to help them. You may think to reach for a Tylenol or aspirin when you’re not feeling well and think you can do the same with your dog. However, you must take caution before you treat your dog with any medicines. Why? You may be doing more harm than good. What can you do to ease your best friend’s discomfort in the meantime? Luckily, there are products and supplements you can treat your dog with that are safe. Let’s explore some natural pain relief for dogs.
How Do I Know If My Dog is in Pain? Signs and Symptoms
Your dog’s behavior and movements tell you a lot about the state they are in. When it comes it pain, it becomes even more noticeable. Your pet can’t speak to you and it’s difficult to tell whether what their pain level is. Since they can’t speak, The International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management created a pain scale for doctors and pet owners to determine what levels they’re at. The scale ranges from 0 to 4, with 0 being the least amount of pain and 4, the highest.
- Level 0 – No pain. Happy and normal behavior, interested in all surroundings.
- Level 1 – Mild pain. Happy, but seems to have restlessness or nervousness. When touching a suspected affected area, the pet reacts when pressure is applied.
- Level 2 – Mild to Moderate pain. Pet is uncomfortable. It may whine or cry. When you attempt to touch the affected area, it runs away or flinches at the touch.
- Level 3 – Moderate pain. Pet limps or shifts their body around to protect the injured area. The dog may react strangely or abnormal such as refuse to move, react with snarling or growling when touching the affected area. The dog may even yelp in pain when touching the area.
- Level 4 – Moderate to Severe pain. Not responsive to surroundings. The dog isn’t easily distracted from the pain. They cry regardless of being touched or moving around. The dog may act very aggressively and bite the owner, especially when approaching or touching the affected area.
What Can I Give My Dog for Pain Without Going to the Vet?
Before you give your dog any medication or make changes in their routine, it’s imperative you speak with a vet. Dog’s pain treatment differs from humans and requires much different care and concern. However, we know there may be times where you can’t readily reach a vet. In these cases, you’ll want to have a backup pain reliever. What can you give your dog to relieve pain until you see a vet?
Ginger is an all-natural substance that isn’t just used for humans but dogs too. It’s been used for thousands of years as alternative medicine. It’s used to treat nausea and vomiting in dogs. If your dog has cancer, it can help with nausea from medications and cancer treatments. It also acts as an anti-inflammatory too. Dogs with arthritis can help ease symptoms of the disorder. It helps to relieve gas and bloating too.
You might not see the concern if your dog is bloated. However, bloating can quickly turn to gastric dilation-volvulus. This condition causes twisting in the stomach and puts pressure on other organs in the body, which could be fatal. If you suspect bloat, you may give your dog ginger until you can see an emergency vet. Ginger is a carminative herb that helps to expel a buildup of gas as well.
Turmeric is another alternative medicine that has been used in Asian culture for thousands of years.
In humans, turmeric is used to help treat joint pain and acts as an anti-inflammatory. Turmeric is safe for dogs in small amounts and can enhance the flavor of some kibbles.
Cayenne is often looked at as an extremely spicy herb. However, it has many health benefits for both humans and dogs.
Cayenne may have the potential to reduce the risk of heart attacks in dogs. It strengthens the heart and the capillaries by regulating blood flow. For the digestive tract, it improves the body’s absorption of nutrients. It also reduces gas, constipation, and diarrhea.
Devil’s claw is often recommended as a pain reliever for pets. It comes from a flowering plant native to South Africa.
Devil’s claw has been used by the natives to treat inflammation and inflammatory conditions. Chronic inflammation can result in conditions like dog IBS, gout, and arthritis. The way it works in humans is the same it does in dogs. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, it can help reduce pain for osteoarthritis and acts similarly to an NSAID.
It should be noted we mean liquorice root and not regular liquorice.
Liquorice roots are native to Europe and Asia. In herbal medicine, it’s known to treat coughs, GI peptic ulcers, liver disease, and eczema. It an also be anti-viral. When given to dogs, it acts largely as an anti-inflammatory. It reduces inflammation in the digestive tract, helps with upper respiratory viruses, and relieves stress.
There are many companies that feature products that include many of these ingredients, if not them all. They make products to treat skin conditions, aid in joint problems, and digestion. They use all-natural ingredients and avoid traditional pharmaceuticals. Make sure to check reviews of products, where users rave about how much different their pet is after taking the supplements. They can have increased mobility, reduced stiffness, healthier coats, and a reduction in skin conditions and ailments.
Natural and Safe Pain Relivers for Dogs
Natural pain relievers for dogs can be hard to come by. You want to ensure you’re giving your dog the safest brand possible while making sure it works.
How can you be sure you’re purchasing the right products? Just take a look at what these users have to say!
Vet’s Best Aspirin Free Aches + Pains provides quick relief and reduces discomfort caused by daily activities. It contains natural supplements and ingredients. It has glucosamine HCL, pineapple bromelain, MSM, and white willow bark. This supplement is ideal for large dogs, senior dogs, or highly active dogs.
Bromelain is an enzyme found in pineapples. It helps to regulate the intestinal tract and promote healthy digestion. It also helps to promote healthy joints and increase flexibility.
White willow bark is a deciduous tree that has long, green leaves. The bark from the trees is used in supplements. This ingredient helps ease aches and pains from muscles and joints. It will even relieve discomfort from daily activities and exercise.
The users of this product rave about improved mobility in their dogs. One user had a lower activity dog due to his age. Once he started on this product, he began to have more energy and increased mobility. He didn’t have to take as many rests when walking around or playing too. Another user says it improved her senior dog’s appetite, sociability, and mobility. He no longer had accidents in the home from a lack of mobility.
Itchy Skin and Wounds
Natural Dog Company Skin Soother Healing Balm is an all-natural stick balm where you apply it to the affected area a few times per day. It contains natural ingredients like cocoa butter, sweet almond oil, coconut oil, sunflower oil, candela wax, sea buckthorn oil, lavender, chamomile, vitamin E oil, and more. These natural ingredients hydrate and soothe itchy and dry skin. When your dog has a wound, it helps to speed the healing process. It will also reduce scarring and calm seasonal allergies.
Users of this product how it treats itchy skin and relieves irritation of wounds. One user used it on an area that was once affected by fleas. It healed the dry skin from the bites and within ten days. Another user applied this product on their dog to relieve the flare-ups from an autoimmune disorder.
Soothing Dry and Cracked Skin
ResQ Organics uses all-natural ingredients to treat dry and cracked skin. It contains organic aloe vera, manuka honey, coconut oil, olive oil, hemp seed oils, shea butter, amino acids, and vitamins. It’s effective for treating dry skin, itchiness, hot spots, rashes, mange, cracked paws, sores, minor cuts, and irritation. With all the ingredients in the salve, it promotes fur growth, especially over areas that have lost fur due to irritations. It absorbs quickly into the skin and doesn’t leave a greasy or sticky film. The formula is steroid-free, fragrance-free, grain-free, mineral oil-free, and doesn’t have alcohol. If your dog happens to lick the area it was applied to, they won’t get sick or experience any harmful side effects.
Users love this product to treat dry skin, especially on the paw area. One user claimed that their dog used to chew on their paws until they were raw. Once they applied the salve, the dog stopped chewing on its paws, and they began to heal. Another user saw a reduction and relief in their dog’s skin allergies.
Joint Health and Mobility
MediNatura T-Relief provides pain relief from minor hip and joint pain. It helps to combat stiffness and mildly impaired mobility, including limping. This medicine combines Arnica with plants and tissue extracts to help aid in joint mobility. It comes in quick dissolve crushed tablets that are easily mixed with food or water. Unlike other medications, it doesn’t contain any pharmaceuticals or chemicals
Users that have older dogs with arthritis exclaim about the product’s success. One user used it on her dog’s hip where she was limping from arthritis pain. Once applied after some use, the dog began to have more energy and stop limping. There was also a reduction in inflammation. Another user gave it to their dog as a supplementary pain relief for a torn ACL. The user claims their dog benefits from the pain relief and helps their dog sleep better at night too.
Risks From Using Human Medications on Animals
Human pain medication isn’t helpful to animals and is dangerous to their health. Each medicine you give them can result in less severe side effects to more serious ones.
You don’t want to administer any pain medication to your dog without speaking in-depth with your vet to avoid harming your dog. The last thing you want to do is administer medication incorrectly.
Acetaminophen (paracetamol) is a common pain medication given to humans and dogs. It helps to treat pain but doesn’t help with any inflammation. Your vet may prescribe a doggy dose version with anti-inflammatory medicines or other pain medicines. It’s milder on the stomach than other pain medicines.
However, it must be used with extreme caution to avoid giving too much to your dog. Side effects of too much acetaminophen result in vomiting, diarrhea, swelling of paws and face, trouble breathing, and possible liver damage.
Aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen may sometimes be prescribed to your dog. However, these medications carry a higher risk for bleeding and toxicity. Symptoms of an overdose include kidney injuries, vomiting, diarrhea, and GI bleeding.
Calpol is another medicine you’ll want to avoid giving your dog. This medicine is often given to babies for fevers and pain relief. However, it’s harmful to dogs. The active ingredient in this medicine is paracetamol. Calpol is rapidly absorbed into the body and dogs don’t have the enzymes needed to break the medication down.
It begins to build up in the liver and stops the flow of oxygen in your dog’s body. It can cause vomiting, an increased pulse, swelling around paws and face, dark-colored urine, and a drop in body temperature. In extreme cases of taking Calpol, it can cause coma and death.
Natural Pain Relief for Dogs: Final Thoughts
Dogs can’t be treated with the same medication as humans. We may see them as our furry best friends, but they require care that’s much different from us.
When your dog is in pain, it hurts you too. You want to do what you can to alleviate it for them. Sometimes you don’t have immediate access to a vet but don’t want them to suffer. In certain cases, you can treat them with natural products and supplements until you see your vet.
This post is not meant to replace professional help. It’s important to note that if you can immediately access a vet, seek help or advice from them first before anything else.