June 20, 2020 8 min read

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If you’re thinking about using aspirin as a painkiller for your dog, think twice! Aspirin may have adverse side effects in pets, and prolonged use can result in stomach ulcers. The good news is that there are natural alternatives like CBD pet products. CBD is a natural alternative to aspirin and offers optimal health benefits. 

Hemp oil for pet health helps dogs with a variety of ailments and immunity issues including mobility, joint problems, pain, anxiety, cancer, inflammation, and more! CBD is a natural supplement that may be beneficial for pain, fever, and inflammation in dogs without the side effects of aspirin.

What are NSAIDs?

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs(NSAIDs) are often prescribed by veterinarians to treat osteoarthritis, musculoskeletal inflammation, and pain following surgery in dogs. It has the potential to relieve pain and inflammation without either the immune-suppressive and metabolic side effects that corticosteroids have. Yet, aspirin can have serious side effects, and an aspirin overdose could be deadly! So before treating your dog yourself, talk to your vet about natural alternatives like CBD pet products for  canine arthritis, inflammation, and pain.

What is aspirin?

Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) is an NSAID, and has the potential to relieve pain, fever, and inflammation in people and dogs. It is a non-steroidal drug that is anti-clotting and is mainly used for this purpose by veterinarians. It’s used ‘off-label’ or ‘extra-label ‘meaning that extra caution should be taken when used. You’ll need to note dosage and directions from your veterinarian since these may be different from the label instructions. It’s important not to give your dog aspirin unless otherwise directed by your veterinarian. Aspirin can be dangerous to dogs, so for long term use, vets may recommend Rimadyl instead. Additionally, aspirin is an anti-coagulant and prevents blood from clotting.

Side Effects of Aspirin for Dogs

Because of the widespread availability of aspirin globally, it’s important to make sure that your pets do not ingest aspirin accidentally. Aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, and acetaminophen are the most common NSAID’s used today. None of these drugs should be used on dogs unless recommended by your vet. If your dog is allergic to aspirin, he should not be using it. Side effects of aspirin on dogs include the following symptoms:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting with blood (GI tract bleeding)
  • Ulcers
  • Dark-colored stools (GI tract bleeding)

Symptoms of Aspirin Overdose

Aspirin poisoning is usually characterized by fever, depression, unusual breathing that is deep and fast, seizures, metabolic abnormalities, coma, stomach irritation or ulceration, liver damage, or increased bleeding time, and even death. Keep in mind that large doses of aspirin in cats can be fatal. Because dogs may tolerate aspirin, your vet may prescribe it, yet long term use may result in stomach ulcers.

Merck’s Veterinary Manual adds that “Becauseaspirin is not approved for veterinary use, definitive efficacy studies have not been performed to establish effective dosages. Recommended dosages in dogs are 10–40 mg/kg, PO, bid-tid.Aspirin has been used for its anti-clotting effect in the treatment of laminitis in horses at a dosage of 10 mg/kg/day, PO. In cats,aspirin may be used for its antiplatelet effects in thromboembolic disease at a dosage of 10 mg/kg, PO, every 48 hr., to allow for prolonged metabolism. Adverse effects are common afteraspirin administration and appear to be dosage-dependent. Even at therapeutic dosages of 25 mg/kg, plainaspirin may induce mucosal erosion and ulceration in dogs. Vomiting and melena may be seen at higher doses. The PGE1 analogmisoprostol may decrease GI ulceration associated withaspirin and other NSAIDs.Aspirin overdose in any species can result in salicylate poisoning, characterized by severe acid-base abnormalities, hemorrhage, seizures, coma, and death.”

Check for Aspirin Side Effects in Dogs

As with any pet meds, anytime you give your dog aspirin, it’s best to watch out for side effects. It’s also good to understand that aspirin for dogs can be dangerous. Monitor your dog’s behavior, look out for side effects, excess urination, changes in bowel movements, and personality changes to check for adverse reactions. Some dogs may not react well to aspirin! If your dog is sensitive to pet meds and needs a natural alternative for pain and inflammation, CBD pet products for pain and inflammation may be a good solution!

Aspirin Interactions With Other Drugs

Aspirin may interact with other pet meds. That said, always consult with your vet prior to medicating with aspirin. If your furry best friend is on any herbal therapies, supplements, or vitamins, talk to your vet before administering aspirin to your dog. Look out for these interactions:

  • ACE inhibitors
  • Blood glucose-lowering agents
  • Corticosteroids
  • Calcium channel blockers
  • Tetracycline
  • Vitamin E
  • Alkalinizing drugs
  • Urinary acidifying drugs
  • Heparin
  • Glucosamine
  • SSRI antidepressants

CBD for pain and inflammation in dogs

The latest scientific research on canine arthritis and the benefits of CBD oil

Cannabidiol may be beneficial for dogs that suffer from hip and joint dysplasia, osteoarthritis, osteochondritis dissecans, patellar luxation, sprains, and strains!

Dogs that have musculoskeletal issues will have issues with soundness, a reluctance to put weight on a leg, stiffness, and pain. Joint pain in dogs due to hip dysplasia, osteoarthritis, and old injuries can either be developmental or hereditary.

If your dog shows any signs of pain, it’s best to consult with your veterinarian for x-rays or a joint tap to determine the problem. At the same time, you’ll be able to discuss CBD pet products options like CBD dog treats, chews, or tinctures for your furry best friend, and to ask about the best CBD dosage for your dog.

Symptoms of Dogs with Chronic Pain

  • Weight loss and muscle atrophy due to decreased activity
  • Lack of grooming
  • Unusualaggression
  • Reluctance to lie down or run upstairs
  • Anxiety or unusual restlessness
  • Withdrawn behavior
  • Personality changes
  • Irritability
  • Biting, licking or rubbing against the ful area
  • Depression
  • Lethargy

CBD as a nutraceutical for dogs

CBD enrichednutraceutical pet supplements have proven optimal efficacy when vet-approved, non-GMO, plant-based and non-psychoactive. Hemp oil for dogs when offered in oral drops via tinctures or as CBD treats or chews for pets offers ultimate health benefits when combined with coconut oil or MCT oil from coconut oil.

Cannabidiol nutraceuticals for pets come in varying potencies to match the needs of all dog breeds, small and large. As a non-GMO superfood for dogs, CBD that contains therapeutic formulas for pets will aid in healing and rejuvenation. As usual, it’s best to consult with your veterinarian before administering hemp oil to your furry best friend to make sure that you have the correct potency and dosage instructions.

How to choose a Broad-Spectrum Hemp Oil for Pets?

a dog sleeping on his side in a dog bed

The key question here is to ask yourself whether the pet CBD product uses an isolate or a full-spectrum oil. That said, there are plenty of premium full plant hemp extract products that don’t carry the CBD letters on the packaging. These products are labeled premium broad-spectrum hemp oil extract products for pets.

CBD hemp oil pet products that have added Phyto-cannabinoids, terpenes and fatty acids are great in that they support an array of health issues in dogs like phobias, anxiousness joint pain, inflammation, digestive issues, mobility, seizures, and anxiety. This is what to look out for when choosing a pet CBD hemp oil product for your furry best friend.

  • Hemp CBD should be 100% food grade
  • Should be made using CO2 extraction
  • No solvents like butane
  • Full-spectrum lab testing by a third party for purity and potency
  • Lab certificates need to be available for all pet parents
  • Pesticide and herbicide free
  • Made with non-GMO hemp
  • Delicious flavors like bacon and peanut butter
  • Natural ingredients
  • Non-GMO
  • Vegan
  • Made and sourced in the USA or Canada
  • No animal testing
  • Opt for added superfoods and coconut oils for easier digestion.
  • No fillers, no additives, no animal-derived ingredients, and most importantly, no synthetic ingredients.
  • Natural flavoring
  • No FDA recalls
  • Positive Amazon reviews
  • 24/7 customer care
  • Easy-to-understand dosing charts
  • Veterinary approved
  • Coupons work well too
  • CO2 extraction process

 CBD for Chronic Pain in Dogs

CBD oil for chronic pain in dogs suffering from joint pain and inflammation makes sense because you won’t have to use pharmaceuticals like pain meds with possible side effects that tend to occur with long term use. Healthy alternatives like CBD for the treatment of chronic and acute pain may need a combination of drug and non-drug methods to be effective. As usual, consult with your veterinarian for the best advice.

CBD side effects

  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability

CBD for arthritis and osteoarthritis in pets

 Scientific Research

Let’s begin by saying that one of the most important studies that took part in 2018 at the University of Cornell,College of Veterinary Medicine tested the safety and analgesic efficacy of cannabidiol based oil in dogs with osteoarthritis (OA). Single-dose testing was done first with a randomized placebo-controlled cross-over study done afterward.

The researchers tested two different doses, 2mg/kg and 8mg/kg of CBD enriched oil. The dogs received either the 2mg/kg CBD enriched oil or a placebo oil every 12 hours for 4 weeks with a 2-week washout period. Hematology, serum chemistry testing and physical examinations were performed at each visit.

The study concluded that “Pharmacokinetics revealed an elimination half-life of 4.2 h at both doses and no observable side effects. Clinically, canine brief pain inventory and Hudson activity scores showed a significant decrease in pain and anincrease in activity (p < 0.01) with CBD oil. The veterinary assessment showed decreased pain during CBD treatment (p < 0.02). No side effects were reported by owners, however, serum chemistry showed an increase in alkaline phosphatase during CBD treatment (p < 0.01),” via Frontiers Media SA. 1.

Cannabidiol Dose for Osteoarthritis in Dogs

Researchers added that 2mg/kg cannabidiol oil when given twice daily to dogs with osteoarthritis proved effective in increasing comfort and activity in dogs. This study also added that” Routine nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) treatments, though efficacious, may not provide adequate relief of pain due to osteoarthritis (OA) and might have potential side effects that preclude its use, particularly in geriatric patients with certain comorbidities, such as kidney or gastrointestinal pathologies.”

As for other usual osteoarthritis pharmaceutical treatments like gabapentin and amantadine, they added that “there is little evidence regarding their efficacy in dogs with chronic or neuropathic pain related to OA. Recent medical interest in alternative therapies and modalities for pain relief has led many pet owners to seek hemp-related products rich in cannabinoids.”

This 2018 study goes on to explain how the endocannabinoid system in dogs is receptive to cannabidiol oil.

Hemp CBD Oil Proves Beneficial as an Analgesic for Dogs

Dogs have an endocannabinoid system (ECS) that receives and translates signals from cannabinoids. That said, it also makes its own cannabinoids which are called endocannabinoids. The ECS is important in that it regulates sleep, pain, and immune system health in dogs. So how does CBD fit into the picture?

CBD helps the body to use its own endocannabinoids to its full potential. That said, CBD does not affect the ECS; but helps activate or inhibit certain compounds within the endocannabinoid system. When dealing with pain, cannabinoids will prevent the body from absorbing anandamide.

CBD regulates pain, so when there is an abundance of anandamide in the bloodstream, the dog feels less pain. CBD hemp oil helps with inflammation in the nervous system, and in the brain. This helps dogs with pain and other immune system responses.

It’s important to understand that one should not combine CBD supplements and aspirin for pets. This may affect the heart, or have the potential to increase blood clotting factors because aspirin is a blood thinner. CBD can increase the amount of Coumadin. Always discuss the risks of hemp oil and blood thinners with your veterinarian before you start using them on your furry best friend.

Dogs may suffer from heartburn, increased bleeding, bleeding in the brain, intestinal bleeding, drowsiness, nausea, and more if both aspirin and hemp oil are used together. Arming yourself with knowledge about the uses of CBD oil, and understanding how to choose the best broad-spectrum hemp oil that contains no THC for your dog’s well-being is keytooptimal pet health today!


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Meet The Author

Claudia Bensimoun is a freelance journalist and author, and specializes in veterinary content, and eBooks. She's a long-time feature writer for Animal Wellness magazine, Fido Friendly magazine, and the United States Dog Agility Association. In addition, Bensimoun has written for numerous pet websites, magazines, newspapers and online publications. Her interests include wildlife conservation, animal welfare, disaster/ humanitarian relief, veterinary research, and veganism.