Can I Give Aspirin to My Dog or Cat?

Filed under Dr. Dym's Vet Blog
A common question I get in the veterinary clinic is about whether it is okay to give a dog or cat aspirin for pain, or for reduction of fever or inflammation.  The answer to this question will vary depending upon the clinical history and age of the pet, as well as whether other prescription drugs are being used.

If there is any history of digestive upset, bleeding tendencies or kidney/liver disease then it is important to have a full veterinary medical exam, in addition to possibly blood and/or urine testing before starting aspirin for even a short period of time.

Check with your vet to determine if it is safe to give aspirin to your own dog or cat.

In healthy adult dogs not on any other prescription cortisone or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (i.e. Rimadyl, Previcox, or Deramaxx), then aspirin at a dose of 5 mg per pound once to twice daily with food for a few days may be used for pain, inflammation and fever management.  If there is no improvement in clinical signs within a few days, then veterinary consultation is recommended before aspirin therapy is continued.

One must be much more careful with cats in dosing aspirin or any other non-steroidal anti- inflammatory medication.  Because of the feline unique liver drug detoxification pathways, I do NOT recommend animal guardians dose cats with any aspirin unless they first consult with a veterinarian.  If a cat is cleared of health problems, than a small dose of 1/2 baby aspirin every 3 days may be used. It is important to recognize that even very low doses of Tylenol can kill a cat, and therefore Tylenol should never be used in any cat.


  1. Nicola
    Posted December 24, 2011 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    Hi Dr. Dym,
    First of all Happy Holidays to you and yours & thanks for all the great advice you have given for the last 12 months.

    The timing of this could not be better as we have a limping dog in the house today. Is Ascriptin given at the same dose as Aspirin and is it true that is is better for them – I was told it is gentler on their stomachs?

  2. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted December 26, 2011 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    Buffered ascriptin in more gentle on the stomach. Dose is typically 5 mg per pound once to twice daily witih food.

  3. JJ
    Posted December 28, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Dr. Dym, thank you for the info. And Happy New Year too! Our mini dacschund weighs about 11 or 12 lbs and is going on 12 years old. The little guy is still a pup at heart and loves to play … but … for the last couple months is enduring some joint pain in his (little) :-) front legs. He’ll chase a couple times then stop to lick his knees before continuing. My Brother in Law gave his dog aspirin and said it was a miraculous treatment. I’d like to try, albeit a slight, a dose or two and see if it helps.

  4. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted December 29, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Happy New YEAr to you as well. The aspirin is ok but if used long term should be monitored by periodic blood work at vet. There are also some economic nonsteroidal prescription pain alternative medications such as metacam that are often helpful in small breed pets. Consider joint supplement like glycoflex II from 1800petmeds. You can also consider yucca intensive from 1800petmeds as well in addition to the antioxidant proanthozone.

  5. Mary
    Posted January 22, 2013 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

    Dr, Dym,
    Last night I gave my limping dog half of a Rimadyl, my last one. Tonight can I give her an aspirin?

  6. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted January 22, 2013 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    It probably is ok to give an aspirin, as long as no digestive upset in history or pre existing liver and/or kidney problems. See vet if signs persist.

  7. eleonora MERELLI
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    I HAVE BEEN GIVEN MY 12 LB DOG WHO IS 13 AN LOW DOSAGE aspirin & now he has diarrhea, but he is in no pain but his back legs are getting weak this is why i have been given him the aspirin hwo can i stop the diarrhea

  8. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    May need to stop aspirin and perhaps try a teaspoon of kaopectate every 8 hours for 24 hours to see if it can help, as well as bland hamburger and rice diet. May need to consult with vet on different approach to weak back legs, as well as diarrhea if symptoms persist.

  9. misty
    Posted June 28, 2013 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

    My cat is 3 years old and is limping with her back legs. Once she gets moving it seams to not be as bad. She is normally bouncing all over the house but for the last week she has been limping instead of bouncing. What can I give her to comfort her pain?

  10. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted June 30, 2013 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    Not much you can do at home. Best to have vet check for proper diagnosis and treatment. You could try cosequin for cats and proanthozone from 1800petmeds

  11. Posted June 5, 2014 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    Dr. Dym,

    My 9 pound full Grown Jack Russell that is 11 years old just had her Dew Claw ripped out? Can I give her Baby aspirin 1/2 a tablet. She keeps licking it so it is not bleeding that bad anymore. I am a nurse and pretty sure that wouldn’t hurt her any. She is healthy and not on any medicine. She is in alot of pain? Just wanted to get your advice. If i take her to the doctor’s they will have to sedate her because she will not let anyone come near her nails. Please help me. Thank you so much.

  12. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted June 13, 2014 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    I dont see a problem with a dose or two of baby aspirin. Also consider traumeel from 1800petmeds as natural pain med

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  14. Posted January 1, 2015 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    How much asprin can I give my 26 pound dog tore off nail and hurts….

  15. Posted January 1, 2015 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    How much asprin can I give my 26 pound dog

  16. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted January 7, 2015 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    Dose of aspirin is 5 mg per pound once to twice daily with food, however you should consult with local vet.

  17. Chuck
    Posted May 23, 2015 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    I have been reading about giving aspirin to older dogs with arthritis but have not gotten clear advice as to how long can we give this to them. Also is baby aspirin a better alternative to the pet aspirin sold in the stores? I read that these types of aspirins do not digest and are excreted in the stools

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