Can I Give My Dog Tylenol?

Table of Contents


  • What to do if your dog is in pain
  • Can I give my dog Tylenol?
  • Can I give my dog Advil?
  • Can I give my dog Aspirin?
  • What if my dog accidentally ate one of these medications?
  • Pain relief medications for dogs
  • Temporary pain relief options for dogs
  • Arthritis in dogs


What to do if your dog is in pain


As all loving pet parents know, it’s really hard to see your dog in pain. Of course you want to do everything you can to help, and pain meds are going to be one of the first options most of us think about. 

We will get into more specifics below but as a general rule of thumb: if a medication is intended for humans, you should not give it to your dog. 

It’s extremely important to speak with your veterinarian because they will be able to tell you what is best for your dog and inform you about any potential side effects. It’s also important to have a veterinarian evaluate your dog to make sure there is not a more serious issue that’s causing the pain. 


Can I give my dog Tylenol?


While Tylenol (or Acetaminophen) might be the first thing you reach for to care for a human, it should not be given to dogs unless under the direction of a licensed veterinarian. Tylenol has not been tested for use in dogs, and in larger doses it can be toxic and cause serious harm to the liver and kidneys.


Can I give my dog Advil?


Many people also wonder about Advil (or Ibuprofen). Advil, like Tylenol, is generally considered unsafe to use on dogs and potentially toxic. It should not be given unless under the direction of a veterinarian.

Advil is part of a class of medications you might have heard of called NSAIDs (“nonsteroidal anti inflammatory drugs”). There are some NSAIDs formulated specifically for dogs and we highlight some of the more popular options in a section below. 


Can I give my dog Aspirin?


Aspirin is another popular NSAID that might be in your medicine cabinet. People often wonder if it is safe to give their dogs for pain relief. As with all other pain meds made for humans, Aspirin should never be given to a dog unless under the express direction of a licensed veterinarian.

What if my dog accidentally ate one of these medications?


If your dog has ingested Tylenol, Advil, Aspirin or another OTC medication and you are concerned, contact your veterinarian’s office or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. You can also try the Pet Poison Helpline

Pain relief medications for dogs



As mentioned above, there are some pain relief medications made specifically for treating inflammation and pain in dogs. Like Advil and Aspirin, many of these are NSAIDs, but the difference is that they’re formulated for dogs. 

Talking to your veterinarian is essential before deciding to treat your dog with any sort of pain relief medication. They will be able to examine your dog and properly evaluate the right course of treatment. They can also consider any potential drug interactions and underlying conditions.


Some widely used and prescribed pain medications for dogs include:

  • Carprofen (Novox)
  • Deracoxib (Decamaxx) 
  • Firocoxib (Previcox)
  • Meloxicam (Metacam) 

Temporary pain relief options for dogs


If your veterinarian is not immediately available for a consultation, or if you would prefer not to use one of these medications, you do have some other options. For more serious injuries like hip dysplasia or a cruciate ligament tear, these home remedies will not address the root cause of the pain, but they might be able to provide some temporary relief.

When handling your dog it’s important to pay close attention to any signs of pain. If they yelp when a certain spot is touched or are more aggressive than usual when you try to pet them, that could be their way of communicating that they need help.


Some natural pain relief options:

  • Wrap an ice bag or a pack of frozen fruit/vegetables around the sensitive area. About 15 minutes should do the trick.
  • If your dog doesn’t react well to an ice pack, try spraying or soaking the area with cold water.
  • Make sure to limit walks and encourage them to rest and stay in one place as much as possible.
  • Alternative treatments such as acupuncture and hydrotherapy. 

Arthritis in dogs


It's possible that your dog's pain might be due to a chronic issue such as osteoarthritis. Yes, dogs get arthritis too and it often goes undetected. In fact, the majority of dogs will develop arthritis as they age, with an average onset at around 7-8 years old. 

Since the signs of arthritis and the signs of pain in general are often so similar, it's important to pay especially close attention.


Signs your dog might have arthritis


You know your dog better than anyone else. If you have a sense that they’re acting strange or weird or are just not themselves, it’s a good sign that they’re trying to tell you something. Some common warning signs:


  • Your dog has started limping.
  • There are certain areas that seem sensitive and your dog yelps or winces when you touch them.
  • Your dog is more aggressive than usual.
  • Your dog seems to be licking their paws and joints excessively.
  • Your dog often has a loss of appetite or an upset stomach.


Arthritis treatment for dogs


If you think your dog might have arthritis or you are worried about their joint health, ask a veterinarian about Glucosamine. Glucosamine is one of the most common and widely researched arthritis treatment options for humans and dogs alike.

If you're thinking about giving your dog a Glucosamine supplement, check out Ziggy's Mobility Boost. Regular use of a supplement like Ziggy's Mobility Boost can help reduce pain, restore connective tissue and strengthen joints.