Vet Corner - Can You Give Dogs Advil

Vet Corner - Can You Give Dogs Advil

Author WDF Staff


Dealing with pain can be challenging, especially for the dogs since they cannot tell us if they’re in pain. One of the best ways to stop pain quickly is by taking a pain killer. Humans have different options available, and one of the most common ones is Advil. If pain is constantly present in your life, you know how irritating that can be. Even simple things in life suddenly become problematic.

That is why we need to help our dogs deal with their pain. They might not be able to tell us when they’re in pain, but we can certainly read their body language and notice signs of pain. Many dog owners wonder, “Can you give dogs Advil?” It is effective and safe for us, so it might help our dogs. Here’s what you should know about giving Advil to dogs.

Can dogs take Advil?

This medication is safe for humans, but dogs should not take Advil. Since you don’t need a prescription for it, many of us have it at home. We use it to treat headaches, migraines, back pain, joint issues, common colds, and flu. It is very effective for humans, but dogs will have a completely different reaction to it.

border collie on beach

Is Advil safe for dogs?

No, Advil is not safe for dogs. There are human pain medications dogs can safely take, but Advil is not one of them. The active ingredient in Advil is ibuprofen, which is not considered safe for dogs. You can read more about it here - Can dogs take ibuprofen? It has the potential to kill your dog, so never try to help your dog by giving them Advil.

Why is Advil bad for dogs?

Advil falls into the NSAID category. That means it is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, which has a unique way of dealing with pain. Advil will affect the enzyme that is crucial for producing prostaglandins, which are the body’s natural response to pain or inflammation. Some NSAIDs block COX or cyclooxygenase, and others directly affect prostaglandins.

The body produces prostaglandins constantly, and they are the main reason why the body reacts the way it reacts to pain. However, these compounds in the dog’s body have other functions as well. They control the blood flow to the kidneys, play a vital role in blood clotting, and protect the gastrointestinal lining. If Advil affects prostaglandin production, it can throw off-balance all other functions as well. That is why many dogs end up in pet ERs.

What if my dog eats an Advil pill?

Despite our best efforts, some dogs end up ingesting harmful substances, and Advil is undoubtedly one of those. The key thing to do if your dog ingested a pill is not to panic. We know that is easier said than done, but you must react fast and call your vet or Pet Poison Helpline (800-213-6680). Keep an eye on your dog’s vital signs and look for signs of ibuprofen poisoning.

dog looking into distance

The good news is that one pill will probably not kill medium-sized or large dogs. However, Advil will get absorbed in the bloodstream pretty fast. That means you have a limited time where you can do something about your dog’s Advil ingestion. After you call your vet, they will most likely advise you to induce vomiting. You can learn how to safely do that here - How to make your dog vomit? However, vomit should be induced only if you’ve seen exactly when your dog ingested the pill. You might have only a couple of minutes to react. Another possible thing your dog can take is active charcoal that could absorb some of Advil’s chemicals. Regardless of anything, you should take your dog to the vet as soon as possible.

What are the side effects of Advil poisoning?

Dogs that ingest Advil will most likely experience different health issues and side effects. The only thing that might save them is vomiting the pill before it dissolves in their stomach. Even then, the dog might feel some of these most common side effects of Advil toxicity;

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Bloody stool
  • Bloody vomit
  • Loss of appetite
  • Changes in urination and thirst
  • Coordination loss
  • Seizures
  • Coma

SAFETY TIP: If you keep drugs like Advil at home, make sure you keep them locked and away from your dog. Dogs can be very determined when something interests them, so make sure you keep the drugs really safe from them.

Can Advil ever be good for dogs?

Surprisingly, vets can prescribe ibuprofen in certain cases. When a dog is in pain and all other dog-safe pain medications failed, your vet can advise ibuprofen. However, it is extremely important you stick to their instructions. The line between a safe dose and killing your dog is barely noticeable. Never try to help your dog by medicating them on your own.

dog on beach

Even if your vet decides to try ibuprofen, they will most likely not advise Advil. There are far safer options, and risking your dog’s life to treat pain is not worth it. Always go for the safer option if you can pick.

Can Advil kill dogs?

Unfortunately, yes. Advil can be fatal for dogs, and we would recommend you never experiment with it. Keep it locked away from your dog, and make sure your dog can’t reach it even in extreme situations. Here are some of the worst consequences your dog can suffer from ingesting Advil;

  • Stomach ulcers
  • Intestinal perforations
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Neurological problems
  • Kidney failure

At least two of these are fatal to dogs, so make sure your dog can’t get close to Advil.

World Dog Finder team

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