Over the Counter Dog Arthritis Pain Relief

Some dog arthritis pain relief medication can be bought over the counter. There are several products on the market for which you do not need a medical prescription, but it is recommended to use them in low doses only. If the pain persists, you should consult your veterinarian for prescription medication. Some anti-inflammatory medication that you can buy over the counter can have serious side effects, so if you notice any changes in your dog after administering such drugs, stop the administration immediately and see your veterinarian.

Over the Counter Dog Arthritis Pain Relief

If your dog suffers from arthritis pain you can resort to one of the following over the counter drugs:

  • Anti-inflammatory medication (Aspirin)
  • Glucosamine and Chondroitin
  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol)

Even if you can get any of those without a medical prescription, pay attention when administering them to your dog.


Aspirin is most widely used pain killer. It is often recommended in dogs with arthritis, since it reduces both the inflammation and the pain. However, you should be aware that aspirin can have serious side effects in dogs, such as stomach ulcers or liver toxicity.

It is recommended to administer aspirin with food.

Glucosamine and Chondroitin

Glucosamine and chondroitin are actually substances to be found in the cartilage of every animal, so administering these drugs works like giving a supplement to your dog. Glucosamine and chondroitin help in dogs with arthritis and can be used as long term treatment since they do not have any serious side effects.

In very rare cases they can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, but these symptoms disappear if the dosage is decreased or if medication is administered with food.


Acetaminophen can also be used, but only in very small doses, or otherwise it can be lethal. Acetaminophen only stops pain and it does not have any anti-inflammatory properties. In order to avoid mistakes in chosing the right pain killer or administer the drugs in incorrect  dosage, it is best to consult your veterinarian and get a prescription.

Other Pain Relief Solutions

Besides medication, there are other measures you can take to provide your dog with the comfort he needs such as:

  • Changing the diet
  • Losing weight
  • Warm environment
  • Massaging joints and muscles
  • Antioxidants and vitamins
  • Acupuncture
  • Exercise

Feeding high quality food, low in additives, improves your dog’s state of health. Giving up additives, soy, wheat, helps reduce the swelling of the joints.

Massage also helps reduce pain. 

If your dog is suffering from arthritis pain, you should make some changes in his living space. Make his food and water more accessible to him; put some access ramps so that he doesn’t have to climb the stairs, cover slippery surfaces with carpets.

Warmth works wonders for arthritis pain, so try to keep his bed warm; if need be put a bottle with warm water in the bed.

If your dog is used to staying outside, provide a warm shelter when the weather is wet and cold.