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What You Should Know About a Dog Anti Inflammatory [Types, Usage, Side Effects]

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Your dog is typically bouncing around, chasing squirrels, and getting into all sorts of mischief – but what if they suddenly seemed nothing like their usual energetic selves? Is it age? An injury? 

It’s sometimes hard to tell what’s bugging your pup and even harder to know just what to do about it. 



And if your research or a visit to the vet has led you to determine that your dog is suffering from inflammation, then you may be wondering what the options in this circumstance are and what you can do for your dog – thankfully, you’re in the right place!

If you have a dog with arthritis, hip dysplasia, or other chronic pain conditions, the good news is that there are many treatments available that can help reduce inflammation and pain in your furry friend. In this article, we will go over some of the most common types of treatments used to help inflammation in dogs as well as their benefits and side effects. 

That way, your dog can stop feeling so ruff and return to their usual selves!

What is Anti-Inflammatory for Dogs Used for?

An anti-inflammatory is a group of medications and treatments that reduce inflammation. Inflammation is the body's natural response to injury or illness that involves the swelling, redness, and pain associated with an injury.

Dog anti-inflammatory medicines are often used to treat conditions and circumstances such as:

  • Arthritis
  • Injury recovery
  • Preventative care
  • Surgery recovery

Anti-inflammatories are often used to treat these conditions because they help reduce swelling and decrease pain related to these issues.


There are many types of anti-inflammatories available, but they all work in a similar way. They inhibit the production of certain chemicals that cause inflammation and help to decrease pain and swelling (more on that in a bit).

Types of Dog Anti-Inflammatory Medicines and Supplements

types of dog anti inflammatory

There are two main types of anti-inflammatories for dogs:

  1. Natural
  2. Non-natural

The first includes glucosamine and chondroitin supplements, which are typically recommended by vets as a way to help reduce inflammation in the joints and surrounding tissues. The second option is more serious. It involves medications like NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) that require a prescription from your veterinarian before you can use them.

In general, we recommend that you talk with your vet about what kind of medicine would be best for your dog because they know your pup’s body better than anyone else!

However, if you want some background information on these different options so you can have an informed conversation with your vet when the time comes then read on!

Type #1: Supplements

If you have a dog or you've ever had a dog, you know that they can develop joint issues as they age. This can be due to their weight or even just the fact that they are getting older. Either way, it spells inflammation and pain for your pup!

This is why many pet pawrents try a dog joint health supplement. These supplements will help with inflammation in the body, reduce pain and help with overall dog health as well.

There are several different ingredients in supplements for dog anti-inflammatory aid that can help you manage your dog's joint pain and inflammation:

  1. Glucosamine for dogs is an amino sugar that naturally occurs in the body and is used to build healthy cartilage, which is what cushions your dog’s joints. 
  2. MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) is an organic sulfur compound found in many foods, including fresh fruits and vegetables. It's often used as a dietary supplement to treat arthritis and joint pain because it can help reduce inflammation.
  3. Chondroitin sulfate is a type of glycosaminoglycan that helps support the cartilage matrix within the body. It works by supporting and stabilizing the existing cartilage while protecting it from further damage caused by inflammation or injury.

When you’re selecting a dog anti-inflammatory supplement, you want to ensure it meets a few key pieces of criteria in order to make sure it’s truly going to make an impact on your pup. This requires learning how to read the supplement label.

Before you choose a dog anti-inflammatory supplement, ensure that it is:

  • Made with only active ingredients
  • Contains no fillers
  • Approved by a regulatory body like Health Canada
  • Tested for quality and efficacy 

One supplement that has the ingredients you need, and the quality your pup deserves? Integricare’s TRI-ACTA for pets. Whether you require the extra strength H.A. formula or have a young pup who is just starting to experience dog inflammation and needs our regular strength product, you can trust that our supplements are safe and effective at combating dog inflammation and pain – minus those nasty side effects that come with typical dog anti-inflammatory drugs.


TRI-ACTA H.A. for Pets

Our maximum strength formula is optimally designed to accelerate the formation of cartilage, minimize inflammation, expedite the healing process, and improve joint conditions.



Type #2: NSAIDS

Inflammation is a normal part of the body's natural healing process. However, when it lasts for an extended period of time, it can cause pain and discomfort in your dog. Anti-inflammatory drugs are used as a way to reduce inflammation and relieve these symptoms.

One class of dog anti-inflammatory drugs is NSAIDs

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs work by inhibiting the production of prostaglandins, which are chemicals that cause pain and inflammation among other actions in the body. An enzyme called cyclooxygenase (COX) is activated when a cell is damaged. Upon damage to the cells, COX stimulates the production of several substances, including prostaglandins.

Some NSAIDs work by blocking COX or by blocking some activity of certain prostaglandins, depending on the situation. The table visualization below shows the difference between these two mechanisms.


Type of NSAID Pathway

How it Works

Pathway 1: NSAIDs Block COX

Pathway 2: NSAIDs Inhibit Prostaglandin 

Image Source

As great as these medications are, they can, however, cause serious side effects because they interfere with other prostaglandin functions and can lead to problems with liver and kidney function if used for a long period of time. Yikes!

Type #3: Corticosteroids

Another commonly prescribed class of dog anti-inflammatory drugs is the corticosteroid family of medicines.

As anti-inflammatory drugs for dogs, corticosteroids can be divided into two categories: 

  1. Mineralocorticoids: Contribute to electrolyte balance.
  2. Glucocorticoids: Contribute to carbohydrate, protein, and lipid metabolism, immune response, and stress response.

Joint pain, allergies, respiratory conditions, and skin issues are often treated with low doses of both types of these dog anti-inflammatory drugs. Lupus and Addison's Disease are commonly treated with higher doses.

Although these anti-inflammatory drugs can be helpful for dogs, their effects may also suppress the immune response, making infections more likely.

Dog Anti-Inflammatory Drugs Side Effects

Watching for dog anti-inflammatory drugs side effects is crucial to any pet's safety. If your veterinarian has prescribed anti-inflammatory medication for your pup's pain relief or to help them recover from surgery or injury, it's important that you monitor them closely while they're taking the medication.

Side effects of dog anti-inflammatory medications like NSAIDs can include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea 
  • Reduction in typical appetite 
  • Lethargic and less active than normal
  • Kidney and liver problems
  • Potential for stomach and intestinal ulcers and associated bleeding

If you’re like any pet pawrent, it can be hard to remember what is truly dangerous for your dog when it’s a stressful situation. 

With the word BEST, you can easily remember the signs of dog anti-inflammatory drugs side effects:

  • B: Behavior changes suddenly 
  • E: Eating less than normal
  • S: Skin redness and scabs
  • T: Tarry stool, diarrhea, and vomiting

Avoiding Dog Anti Inflammatory Side Effects

There are several ways to avoid dog anti inflammatory side effects that can be potentially dangerous to your pup:

  • Check the label and make sure you're using the correct dosage
  • Don't use anti-inflammatories for long periods of time
  • Don't use anti-inflammatories if your dog has a health condition that leaves them prone to kidney and liver issues
  • Never feed an OTC human painkiller
  • If your dog has a health condition, like diabetes or heart disease, talk to your vet before using any type of anti-inflammatory medication. This will prevent complications from occurring as a result of taking medications that may interfere with other drugs they take for their existing conditions.

When it comes to avoiding side effects like those we have mentioned above, you can opt for pain relief options that don’t come with harmful or dangerous side effects – and deliver real healing simultaneously! Supplements like TRI-ACTA for pets can be fed over a long period of time (even their whole lives!) without worrying about adverse reactions caused by synthetic drugs. 

Integricare’s TRI-ACTA for Pets and TRI-ACTA H.A. for pets offer a side-effect-free experience that can deliver an effective dose of pain and inflammation reduction, as well as the ability to treat the problem at the same time using the power of glucosamine chondroitin for dogs. Simply put, supplements can be a better, safer option for long-term pain relief than dog anti-inflammatory medicines.


TRI-ACTA H.A. for Pets

Our maximum strength formula is optimally designed to accelerate the formation of cartilage, minimize inflammation, expedite the healing process, and improve joint conditions.




Being a good pet pawrent can sometimes leave you with more questions than you’d like. And it’s not always easy to get a straightforward answer.

Good news! We’re here to help answer your questions about dog anti-inflammatory medications, supplements, and treatments so you can focus on what matters – your pup!

How to Treat Dog Anti-Inflammatory Side Effects?

If your dog is experiencing side effects, contact your vet immediately. Call the vet if you are unsure what to do or if the side effects your pet is experiencing are normal. If you cannot contact your vet, take your dog to an emergency animal hospital as soon as possible so that he can be seen by a veterinarian and treated for his condition.

We may sound like a broken record, but it's important to loop your dog's personal experts into the situation in order to avoid scary and even deadly outcomes.

How to Administer Anti-Inflammatory Drugs to Your Dog?

Who likes taking their medication? Not your dog, that's for sure! As much as they may not love to take their liquid or capsule medication, it's important to get your dog's prescribed dose of anti-inflammatory medication into their systems.

Since we know it's no easy task, some tips for safely administering a dog anti-inflammatory include:

  • Make sure the dog is in a comfortable position. Nothing is worse than trying to get them to swallow a pill or liquid dose of medication when they are not comfy!
  • Make sure the dog is calm and relaxed before administering the medication.
  • Give NSAIDs with a meal. This can reduce the chance of stomach upset. You can also use this as a method to disguise medication in their dinner. Make sure when you sneak it into their food to use wet or dry food with a ton of flavour and scent so it can trick even the best of sniffers into taking their medication.
  • Be sure to use the correct dose of NSAID for your dog's size, weight, breed, and medical condition.
  • Ask your veterinarian about any possible side effects of NSAIDs. You can also read the drug’s client information sheet. If you are not handed one when you receive your dog’s prescribed drug, ask for it. Do not administer NSAIDs with corticosteroids or other NSAIDs.
  • Familiarize yourself with signs of all possible adverse reactions to NSAIDs before administering them.
  • If your dog exhibits any one of these signs after taking an NSAID (such as nausea or vomiting), discontinue its use and seek veterinary care immediately.

If all else fails, you can try products like a pill gun or pill popper "cases", but use with caution as your dog can choke easily.

What are Signs of an Allergic Reactions to Anti-Inflammatory for a Dog?

If a dog is allergic to anti-inflammatory medication, the signs of an allergic reaction may include:

  • Redness around the eyes and mouth
  • Hives
  • Rashes
  • Itching/scratching of the skin, especially around their paws or face (if your dog has long hair)
  • Swelling of the face, lips and tongue

If you think your pet may be having an adverse reaction to his medication, contact your veterinarian immediately.

What Are FDA-Approved Dog Anti-Inflammatory Medicine?

The FDA-approved dog anti-inflammatory medicines include:

  • Carprofen
  • Deracoxib
  • Firocoxib
  • Grapiprant
  • Meloxicam
  • Robenacoxib

Unfortunately, there are many dog anti-inflammatory products on the market that claim to be medications or magic cure-alls – and not all of them are completely safe. That's why it's important only to feed your dog medications prescribed by your veterinarian when your dog is in serious distress, like post-operatively or after a serious injury, and to consult your vet when using non-prescription medications like dog anti-inflammatory supplements.

You can also look for things on the packaging of your dog's supplement like "Third Party Lab Tested" and approvals from groups like Health Canada that tell you this product is safe and effective.

Are Dog Anti-Inflammatory Drugs for Humans Safe for Dogs?

It’s important to note that while humans can take medications like ibuprofen and acetaminophen, they are not safe for dogs. In fact, dogs have different physiology than us and different metabolisms, meaning they need different doses of medication and supplements than we do. They also cannot process the coatings and certain ingredients contained in these medications.

Additionally, the way their bodies process drugs is also different from ours – so taking a medication in the same dosage as another species can cause serious side effects or even death. 

In addition to differences in metabolism and dosing requirements between dogs and humans, there are also drug interactions between certain medications that can be dangerous if given to pets.

The bottom line? Never feed your dog a human OTC painkiller or NSAID to be safe.


summary of a dog anti inflammatory

In conclusion, we hope that this article has given you a good idea of the different medications and supplements which can be used to treat your dog’s arthritis. While there are many options available, it is important to discuss them with your vet before making any decisions about treatment or trying new products.

One family of products you, your vet, and your pup can trust to offer a safe and effective treatment for dog inflammation and pain? TRI-ACTA for Pets. With 100% active ingredients, and approval from Health Canada, you know it’s safe and effective – without a bunch of fillers that do nothing for your pup, and end up costing you more per serving. And when your pup gets a little older, or needs more from their dog anti-inflammatory, you can trust our TRI-ACTA H.A. for Pets to take care of them. 


TRI-ACTA H.A. for Pets

Our maximum strength formula is optimally designed to accelerate the formation of cartilage, minimize inflammation, expedite the healing process, and improve joint conditions.


Find out more about our pet health supplements and where to buy them, plus find more great tips for keeping your pets well on our blog.