Dog Arthritis Blog
Can I Give Human Arthritis Medicine to My Dog?

imageDogs and humans both suffer from the pain of arthritis, so it’s natural to think it’s ok to give your dog the same arthritis medicine as humans use. Although  many of these drugs share the same properties, it’s important that you do not give your dog human arthritis medicine that has not been proven safe for animals.
Here are the most commonly prescribed human arthritis medications:

    * Anti-inflammatories
    * Pain killers
    * DMARDs (disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs)
    * Biological DMARDS (fancy and expensive).

DMARDs are not given to dogs because they are used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and other immune mediated types of arthritis that dogs do not usually get. This article details anti-inflammatories and arthritis pain killers that work for both humans and dogs.


There are more human anti-inflammatories than can be listed here. I’ll tell you about just those anti-inflammatories which can be used to treat human and dog arthritis.


Aspirin is a somewhat effective anti-inflammatory when given in 10 – 25 mg/kg dosages every 12 hours. It must be taken with food. Be aware that aspirin is known to cause stomach ulcers when used too often.


Meloxicam, also known as Mobic, is available to dogs under the name Metacam. Meloxicam and Metacam are both good anti-inflammatory medications. They should be given in the following dosages:

    * 0.2 mg/kg by mouth, with food, once daily on the first day.
    * 0.1 mg/kg by mouth with food, once daily, from the second day on.

Because it is difficult to cut the 7.5mg and 15mg Meloxicam tablets into the correct dog dosage, it is better to use Metacam which comes in a liquid form.


Etodalac, a good anti-inflammatory known as Lodine to human doctors, and Eto-Gesic to vets. It is quite effective when administered 10-15 mg/kg PO once daily. Because it is hard to get the right dosage for small dogs, Eto-Gesic is preferred. Etodalac can not be administered with dog aspirin.

Pain Killers

Acetaminophen + Codeine

These drugs are sold under the Tylenol brand and others. They work well with one another and also can be administered along with anti-inflammatories. Give your dog 60 mg codeine with 300 mg acetaminophen (Tylenol) or other brand tablets every 8 hours.

Be aware that acetaminophen has many side effects and may not be the best choice for your dog. Check with your vet to be sure.

When is it OK to Us Human Arthritis Drugs?

Although it is always safer to use dog drugs, you can use human ones in an emergency when your vet is not available. 

Download our PDF file here.

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