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What Can You Give a Dog for Pain Relief at Home?

Updated: June 28, 2024

When a pet is in pain, pet parents want the maximum amount of available options for relief. Depending on your preference and your dog's pain experience, you may want natural or traditional NSAID products - or a bit of both!

Natural options and NSAID options are both available and effective in inflammation and pain relief. Because of this, we will introduce several natural options to utilize and some comparisons between natural and NSAID remedies. We will consider effectiveness, side effects, benefits, and environmental impact to help you choose the best options for your dog!

We want to make it clear that sometimes NSAIDs are the best option for your dog under your vet's guidance! This blog post aims to compare natural options to NSAIDs for those wondering why they would incorporate or switch to them, but it does not aim to discourage from NSAID use altogether!

small dog getting pain pill

Providing Pain Relief


CBD reduces pain by specifically encouraging CB2 receptors in the body (the ones that interact with pain and inflammation) to produce neurotransmitters known as endocannabinoids. These endocannabinoids target inflammation and pain signals to regulate and keep them “silenced.”


Tumeric is a well-known option for natural pain relief! It has even been used in human clinical trials to understand how it can be effectively used to relieve pain and inflammation in comparison to NSAIDs. These studies found that turmeric was just as effective and lead to fewer adverse effects!

Tumeric works to relieve pain because of the compound it contains called curcumin. Curcumin has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that allow it to relieve pain!


NSAIDs inhibit or prevent the release of chemical compounds that generally respond to inflammation situations and create pain. However, this also means NSAIDs are not selective in which of the enzymes (COX-1 or COX-2) it inhibits. This results in more side effects being present.

*Be sure to never give pets NSAIDs designed for humans, only those specifically made with pets in mind.

giving a tan rescue dog a bottle of pain relief oil

The Side Effects


Because CBD is a natural and holistic pain relief option, it tends to be accepted more easily and readily than pharmaceutical options.

Typically, pets only see non-productive side effects when first introducing CBD or if their dose is a little higher than they need. Even so, the side effects are not life-threatening or chronic. A dog with a sensitive stomach or one who has received too high an initial dose may experience lethargy and loose stool.


Tumeric, when given in the proper quantities at the proper frequencies, should not produce any adverse side effects. Because it is a natural option, it is great for dogs with sensitive stomachs. However, if your pup has too much, too frequently it can lead to vomiting or diarrhea. Just be sure to only give the necessary amount recommended on the turmeric's packaging!


NSAIDs may produce non-productive side effects that can be more unpleasant than the available natural options. NSAIDs are labeled with warnings that they may cause vomiting, constipation, bloating, heart palpitations, and (if used long-term) kidney and liver damage. This means that while NSAIDs may still be a great option for many, those who may have a dog that is more prone to these side effects could benefit from choosing more natural options.

Additional Benefits of Natural Pain Relief

One of the advantages of using CBD is that a full spectrum product like Suzie’s will also contain terpenes and secondary cannabinoids. These additional elements each offer their own health features! That way, not only are you reliving pain, but you can also boost your pup's help in additional ways!

One example of this is the secondary cannabinoid CBN. CBD has been found to offer antibacterial and neuroprotectant properties!

Another advantage of natural options like CBD and turmeric is that, unlike some pain management options, they do not require a prescription and can be easily bought in stores or online. It also often costs less than prescriptions or traditional NSAIDs!

giving a Australian Shepard natural medicine

Environmental Impact

Many pet parents are reporting that environmental impact is an important factor when they choose products. Because of this, it is another to consider when choosing your pain relief product for your dog!

NSAIDs are released into the environment via excretion and unused drug waste which causes environmental damage and contaminates marine, ground, and surface water.

CBD oil is a natural compound that is properly utilized by the body. Even if some should end up in the environment, it is fully biodegradable making them harmless. Suzie's Pet Treats tries in all circumstances to use only natural sources of ingredients, organic if possible.

holistic vet with three dogs

Holistic Vets

If you feel overwhelmed by the number of options to choose from for pain relief or do not know what will work best for your dog - a holistic vet consultation could offer much-needed guidance! Holistic vets specialize in creating health plans that combine conventional and alternative treatment methods to best help your pet. Even better? You can often find holistic vets that will offer over-the-phone consultations before ever needing to drive to an office!

Final Thoughts

As we mentioned earlier, for some dogs NSAIDs are an effective option and should not be counted out. However, we are often meeting pet parents looking to relieve pain in situations where their dogs are already struggling or sensitive. In this case, natural pain relief can be incredibly helpful to not aggravate chronic issues further.

You may also want to consider trying different pain alleviating options, separately, to see what they offer for your dog in terms of relief. Try out different options each for a few weeks and make note of the changes to your dog's activity level, energy level, and mood. If you see positive results, you can continue with the best option and consider adding on additional ones!

Be sure to speak to your vet to make sure that pain mitigation is something you can accomplish on your own with natural or non-prescription options. Some more serious pain matters may require prescriptions or medical intervention.


Suzie's offers many types of CBD pet products (including many with turmeric) which you can find on our website or in an independent retailer near you! Read our treat guide or product pages for more info.


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