As a pet parent, taking care of your furry friend when they’re hurt can be a stressful process. Whether they’re experiencing pain symptoms from a recent surgery or other health conditions, you want to do everything you can to relieve them from their pain.

If your dog is experiencing discomfort, your veterinarian might suggest starting treatment with tramadol to help alleviate your pup’s discomfort. 

What is Tramadol?

In the world of medicine, tramadol is one of the few painkillers that’s often prescribed to both humans and dogs for treatments. This drug enables a feeling of euphoria in your four-legged friend as it reduces pain by inhibiting reuptake of norepinephrine and serotonin in the brain.

Not only is this drug used to manage chronic and acute pain in dogs, but it may also have some mild anti-anxiety effects as well. Although tramadol has been used medicinally for hundreds of years, this drug gained significant attention for its use for dogs much later. 

It’s evident that it’s safe for humans to use this drug, but is it completely safe for our furry friends?

Is Tramadol Safe for Dogs?

While tramadol is FDA-approved for use in humans, it is not officially approved for use in animals. In cases where they see fit, veterinarians may prescribe this medication for dogs or cats, though, if they determine it is both safe and healthy to do so.

In order to ensure the safety of your dog, be sure to talk with your veterinarian about any concerns you may have. They can talk with you about managing your dog’s health conditions in the safest, most effective way. 


The dosage for any medication for your dog can vary depending on your pet’s weight and the condition you’re trying to treat. For specific dosing instructions for your pet’s needs, talk to your veterinarian and always follow their directions. 

That being said, according to 1-800-PetMeds, common dosages of tramadol for dogs are:

  • 0.45-1.8 mg/lb of pet’s body weight every 8-12 hours for pain relief
  • 0.45-1.8 mg/lb of pet’s body weight every 6 hours for chronic cancer pain

Side Effects

As with most medication, there might be some tramadol side effects that your dog might experience. These side effects include:

  • Anxiety
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Upset stomach
  • Constipation
  • Loss of appetite
  • Tremors
  • Dizziness
  • Seizures

To avoid any serious adverse reactions, be sure to only give your pet the dosage of tramadol that has been prescribed. If your dog experiences any concerning side effects, contact their veterinarian immediately. 

Final Thoughts

When it comes to relieving your pup’s pain, tramadol is a great option to consider. If you believe this medication might be beneficial to your dog, be sure to consult a veterinarian for optimal care. 

It’s crucial that you speak to a pet care professional before using tramadol,  as serious side effects can occur. Once your dog starts taking tramadol, be sure to monitor them for any side effects and always follow up with their veterinarian both during and after treatment.

Disclaimer: this article does not constitute or replace medical advice. If you have an emergency or a serious medical question, please contact a medical professional or call 911 immediately. To see our full medical disclaimer, visit our Terms of Use page.

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