Tramadol for Dogs – When should I give it? Why do they need it?

In Dogs, Pet Health by Emotional Pet Support Team1 Comment

There are ways to tell if your dog is in pain, either they are clingy even though they were once distance or they are irritable even though they were once loving.

The dog’s pain may be chronic, acute, or postoperative. Of course, you can always give your dog pain killers or pain reliever as it can soothe it and aids in lessening the pain. So, your dog gets active and playful again. But, you don’t want to make the common mistake of giving it human medication either!

There are many analgesics in the pharmacies so you have to be careful of the tablet you are going to give your dog. Ultimately, visiting the veterinarian would determine the cause, and Tramadol may be prescribed for your dog. But did you also know that Tramadol is also an analgesic? Also, according to PubChem, its molecular formula is C16H25NO.

Can I Give My Dog Tramadol?

Short Answer: Yes.

Basically, Tramadol is a pain reliever. But you can totally give your dog this tranquilizer to ease pain and help your furry pal feel more comfortable.

What is Tramadol?

Tramadol is a potent medication dispensed by veterinarians to relieve pain in dogs.

As a matter of fact, it was classified as a schedule IV controlled substance by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in 2014.

It’s also prescribed to humans and is classified as an atypical opioid. Opioids change the sensation and transmission of pain in its users by reducing pain messages sent to the brain.

Tramadol works similar to morphine, by latching on to your dog’s opioid receptors in the spinal cord and brain. It restricts the re-absorption of serotonin and norepinephrine in your fur kid’s brain. This, in turn, promotes the release of these feel-good chemicals in your dog’s brain, promoting feelings of bliss.

Tramadol Ingredients

Tramadol capsules usually comprise 50mg of Tramadol Hydrochloride. It also comes in:

  • tablets
  • solution for IV injections
  • powder
  • epidural solution

Only licensed veterinarians may prescribe this, and each prescription has to be documented.

Remember to always follow the veterinarian’s instructions carefully. “Is Tramadol addictive?” you may be wondering. Well, it most certainly is, and using it for longer than recommended may cause addiction.


Tramadol Dosage for Dogs

The next biggest question is “how much should I give to my dog?”.

Here’s a quick guide on the dosage you should give to your dog:

  • 5 mg per pound of your dog weight
  • For bigger dogs (Golden Retrievers, Bulldogs), it may be 8 mg per pound of weight
  • Every 8 to 12 hours
  • 1-5 mg per kilogram weight of the dog

These dosages may, however, differ, depending on a veterinarian’s prescription, which may be tailored to your dog’s unique condition. For example, the veterinarian may take your dog’s pre-existing issues, liver, and weight into consideration.

Keep an Eye on the Dosage

Tramadol for dogs may leave your dog thirsty, so be sure to leave it with plenty of fresh water. If you decide to halt usage, do so gradually, as stopping your Tramadol dosage suddenly may lead to adverse withdrawal symptoms. These may include:

  • respiratory issues
  • nausea
  • tremors
  • chills
  • a runny tummy
  • jitters

You should always discuss solutions on how to ease up on the medication gradually with a veterinarian.

If you’ve forgotten to administer the dosage and it’s not close to the time for the next dosage, do so immediately.

If it’s almost time for the next dose, only administer the one dose.

What is Tramadol Used for?

Tramadol for dogs can be utilized for mild, moderate, or chronic pain relief. It’s also used as an alternative to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

This may be ideal if your dog is recovering from surgery. It may also be prescribed for dogs who are coughing, have nervous tension or spinal diseases.

Tramadol is often prescribed as a painkiller for dogs who’ve been injured, or for those with cancer, and arthritis.

Is It Safe For Dogs To Take Tramadol?

The answer is: YES

It is safe for your pet dog because they can take this medication if administered correctly (see above for dosage).

  • The dose of Tramadol should be always be suggested/consulted by your dog’s veterinarian.
  • Until your dog shows any negative signs of pain or irritation, you can give it Tramadol as it will only help him.
  • It should not be given in higher amounts to dogs with any disease.

And he will feel much better after taking this pain reliever.

Benefits Associated with Tramadol for Dogs

Tramadol is a non-narcotic drug and it benefits your dog in many ways.

  • It eases the pain caused by bee stings.
  • Arthritis
  • Pain in joints
  • Relieves anxiety
  • Pain during cancer
  • Diminishes depression
  • Pain caused by severe injuries
  • Relieves cough seizures
  • Pain related to teeth and mouth

Tramadol also aids dogs to ease anxiety and because of its enormous benefits, it is advantageous for your dog.

Side Effects Associated with Tramadol for Dogs

Side effects of Tramadol noted by the AKC include:

  • anxiety
  • nausea
  • diarrhea
  • lethargy
  • constipation
  • vomiting
  • appetite loss
  • drowsiness
  • tremors
  • respiration
  • convulsions
  • rashes
  • a declining heart rate

There are instances where Tramadol use is prohibited.

Never give Tramadol to a pregnant or lactating dog, or to a dog on allergy or cold medication. Also, dogs experiencing drowsiness due to anxiety or seizure medication may become extra drowsy.

Did you know that your dog can have a seizure or other side effects if Tramadol is used at the same time along with other medications?

Tramadol side effects may also occur when used in conjunction with herbal products, muscle relaxants, additional pain medication, and blood thinning medications comprising warfarin such as Coumadin.

Caution should also be exercised if your dog is using Lanoxin comprising digoxin, used to treat congestive heart failure. Tramadol may also interact negatively with Nizoral, an anti-fungal antibiotic that heals fungal infections.

According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), you should practice caution if your dog has kidney disease, a history of seizures, or is using serotonin reuptake restrictors such as sertraline or fluoxetine.

NOTE: Tramadol for dogs, if used for prolonged periods, may also lead to addiction.

Tramadol Overdosing

3 Symptoms of a Tramadol Overdose

  1. Tiny pupils. The dog’s eyes can even symptoms of an overdose. The pupils will usually constrict, and your dog may also start panting! Some other signs of an overdose are pupils that have shrunk dramatically.
  2. Drowsiness. Ingesting too much Tramadol may sedate your dog. This occurs as a result of a decreased heart rate, which can make your dog slower. Always be on the lookout for a loss of consciousness or unresponsiveness.
  3. Compulsive. If your dog is acting compulsively and has a swift change in behavior, they may have ingested too much Tramadol. This behavior could include:
    • obsessive tail chasing
    • pacing
    • licking
    • shadow chasing
    • the hoarding of toys or household objects
    • food fixation

Your dog may also show signs of stomach pain, black stools, and have blood-tinged vomit. Be on the lookout for alterations in urination, collapse, and excessive thirst. If your furkid has ingested larger amounts, you can expect renal failure, halitosis, neurological issues such as tremors, and liver failure.

Sadly, a Tramadol overdose may sometimes result in death. Do not hesitate to contact a veterinarian soonest if you suspect an overdose, as doing this can save its life.


As an ardent dog lover, there’s nothing more rewarding than seeing your dog pain-free, happy, and playful. The onus is on you to work with the veterinarian to ensure that your dog receives the right dosage and treatment, in the event of an overdose. Lastly, some various brands here include Tramacet, Ultracet, Ultram, Tramal, and Conzip.


  1. I’m highly concerned with the dosages that you listed for Tramadol. Not only did you list two very different dosages , this goes against everything that I’ve been told about Tramadol and the levels that dogs can tolerate. First you listed 5 mg per pound then you listed at the bottom of the list 1 to 5 mg per kilogram. It was irresponsible editing if you ask me.

    The maximum I’ve ever seen is 1.8 mg per pound. I would request that you do a little bit more research and possibly adjust the dosage listed in this article to avoid some well-meaning owner hurting their dog.

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