Tramadol for Dogs – 6 thing You Must Know

    Tramadol for Dogs – Before knowing how tramadol is used to treat a dog medically, it is essential to understand what tramadol is. Tramadol is a medication used in treating small animals like dogs and cats suffering from moderate to severe pain. It is a synthetic opioid pain killer medication that you should be giving your dog only when prescribed by a certified veterinary. Usually, vets prescribe tramadol for dogs who have undergone surgery or those who suffer from chronic pain due to osteoarthritis and other joint problems.


    It works in a way that is similar to the commonly known painkiller drug for humans-morphine. Tramadol releases norepinephrine and serotonin in the dog’s brain, creating a feeling of euphoria. This helps your furry creatures deal with pain. As a pet owner, one has to be extremely careful with the dosage of the drug. It is essential to stick to the prescribed quantity as overdosage of tramadol can prove to be deadly for your pet. Following the prescription written by your trusted vet is extremely important when your dog is on tramadol.

    Humans have extensively used tramadol to combat pain for a long time now. Vets have slowly accepted it in a specific quantity to help treat dogs and cats suffering from pain. It is a relatively newer drug that is now being used in veterinary medicine.

    Why Should You Use Tramadol for Dogs?


    Given the fact that tramadol has essentially been used to treat humans, as a pet owner, you might be wondering why I should use tramadol for dogs, and reasonably so!

    Tramadol is an opioid or a narcotic drug. It helps in increasing the release of serotonin or the happy hormone in one’s body. Serotonin has an impact on your entire body, and it stabilizes the way one feels.

    A vet prescribes tramadol for dogs who have undergone surgery or are in acute, chronic pain. This is because tramadol is an analgesic that helps release hormones that make dealing with moderate to severe pain easy for your dogs.

    Veterinaries prescribe tramadol for dogs under the following conditions-

    • Arthritis
    • Cancer
    • Post-surgical pain
    • Anxiety
    • Canine degenerative myelopathy- a disease of the spinal cord
    • Lameness
    • Other chronic pain of any kind
    • Coughing

    Apart from these reasons, a vet can prescribe tramadol for dogs for any other reason they deem medically apt. Following the medication’s dose in the prescribed manner is extremely important while giving the drug to your dog.

    Side effects- Tramadol for dogs

    Just like in the case of any other medication, tramadol can also result in side effects when given to your dogs. These side effects are generally easily manageable. As a pet owner, one has to immediately contact your trusted veterinary in case your dog experiences one.

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    The mild side effects of tramadol for dogs include-

    • Sedation
    • Tremors
    • Dizziness
    • Loss of appetite
    • Vomiting
    • Diarrhea
    • Constipation

    These side effects generally do not last for a long duration and usually go away in a day or two. However, consulting your vet when your dog faces them is always a good idea.

    The severe or extreme side effects of tramadol for dogs include-

    • Seizures
    • Loss of coordination in bodily functions
    • Extreme sleepiness or dizziness
    • Increased heartbeat
    • Agitation or extreme mood swings
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    If your dog is showing any of these signs, take it to an emergency vet clinic immediately. These symptoms require immediate medical attention.

    Which Dogs should Avoid Tramadol?

    Tramadol is usually safe for consumption by dogs when prescribed by a certified vet. However, different dogs in different medical or non-medical conditions might react differently to the drug.

    Before administering tramadol for dogs, be sure that the drug does not result in any adverse reactions in your dogs.

    Tramadol should not be given to dogs that are hypersensitive to opioids. It can prove to be deadly for them or can cause significant allergic reactions. Also, avoid tramadol for dogs that have any of the following conditions:

    • Acute seizure disorders
    • Liver or kidney diseases
    • Pregnant dogs
    • Lactating dogs
    • Dogs that are on medication for ailments related to the brain or lungs

    Some dogs may also be prone to developing allergic reactions from tramadol. These allergies include the following

    • Rashes
    • Itching
    • Hives
    • Swelling
    • Sneezing

    When consumed by dogs that are medically in such conditions, tramadol can cause major side effects. It should also not be prescribed to dogs who are already on medication like antidepressants, ketamine, and warfarin, to name a few. Mixing these drugs with tramadol for dogs is not a good idea and can have major side effects.

    When taken along with these drugs, tramadol can cause significant complications in your dog’s body. It is crucial to inform the vet of any other medication your dog is on before he prescribes tramadol for dogs.

    Tramadol Doses for Dogs

    Tramadol, being an analgesic, needs to be consumed in a prescribed manner. It should never be given to your dog unless your vet specifically prescribes it. Even then, it is essential to stick to the exact dosage prescribed.


    The dosage of tramadol for dogs is calculated depending upon the dog’s body weight. Usually, vets prescribe 0.45 to 1.8 mg per pound of bodyweight to treat chronic pain given to the dog every 8 to 12 hours. In case your pet is suffering from diseases like cancer, tramadol is provided to them every 6 hours instead.

    Tramadol for dogs is generally available in 50g tablets. Do not crush the tablets before giving them to your dogs. Usually, the vet guides pet owners on how to administer the medication to their dogs precisely.

    The medicine is time-sensitive and should be given to your dogs at the exact time mentioned by your vet. The calculation of the quantity of the dose is also something which one needs to keep in mind as overdosage leads to unwanted complication for your pet. Symptoms of overdosage include the following-

    • Drowsiness
    • Weakness
    • Fainting or dizziness
    • Shallow breathing
    • coma

    In case of any of these symptoms, it is vital to consult your vet to avoid any dire consequences immediately.

    Since tramadol for dogs is an opioid, one has to be careful with its discontinuation. Vets generally decrease the dosage gradually so that the dog does not suffer from any discomfort. Sudden discontinuation of tramadol for dogs can result in withdrawal symptoms. These include tremors, nausea, anxiety, diarrhea, and breathing issues, to name a few.


    Depending upon the body weight, tramadol is generally prescribed to dogs in the following dosage in time duration between 8 to 12 hours.

    Weight (in pounds/lb) Dosage (in mg)
    100 45-180
    80 36-144
    60 27-108
    40 18-72
    20 9-36
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    However, the final decision of the dosage and quantity will be based on what the veterinarian medically deems to be fit.

    Natural Alternatives for Tramadol

    Just like any other painkiller, tramadol for dogs also has a few natural alternatives. Dog owners look for these natural alternatives as they are usually safer for their pets and have little to no side effects. However, even a natural alternative to tramadol should only be given to your dog after a vet approves it.

    Some of the natural alternatives for tramadol for dogs include-

    #1 CBD Oil

    CBD or cannabidiol oil is a medicinal oil that is made from marijuana and hemp. CBD has the same effect on the dog’s brain as tramadol. It is one of the most popular alternatives to tramadol for dogs since it is 100% natural and non-addictive. Also, there has been no scientific evidence of any life-threatening side effects of CBD oil. It is beneficial in treating inflammation and has also proven to be advantageous in treating cancer. You can give CBD to your dog in many forms. Some of the most common ones are through oil tinctures, sprays, capsules, and treats.

    #2 Omega 3 oils

    Omega 3 oil, or fish oil, is commonly known as is also used instead of tramadol for dogs suffering from pain. Omega 3 is beneficial for your dog’s general health and overall well-being and is prescribed by vets as a natural supplement to most dogs. It has also proven helpful in alleviating inflammation-related pains and is now being used as an alternative to tramadol for dogs for treating mild pain. It is mainly available in the form of pills and capsules in pharmacies. However, the final dosage should always be after proper medical consultation.

    #3 Glucosamine and Chondroitin

    Glucosamine and chondroitin are compounds derived from the healthy cartilage and the shells of a shellfish. It is a natural alternative to tramadol for dogs and is used to treat joint-related disorders like arthritis. These extracts help dogs in dealing with the pain and inflammation caused by arthritis. They are available in the market in the form of chews and comes in various flavors.

    #4 Herbs like Yucca extract, alfalfa, and licorice

    Apart from CBD oil, omega 3, glucosamine, and chondroitin, many herbs are also being used as an alternative to tramadol for dogs. These herbs help combat pain and inflammation and are being increasingly prescribed by vets.

    Different Tramadol Brands Available in the Market

    Tramadol is a narcotic drug sold in the market under various names and by many pharmaceutical companies. Some of the most popular tramadol for dogs brands include the following-


    #1 Ultram

    Ultram is the most common name under which tramadol for dogs is sold. It is an analgesic drug that both humans and dogs consume to help deal with pain. Ultram ER was also a famous variation of Ultram, but the US government discontinued it for medical reasons.

    #2 ConZip

    ConZip is a high content tramadol opioid sold in the US. This is another brand of tramadol which is readily available in the market upon presenting a prescription.

    #3 Durela

    Durela is another synthetic opioid prescribed by vets to treat chronic pain of any kind in dogs. Being an analgesic, Durela is not sold without a prescription.

    #4 Rybix, Ryzolt, Tridural and Zytram

    These brands also sell tramadol for dogs under their different names. The medical composition of all these brand names is the same, and they are all work towards helping dogs with pain and inflammation.

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    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    Q1. Can my dog get addicted to tramadol?

    Tramadol is a narcotic drug. This automatically makes dog owners think that tramadol for dogs can be addictive and habit-forming for their pets. However, tramadol for dogs is a safe opioid. It is prescribed by vets globally after studying every possible risk associated. It is safe to say that your dog getting addicted to tramadol consumption is not a risk you need to worry about when giving the medicine to your dogs.

    Q2. How does tramadol for dogs help with anxiety?

    Tramadol for dogs helps in increasing the serotonin and norepinephrine levels in the brain of your dog. The increase in the level of these chemicals in the dog’s bloodstream generates a feeling of euphoria in their mind. This helps them to calm themselves down and relax, and in turn, help reduce their anxiety levels.

    Q3. What is the best way to store tramadol for dogs?

    Tramadol for dogs prescribed in the capsule or pill forms needs to be stored in an environment that is away from moisture and light. The ideal room temperature for storing tramadol capsules and pills is 25 degrees Celsius or 77 degrees Fahrenheit.

    Tramadol for dogs in a liquid form needs to be stored in a neither extremely hot nor extremely cold condition. The idea room temperature should be between 15 degrees Celsius to 30 degrees Celsius, or 59 degrees Fahrenheit to 86 degrees Fahrenheit.

    Q4. What is the difference between tramadol for humans and tramadol for dogs?

    There is no difference between tramadol for dogs and tramadol for human beings in terms of its medical composition. It is a drug that was essentially made for humans to deal with the pain of any kind. However, with clinical trials, veterinaries worldwide have started to find tramadol safe for treating dogs suffering from acute pain. The only difference between the drug is that with constant consumptions, humans tend to get addicted to the high that tramadol gives them. Many times, dog owners wrongfully use this prescription drug provided by the vet for their recreational use.

    Q5. In any way, is tramadol for dogs life-threatening to your pets?

    If consumed by following the dosage prescribed by the vet, tramadol for dogs does not have any serious repercussions for your dog. However, just like any other drug, your dog might specifically be allergic to this particular one. In some cases, your dog might develop an allergy which can lead to anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening condition resulting from a medical or non-medical condition, which can prove to be grave for your dog. Rush to an emergency vet immediately if your dog starts to develop symptoms like swelling or hives.


    Pain is a medical condition that not creates discomfort for us human beings. Our pet dogs also suffer from it as a result of arthritis with increasing age or from surgery. Just like humans require pain killer medications to deal with our pain, dogs require pain killers.

    Tramadol for dogs is what morphine is for humans. It does not directly alleviate pain by canceling it out, but it helps to deal with pain. This is done by increasing the flow of serotonin and adrenaline chemicals in the dog’s bloodstream. These chemicals calm your dogs down by creating a feeling of euphoria and helping them to forget their pain.

    Initially meant for humans, tramadol for dogs is increasingly being provided to dogs now. In the correct dosage, it helps deal with acute, chronic pain.

    One read through the article, and you as a pet owner shall know everything there is to know about this synthetic opioid, tramadol.

    Being an informed pet owner should be a key attribute. Knowing when your dog needs medical attention and providing the same to them at the right time equals a happy dog with a long life!


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