Tramadol is a medication veterinarians commonly dispense to manage pain in dogs. Physicians also frequently prescribe tramadol for human aches and pains, and it is one of the few human painkillers that is safe to give to dogs under the guidance of a veterinarian. Scientifically speaking, tramadol is a member of the opioid family, which means it alters the transmission and perception of pain in humans and animals. In addition, tramadol inhibits the reuptake of norepinephrine and serotonin in the dog’s brain, which increases the level of these chemicals in the bloodstream, and creates that feeling of euphoria and well-being that human patients sometimes experience.


Tramadol is an opioid agonist pain medication that is commonly prescribed by veterinarians to painful dogs. There is varying evidence on the efficacy of tramadol in dogs meaning that it may work for some dogs while other dogs may see no beneficial pain-relieving effects. It is probably most effective when used in combination with other pain medications such as dog-specific non-steroidal anti-inflammatories.

Tramadol is a synthetic, centrally acting opioid analgesic. It also inhibits the reuptake of adrenalin and serotonin. Tramadol is used in human medicine for the management of osteoarthritis pain and is gaining acceptance in veterinary medicine to treat mild to moderate pain in dogs and cats. In addition to its analgesic properties, tramadol may also have some mild anti-anxiety effects. Tramadol is used preoperatively, peri-operatively and in chronic pain situations. It is a scheduled drug and can provide analgesia with less sedation or fewer of the undesirable side effects found with other opioids. Tramadol may be used concurrently with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. It can be given orally with or without food. 

Side Effects of Tramadol in Dogs

Like most medications, tramadol has side effects. Most dogs tolerate tramadol well, as long as the dosage instructions are followed properly, but there are a few adverse reactions you should be aware of.

These reactions range in severity, but play it safe and call your veterinarian if your dog experiences any of these tramadol side effects.

Tramadol Dosage for Dogs

Always consult with your veterinarian before administering any new medications or supplements to your dog. Tramadol is a prescription medication and a controlled substance and should be used with caution in dogs. If you would like to start your dog on tramadol, discuss with your veterinarian what a safe starting dose would be for your dog. Some medications and conditions can cause tramadol to be unsafe for dogs so it is always important to follow your veterinarian’s recommendations when using tramadol.

If the veterinarian decides that tramadol is safe for your dog, they will prescribe a dose of 1 milligram per pound of body weight. Again, please do not administer tramadol to your dog unless you have consulted first with your veterinarian because it can be dangerous for some dogs. Also, an overdose of this medication, because it is an opioid, could be fatal to your dog

Tramadol Drug Interactions

Many medications are not safe when used together with tramadol. Using these medications at the same time as tramadol may increase your dog’s risk of a life-threatening condition called serotonin syndrome. Tramadol may interact adversely and should not be used with the following medications:

  • Mirtazapine
  • Trazodone
  • Amitraz
  • Selegiline
  • Metoclopramide
  • Butorphanol
  • Buprenorphine
  • Fluoxetine
  • Paroxetine
  • Clomipramine

Prices of Tramadol For Dogs

$25.92  – $45.80

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