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Osteoarthritis, or degenerative joint disease, can be quite painful for dogs, but with the right medications and proper care, it can be effectively managed. Two popular options for dog arthritis pain relief are Galliprant and Rimadyl. While both of these medications work well, they do have some differences in terms of active ingredients, uses, side effects, dosage, and more. Overall, Galliprant has a more targeted approach, while Rimadyl has a broader spectrum of action.

If you're curious about the comparison between Galliprant vs. Rimadyl for dogs, including what makes them effective and why a veterinarian might choose one over the other, keep reading to learn more.

What Is Galliprant?

Galliprant is a first-of-its-kind targeted pain reliever for osteoarthritis in dogs. It comes in a flavored chewable tablet that's administered daily and can be used during all stages of arthritis. Dogs won't develop a tolerance to Galliprant, which means it can be used for as long as necessary and consistently deliver pain relief. It's approved for use in dogs that weigh more than eight pounds and are nine months of age or older.1

Active Ingredient & Mechanism Of Action

Galliprant's active ingredient is grapiprant, a selective non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that specifically targets the EP4 receptor. Prostaglandins, naturally occurring compounds in the body, regulate pain and inflammation. They're released in response to injury, causing redness and swelling. Of the four receptors involved in the body's pain reaction, the EP4 receptor plays a primary role in canine arthritis pain and inflammation. By targeting only the EP4 receptor, Galliprant ensures pain relief while permitting the other prostaglandin receptors to function normally.2

Conventional NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen and naproxen, are non-selective. They block both COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes, preventing pain signals from reaching the brain. While these enzymes are prostaglandins and bind to their receptors, blocking COX-1 can lead to blood clotting issues and stomach lining complications. On the other hand, while COX-2 selective inhibitors primarily target inflammation, they've been associated with severe side effects like heart attacks, strokes, and liver damage, leading to many being withdrawn from the U.S market.3 Galliprant, focusing solely on the EP4 receptor, effectively manages pain without the associated risks of COX-1 and COX-2 inhibitors.4


Galliprant chewable tablets are typically beef-flavored to make them more palatable and appealing for dogs, facilitating easier administration by pet owners.1


List of ways joint pain can affect dogs

Galliprant is a specialized medication commonly prescribed for the treatment of osteoarthritis pain and inflammation in dogs.

Joint pain, particularly from conditions like osteoarthritis, can significantly impact a dog's quality of life. It can limit their mobility, decrease their enthusiasm for activities they once loved, and lead to noticeable behavioral changes. Continuous discomfort can make them more irritable or withdrawn, changing the dynamics of their relationship with their human companions and other pets in the household. Addressing joint pain not only eases their physical discomfort but also ensures their emotional and behavioral well-being.1

Side Effects

Some of the more common side effects associated with Galliprant use in dogs include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Decreased appetite
  • Soft stool
  • Incoordination or stumbling

Less common side effects include gastrointestinal ulceration or bleeding, liver or kidney issues, and allergic reactions.

Contact your vet immediately for assistance if you see your dog exhibiting any of these side effects.


Galliprant comes in strengths of 20mg, 60mg, and 100mg. It's available in package sizes of 30 and 90 tablets.

According to the manufacturer’s website, the dose for Galliprant is 0.9 mg/lb or 2 mg/kg once daily. You can also provide your dog Galliprant based on the below information, but always consult your vet first.

  • Dogs weighing 8 to 15 lbs: Half a 20 mg tablet
  • Dogs weighing 15.1 to 30 lbs: One 20 mg tablet
  • Dogs weighing 30.1 to 45 lbs: Half a 60 mg tablet
  • Dogs weighing 45.1 to 75 lbs: One 60 mg tablet
  • Dogs weighing 75.1 to 150 lbs: One 100 mg tablet1


Galliprant is suitable for puppies aged over nine months and weighing more than eight pounds. For extended use, regular monitoring is advisable. It's essential not to combine Galliprant with other NSAIDs, such as carprofen. Store the medication at room temperature, preferably below 86°F.1

What Is Rimadyl?

Rimadyl is an FDA-approved NSAID specifically formulated to alleviate arthritis-related joint pain and post-operative discomfort in dogs. Depending on the severity of pain, it's administered once or twice daily.

Many dogs experience pain relief shortly after their initial dose, with continued improvement over a two-week span. After this period, with consistent dosing at the prescribed intervals, Rimadyl maintains an effective level in a dog's bloodstream for continuous relief. Owners often observe a notable resurgence in their dog's energy, happiness, and mobility after commencing treatment with Rimadyl.5

Active Ingredient & Mechanism Of Action

Rimadyl's active ingredient is carprofen, a medication exclusively used in animals. While Rimadyl inhibits both COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes, it's generally well-tolerated by canines. Its safety profile is underscored by over 25 years of research, and it has been prescribed to nearly 30 million dogs with a solid track record.5

While carprofen's mechanism of action has parallels with grapiprant, it doesn't discriminate between receptors, binding to all equally. Furthermore, it curtails the production of prostaglandins, which are responsible for pain and inflammation.5


Rimadyl offers multiple administration options to suit various needs. It's available in palatable chewable tablets for easy dosing, traditional caplets for those dogs that might be treat-wary, and an injectable form ideal for immediate relief, often used post-operatively.5


Rimadyl is chiefly prescribed to alleviate pain and inflammation stemming from arthritis, fever, and post-surgical discomfort. In a comparison between Galliprant vs. Rimadyl for dogs, Galliprant is primarily used for a specific purpose, whereas Rimadyl boasts a broader range of applications.5

Side Effects

The side effects of Rimadyl include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Itchiness
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Black or tarry stools
  • Increase or decrease of thirst

If you observe any of these side effects after administering Rimadyl to your dog, please get in touch with your veterinarian for assistance.


The right Rimadyl dosage is based on your dog's weight. Your vet will assist your dog in finding the best dose, considering their current health, medical history, and more.

According to the manufacturer, here's the recommended dosing for chewables and tablets:

  • Dogs weighing 5 to 10 lbs: Half a 25 mg tablet
  • Dogs weighing 11 to 15 lbs: One 25 mg tablet
  • Dogs weighing 16 to 20 lbs: Half a 75 mg tablet
  • Dogs weighing 21 to 30 lbs: Half a 100 mg tablet
  • Dogs weighing 31 to 40 lbs: One 75 mg tablet
  • Dogs weighing 41 to 60 lbs: One 100 mg tablet
  • Dogs weighing 61 to 90 lbs: One and a half 100 mg tablets
  • Dogs weighing 91 to 120 lbs: Two 100 mg tablets5


Rimadyl should not be given to dogs with known hypersensitivity to carprofen or other NSAIDs. It is also not recommended for dogs with pre-existing liver or kidney disease, or those with a history of gastrointestinal bleeding. Pregnant, nursing, or breeding dogs should only be administered Rimadyl under the direct supervision and advice of a veterinarian.5

Comparing Galliprant And Rimadyl For Dogs

Galliprant vs. Rimadyl comparison chart

Galliprant acts as a selective inhibitor, targeting a specific pain pathway, whereas Rimadyl is a non-selective NSAID affecting multiple pathways. The key distinction between Rimadyl and Galliprant lies in this mechanism of action. While both medications address osteoarthritis pain, Rimadyl has broader applications for various pain types, whereas Galliprant is specialized for arthritis-related discomfort.

Which Medication Is Right For Your Dog?

Consulting a vet is pivotal in determining the most suitable medication for your dog. In the process of choosing between Galliprant vs. Rimadyl, your vet takes a multi-faceted approach, starting with a thorough diagnosis. This involves a physical examination to pinpoint the root cause of the pain, paired with a review of your dog's medical history to identify any past injuries or conditions that might influence the present ailment.

Your vet will also assess potential allergies or sensitivities to drugs and evaluate any possible drug interactions if your dog is on other medications. The type and severity of pain play a crucial role in dosage determination as well, ensuring that the medication provides relief without being excessive.

Additionally, factors like age, which can affect drug metabolism, and weight, which directly influences dosage, are also considered. Potential side effects of both Galliprant and Rimadyl are weighed against your dog's overall health profile.

Moreover, the cost may also be a factor. If one medication is more affordable than the other, the vet might discuss the pros and cons of each option with you. It's essential to engage in open dialogue with your veterinarian, asking questions to ensure your dog receives the optimal care.

Other Ways To Comfort A Dog In Pain

To ensure your dog remains pain-free and comfortable, a comprehensive approach is often required. Typically, this starts with pain-relief medications like Galliprant or Rimadyl and is complemented by additional supportive measures to enhance your dog's overall well-being. Here are some ways to help keep your dog at ease:

  • Consider gentle physical therapy to bolster their muscles, providing better overall body support.
  • Gradually reduce their caloric intake, aiding in weight loss and alleviating joint pressure.
  • Incorporate joint supplements with ingredients like chondroitin sulfate, glucosamine, and MSM to foster the healing and regeneration of connective tissues.
  • Treat your dog to gentle massages, ensuring they are comfortable with the duration and intensity.6

Other things you can do to keep your dog comfortable include:

  • Adjust your home to accommodate their mobility challenges, including installing ramps, providing orthopedic pet beds, and placing non-slip mats on slick surfaces.
  • Introduce them to swimming as a low-impact exercise option.
  • Engage in activities that mentally engage them without requiring excessive movement.
  • Provide companionship and comfort by spending quality time with them.6


Can Galliprant and Rimadyl be used together?

It's not advised to administer Galliprant and Rimadyl simultaneously. The risk of potential side effects amplifies when combined, potentially harming your dog more than helping with pain management.

Are there differences in cost between Galliprant and Rimadyl?

The Galliprant vs. Rimadyl cost differences come down to the dosage and the pharmacy that's prescribing the medication.

How quickly can I expect to see improvements in my dog's pain after starting Galliprant or Rimadyl?

After starting Galliprant or Rimadyl, many dogs experience noticeable relief within hours to a few days. However, the exact time frame can vary based on the individual dog's condition, severity of pain, and overall health.

Close up of puppy with head being held in the hands of their owner

Final Notes

Arthritis can significantly impact a dog's comfort and mobility. Though there's no cure for arthritis in dogs, pain management medications like Galliprant and Rimadyl effectively alleviate discomfort, enhancing their quality of life.

At Dutch, we simplify pet care through veterinary telemedicine, addressing common issues without the stress of an in-person visit. Coupled with our online pharmacy that delivers medications directly to your doorstep at no extra charge, we ensure prompt treatment for your cherished pet. Try Dutch today.


  1. "Osteoarthritis Pain Relief For Dogs." Elanco.

  2. Kirkby Shaw, K., Rausch-Derra, L.C., Rhodes, L., Grapiprant: an EP4 prostaglandin receptor antagonist and novel therapy for pain and inflammation, National Library of Medicine, 21/12/2015,

  3. COX-2 Inhibitors, Cleveland Clinic,

  4. What Veterinarians Should Advise Clients About Pain Control and Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) in Dogs and Cats, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 15/8/2023,

  5. "Rimadyl (carprofen)." Zoetis.

  6. Arthritis Management and Prevention, Colorado State University, James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital,

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Frequently Asked Questions

Who is Dutch?

Dutch is an online veterinary pet telehealth service, created by pet parents and board-certified veterinary specialists. We use a science-backed approach to provide pets relief for their everyday physical and behavioral health issues. Dutch connects you with licensed veterinarians over video chat and messaging to help you get care for your dog or cat quickly wherever you are — without the stress or expense of a vet visit. We also partner with pharmacies who can deliver prescription medication (in applicable states only) and over-the-counter treatments directly to your door. Dutch isn’t a veterinary practice or pharmacy, but a company that helps facilitate these services for pet parents to make veterinary care more accessible to all.

What is a visit with Dutch like?

When booking a video call with a vet, you'll be asked a few questions about your pet’s health issue. Depending on the issue, you may also be asked to fill out a longer questionnaire about their symptoms and share photographs of them so our veterinarians can better understand what’s going on. You’ll then pick an appointment time that works best for you.

During your video call, one of our licensed veterinarians will talk to you about the symptoms your pet is experiencing, ask you questions, review your pet’s medical history if you’ve provided it, and answer any questions you have. The vet will ask to see your pet and their environment. And they may ask you to perform some simple checks on them if needed.

After your video call, the vet will send you a message with a custom treatment plan to help your pet feel better, including a link to buy any recommended prescription or over-the-counter medications. Place your order and we’ll ship it free.

How much will it cost for Dutch to treat my pet?

The Dutch membership starts at $11/mo for unlimited access to the vet. No more long waits for appointments or surprise bills.

In addition to the base membership plan, our veterinarians may also recommend additional medication (Rx and/or OTC) that you will have the option of adding to your plan at an additional cost.