Pepto Bismol for Dogs: The Little Pink Pill for Upset Stomachs!

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By: Simran Mudaliar Updated: September 10, 2020

pepto bismol for dogs

Pepto Bismol for dogs is a great over-the-counter medication. It is used to treat an array of conditions. Today, dog owners use this human medicine to treat problems like vomiting, diarrhea, and indigestion in their furry friends. To learn more about Pepto Bismol for dogs read on!

How Does Pepto Bismol Work?

Pepto Bismol for dogs is a medication derived from salicylic acid. This human-grade medication is commonly used to treat gastrointestinal problems in people. The active ingredient in Pepto Bismol is Bismuth subsalicylate.

Simply, Bismuth subsalicylate is an antacid. When consumed it is hydrolyzed in the gastrointestinal tract. Once hydrolyzed, Bismuth subsalicylate can cause fluid and electrolyte absorption. It can also decrease the motility of the stomach. So, it is ideal for treating stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea, indigestion, and heartburn in people.

The Safer Option: Bismuth Subsalicylate for Dogs

Bismuth Subsalicylate is marketed under the brand name Pepto Bismol. Although this is a human drug, it has been used in veterinary medicine to treat a range of problems.

Dogs that suffer from gastric ulcers may benefit from Pepto Bismol. However, it is never recommended to give the drug to dogs that suffer from heart problems. This is because, as an antacid, the active ingredient known as salicylate can act as a blood thinner.

Finally, Pepto Bismol is only suitabe for a dog that is otherwise healthy. Do you have a dog that is currently on other medication such as antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, or steroids? You need to talk to your veterinarian before you choose to give Fido some Pepto Bismol.

pepto bismol for dog

Pepto Bismol Dosage: How Much is Enough?

Pepto Bismol for dogs can treat mild vomiting, mild diarrhea, and stomach gas. For dogs that experience any discomfort caused by those conditions, veterinarians recommend the following Pepto Bismol dosage.

  • 1 teaspoon per 20 pounds of body weight. The treatment should be continued every 4 to 6 hours for a total of 24 hours.

Pepto Bismol Side Effects

Pepto-Bismol for dogs is considered a fairly safe and healthy over-the-counter (OTC) medication. Yet, some dogs may experience negative side effects after consuming the medication. The most common side effects of Pepto Bismol in dogs include:

  • Constipation
  • Decreased appetite
  • Darkened tongue
  • Changes in stool color and consistency

Imodium for Dogs, Famotidine for Dogs? Safe Pepto Alternatives?

Do you have a dog with diarrhea? Pepto Bismol has shown to be quite effective for treating diarrhea. However, Imodium too can be used for the same purpose. Loperamide, or Imodium is a human drug that can also help to treat diarrhea.

Imodium Dosage

Imodium is a synthetic opioid, and as we all know, opioids are well known for their analgesic effects. A side-effect to Imodium is constipation, and so this medication can be used to treat a dog with diarrhea.

So, if you’ve got a dog with diarrhea and if you don’t have Pepto Bismol on hand then give Imodium a try! The recommended dosage for Imodium in dogs is 0.1 mg/kg given twice a day.

Pepcid for Dogs: Dosage

Similar to Pepto Bismol, Famotidine for dogs is an antacid used to treat nausea and heartburn. In veterinary medicine, Famotidine can reduce and prevent gastric ulcers from forming by blocking the receptors that result in the generation of gastric acid.

The recommended dosage for Famotidine for dogs is 0.22 mg to 0.44 mg/lb every 12 to 24 hour.

pepto bismol for dog diarrhea

Always Ask Your Veterinarian Before Giving Diarrhea Medicine for Dogs!

Now before you reach for that Pepto Bismol for dogs we need to give you some advice. Diarrhea and vomiting in dogs and cats can be quite a serious problem.

Dogs and cats that suffer from diarrhea and vomiting are at risk of experiencing severe dehydration. If prolonged, then dehydration itself can be life-threatening.

Finally, it is important to remember that by giving your dog Pepto Bismol, there is no guarantee that the medication will cure your pet. To completely eradicate a potential digestive tract problem, it is important to talk to your veterinarian.

Only a veterinarian will be able to make a definitive diagnosis that can confirm the underlying cause of your pet’s health problems.

Dogs That Should Not Take Pepto Bismol

Both diarrhea and vomiting can be symptoms of a more critical underlying problem. In addition to this, when prolonged and severe dehydration can negatively impact your dog’s health. Thus, we do not recommend administering Pepto Bismol for dogs in the following situations:

  1. Puppies: If you have a puppy between 0 to 1 year old, then do not give Pepto Bismol without consulting your veterinarian. Diarrhea and vomiting are exceptionally dangerous in puppies and it may be caused by more serious diseases such as parvo.
  2. Senior dogs with an underlying health problem:  dogs suffering from kidney disease, heart problems, or any other metabolic disease, should not consume Pepto Bismol without veterinarian consultation.
  3. Nursing or pregnant dogs: Never give a nursing or pregnant dog Pepto-Bismol as this can cause abnormalities in her puppies.

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