When your dog is sick, you want to do whatever you can to help them. For minor stomach upsets, a common over-the-counter medication you can give them is Pepto Bismol. But how much Pepto Bismol should you give your dog, and is it safe? Keep reading to find out.
What is Pepto Bismol Used For?
Pepto Bismol is an over-the-counter medication usually used to treat human GI issues. As their slogan goes, you can use it to treat “nausea, heartburn, indigestion, upset stomach [and] diarrhea.”
The active ingredient in Pepto Bismol is bismuth subsalicylate. When the medication is ingested, it separates into its two parts of bismuth and subsalicylate. The bismuth goes on to create a coating for your stomach and intestinal tract that will protect it from excess stomach acid. Meanwhile, the subsalicylate acts as an anti-inflammatory, which can help treat irregular or soft bowel movements.
It may not be obvious right away that Pepto Bismol is safe to give to most dogs and some other animals in small doses. The following sections will cover the dosages and safety information regarding Pepto Bismol for dogs.
Is Pepto Bismol Safe for Dogs?
The short answer is yes, but in moderation.
If you plan to give your dog Pepto Bismol, it is recommended to start slow. When giving your dog this medication for the first time, you won’t be certain if they will have any adverse side effects that may worsen their condition.
If you give your dog too much Pepto Bismol, it can create severe health conditions such as bleeding ulcers. It is also essential to not go above the recommended dosage. The dosage amounts are based on your dog’s weight.
So long as you stick within the recommended dosage, you should be fine.
You can give your dog either regular liquid Pepto Bismol or chewable tablets. Both varieties require that you stick to the dosage for your dog’s weight. It is not recommended to give your dog Ultra Pepto Bismol, as it is more concentrated and has a greater risk of health issues.
Two other factors will increase the safety of Pepto Bismol for your dog. One, ensure that you are administering it correctly, and two, spread out your dosages. Ideally, you want to leave a 7 to 10-hour window in between doses of Pepto Bismol.
There are a few cases in which you should not give Pepto Bismol to your dog. If your dog is a nursing mother, pregnant, allergic to the active ingredient, has ulcers, has a blood disorder, or is on other medications, you should not give your dog Pepto Bismol. If you’re not sure, please seek the advice of a vet.
If you have a cat, do not give them Pepto Bismol under any circumstances. While it is safe for dogs, the active ingredient in Pepto Bismol is toxic for cats.
Pepto Bismol Dosage By Weight
|Tablet Dosage (mg)
|Liquid Dosage (tsp)
The dosage rate for liquid Pepto Bismol is 1 tsp per 10lbs of dog.
The recommended dosage for the chewable tablets is 80mg per 10lbs of dog.
For a more accurate dosage, it is highly recommended to seek the guidance of a qualified veterinarian. With an examination, a vet will have a better idea of your dog’s health issues and how much, if any, medication should be given.
How Do I Administer Pepto Bismol to My Dog?
Administering the medication depends on if you are using the chewable version or liquid.
For the chewable tablets, measure out the correct dosage for your dog. Double-check if you need to, as overdosing can cause serious health issues.
Once you have the correct dosage, feed the tablets to your dog.
If you give them the liquid form, you will need a large plastic syringe. Find the variety of syringe that doesn’t have a needle. They can be found at most drug stores, but if you’re not sure, you can ask a pharmacist for assistance.
Use the syringe to measure the correct dosage for your dog and administer it by mouth.
What Other OTC Medications Help With GI Issues in Dogs?
Before getting into the list of alternative OTC medications you could give your dog in the case of GI issues, it is important to remember that you should consult a vet before giving your dog any medication. Your vet will know what medications are safe for dogs and will be able to give you a more accurate dosage for your dog in particular.
Imodium can be used to treat diarrhea in dogs. The generic version is called Loperamide and is a synthetic opioid.
Opioids (such as oxycodone and morphine) are well known for causing constipation. If you choose to give this drug to your dog, you must stay within the recommended dosage rate to avoid this or worse side effects.
Despite being an opioid, Imodium does not help with pain at all. You should only use it if your dog has diarrhea and for no other reason.
There are a couple of reasons why you should not give your dog Imodium. One would be if your dog already has some underlying condition, such as kidney disease or hypothyroidism. In this case, your dog may have a greater chance of experiencing the worse side effects of Imodium.
The second reason why not to give them Imodium is if you think diarrhea came from some bacterial infection. Diarrhea (and vomiting) is a natural way that the body removes toxins from the body, and the same goes for dogs.
The last reason why you should not give your dog Imodium is if they are a herding breed, such as a Sheltie or Collie. These breeds of dogs have a chance of having a genetic mutation that makes it difficult for them to process drugs.
The recommended dose is a 2mg pill for every 40lbs of weight. It is recommended to give this medication wrapped in a small amount of food.
The generic name for Pepcid is Famotidine. This drug is most commonly used to treat excess stomach acid or other issues that can stem from it, such as ulcers, gastritis, and acid reflux. This drug works by slowing the production of stomach acid.
While this particular drug hasn’t been approved by the FDA for use in dogs, it is commonly prescribed by vets for stomach issues.
Thankfully for Pepcid, side effects tend to be rare. Some common ones that you’ll see in dogs are a headache, constipation, loss of appetite, diarrhea, and drowsiness.
Pepcid should not be given to dogs with stomach cancer or liver and kidney issues. It should also not be given to dogs who are nursing or pregnant.
The common dosage for Pepcid is 0.25 ml per pound of weight. This medication can be given twice a day.
What Home Remedies Help GI Issues in Dogs?
If your dog is only a little sick and you’re not sure if you should give them medication (or your vet has recommended against medication), then there are a few things you can do to help your dog feel better.
Give Them Ice Cubes
Some dogs will drink a lot of water at one time, which can upset their stomach further. While it’s not a good idea to remove water altogether, you can slow their water intake by giving them ice cubes in a dish with a small amount of water.
Take Away Food
If your dog has an upset stomach from eating something they shouldn’t have, it may help to have them skip a meal in order to let their stomach easily pass whatever it was they ate. If you opt to do this, remember not to fast any longer than 24 hours.
Give Your Dog Pumpkin
If you don’t want to take away food entirely (as it may not be recommended for some dogs), you can give them canned pumpkins as a gentle alternative.
Canned pumpkin has a low glycemic index, meaning that it will break down slowly and won’t spike your dog’s blood sugar. Food like this is very gentle on your dog’s digestive system while still being a solid food.
Just remember to only give them pure canned pumpkin. Pumpkin pie filling can contain added sugars and spices that will only upset your dog’s stomach further.
Give Your Dog Bone Broth
Another way to keep your dog hydrated while they are sick while providing some needed nutrients at the same time is bone broth. If you’re making your own bone broth, it’s recommended to keep some in the freezer for when your dog needs it.
When to See a Vet
Ideally, you should see your vet as soon as your dog gets sick. Unfortunately, in some cases, that may not be possible, such as if your vet’s appointment book is filled or if you live far away.
When you first notice your dog is sick, you can start taking preventative measures. If you choose to use Pepto Bismol to treat your dog, it is strongly recommended to give them no more than two doses before seeing a vet. Any more than that can cause some severe health defects.
Conclusion For How Much Pepto Bismol for Dogs
Pepto Bismol is a safe medication to give your dog in moderation. Remember to always stay within the recommended dosage and to follow the instructions of your vet.
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Garrett loves animals and is a huge advocate for all Doodle dog breeds. He owns his own Goldendoodle named Kona. In addition, he volunteers at the Humane Society of Silicon Valley, where he fosters dogs and helps animals. Garrett enjoys writing about Doodles and believes that dogs can teach humans more about how to live than humans can teach a dog.
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