Like most pet owners, you may be wondering, "Can I give my dog Pepto Bismol?" After all, it can be hard to watch your furry friend suffer through an upset stomach. But is Pepto Bismol the best solution? In this post, we'll look at what Pepto Bismol is and whether or not it's safe to give to dogs.
What Is Pepto Bismol?
Pepto Bismol is an over-the-counter medication. The active ingredient is bismuth subsalicylate, which works by coating the inside of the stomach and protecting it from irritation. Bismuth subsalicylate is also the active ingredient in other over-the-counter medications, such as Kaopectate and Maalox.
Pepto Bismol is a pink, chalky-looking liquid. It has a slightly bitter taste and is often flavored with cherry or raspberry. Pepto Bismol, Kaopectate, and Maalox are all medications meant to be taken orally or mixed into water or other beverages.
What Is Pepto Bismol Used For?
Pepto Bismol is used to treat indigestion, heartburn, diarrhea, and upset stomachs. You can also use it to reduce the symptoms of nausea and vomiting. Pepto Bismol is not typically used to treat more serious conditions, such as food poisoning or Crohn's disease.
How Does Pepto Bismol Work?
Pepto Bismol works by coating the inside of the stomach and protecting it from irritation. Dogs (and humans) often experience upset stomachs when there's an issue with stomach acid. Pepto Bismol can act as an antacid, a substance that neutralizes stomach acidity.
What Can Pepto Bismol Treat In Dogs?
You can use Pepto Bismol to treat indigestion, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and upset stomach in dogs. However, it is not a one-size-fits-all medication for all stomach problems. Stomach pain can indicate a mild issue that will pass quickly, resulting from a severe problem. It is best to determine exactly the source of your dog's stomach pain before treating it with Pepto Bismol.
Can I Give My Dog Pepto Bismol?
The short answer is: maybe. While Pepto Bismol is generally safe for humans, the same cannot always be said for dogs. The reason for this is that dogs metabolize medications differently than humans do. In some cases, dogs can experience serious side effects from taking Pepto Bismol.
For example, Pepto Bismol for dogs can cause constipation. If your dog is already experiencing this issue on top of stomach pain, do not give them Pepto Bismol. There are a few other medications that you can give your dog for an upset stomach that may be safer than Pepto Bismol and don't require adopting a bland diet.
One such medication is called Kaopectate. Kaopectate contains bismuth subsalicylate, the same active ingredient as Pepto Bismol, but it also contains other ingredients that can help soothe an upset stomach.
Can Pepto Bismol Have Side Effects For Dogs?
If you're wondering, "Is Pepto Bismol bad for dogs?" know that it only gets dangerous in large quantities. In most cases, Pepto Bismol won't have serious side effects for your furry friend as long as you stick to the recommended dosage.
However, some dogs may experience minor side effects, such as:
- Allergic reaction
Pepto Bismol should not be your first resort unless a veterinarian recommends it. This is because there is a chance of it causing some of the issues it is meant to resolve (such as diarrhea and vomiting).
If Pepto Bismol isn't right for your pup, several other medications are safe and effective for canines. Famotidine (Pepcid) and omeprazole (Prilosec) are both over-the-counter medications you can use to treat stomach upset in dogs. These medications work similarly to Pepto Bismol, reducing the amount of acid in the stomach.
Do They Make Bismuth Subsalicylate Products For Pets?
While there are no bismuth subsalicylate products for dogs, there are stomach upset products manufactured with pups in mind. One example is Well & Good's Dog Anti-Diarrhea Liquid, which uses kaolin as the main ingredient. Kaolin helps soothe an upset stomach and absorbs toxins that can cause diarrhea.
What to Consider Before Giving Your Dog Pepto Bismol
There are a few situations where you should not give your dog Pepto Bismol. If your dog is vomiting or has bloody diarrhea, they should see a veterinarian right away as these could be signs of a serious illness.
A dog with an upset tummy could indicate something serious like gastric bleeding, so you want to ensure a veterinarian catches such issues before piling medication on top of a potentially unrelated ailment.
Additionally, if your dog has reacted negatively to aspirin or other NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), they likely will not tolerate bismuth subsalicylate either.
Reactions to Pepto Bismol in dogs are normally benign and result in vomiting or diarrhea. Still, more serious side effects like black tarry stools could indicate ulcers or internal bleeding, so it is important to keep an eye on your dog after giving them any medication.
Dr. Jessica Wallach, a doctor at the Animal Medical Center, does not recommend that you turn to Pepto Bismol as a long-term solution to upset stomachs in dogs. She mentions that bismuth subsalicylate can turn dogs' waste a greenish-black color, and "as a result, it can be difficult to discern if your dog is experiencing melena (blood in the stool), which presents as black, tarry stools and can be indicative of a serious medical issue."
Another potential issue is that Pepto Bismol tablets can appear as dark spots on an X-ray. Wallach adds, "If your veterinarian performs your dog's gastrointestinal signs [become worse] and abdominal radiographs, the tablets can be mistaken for a metallic foreign body."
What is the Recommended Pepto Bismol Dosage for Dogs?
Since the biggest thing to avoid is giving your dog too much Pepto Bismol, it's crucial to know how much of the stuff to give your pet. As we've said throughout this article, your vet should determine this amount. The general rule of thumb is 1 teaspoon for every 10 pounds of body weight.
With any amount of medicine for dogs, the best idea is to start with a small amount and monitor your pet. Even with the "1 tablespoon per 10 pounds" rule, consider giving your dog half that amount the first time. If they show no side effects, increase to the full amount.
However, even after finding the perfect amount of Pepto Bismol to give to your pup, consider Dr. Wallach's advice: it should not be used as a long-term treatment.
Dog Upset Stomach Natural Options
You can give your dog other things besides Pepto Bismol if they have an upset stomach. First off, if your dog is vomiting or has diarrhea, it should see a veterinarian. If not, you can try:
- Milk Thistle
Let's look at the benefits of each of these natural remedies.
Ginger is a great natural remedy for dogs with upset stomachs. It helps to coat the gut and protect it from irritation. It also helps to calm the stomach and reduce nausea. You can consume Ginger via a capsule or in tea.
Basil has several benefits for pooches taking a sick day. It has anti-inflammatory properties, loads of antioxidants, eases anxiety caused by things like loud noises, and might even aid joint pain.
Rosemary doesn't just help dogs get over their tummy aches; you can use it as a natural flea repellent! It may even help improve your dog's memory and mood.
Calendula is a flower often used to treat skin issues in dogs. It can also be helpful for dogs with upset stomachs. Calendula helps to soothe the gut and reduce internal swelling.
Goldenseal is a herb that treats infections. It can also be helpful for dogs with upset stomachs. Goldenseal helps to coat the gut and protect it from irritation. It also helps to reduce inflammation.
Chamomile is one of the safest natural remedies you can give your dog. It is an herb often used to calm the gut, soothe inflammation, and help canines get to sleep.
Milk thistle is a herb that is often used to detoxify the liver. It can also be helpful for dogs with upset stomachs. Milk thistle helps to protect the gut from irritation and reduces inflammation.
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Final Thoughts - Can I Give My Dog Pepto Bismol?
Is Pepto Bismol safe for dogs? The answer isn't as cut and dry as you might think. Pepto Bismol can help ease an upset stomach in dogs, but it's important to weigh the pros and cons before giving this medication to your furry friend.
Whether or not you decide Pepto Bismol is right for your pup, HolistaPet has a variety of CBD products formulated specifically for pets that may also help soothe their tummies. For more information on pet care, check out our Blog section!