Can I Give My Dog Pepto Bismol

When your tummy is upset, you may turn to Pepto-Bismol for some relief.

You may be wondering whether this bright pink medication can be similarly effective for your dog.

You can give your dog Pepto-Bismol, but it’s important to make a deliberate decision about giving this medication to your dog since there can be side effects and downsides to using it.

That said, here’s what you need to know about giving your dog Pepto-Bismol, both when it may be effective and when you should think twice about using it.

Before we discuss the details of Pepto-Bismol use in dogs, we should first state that you should never give your dog any over the counter medication without your vet’s approval. 

Should I Give My Dog Pepto-Bismol Tablets Or Liquid?

Can I Give My Dog Pepto Bismol For Upset Stomach

It is up to you whether you want to give your dog tablets or liquid Pepto-Bismol.

The ingredients are very similar for both and both can be effective for alleviating stomach problems.

Which works best for you may depend on how your dog feels about the taste of Pepto.

Some dogs enjoy the taste, whereas others won’t willingly consume it.

You may find it easier to hide tablets or liquid depending on your dog’s food or treats.

Many people find it easier to hide tablets than liquid.

How Much Pepto-Bismol Can I Give My Dog?

Though these are the standard dosing instructions for Pepto-Bismol, you should not offer it to your dog without veterinary approval.

  • Liquid – One teaspoon per 10 lbs every 6 to 8 hours of regular strength liquid Pepto-Bismol
  • Tablet – 8.5mg per pound of regular strength chewable tablets

How To Give Your Dog Pepto-Bismol

For some dogs, you can effectively hide Pepto-Bismol in food or treats.

Some dogs even like the taste and will happily lap up the liquid or down a tablet without a second thought.

However, some dogs are very perceptive of hidden Pepto-Bismol and not fond of the taste.

For these dogs, you may need to use a syringe without a needle and slip the medication into the back of your dog’s mouth.

Holding the muzzle closed is a good way to make sure that they swallow it.

Can I Give My Dog Pepto-Bismol For Gas?

Usually, we think about Pepto-Bismol for diarrhea or vomiting.

However, it can also be effective for gas.

It can be especially useful if your dog is suffering from a combination of symptoms, such as gas with diarrhea.

Potential Downsides Of Giving Your Dog Pepto-Bismol

Stool Color

If you give your dog Pepto-Bismol, it can turn the stool a green-black color.

This is perfectly normal, however, it can cause some issues.

The dark color can hide blood in the stool, making it challenging for an owner to spot.

Blood in the stool is a sign that something may be seriously wrong with your dog.

If you give your dog Pepto-Bismol for an upset stomach, you could unintentionally be hiding symptoms of what’s really going on with your dog.

Shows Up On X-Rays

If your dog is having serious stomach upset, especially for some time, your veterinarian will likely want to do imaging to make sure that there is not an obstruction in their stomach or intestines.

However, Pepto-Bismol tablets will show up as opaque on x-rays.

The tablets can be mistaken for a foreign body or they can hide the actual foreign body.

Either way, this is a serious potential downside of giving your dog Pepto-Bismol tablets.

Potential Overdose

Dosing can be confusing when you are giving a medication that is designed for people to your dog.

You may be unclear about how much Pepto you can give your dog.

Overdosing your dog on Pepto-Bismol can be very dangerous.

If you give your dog Pepto, they may become interested in it and seek it out, making it more likely that they will accidentally overdose on it.

The taste of Pepto-Bismol can be appealing for some dogs.

If your dog gets too much Pepto-Bismol, either because you dosed them incorrectly or because they got a hold of the medication and consumed it by themselves, they can have serious symptoms of overdose including:

  • Bloody stool or increase diarrhea
  • Increased vomiting
  • A high fever
  • Labored and rapid breathing
  • Seizures or tremors
  • Collapse

Possible Side Effects

If you give your dog Pepto they are unlikely to have any side effects, and if they do have side effects, they are unlikely to be serious.

However, it’s good to keep your eye out for side effects that may be caused by this medication:

Which Dogs Should Not Have Pepto-Bismol?

Many dogs tolerate Pepto-Bismol just fine, but certain dogs should never have it:

  • Dogs who are allergic. Carefully consult the list of ingredients in Pepto-Bismol to be certain that your dog won’t have an allergic reaction to any of these ingredients. If you’re unsure, ask your veterinarian.
  • Pregnant and nursing dogs. It’s best that dogs not have Pepto-Bismol if they are pregnant or nursing. The effects on very young puppies are not well understood.
  • Dogs with bleeding disorders. Pepto-Bismol can make a bleeding disorder worse, so dogs that have these kinds of disorders should not be given the medication.
  • Dogs who are taking aspirin or antibiotics. These medications may not mix well with Pepto-Bismol, so you should talk to your veterinarian about your dog’s current medications before offering Pepto-Bismol.
  • Puppies. Vomiting and diarrhea can indicate very serious illnesses in puppies, and puppies are at high risk for dehydration when they are suffering from these symptoms, so if your puppy is having vomiting or diarrhea, you should bring them to the veterinarian to be treated rather than treating them yourself with Pepto-Bismol.

Alternatives to Pepto-Bismol

No Treatment

While you can give your dog Pepto-Bismol for a mild case of GI upset, it is not always necessary.

Dogs can get an upset stomach for many reasons, some of which are mostly harmless.

Your dog may have eaten something they should not have, they may be experiencing stress, or they may be reacting to vaccines or monthly flea and heartworm prevention.

It may be best to wait for 12 to 24 hours before you offer any home treatments that could further complicate their illness.

It’s important to keep your dog hydrated, particularly if they are suffering from diarrhea, but it may be a good idea to fast them during this time.

Just be sure to get your vet’s approval, as fasting can be dangerous for some pups.

Plain Canned Pumpkin

Many people find that adding a healthy source of fiber like pumpkin can alleviate gastro upset.

Be sure that there are no spices, sugars, or other additives.

Chicken And Rice

Changing your dog’s diet to a bland combination of boiled chicken and plain rice can help them get over their tummy upset.

This is a great solution if you are worried that something in your dog’s food may be causing stomach problems.

Corrective Suspension

This is a simple medication that is a great treatment for diarrhea for all kinds of animals, including dogs.

Typically it is only available from your veterinarian, but it can be a good safe treatment for your dog’s diarrhea if your veterinarian agrees.

Imodium

Imodium is a good alternative to Pepto-Bismol.

The dosage is generally 2 mg per 40lbs of body weight two or three times a day in tablet form.

You may find this medication easier to give and it may be more effective for some dogs than Pepto-Bismol.

Check with your veterinarian and discuss all the medications your dog is on before giving Imodium.

Pepcid

Pepcid is a good option if you think that your dog’s stomach upset is due to acid build-up.

You can give your dog 10mg for every 20lbs of body weight once or twice a day.

The original Pepcid is a good option, but avoid other variations like Pepcid Complete since they have a combination of drugs.

If your dog’s gastro upset is primarily vomiting and if you notice them frequently swallowing as if they have reflux, Pepcid may be the right medication for your dog.

When to Go to The Vet

It’s a good idea to talk to your veterinarian about your dog’s symptoms from the beginning.

You may want to let them know that your dog is going through some stomach upset and make sure they are okay with you trying an at-home treatment.

Depending on your dog’s history and what medications they are on, your veterinarian may recommend that you bring them in immediately rather than trying an at-home treatment.

If your veterinarian is okay with you giving Pepto-Bismol to your dog and waiting to bring them in, you can certainly try treating your dog’s problems at home for a few days.

However, if your dog’s condition worsens, they appear to be getting dehydrated, they refuse to eat or drink, or you notice blood in the stool at any point, it’s important to go to your veterinarian immediately.

If you notice that your dog’s stomach feels hard or their abdomen is sensitive to the touch, it may also be an emergency due to bloat or an obstruction, in which case going to the veterinarian immediately is necessary.

If you are not sure whether you will need to bring your dog to the vet or not, you may want to schedule an appointment so that you can avoid going to the emergency vet if possible.

You can always cancel the appointment if your dog improves.

Your Dog Can Have Pepto

Most dogs can safely have Pepto-Bismol to control gas, vomiting, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal symptoms.

However, it is not safe for every dog or every situation.

It is best to talk to your veterinarian before you attempt an at-home treatment with Pepto-Bismol.

With your veterinarian’s approval, Pepto-Bismol can be an effective and affordable home treatment for mild gastro symptoms in your dog.

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