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Is Pepto-Bismol Safe For Dogs?

Dr. Fraser is Full time Internal medicine Hospitalist Physician who is also a blogger and very fond of puppies. He has a toy pooddle .


Caring pet parents are willing to do whatever it takes to make their pets comfortable. As a dog parent, you should love your pooch and provide all the care that he needs. To become the best parent that your dog deserves, you need to know the signs of sickness in dogs and what to do about them.

Stomach problems such as indigestion, gas, and diarrhea are common in dogs. Although you should always take your dog to a vet when you spot signs of sickness, knowing some home remedies can help save your dog. You can care for diarrhea and other stomach upsets at home with OTC medications that are safe for dogs.

OTC Medications Safe for Treating Stomach Problems in Dogs

Pepto Bismol (bismuth subsalicylate) is one of the best OTC for treating occasional nausea, heartburn, upset stomach, and diarrhea in humans. Dogs also get upset stomachs, and some of their parents give them this drug to stop diarrhea. But is Pepto Bismol safe for dogs?

Is Pepto-Bismol Safe for Dogs?

Every dog is different, but this drug is safe for most dogs. That does not mean that you should not consult your vet about this drug. It might not be safe for your dog. Some vets rarely recommend it because it can cause gastric bleeding. Offer Pepto Bismol to your dog after consulting your vet to avoid creating more complications in attempts to solve a small issue.

You should not give Pepto-Bismol to your dog if it is:

  • Pregnant
  • Nursing
  • Below four months old
  • Allergic to any active ingredient
  • Currently taking antibiotics
  • Has a bleeding disorder

Corrective Suspension is the safest treatment option for dogs in any of the above categories. It is a bismuth subsalicylate product that is formulated specifically for dogs. You can get Corrective Suspension from your vet.

Pepto-Bismol Side Effects

The most common side effect of Pepto-Bismol in dogs is constipation. Some dogs also have a darkened tongue and oddly colored stool. Any other symptom should raise an alarm.

Knowing the right dosage of Pepto-Bismol for your dog can help increase its effectiveness and lower the risks. A high dosage of bismuth subsalicylate can cause dog poisoning. Some of the common signs of poisonings include:

  • Vomiting
  • Bloody stool
  • Seizures
  • Rapid breathing

If you suspect your dog has bismuth poisoning, you should contact your emergency vet as soon as possible.

How to Give Pepto Bismol to a Dog

Pepto-Bismol is available in two forms: chewable tablets and in liquid form. It also doesn't have a flavor that your dog will like. Use an empty plastic syringe (no needle) to give your dog liquid Pepto-Bismol.

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To administer pills, tilt your dog's head backward and then place the tablet at the back of his tongue.

Some dogs know the difference between a cheese and a pill. They will eat your treat and spit your pills. If your dog is one of these dogs, use a pestle and mortar to powder the tablet and then mix it with one tablespoon of peanut butter.

Pepto-Bismol Dosage for Dogs

Tablet dosage: The American Kennel Club recommends 8.5 mg of Pepto-Bismol per every one pound. To administer the right dose, you will need to do some maths. You have to calculate the tablet dosage for your dog. If you are not a math pro, your vet will help you.

Liquid dosage: The safest dosage is one teaspoon per every 10 pounds. Repeat the dosage after every 8 to 10 hours. If your dog's condition fails to improve after five Pepto-Bismol doses, stop the medication and schedule an appointment with your vet.

Pepto Bismol Alternatives

If Pepto Bismol is not safe for your dog, there are other solutions for dog stomach issues. Just like Pepto Bismol, you should also consult your vet before administering any other medication. Other effective medications you can offer your dog to treat stomach upsets and diarrhea include:

1. Pepcid (famotidine)

It is an OTC medication that is used to treat heartburn and Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). It decreases acid production to prevent acid buildup in the stomach.

Pepcid can help soothe stomach issues in dogs. The right Pepcid dosage for dogs is 10 mg for every 20 lbs of the dog's body weight two times a day.

2. Imodium (Loperamide)

Imodium tablets are used to treat traveler's diarrhea. It works by slowing the movent of the gut.

Imodium tablets can help stop diarrhea in dogs. The right dosage is 2 mg for every 40 lbs of the dog's body weight.

Plain canned pumpkin and rice can also help relieve both diarrhea and constipation. All you need is to add up to four tablespoons of pumpkin to your dog's food.

If your dog's stomach problems don't go away after two days, you should stop all your at-home treatment and schedule an appointment with a vet.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

© 2021 Patrick Moses Fraser

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