When you’re suffering from a stomachache, you might reach for the Tums in the pantry. Dogs can suffer from stomachaches and acid reflux just as much as humans, although the signs can be harder to determine. If your dog doesn’t feel well, you might have wonder, “can I give my dog Tums to settle his stomach?”. Why spend money on expensive treatments when you can grab Tums right from the kitchen?
Generally, Tums are safe for dogs. However, they’re not the best option for every situation. If your dog suffers from health problems, Tums might make their condition worse. Additionally, not all types of antacids are suitable— some varieties contain additives that could have a negative effect on your dog’s health. Even basic antacids could trigger an allergic reaction if your dog can’t handle certain ingredients.
Before you do anything, you should talk to your vet first. Depending on the symptoms, your vet might suspect that your dog has a different ailment like constipation, allergic reactions, or even poisoning. Your vet might also recommend a different form of treatment if your dog suffers from certain health conditions. However, if your vet approves, you can give your dog Tums to ease the symptoms of acid reflux.
Can Dogs Suffer from Heartburn or Acid Reflux?
Dogs can suffer from heartburn and acid reflux just like humans. As the name suggests, acid reflux occurs when your dog’s stomach acids back up into its esophagus. This can cause heartburn, stomach aches, and a bitter taste in the mouth. Over time, acid reflux can cause permanent damage to your dog’s esophagus.
If your dog suffers from acid reflux on a regular basis, their diet might be the culprit. A diet high in fat and other unhealthy ingredients might trigger your dog’s acid reflux. Other dogs have sensitive stomachs that require a special diet. Your dog might develop acid reflux if they keep eating substances that they find outdoors or inside the house. Ultimately, a simple change in your dog’s diet could help them feel better and reduce their risk of heartburn.
Health problems like obesity and excess stomach acid can also cause acid reflux. Similarly, certain medications can increase acid production, giving your dog acid reflux and heartburn. Problems with your dog’s stomach or esophagus could also contribute to acid reflux. If you can’t do much about the condition itself, you could use Tums to treat the symptoms.
How Do You Know if Your Dog Has Acid Reflux?
The symptoms of acid reflux in dogs are similar to the symptoms of acid reflux in humans. Unfortunately, you can’t ask your dog what kind of symptoms they’re experiencing. Here are some of the signs that you might notice in your dog:
- Weight loss, reduced appetite, and reluctance to eat
- Frequent vomiting that appears to have stomach acid in it
- Bad breath and increased saliva production
- Apparent discomfort after eating
These signs can point to acid reflux, but they could also be the signs of a more serious condition. Make sure you talk to your vet before assuming that your dog suffers from acid reflux.
Does Tums Work as a Long-Term Treatment Strategy?
Tums can treat the symptoms of your dog’s heartburn, but they might not get better if you don’t figure out what causes acid reflux in the first place. You might want to take a trip to the vet if your dog seems to be suffering from chronic heartburn. Tums might work in the short term, but treating the cause is the key to extending your dog’s lifespan and increasing their quality of life.
On a similar note, Tums can actually cause damage if you become overly reliant on the drug. Over time, your dog might develop conditions like pancreatitis and kidney disease. Your vet could talk to you about supplements that are made with long-term use in mind.
When Should You Go to the Vet?
Before you give your dog Tums, schedule an appointment with your vet. Your vet might run some tests to see if your dog’s suffering from a more serious condition. This could include blood tests, observations, and endoscope procedures. If the vet diagnoses your dog with acid reflux, they might suggest giving your dog Tums to alleviate the symptoms while you work on a long-term treatment program.
Depending on the situation, the vet might simply recommend that you feed your dog a lighter, healthier diet. They might also recommend feeding your dog smaller meals to decrease acid production. If your dog has food sensitivities, the vet might recommend another brand of dog food. A new diet could help your dog lose weight, eliminating another potential cause of acid reflux.
If your dog has a serious medical issue, your vet might recommend more intensive treatments like surgery or medication. In any case, your vet might approve the use of Tums to give your dog short-term relief. Ask your vet how often you should give your dog Tums and how many tablets you can give them in one sitting.
How Do Tums Relieve the Symptoms of Acid Reflux?
If you’ve ever taken Tums for an upset stomach, you might have noticed that it relieves heartburn and settles the acid in your stomach. Tums are made from an ingredient called calcium carbonate that reduces the acid, eliminating the churning and burning sensations. Tums have the same effect on your dog’s digestive system. When you give your dog a Tums, they should feel better and might start to regain their appetite.
When you treat the symptoms of acid reflux, you might start to notice the following:
- Your dog shows interest in eating again
- Your dog begins to gain weight
- Your dog seems to enjoy eating again instead of experiencing pain
- Your dog stops vomiting and salivating excessively
How Much Should You Give Your Dog?
Before you start giving your dog Tums, ask the vet how many tablets they can take. Different sizes and breeds might require a higher or lower amount to reduce their stomach acid. Your dog probably won’t “overdose” on Tums, but eating a large amount could cause health issues like constipation. Puppies usually don’t need to take as much as adult dogs.
Can You Use Any Antacid For Your Dog?
You don’t necessarily have to give your dog Tums. Other antacids like Milk of Magnesia are generally safe for dogs. However, not every brand, flavor, and variant is acceptable for dogs. Before you start giving your dog antacids, check the list of ingredients for the following:
- Extra medication besides calcium carbonate. This might make your dog sick or trigger a bad reaction.
- Known allergens like food dyes. If your dog has an allergy, don’t assume that you won’t find it in antacids. You can find allergens in a number of products made for animals and humans.
- Unnecessary dyes, flavors, or additives. You might want to talk to your vet if you’re not sure if a certain ingredient is safe for your dog.
When you buy antacids at the store, make sure you buy the basic variety with as few ingredients as possible. Avoid anything that has extra additives or medications. Additionally, keep in mind that these products aren’t made with animals in mind.
What if Your Dog Takes Other Medications?
Tums might seem fairly mild, but your dog might still have a bad reaction if they’re taking other medications. Make sure you talk to your vet to see if Tums are compatible with your dog’s treatment regimen. Additionally, your vet might not recommend Tums if your dog is pregnant, lactating, or suffering from a condition like a kidney disease.
Are There Any Alternatives to Tums?
If your dog doesn’t like Tums, you could try one of the other antacids on the market. Some vets recommend trying a totally different product like Pepto Bismol. You can experiment with different brands to an extent–just talk to your vet if you plan on making any drastic changes. The simplest, standard option is usually the best because it doesn’t have as many chemicals and additives.
You could also experiment with different foods that ease the symptoms of acid reflux. Fish, turkey, pumpkin, and potatoes are just a few of the foods that might help your dog feel better. These foods might help your dog lose weight and enjoy a more balanced diet, which is a major factor in your dog’s digestive health. Your vet might also recommend fasting for a period of time so your dog’s digestive system clears itself out.
Can I Give My Dog Tums as a Calcium Supplement?
Some people use Tums to get more calcium in their diets. This might work for humans, but you shouldn’t expose your dog to Tums more than you have to. Instead of using antacids, you could talk to your vet about finding a calcium supplement that’s made specifically for dogs. You could also make changes to your dog’s diet to ensure that they get all the calcium that they need without extra supplements.
Can Puppies and Small Dogs Take Tums?
Tums aren’t necessarily off-limits for puppies and small dogs. Just make sure that you give them a small dosage according to your vet’s recommendations. It’s best to start with a small dose— you can always give your dog more, but you can’t take back what they’ve already eaten.
What’s the Final Word?
Tums aren’t a magic cure-all, but they can provide short-term relief for your dog’s heartburn and acid reflux. Generally, Tums is safe for dogs as long as you don’t use it excessively. If your dog eats a lot in one sitting, it might experience some temporary constipation. Otherwise, you can give your dog antacids at your vet’s discretion. Just keep in mind that you might have to make permanent, long-term changes if you want to improve your dog’s health.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Tums harmful to dogs?
Generally, Tums are not harmful to dogs. Tums contain calcium carbonate, which reduces the acid in your dog’s stomach without harming their digestive tract. However, Tums might be harmful if your dog has allergies to certain ingredients like food dyes. You might want to double-check with your vet before you give your dog Tums.
What antacid can I give my dog?
Safe antacids for your dog include Tums, AlternaGEL, and Milk of Magnesia. However, make sure that you buy the basic antacid without any unnecessary ingredients. Otherwise, the additives might have a negative effect on your dog’s health.
What do you give a dog with an upset stomach?
If your dog shows signs of heartburn, you might want to give them an antacid like Tums. Otherwise, you might want to talk to your vet about the best way to treat your dog’s stomachaches. You might be able to give your dog Pepto Bismol in certain situations.
Can dogs have Tums for an upset stomach?
You can give your dog Tums if they don’t have any allergies to food dyes or other ingredients. However, you might want to talk to a vet first if your dog is pregnant or suffering from kidney disease. Tums could negatively affect your dog’s health if they suffer from certain conditions.