We never want our dogs to feel sick. It’s not just that a sick dog can be messy, but rather that no one wants their furry pal to feel bad. Unfortunately, it can be tough to find a medication that can help settle a dog’s upset stomach. That, perhaps, is why when pets have tummy problems, so many people ask, “can i give my dog Pepto Bismol?”.
Those who are a bit more cautious, however, might wonder if giving this product to a dog is a good idea. After all, it’s a human medicine and many dog owners have been conditioned to keep human medications away from their pets. Fortunately, there are some easy answers to be found to this pressing question.
The Quick Answer
If you’re absolutely frantic because you’ve already given your dog Pepto, you’re in luck – the medication is, in fact, safe for dogs.
With that said, you shouldn’t give your pet any kind of medication without talking to your vet and you certainly should keep in mind that this medication really is meant for humans. Your dog doesn’t need to get it regularly, but it’s probably okay to give it to him or her once or twice without feeling bad.
There are, of course, no rules that come without exceptions. You definitely shouldn’t give your dog Pepto Bismol if he or she is taking any kind of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines, if she is pregnant or lactating, or if your dog is at any risk of gastrointestinal bleeding. If you think that any of the previous situations might apply to your dog, you’ll want to play it safe just in case.
Picking the Right Dosage for Your Dog
The easy answer for picking a dosage is, of course, that you should call your vet. The truth, though, is that your vet might not be open when you need to give Pepto Bismol for dogs, so you’ll need to know how much to give him or her.
The general rule to follow is to give your dog about half a milliliter for every pound that he or she ways (or about five milliliters per ten pounds). The best way to get an accurate dosage is to use an oral syringe, which you should be able to get for a low cost from your local pharmacy. If you have a bigger dog, it’s usually a good idea to opt for a bigger syringe.
As a note, your big dog might not want to take as much Pepto as he or she is indicated to take. The good news is that even getting close will be at least a little helpful, though massive amounts of Pepto do have diminishing returns. You can give your dog another dose in about eight hours, if you don’t see any results by that point should probably consult with your veterinarian.
Conditions With Which Pepto Bismol Can Help
Even though Pepto Bismol is relatively safe for your dog to take, it’s still a good idea to only give it to him or her when he or she really needs it. As such, it’s a good idea to learn a little more about the conditions that the product can safely treat.
The vast majority of pet owners who give dog Pepto Bismol do so in order to deal with diarrhea. In fact, vets will happily tell you that this is generally the only thing for which your dog needs to take Pepto – conditions like constipation, nausea, or vomiting need a trip to the vet, not the medicine cabinet. While your vet might recommend taking the medication for these issues, it’s always best to let him or her make that call.
How Does Pepto Bismol Work?
It’s not a bad idea to think about how a medication works before giving it to your dog. In the case of Pepto Bismol, you’re looking at a medication that largely works through an ingredient called bismuth subsalicylate, a substance that helps to give Pepto both antibacterial and anti-inflammatory abilities. It also works as an antacid, which can be quite helpful for many dogs.
What’s odd, though, is that we don’t really know why Pepto Bismol works. It might be because the medication stimulates the intestines to absorb fluids, that it absorbs toxins on its own, or that it reduces the acidity of the food in the stomach. All that we really know is that the product works.
The Xylitol Question
One of the biggest rumors floating around the internet is that Pepto Bismol is now unsafe for dogs because the company that makes the medications has changed the formula to include an ingredient called Xylitol. Xylitol is notoriously toxic for dogs, though it has little impact on humans. As such, the inclusion of this ingredient could automatically disqualify Pepto from being given to dogs.
The great news, though, is that this rumor was proven to be unfounded. There is no Xylitol in the product, so dog owners can feel free to give their dogs Pepto Bismol when doing so would be appropriate.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What can I give my dog for an upset stomach?
The best thing to do when your dog is simply nauseous is to make sure that he or she has plenty of water and that you give him or her relatively simple food. Boiling chicken for your dog (without bones) along with white rice is usually a very good combination here, but simply making sure that your dog isn’t losing too much fluid when he or she is feeling sick is a remarkably good way to help him or her to feel better.
2. What does Pepto Bismol do for dogs?
Pepto Bismol, for the most part, helps to alleviate the symptoms that are associated with diarrhea. This is probably due to the active ingredient in the medication, but no one is entirely sure specifically why the medication tends to work as it does. With that said, it can be an excellent choice if your dog has a bout of diarrhea and no other symptoms, though any long-term diarrhea definitely needs to be checked out by your vet as soon as possible.
3. What kind of Pepto Can I give my dog?
You should probably only give your pet the traditional liquid variety of Pepto Bismol. This is the type of product with which vets are the most comfortable and that has had the most obvious positive impact for dogs, though you’re probably not going to hurt your dog if you end up giving him or her the chewable form of the medication. It’s usually better to play it safe when it comes to giving a dog any kind of medication, though, so you should definitely stick with the liquid when you can.
4. What can you give a dog for diarrhea?
While there are many things you can give your dog for diarrhea, many dog owners do turn to Pepto Bismol as a medication of choice. It has been shown to have a real impact on this particular symptom, with no real negative consequences. With that said, you should not give your dog Pepto Bismol too frequently and you should definitely see your vet if your dog’s diarrhea continues on for more than eight hours. Pepto Bismol can be best thought of as a short-term fix to help your dog feel a bit better.