Is Pepto Bismol Safe For Dogs? 6 Terrifying Side Effects For Dogs

Dogs, like people, can suffer from stomach problems, including indigestion, diarrhoea and gas. Although severe or prolonged symptoms should always be treated by a veterinarian, minor cases of stomach upset or diarrhoea can be treated at home with human medications that are safe for dogs.

However, is Pepto Bismol safe for dogs? This question may come into the mind of every dog owner at some point in time if their dog has been suffering from ailments and would want to aid their healing process.

Before administering it to your furry friend, let us first understand everything related to Pepto Bismol.

1. About Pepto Bismol

Pepto Bismol is a medicine that is given to a person when symptoms of indigestion1, heartburn, diarrhoea, nausea, etc are observed. This medicine can also be given to treat upset stomachs as well as gas problems.

The active ingredient present in a Pepto Bismol tablet or liquid dose is Bismuth Subsalicylate which is a derivative of salicylic acid.

This medicine is available in both chewable tablets as well as liquid. However, it is not recommended to use the tablets without consulting your doctor. Also, too much usage of this medicine can cause side effects such as nausea and vomiting.

For people having any type of pre-existing bleeding problems or stomach problems, it is not recommended to use this medicine. It can cause liver damage and even blood pressure problems such as hypertension.

2. How Does Pepto Bismol Work

When someone consumes Pepto Bismol, it protects the stomach and food pipe by decreasing the level of acidity in the person’s stomach. This gives the patients relief, and their conditions improve. This medicine is available in all medical stores and pharmacies, and its consumption is safe for use.

3. Who Can Consume Pepto Bismol Tablets?

Apart from humans, it has been proved that the consumption of this medicine is safe for dogs. But Pepto Bismol can not be used for cats. The active ingredients present in Pepto Bismol are considered to be toxic for cats and can cause several problems, as stated by several researchers.

4. Is Pepto Bismol For Dogs Safe

The answer to the question “Is Pepto Bismol safe for dogs?” is yes.

Although this medicine in both its tablet as well as liquid form is safe for dogs still, it is advised to give your dog Pepto Bismol tablet after consulting a veterinarian only. After consuming the tablets or liquid dosage, the results are known to be visible within 24- 48 hours.

Is pepto bismol for dogs safe
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If there is no improvement in the condition of your dog after consuming Pepto Bismol in the given time period in recommended concentrations, then you should stop giving your dog the medicine and immediately consult your vet.

4.1. When to Give a Dog Pepto Bismol?

Similar to humans, dogs should also be given the medication when primarily the symptoms of diarrhoea or gas problems are seen. In some cases, it can also be used to treat helicobacter bacterial infections in dogs, as proven.

The brand that is mainly available for dogs is Corrective Suspension. Still, dogs can also take medicine that is made for human consumption but under medical supervision only.

Is Pepto Bismol safe for dogs? Pepto Bismol is good, although we should first look for some other alternatives before giving Pepto Bismol to dogs as bismuth subsalicylate, 2which is the primary ingredient of the medicine and can cause allergies in some dogs.

4.2. When Not to Give Pepto Bismol?

Apart from the dog’s symptoms mentioned above, you should not give the medicine unnecessarily because it can pose a threat to the dog’s health which might prove fatal.

5. Alternative Solutions to Pepto Bismol

For gastrointestinal troubles that are not too severe simple home remedies can be used. For example, plain canned pumpkins can be given to dogs in accordance with the dog’s weight in accurate proportions.

To treat diarrhoea,3 Imodium can be used as an alternative for required results. But you should consult veterinary care before giving it to your dogs. Giving your dog Imodium dosage without consulting a veterinarian can be life-threatening. A dog can be given 2 mg per 40 pounds or as prescribed by the doctor.

In case of acidity problems, you can give your dog OTC medications such as Pepcid. It can also help in relieving gastric ulcers and other GI tract-related problems. They are proven to lower the level of acidity in the stomach of dogs and can relieve a few other tummy troubles dogs. The prescribed dosage of Pepcid for dogs is 10 mg per 20 pounds.

A change in the diet of your dog can also help in relieving gastric problems. Switching to a healthy diet can also be considered for a long-lasting impact. Feeding your dog with rice water can also help in improving in condition if it is just the beginning.

However, suppose there is no improvement in the condition of your dog. In that case, you should contact any veterinarian immediately as it can be life-threatening for the poor dog to avoid such symptoms.

Whenever you see any other unidentified symptoms in dogs, you should consult a licensed veterinarian doctor immediately to avoid any complications and restore your canine’s health to its previous levels.

6. Pepto Bismol Should Not Be Given to Which Dogs

Is Pepto Bismol safe for dogs? However, if a dog has any history of allergies, then you should avoid giving Pepto Bismol to dogs. Giving an excess dosage to them can cause side effects to the dogs.

Dogs that are already following any other medical treatment. In such cases, it would be better that you consult your vet first. Sometimes the medicines that you give to your dog can have opposite reactions on the dog, which can worsen the situation for your dog.

Dogs having several canine bleeding disorders can also not be given this medicine. It can cause harm to the dog having any such disorder.

It is advised that puppies should also not be given the medication as it can cause dehydration. Pregnant dogs should also not be given Pepto Bismol as well.

Dogs taking any kind of antibiotics should also not be given this medicine. But you can give the tablets or liquid after consulting your vet if you think that there is no other way to cure the dog.

Dogs who are currently taking any anti-inflammatory medications should also not be given Pepto Bismol.

If your dog is allergic to any of the ingredients present in the medicine, then you shouldn’t give your dog Pepto Bismol.

7. How to Give Pepto Bismol to Dogs?

7.1. Liquid Dosage

It is generally preferred to give liquid dosage to dogs. It doesn’t contain a very high amount of bismuth subsalicylate, so the dog may not develop any side effects. It can be given to dogs via a plastic syringe.

Is Pepto Bismol safe for dogs? Corresponding to every 10 pounds, it is prescribed to give 1 tablespoon of liquid Pepto Bismol to dogs.

The recommended dosage of liquid Pepto Bismol is not more than three times a day. You should keep this in mind while giving your dog Pepto Bismol treats.

Overdosage of such medicines can also worsen the situation, so it’s better to always know the exact dose before feeding your dog any kind of medicine for the sake of the safety of your dog.

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7.2. Tablets

If a dog is given the tablet, then it is advised to give 8.6mg per pound. Make sure that it doesn’t exceed the prescribed amount. Pepto Bismol works best if not given on an empty stomach, although it can be consumed empty stomach also. Therefore it is better to first feed your dog with some light food before giving it the medicine.

Generally, the dosage of this medicine is given to a dog on the basis of a dog’s weight. But before giving your dog either liquid or tablets, it is advised that you should consult a vet first about how much dosage to give to your dog to avoid any complications and side effects in the future.

8. Side Effects of Pepto Bismol Tablets

8.1. In Humans

  1. Pepto Bismol is used to treat diarrhoea. If we take an overdose of this medicine, it can lead to constipation, so you must make sure that you take the prescribed amount of medication as given by the doctor.
  2. Over usage of this medicine can also cause the colour of the tongue to change from its original colour to black. This happens because bismuth salicylate reacts with the sulfur present in saliva and causes decolourization of the tongue. This isn’t harmful but is an indication that the person has taken an overdose of the medicine.
  3. Some patients have also reported dizziness as a side effect after consuming the medicine.
  4. Loss of hearing or a ringing sensation in the ears.
  5. Vomiting
  6. Stomach pain

If a person counters any of the above symptoms, he/she is advised to visit the doctor immediately to prevent the symptoms from worsening.

8.2. In Dogs

  1. It can cause abdominal pain in dogs. This can be really a painful situation. So you need to have a watch on your dog on a regular basis once you give him this medication.
  2. In some cases, gastrointestinal bleeding is also reported by pet parents.
  3. Overdosage of this medicine can also result in oddly coloured stools for the dog. For example, sometimes, the stool of a dog changes to black or green.
  4. Some dogs also counter weakness if given an overdose of this medicine.
  5. It can also cause depression.
  6. Difficulty in breathing in dogs is also seen in some dogs.

So, depending on these mentioned situations, you can choose your answer to the question “Is Pepto Bismol safe for dogs?”

9. Precautions

For the safety and well-being of the dog, the following precautions must be taken while giving your dog the medicine:

  1. Make sure to use the correct brand of Pepto Bismol for the dog. Using any other brand may not have the exact effect on the health of the dog.
  2. Overdosage of the medicine should be avoided. It can cause serious side effects in dogs.
  3. Never give your dog expiry date medicine. This is dangerous for dogs.
  4. Always give your dog the dose as prescribed by the vet.
  5. If you see any unusual behaviour in your dog after consuming the medicine, consult the vet immediately.
sick dog
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10. Conclusion

Whenever we pet a dog, we take of it as our family member only. If anything happens to the dog, we all get cautious and want to treat our dog as soon as possible so that our dog becomes healthy once again.

Therefore, it becomes our utmost responsibility to take the proper care of our dogs. If our dog shows any symptoms of upset stomach or diarrhoea,4 we can give our dog Pepto Bismol. This will provide your dog relief, and it might feel better. As per doctors’ advice, the medicine is safe for dogs, but we must take the necessary precautions required.

We can switch to home remedies if the symptoms of diarrhoea are mild. It is better to first try some home remedies, but if the symptoms worsen, you should contact your vet immediately.

Also, we should ensure that we have first consulted our vet before giving our dog the medicine because there are chances that either our dog is allergic to the medicine or it may have any other medical history that makes it risky to consume the tablet or liquid dosage.

In the end, the safety of our dogs is our responsibility, and we shouldn’t take it lightly. The dog itself cannot take care of itself, so we must ensure that we take proper care of our dog.

11. Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Is Pepto-Bismol Safe for Dogs?

Pepto-Bismol (bismuth subsalicylate) is safe to offer most dogs, but AKC’s Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Jerry Klein says he rarely recommends it because the salicylates in the medication could cause gastric bleeding, and the bismuth in the medication can turn the stool black, which may mask any resulting gastric bleeding5.

Q2. How Quickly Does Pepto-Bismol Work for Dogs?

It takes 24 to 48 hours to work for dogs.

Q3. What Home Remedy Is Good for Dog Vomiting?

Herbs such as catnip, fennel, chamomile, peppermint, and ginger help to calm an irritated stomach. Many herbs have anti-spasmodic properties which ease nausea.

  1. Hailey, Francis J., and John H. Newsom. “Evaluation of bismuth subsalicylate in relieving symptoms of indigestion.” Archives of internal medicine 144.2 (1984): 269-272. ↩︎
  2. Bierer, Douglas Ws. “Bismuth subsalicylate: history, chemistry, and safety.” Reviews of Infectious Diseases 12.Supplement_1 (1990): S3-S8. ↩︎
  3. Menees, Stacy, Richard Saad, and William D. Chey. “Agents that act luminally to treat diarrhoea and constipation.” Nature Reviews Gastroenterology & Hepatology 9.11 (2012): 661-674. ↩︎
  4. Ragnarsson, Gudmundur, and Göran Bodemar. “Pain is temporally related to eating but not to defaecation in the irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): Patients’ description of diarrhoea, constipation and symptom variation during a prospective 6-week study.” European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepathology 10.5 (1998): 415-421. ↩︎
  5. Lucas, Charles E., et al. “Natural history and surgical dilemma of stress gastric bleeding.” Archives of surgery 102.4 (1971): 266-273. ↩︎

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Yashika Mahajan

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