Just like humans, dogs can sometimes experience stomach problems like an upset stomach or indigestion.
While long-lasting problems are a sign that professional veterinary treatment is needed, for infrequent issues there are some at-home remedies.
Can a Dog Take Pepto Bismol?
Pepto Bismol is a common medicine taken by people who sometimes struggle with digestion problems and diarrhea.
However, because it is so commonly used to treat these problems in humans, you may be wondering if this medicine can be given to dogs with similar stomach issues.
Yes, Pepto Bismol is okay to give to a dog, but only once you have spoken to your veterinarian.
This is because Pepto Bismol can cause some side effects or mask more severe underlying problems.
Potential Side Effects
Giving your dog Pepto Bismol can have the risk of potential side effects, making the decision something you should leave to your vet.
Just because Pepto Bism0l is usually safe, doesn’t mean that you should give it to your dog without consulting your vet first.
Some side effects can include turning stools a black or green color, which can make it difficult to discern whether your dog is experiencing bloody stools.
This can be particularly dangerous as one of the more severe side effects involves gastric bleeding.
Because of this, dogs that have known bleeding disorders should never be given Pepto Bismol.
Similarly, neither should dogs that are pregnant or nursing.
In some cases, your vet will prescribe a bismuth subsalicylate product that has been specially formulated for dogs to help lower the risk of side effects.
Along with this, many vets recommend only giving your dog one or two doses at most after consulting them and getting the okay to administer the medicine.
If the symptoms of stomach problems persist or they continue to have dark stools for days later, you should bring your dog to your veterinarian’s office as soon as possible.
Dosing and Administration
If your vet tells you to go ahead and give your dog Pepto Bismol, it’s important that you get the dosing right.
While your vet will usually tell you specifically how much you should administer, generally only one teaspoon should be given for every 10 pounds.
Pepto can be administered once every six to eight hours, but if symptoms of stomach problems persist, call your veterinarian and schedule a visit.
To administer Pepto to your dog, you should use a plastic syringe to ensure proper dosing.
These syringes can also make the medicine easier to administer.
Place the syringe in your dog’s mouth towards the back of the tongue.
Once the medicine is administered, hold your dog’s mouth closed for a few seconds to ensure that they can’t spit it out.
When doing this, it may be helpful to have someone hold your dog while you administer the medicine, as some dogs can be very fidgety and it can be difficult to give the medicine on your own.
Additional Help for Stomach Issues
While Pepto Bismol can be helpful for dogs with stomach issues, there are some steps you can take alongside the medicine to help remedy problems.
Similar to how people should eat when they have upset stomachs or diarrhea, you should try giving your dog some bland foods to help alleviate symptoms.
In some cases, diarrhea is minor and Pepto Bismol may not even be needed to clear it up if a bland diet is used.
Plain boiled chicken and boiled rice is a good starting point, although if your dog has food sensitivities, you may want to speak with your vet before changing their diet.
Work With Your Vet
The good news is that most stomach issues are minor and they will go away either on their own or with a little help.
However, you should always speak with your vet to let them know your dog’s condition so that they can stay up-to-date in case the minor issues are a sign of something more severe.
You should also never administer Pepto Bismol without your vet’s consultation.
With this in mind, you can be better prepared for the next time your dog shows signs of having an upset stomach or diarrhea.