You need a simple, definitive guide on what medications, including over-the-counter prescriptions, you can give to your dog. One of the most popular drugs you will want to know much about is Pepto-Bismol – an OTC drug used for occasional gastrointestinal issues.
Alternatively called bismuth subsalicylate, Pepto-Bismol is a pink antacid elixir medication that addresses temporary stomach discomforts, heart burns, digestion issues, acid reflux, and diarrhea. It works by protecting the gastrointestinal tract from stomach acid.
Pepto-Bismol comes in various forms, including capsules and chewable tablets. Yet, the original formula is a thick pink liquid teaberry flavor.
However, the bigger question is whether or not this antacid is safe for your dog. This article explores reasons for and against giving Pepto-Bismol to your pet.
Is Pepto-Bismol Safe For Dogs?
Yes. Pepto-Bismol is safe for dogs when used correctly, making it an excellent solution for gastrointestinal complications. You will use it to address mild diarrhea, gastrointestinal irritation, and nausea. However, you’ll only administer it after consulting an experienced vet.
Once your dog ingests it, Pepto-Bismol breaks down into various components, including salicylic acid and bismuth oxychloride. This breakdown makes it easier for the dog’s body to absorb bismuth subsalicylate.
However, professionals recommend a specific type of bismuth subsalicylate for your dog: Corrective Suspension. Corrective Suspension is specially engineered for dogs, and it helps stimulate the gastrointestinal walls to absorb electrolytes and fluids.
Its salicylate structure helps reduce inflammation, pain, and irritation in the GI tract and intestinal lining. It can also minimize stomach hypermotility and bind the various toxins produced by E. coli, eliminating diarrhea. Above all, its antacid and antibacterial properties ensure the dog’s health is steadfast.
When to Give Pepto-Bismol to Dogs
You’ll need medical advice before giving Pepto-Bismol to your dog. It is because some dogs can be allergic to one or multiple active ingredients in this drug. For instance, avoid this drug if your dog has an allergy to aspirin.
Pregnant and lactating dogs should not ingest Pepto-Bismol, as it could significantly affect their health. The active ingredients in Pepto-Bismol could also react with aspirin and various antibiotics, causing adverse health complications. Dogs with bleeding issues and those taking non-steroidal inflammatory agents should also avoid this drug.
Dosage and Administration
The recommended Pepto-Bismol dosage for every ten pounds a dog weighs is one teaspoon. This dosage amount could also vary with the age and breed of the dog. You’ll administer the dosage every six to eight hours, depending on the extent of the symptoms. However, you might need to consult your vet if diarrhea and nausea do not stop after a few doses.
If you have never given Bismol to your dog, you’ll need express authorization from the vet. This professional will advise whether it is suitable for you to give it out and the best dosage to offer.
Various methods are used to administer Pepto-Bismol to dogs. The first option is to use an empty plastic syringe to place a few drops on the back of the tongue. You will then hold the muzzle for a few seconds to ensure the dog swallows the medication.
You could also use a dropper to place the medication on the back of the tongue. Yet, you must not tilt the dog’s head during this process to avoid choking. You could also consider placing this medication between the mouth and cheek, the mouth’s corner, or the end of the dog’s tongue.
Breaking the dosage into squirts will be invaluable to dogs with trouble swallowing it. On the other hand, you might have to hide chewable tablets in your dog’s food for easier administration.
Side Effects of Administering Pepto-Bismol to Dogs
While Pepto-Bismol is safe and healthy for dogs, it has several side effects, including the following.
The bismuth in Pepto-Bismol combines with sulfur in the GI tract to change the pigment of your dog’s stool. This stool could be either black or dark grey. However, dark stool could also indicate other health issues, including melena.
Pepto-Bismol has an active ingredient called salicylic acid, which can trigger gastrointestinal ulcers. The risk of ulceration increases if your pet is on aspirin medications.
Salicylic acid can cause detrimental damage to the fetus, meaning you must avoid it in pregnant dogs. In addition, it could adversely affect puppies and nursing mother dogs.
Alternatives to Pepto-Bismol
Two common alternatives stand out: Pepcid and Imodium. Both options are administered whenever a dog has gastrointestinal issues, including nausea, GI tract irritation, and heartburn.
Pepcid, alternatively called famotidine, is suitable for addressing gastric ulcers, stomach acid buildup, and gastrointestinal complications. However, this drug is unsuitable for puppies and certain dog breeds. You have to consult a vet before offering it to your pet.
The recommended dosage for Pepcid is 10mg for every 20 pounds a dog weighs. You will administer this dose every 12 to 24 hours. At the same time, ensure that you give it out an hour before meals because of its powerful, active ingredients.
You’ll avoid adding Pepcid to your dog’s food to increase efficacy. Instead, place it at the back of the dog’s tongue using a dropper or plastic syringe.
Imodium is yet another excellent solution to diarrhea in dogs. However, you must confirm with your vet before administering it as it can adversely affect some doggies. The recommended dosage is approximately two-milligram tablets for every 40 pounds the dog weighs. Depending on the vet’s advice, you’ll offer this amount twice or thrice daily. Its administration is similar to Pepcid and Pepto-Bismol.
Pepto-Bismol is a safe and healthy option for your dog when offered correctly. While it can help address various health concerns, you must consult a vet before giving it to your dog. The information above guides you on how to administer it and the alternatives you could consider.