Can I Give My Dog Pepto Bismol for Vomiting? (Tips and Facts)

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Did your dog just vomit? Does it have dog diarrhea, as well? Do you have unanswered questions about using Pepto Bismol for dogs?

Dogs are like family; we hate to see them suffer. However, they’re bound to have stomach problems, diarrhea, and vomiting at some point. Many pet owners give their dogs OTC medications like Pepto Bismol because it seems safe, and they take it themselves.

However, there are some conditions that control how safe this medication is. If you’re interested in learning about them, continue reading.

Can I Give My Dog Pepto Bismol for Vomiting?

Dog pet sick vomit

Pepto Bismol is a popular over-the-counter medication that treats nausea, heartburn, upset your dog’s stomach, diarrhea, and vomiting. Its active ingredient is called bismuth subsalicylate, which has anti-inflammatory and antacid properties that ease symptoms of indigestion, diarrhea, and so on.

It’s popular among humans, and many pet parents have safely given Pepto Bismol to their dogs, taking the necessary precautions.

Is Pepto Bismol Bad for Dogs?

We wouldn’t say that Pepto Bismol is a no-no for dogs, but there are a few things to keep in mind if you decide to give your dog Pepto Bismol.

  1. It’s a Short-term Solution

Pepto Bismol, like most OTC medications, is only meant for minor dog’s upset stomach issues, where your dog munches on some grass or experiences a dog’s diet change and faces the unpleasant consequences in its stomach.

You shouldn’t be giving your dog this one-time medication for longer than a day or two because if your dog is still vomiting, they’re seriously dehydrated or dehydration by now and need to see a vet.

  1. Expect Some Side Effects

Like many over-the-counter medications, if you give your dog Pepto Bismol, they might experience some side effects, and it’s okay. For example, it can darken the tongue or turn stool black. This mild change is only temporary.

However, if your dog’s stool has blood, you probably won’t be able to see it because the medication has darkened it. So, when dogs have serious health issues, sometimes OTC medications disguise them.

Another concerning side effect is that its tablets are radio-opaque, so they appear “dense” on X-rays, which could leave the vet believing that invasive surgery is needed. That’s why you need to communicate with your vet about your intention to give Pepto Bismol to your dog.

  1. Your Dog Could Be Allergic

There’s something that many new dog owners don’t understand yet: many medications that are okay for people have an ingredient or two that dogs could be allergic to, which could ironically worsen the symptoms that you’re trying to alleviate.

So, read the ingredients to make sure that Pepto Bismol doesn’t have something that your dog is allergic to.

  1. Beware Salicylic Acid

Pet care is complicated because you can give your pet something to treat its tummy troubles and end up costing it a trip to the emergency veterinarian.

One of the ingredients in Pepto Bismol Dosage is salicylic acid or gastric acid. In moderate amounts, this compound can be very helpful, thanks to its anti-inflammatory, anti-platelet, and analgesic properties.

However, a high dosage of salicylic acid or stomach acid can lead to a dog overdose because of salicylate toxicity. That’s why you should never give this medication to puppies, nursing dogs, pregnant dogs, and dogs with gastric bleeding disorders.

  1. Medications Can Interfere With Each Other

This point explores the dangers of the previous one even further. The salicylates in Pepto Bismol can interfere with a long list of prescription medications, such as diabetes medications, tetracycline antibiotics, and blood thinners.

So, please consult with your veterinarian about any medications that your dog is already taking to make sure that it’s safe to proceed with Pepto Bismol.

How Many Tablets of Pepto Bismol Can I Give My Dog?

Corgi Nausea

The tablet dosage mainly depends on the dog’s age, size, body weight, breed, and so on. You should always consult with your veterinarian first when it comes to dosages to be safe, especially with a drug that could cause side effects like Pepto Bismol.

To be more specific, the American Kennel Club recommends 1 teaspoon for every 10 pounds of the dog’s weight once 6 to 8 hours. For example, if your dog weighs 50 pounds, they get 5 teaspoons of bismuth subsalicylate every 8 hours.

Remember not to give your dog more than one dosage or two because it’s not meant to be used for more than 24 hours. It’s a short-term solution, and if the problem persists for more than 24 hours, over-the-counter medication is the last thing your dog needs.

Also, you should always monitor your canine friend after the first dosage to make sure that Pepto Bismol is safe for your dog, in particular.

What Can I Give My Dog for Vomiting?

Dog vomit in the living room on the floor

If you still don’t find Pepto Bismol safe for dogs, here are some alternative solutions to ease your dog’s symptoms.

  1. Pepcid

A safer alternative to bismuth subsalicylate is Pepcid, an OTC medication that treats various stomach issues. Check the exact tablet dosage with your veterinarian, but the American Kennel Club recommends a 10-milligram tablet for 20-pound dogs every 12 to 24 hours, preferably one hour before meals.

  1. Canned Pumpkin

Plain canned pumpkin is one of the best homemade solutions to an upset stomach. It’s high in fiber, which helps your dog’s digestive system or digestive tract. Also, it’s rich in vitamins and minerals that it probably needs after vomiting its food.

  1. Corrective Suspension

The safest alternative to Pepto Bismol for dogs is a corrective suspension. It has the same active ingredient, which is bismuth subsalicylate, but it’s specifically made for dogs and only administered by a veterinarian.

How Can I Make My Dog Feel Better After Vomiting?

If your dog has vomited very recently, follow these steps to make it feel better, improve its health, and get it back on track.

  1. Comfort Your Dog

Dog Vomiting is not the end of the world if it’s just a one-time thing, but it would be nice to let your dog know that you’re here for it. Talk to it in a soothing voice, or give it some belly rubs. Prepare a cozy spot for your dog and get it to rest there. If it’s shaking a bit, warm it up and cuddle it.

Most dog owners have no idea how powerful their love is and how good it can make a sick dog feel.

  1. Enforce a Food Fast

A lot of pet parents think immediately about what to feed their pet once it throws up. While that is important, and we’ll get to it, you shouldn’t feed your dog anything right now.

In fact, you shouldn’t feed your dog anywhere from 12 to 24 hours after vomiting, depending on how fast it improves. Although this might worry you as a caring pet owner, it’s the best thing to do because food may aggravate its upset stomach even more.

  1. Hydration Is Key

Vomiting makes people and dogs lose a lot of fluid and experience electrolyte imbalance, so re-hydration is important at this stage. However, nausea may make your dog reluctant to drink as much as it should.

So, give your dog water in small amounts that match its weight, such as 1 teaspoon for every pound of weight every hour until it gets better. An even better option would be an electrolyte-enhanced fluid, such as unflavored Pedialyte. You can give it to your dog instead of water or mix it 50/50 with water. Some dog owners even mix water with bone broth to make it tastier for hard-to-please dogs.

That being said, if your dog is seriously dehydrated or has serious underlying conditions that make it vomit, again and again, water, or Pedialyte will not be enough. This is when to take your dog to the emergency veterinarian immediately.

  1. Introduce a Bland Diet

Now that more than 12 hours have passed and your dog seems to be getting better, it’s time for food. However, you can’t give your dog the normal food that it usually eats. Sensitive stomachs need a little help from your end.

Skinless, unseasoned white chicken and rice are popular contenders for post-vomit meals. Also, low-fat cottage cheese and a plain hamburger could work. Whatever bland diet you put your dog on, feed it in small amounts once every few hours.

If your dog seems fine, mix its normal dog food with the bland diet until it no longer needs the extra care.

sick dog is asking help from his pet owner


Final Thoughts

Have you enjoyed the article? Please let us know in the comment section below. It’s vital to know whether it’s safe to use Pepto Bismol for dogs because it’s a pretty popular medication that people can misuse.

It’s effective for treating vomiting and mild diarrhea if it’s a one-time thing. However, it’s essential to follow your veterinarian’s recommended dosage and pay attention to any signs that the tummy troubles aren’t going away after taking medications. Also, it’s good to know that there are alternatives.

I wish your dog a speedy recovery!

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Hi, everyone! My name is Mathew Barham and I’m the editor in charge here at M-Dog. I’m currently based in Northampton, Pennsylvania, where I live with my beautiful wife, two amazing kids, and four rowdy rescue dogs. Growing up, my parents had a huge backyard and lots of animals. So my entire life, I was surrounded by pets that I cared for deeply. When my wife and I moved into a bigger place, I knew that I wanted to do the same for my family. That’s when we went to an animal shelter and fell in love with the most adorable little rescue pup. Since then, our family just kept growing, and we couldn’t be happier about it.