Is It Safe to Give Your Dog Pepto Bismol?

As one of the few drugs that can be used by both humans and animals, it is safe to give your dog Pepto Bismol. It can be bought with a prescription or over the counter but it is a good idea to get a vet's opinion before administering this medicine to your dog yourself.

When to Give Your Dog Pepto Bismol

Pepto Bismol is useful for treating stomach upsets. There are many things that could give your dog diarrhea. While it could be an indication of a serious health problem, it is likely to be something to do with the dog's diet. Pepto Bismol works to soothe the stomach and the intestinal lining and it can help relieve diarrhoea when the problem is caused by something your dog has eaten.

Pepto Bismol comes in different strengths so it is important to choose the right one. Normally, regular strength Pepto Bismol is the safest type to use. The dosage of the medication will be determined by the size of your dog.

Generally, the advised dosage is 0.5-1ml of Pepto Bismol per pound of weight. It should be administered every 6-8 hours. If you're using the tablets, that is equal to ¼ tablet per 20 pounds of weight every 6-8 hours.

The medication will help relieve your dog's diarrhea but even if your pet seems to be fine it is a good idea to take him to see a vet as soon as possible. This is especially important if the symptoms persist or return when you stop giving your dog Pepto Bismol. In these instances, it could be that your dog's stomach upset is a sign of an underlying health problem.

When It Isn't Safe to Give Your Dog Pepto Bismol

It is usually safe to give your dog Pepto Bismol, although check with your vet beforehand. However, this kind of medication should not be used in animals with von Willebrand's disease or other bleeding problems. It is also not suitable for dogs that are pregnant or nursing young puppies.

The Possible Side Effects of Pepto Bismol

Side effects are rare but they can occur. Potential changes include:

  • A darkening in color of the tongue
  • A darkening of the stools, which may become grey, black or a green color
  • An interference with readings of abdominal X-Rays
  • Inaccuracies in urine test results

Like every medication, it is possible to overdose on Pepto-Bismol. If you think this has happened, it is important to contact a vet immediately. Keep observing your dog closely and watching for changes in his temperature. Other potential effects include changes in the dog's blood, seizures and liver and kidney damage.

Pepto Bismol is useful for soothing stomach upsets that can make your dog sick. However, it is a good idea to get a vet's advice before giving the medication to your dog. That way, you can try and rule out any other, more serious, causes of stomach problems first.