Can I Give My Dog Imodium?

Can I Give My Dog Imodium?Imodium is an anti-diarrhea medication commonly used for people, not dogs. This brand name is the generic drug Loperamide. It slows down digestion so the small intestines have more time to absorb fluids and nutrients.

It also treats chronic diarrhea normally caused by inflammatory bowel disease. Imodium helps regulate frequency and make stools more solid. It treats human diarrhea symptoms, but can this drug also be a safe medication for dogs?

There are specialized medications for canine diarrhea. But there are also over-the-counter drugs that can be used to treat your dog’s condition such as Pepto Bismol. One of the safest OTC drugs for dog diarrhea is Imodium.

Can I Give My Dog Imodium? Answer: Yes, under a vet’s supervision

It’s considered to be safe for treating cases of canine diarrhea.

Dogs occasionally experience diarrhea. This doesn’t mean that you should give them Imodium at the first sign of diarrhea. One of the common causes is taking in food they shouldn’t eat such as spoiled food, foreign objects or toxic substances. Figuring out the reasons for such symptoms could be highly beneficial and the basis for treatment.

If your dog is continually having unexplained loose bowel movements or you observe chronic and recurring diarrhea, take them to your local vet to find out what’s actually causing it. A qualified veterinarian will know when and how to give this readily available medication. Perhaps they would advise you that your particular dog shouldn’t take it.

Vets Utilize This OTC Drug

Veterinarians have prescribed this medication to treat acute and chronic diarrhea in dogs. Although considered generally safe for dogs, it should only be used under close care and with detailed instructions from a professional. It’s not recommended for pregnant and nursing dogs. If given incorrectly, it could mean more trouble for your dog.

Keep in mind, the underlying cause of your dog’s diarrhea will be your vet’s basis for giving medication. If Imodium is given improperly, meaning if they receive the wrong dosage or it’s been ingested by an allergic dog, they may experience more problems or even death.

The Side Effects of Imodium

The usual side effects of Imodium in humans are mild drowsiness and dizziness. These may also be experienced by your dog. Your pup may also face some mild constipation, abdominal pain, bloating and vomiting due to this drug’s potency.

Be sure you let your dog rest while they’re medicated as they may experience some mild discomfort. Any side effects that indicate a worsening of your dog’s condition should immediately be addressed with a veterinarian.

Warnings & Contraindications

As stated above, Immodium shouldn’t be given to dogs who are pregnant and nursing puppies. Aside from this, if your dog has ingested poison, this drug can’t be given until the toxin has been removed from their system.

If your dog is also experiencing abdominal pain or head trauma, refrain from giving this drug as it may lead to even more complications. If the diarrhea was caused by bacterial infection such as salmonella, other medication or treatment should be used instead. This is why veterinarians can be life savers.

Treatment of Canine Diarrhea

Most of the time, the initial treatment for dog diarrhea is to withhold food and fast them for at least 24-hours. Once fasting, supply them with ample amounts of fresh water to prevent dehydration. Diarrhea greatly contributes to dehydration so it’s very important to sustain your dog’s water supply during this critical time.

If their condition doesn’t improve, your veterinarian may then prescribe a medication to regulate your dog’s bowel movements. On the other hand, a steadily improving condition may mean you can begin feeding them bland and low-fat foods for a period.

You may be advised to mix certain probiotic products into their meals since the bacteria in probiotics could help replenish the nutrients they’ve lost. Continue providing a simple diet such as chicken with rice until your dog achieves normal bowel movements. It may also be helpful to give high-fiber foods such as pumpkin.

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Liz April, 2015

My 10 year old dog has suffered from intermittent diarrhea, on and off, since he had surgery on his jaw after a near death car accident. He sustained a lower jaw fracture and it was reconstructed by marvelous surgeons. But, I have been left with a dog who has suffered from diarrhea. It arrives out of the blue, first he passes a large watery amount of water and it comes out in a projectile manner. Then he passes very loose diarrhea.

I have recently consulted a vet and requested an analyses on his stools. This has been done but, in the meantime, I have given him Imodium. At the moment it’s the only medication that seems to control the watery substance but it doesn’t control the near continuous, extremely smelly flatulence and ongoing bowel sounds that he makes all the time.

I am now waiting for the result of the stool specimen, but am still giving him Imodium. The vet informed me that it might be a deep seated bacterial infection. This I can believe, because it started more or less after the accident. I know that the vets had to insert a drain into his bowels, in order to feed him, so I believe it’s the reason for this problem. Please, anyone, let me know what you think!


Deborah March, 2015

I gave my dog 1 adult Imodium tablet for excessive diarrhea. It’s been a day already and I have seen no sign of him pooping. Is this normal? I am a concerned pet owner.


Angel March, 2015

Hi Deborah. My vet prescribed Imodium for a few days for my German Shepherd’s diarrhea. The vet said to try it for 3 to 4 days (one pill twice a day). If your dog is having trouble, it may be she has eaten something that’s having a hard time getting out. Or, you have a small dog and maybe half a pill might be better. If that isn’t the case, try a small teaspoon of pumpkin (from the can) and no Imodium. This will help better than the Imodium over the long term. It will also help her stomach pain as pumpkin is like an enzyme that helps digestion and will begin acting right away. Do this 3 times a day for a few days, it will not cause harm, and may actually make everything better.

Pumpkin is really good for dogs and their digestion. It will soften everything up so they can go potty. If your dog is constipated, and it has been more than 2 days, call your vet immediately and ask for some advice. I am not a vet and just offering what has helped my dog. When things improve, you might try and feed your dog some brown rice and cooked carrots with each meal. This will help digestion and provide some vitamins and other nutrients that you cannot get from store bought dog food.


Kelsey April, 2015

If you have a herding breed dog do not give them Imodium. Many dogs, around 75% of Collies and half of Aussies, carry a gene called MDR1 that causes Imodium and other drugs to improperly metabolize. Check out the following link:

I gave my Aussie Imodium based on my vet’s advice. The vet knew of the gene but did not know that Imodium causes problems. We almost lost our Aussie! So again do not give Imodium to your dog until you check out Washington University’s info on the MDR1 gene.


Andrea March, 2015

I have a 2 year old Dachshund that weighs 12 pounds. How much Imodium can I give him and should it be liquid or gel capsules?


David February, 2015

Our 10 year old 100 pound Chocolate Lab-mix has a bad tummy. He gets chronic yeast infections in his ears that we have been treating using a prescribed ear cleaner and a combination of 1 tab daily Ketoconazole (2nd refill) and every other day Derma-Vet ointment in each ear for almost 2 weeks. Now the poor boy has a bad tummy.

He never goes through the garbage nor spends any time outside by himself so I’m 99.5% he didn’t eat anything bad. Over the past 2 weeks he has suffered acute diarrhea and we’ve been feeding him boiled chicken and white rice and his appetite is very good. We have been trying Pepto Bismol yet he is still runny. He’s drinking fresh water but not a lot. His gums are okay, not dehydrated. What else can I try?


DorrieL February, 2015

Try brown instead of white rice. Just like in our bodies, yeast loves simple carbs. Add a quality probiotic as well. It should have CFUs in the billions not on manufacture but on use. New Chapter brand is what we use. Think about how you feed yourself. Meat and grain is not enough. Include some well-cooked cruciferous veggies. You may also wish to add a digestive enzyme-mix like Dr. Goodpet. There is no substitute for a visit to the vet to rule out other things.


Patty April, 2015

Hi David. I had a Rottweiler-mix who had constant ear infections. After going to the allergist, we found out she was allergic to chicken. We changed her diet to the Dick Van Patten brand and after 6 years of ear issues they completely cleared up.


Kim June, 2015

Try canned pumpkin 3 times a day. Use approximately one half of a fresh can and mix it with food. Best of luck!


Bonnie March, 2016

There is a prescription food, I/D, and you can get it at the vet. It will help with this problem immediately. I get it at my local VCA animal hospital with no visit required.


Merry January, 2015

My pup has diarrhea and is not eating. Should I try Imodium? Can I buy it from local drug stores? Please help me. Thanks a lot


Bonnie March, 2015

The vet recommended fasting for 12 hours, then boiled chicken with rice. He also said I could use Pepto-Bismol.


Bev February, 2016

I was told to let my Border Collie fast for 24 hours, then the boiled chicken and rice. Also I could use Immodium but only 1/2 pill, and not up to 3 in a day. Apparently that should cure the diarrhea she’s had for 2 days now. Last night it got her up 6 times, poor baby.


Ann January, 2015

My dog has had diarrhea for two weeks. He is a diabetic. He has boiled chicken. He also had pumpkin and probiotics. But he still has diarrhea and we are out of town until next week. What is wrong? Any ideas?


Bobbi January, 2015

Try ground turkey with only 1% fat. You can make it into meatballs and boil them. This worked on my dog when chicken with boiled rice didn’t. I added some Prozyme which is a digestive enzyme. This worked in 3 days, the chicken didn’t work at all after weeks of trying.


DorrieL February, 2015

I think pumpkin actually moves the stools, so I wouldn’t give it for diarrhea. What does the vet say?


Bev February, 2016

My daughter’s Pit was constipated and pumpkin worked for her dog.


Loretta September, 2014

My dog has been suffering from loose bowels for 7 weeks. Vets have given her much medicine to no avail. I want to try Imodium. What amount should I give a 75 pound American Bulldog?


Lisa September, 2014

Imodium (OTC drug) .05-.1 mg/pound by mouth every 8 hours.


Allison September, 2014

I have a Bulldog too. I would check products through Only Natural Pets. You can try to find a vet who practices natural medicine, like homeopathy, naturopathy, acupuncture. You can try reconstituting dry pumpkin or just get a can of plain, not spiced, pumpkin. I don’t know how old he is or how much he weighs; dosing depends on his age/weight. Pumpkin can work either way; loosen bowels or tighten them up. Good luck.


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