Can I Give My Dog Kaopectate?

Can I Give My Dog Kaopectate?

Since diarrhea is a common symptom among dogs, many owners consider the use of Kaopectate or similar anti-diarrheal medicines. Obviously this product was developed for humans, so is it safe for pets?

This popular antacid is sometimes given to dogs for treating diarrhea but there’s more you should know. For one, Kaopectate has gone though several changes over the years which can be confusing.

Most vets say that Kaolin with Pectin is okay for canine use, but it isn’t a long term solution. Bismuth subsalicylate is the active ingredient in Kaopectate which is basically the same as Pepto. Learn more for your dog’s sake!

Can I Give My Dog Kaopectate? Answer: Yes

You can give this over-the-counter medicine to your furry friend but make sure it’s properly dosed.

Kaopectate is known to work for dogs. It’s taken orally, either liquid or capsule form, and treats mild diarrhea, indigestion, stomach ulcers and nausea. Most of these symptoms apply to dogs which could make Kaopectate useful if used correctly. Since your dog obviously can’t tell you what’s wrong, ideally it’s best to play it safe and visit a vet if you can afford it. Whenever self-treating your dog, especially with human drugs, be very cautious.

Kaopectate should never be given to cats!

Kaopectate vs. Pepto

The original Kaopectate formula was ineffective so an overhaul of the drug done. It now compares closely with Pepto which is commonly given to dogs. Some owners go for the least expensive option. It’s really up to you when choosing between these two products. Since Pepto is probably more well known, it’s likely more dog owners use it but there really is no difference.

Know the Side Effects

The most common problem with Kaopectate is the possibility of canine constipation. Usually this is a result of too high a dose. Another symptom could be different color stools, it may be darker or even black. Your dog may want to drink more water. Dizziness or a decrease in energy is also possible. The correct Kaopectate dosage is so very important.

If your dog vomits, bumps into walls due to vision problems or if you notice involuntary spasms visit your veterinarian immediately because these are quite serious symptoms. Some owners report a fever after use. Your dog may even cry out because their stomach might not agree with Kaopectate.

Close observation is important whenever you’ve administered any human drug to a dog.

How to Dose Kaopectate

Treatment should only be for 1 or 2 days maximum. After that, if the problem isn’t improving then stop giving Kaopectate to your dog. Use of this drug is not meant to be an ongoing thing. Also, make sure your dog has plenty of water available. Many vets recommend re-hydration using Pedialyte.

The FDA hasn’t approved the use of Kaopectate in dogs. We depend on other experts regarding correct dosage for dogs but the consensus seems to be a maximum of 1ml (milliliters) per pound every 6 hours. You should not exceed this amount unless your vet approves.

If Kaopectate Fails

When you give a dog drugs there could be a negative reaction. Since your vet routinely deals with diarrhea symptoms there’s definitely peace of mind in a visit. Unfortunately, many folks cannot afford to do so. Your best course of action may be to administer Kaopectate or Pepto and wait 48 hours while closely watching over your dog.

If the symptoms don’t improve then discontinue Kaopectate. Professional help may be required.

Conclusion on Kaopectate

Yes, you can provide your dog with Kaopectate but consult with a vet beforehand. In any case, the correct dosage is critical to avoid unnecessary risks. Complications are a possibility and there are several symptoms to watch out for as we’ve outlined. Understand that Kaopectate cannot cure an ongoing gastrointestinal problem and if your dog is greatly suffering then a vet’s diagnosis is required.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Roger March, 2016

My dog has bloody diarrhea but otherwise feels fine. She is drinking and eating. Should I give her Kaopectate?


Marge March, 2016

My dog is currently on Pro-Pectalin for diarrhea which is associated with a necessary change in diet due to kidney problems. This medication controls the frequency but the stools are runny, like turning on a faucet! Can I safely add another anti-diarrhea medication like Imodium A-D or Kaopectate?


Terence December, 2013

Dogs make their own vitamin C. Please do not feed any supplemental vitamin C (ascorbic acid, sodium ascorbate, calcium ascorbate or ascorbyl palmitate) because of the kidney and liver damage it can do.


Lisa September, 2014

This is only partially correct. Dogs do make vitamin C, however, very small amounts within a 24 hour period. Thousands of dog owners have given supplemental vitamin C for the 30 plus years I have been involved with competitive training and during my time as a vet tech. (That includes high energy and stressed police canines).

There is much research showing C combating hip dysplasia to quieting the effects of panoesteitis and aiding in cancer treatments, even easier recovery times from surgeries. And veterinarians even suggest C to clients.


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