When you’re dog has an upset stomach or diarrhea, you may be tempted to reach for the reliable pink bottle called Pepto Bismol. But should your dog be taking this or will you only be making the problem worse?
First off, dogs are curious animals. They usually lead with their noses meaning they’ll get into all sorts of things that probably shouldn’t be ingesting. As a result, they get their fair share of stomachaches, which is hard for you to watch.
But the use of Pepto Bismol, in most instances, won’t really help. The reason being, your dog will have either thrown up the offending item, or passed it in a bowel movement. By the time the pink stuff has a chance to take effect, they will have likely improved.
Can I Give My Dog Pepto Bismol? Answer: Yes, cautiously
You can use this product for your dog but it’s unlikely to be needed.
Further, dogs generally shouldn’t be given human formulated over-the-counter medications, especially without consulting a vet first. This goes for Pepto Bismol as well. There may also be better alternatives to Pepto Bismol. But if your vet gave you the okay, be sure to confirm with them on how much to give your dog, and in what intervals.
If you’re concerned that this is a serious problem and not just a tummy ache, you should be contacting your vet anyway.
Treatment Dogs vs. People
When dogs get an upset stomach or diarrhea, it’s different than when we experience the same symptoms. With people, such problems it can go on for hours, even days. Instead of suffering through this, we typically take something to help ease it. If we’re backed up we’ll take a laxative. For diarrhea cramps we’ll take a medicine, to stop the looseness, like Pepto-Bismol.
But your dog’s stomach problems typically won’t last for long. They have quicker digestion and their own means of handling such problems. If they can’t digest what’s causing the trouble, they’ll usually vomit it up. If they’re experiencing diarrhea, they just soldier through it, because it won’t last too long. It’s usually not something to be too concerned about unless it is recurring or chronic, in which case Pepto-Bismol won’t be sufficient to address it.
Dogs don’t sit around wondering how their problem is going to effect their day. Nor do they freak out about how long they’re going to be in pain for. Animals are in the moment, and just deal with things as they occur. Once they’re feeling better again, they don’t reflect back on how bad their stomach ache was, they just get on with their life.
If you do administer Pepto Bismol to your dog do not give them more then 1.5ml per pound of their body weight over any 12-hour period.
OTC Medications & Dogs
Don’t get into the habit of playing doctor and administering medications like Pepto Bismol or Kaopectate to your dog because these weren’t created with dogs in mind. Dogs are very different and, likewise, their bodies have evolved differently than ours. Even though they have the same basic functions like eating, digesting, and pooping, their internal make-up isn’t the same.
Taking a trial and error approach is something that you don’t want to do as a responsible owner.
Conclusion on Pepto-Bismol
Pepto can be used for dogs but we are cautious about recommending it. Veterinarians can more effectively help you with important decisions regarding your dog’s health. You don’t need to alert them to every little thing that’s wrong but you should contact them if you are seeing your dog behave in ways that aren’t normal. This applies to long term digestive problems which, at first glance, you may have considered using Pepto for treatment.
Interpreting signs correctly is what’s important in determining the level of help a dog may or may not need. Vets are good at this and so when you are unsure, it’s best to err on the side of caution by bringing your beloved dog in for a checkup. Rather than experiment with Pepto, assuming they have real digestive or gastrointestinal problems, get piece of mind by seeking out professional help.