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Does your dog have some sort of tummy discomfort? Is that why you’re wondering if Pepcid AC can be given to canines?
Here’s the deal:
Vets do prescribe Pepcid for upset stomach and gastric reflux, but using Famotidine (the active ingredient) is the wrong approach for any dog with an undiagnosed medical condition.
Medicating your animal is serious business. Let’s talk dosage and other key considerations…
Dogs Can Take Pepcid AC (short-term use only)
This histamine blocker can be used on animals.
It is actually considered fairly safe for reducing stomach acid levels, and even assisting with tummy ulcers by enabling more effective healing.
What Our Vet Has To Say
We asked Dr. Sara Redding Ochoa (DVM) from Whitehouse Veterinary Hospital for her thoughts regarding this topic and she offered the following…
“I commonly use Pepcid as a temporary gastric acid reliver. Some veterinarians prescribe it for pets taking NSAIDs on a daily basis as a way to prevent gastric ulcers. But, for serious gastric problems that do not get better after a few days of taking Pepcid, it is best to see your vet to figure out what’s going on.”
We would add that it’s also difficult to know if Pepcid is truly the right treatment for your dog’s particular situation.
Get a proper diagnosis rather than taking a risky hit or miss approach. In other words: Do not go it alone!
A Safe Dose For Dogs?
It is true that lots of owners give Pepcid AC without a prescription. That, however, doesn’t mean it cannot be misused.
Play it safe! At the very least, be conservative and only provide the drug on an empty stomach.
The following is for reference only:
Never exceed half a milligram (0.5mg) per pound of the dog’s body weight. Consensus Pepcid AC dosing is 0.25mg to 0.5mg (1 half) for each pound, once or twice daily.
Closely follow your vet’s directions. Their expertise is necessary, especially if your dog has been dealing with stomach issues for a long time.
Warning: Pepcid is not for pregnant or nursing dogs or those with heart disease or liver/kidney conditions. This typically applies to similar antacids as well. Too risky!
There are numerous reasons why dogs get Esophagitis (inflammation of the esophagus), acid reflux, upset stomach or GERD.
Overeating is perhaps the most common culprit.
An irregular stomach is inevitable for dogs that go through trash. Any abrupt diet changes tend to upset a delicate gastrointestinal balance.
Continued vomiting, combined with stomach troubles, are signs of something more serious.
Rule out worms! Parvovirus is deadly.
One thing is for sure:
Pepcid is not a cure-all. It’s a temporary fix at best! Although this dog seems to receive it all the time.
Dehydration is a worrying, yet common complication. You must keep an eye out for this whenever your dog is taking Pepcid.
Make no mistake:
Dehydration can be deadly for an already sick animal. After a certain point an intravenous hydration procedure may be necessary.
Pepcid AC does not hydrate!
Is your dog vomiting?
Instead of Pepcid, Pedialyte often makes more sense — it is great for rehydrating a hound!
For nausea relief you can prepare ice chips or partially melted ice cubes.
Fast your furry friend if you suspect that food is the cause of their upset stomach. Doing so will allow the digestive tract time to recover. A bland diet is great for this purpose.
The Bottom Line
Pepcid AC can help to normalize your dog’s upset stomach, but it’s not intended for frequent use.
Involving a veterinarian is a better and smarter approach for treating recurring or chronic gastrointestinal symptoms.
Whatever you do never use a leftover Pepcid supply on your dog. And hydration must be closely monitored once this antacid is being given.