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Many dog owners like to keep a pink bottle called Pepto Bismol on hand.
The reason is simple:
It works well for upset stomach, indigestion, diarrhea and even nausea.
But is this bismuth subsalicylate brand really safe enough for pets?
Here’s the deal…
When dosed properly, dogs normally do not experience serious side effects from taking Pepto Bismol.
Used responsibility, this popular product is unlikely to be harmful.
Dogs Can Take Pepto Bismol (Dosing: 1 Teaspoon Per 10 lbs – Every 6 Hours)
Used occasionally and in conservative amounts, it’s a good temporary treatment.
With that being said…
Pepto Bismol does undergo a chemical change into aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) as the active ingredient gets absorbed inside your canine’s colon.
Sounds serious right?
The truth is dogs, compared to humans, are more susceptible to gastric ulceration from taking Bismuth subsalicylate.
Check out this informative video:
Yup! It is absolutely essential to stick to reasonable dosing!
How Much Pepto Bismol?
Never exceed 1.5ml (milliliters) per pound of the dog’s body weight over a 12-hour period.
Simple Rule of Thumb: 1 teaspoon for each 10 pounds is considered safe.
Problem is there are several types of Pepto Bismol (some of which have different concentrations and strengths).
Have a veterinarian sign off on the Pepto plan!
Warning: Cats should never take this over-the-counter medicine. Too dangerous!
What To Be Watching For
It is not uncommon for a dog’s stool color to change. Constipation can also occur after an animal takes Pepto Bismol.
Both are indicators the dose may be too high.
2 Serious Bismuth Subsalicylate Warnings:
- Internal bleeding (rare occurrence) is a side effect that can be quite serious.
- Nursing or pregnant dogs should not take Pepto (unless directed otherwise by a vet).
Do these possibilities worry you?
Play it safe! Again, for your dog’s sake, be sure to involve a professional.
Clinical Research For K9s?
We’re aware of 1 clinical study concerning bismuth subsalicylate and its effects on dogs.
It was conducted way back in 1976 and, unfortunately, the test’s scope was limited.
The results simply confirmed…
Pepto Bismol can decrease a dog’s nausea and also act as an antiemetic (prevent vomiting).
No further conclusions were drawn.
A Pepto Bismol Alternative
More often than not, stomach pain won’t last long.
In other words, Pepto Bismol may be unnecessary. Often times you don’t need to do anything!
Consider a natural remedy. Try pumpkin if your dog has a bout of diarrhea.
Similar OTC Meds For Dogs
Pepto Bismol is nearly identical to Kaopectate (be sure to read about it).
With so many options, what’s the best policy?
One thing is certain…
Avoid a trial and error approach with these meds (including Pepto). Do your research and proceed cautiously!
The Bottom Line
Providing Pepto Bismol is generally acceptable and safe enough for symptomatic dogs.
Bismuth subsalicylate has a pretty good track record when it comes to canines.
Pepto should only be provided for short-term relief.
Get a diagnosis if your dog has serious digestive issues including chronic or long-term gastrointestinal discomfort.