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Can a dog be given pepto-bismol for diarrhea?

Updated on June 29, 2010

A grumbling stomach, an upset tummy, vomiting and diarrhea are common health concerns.  People are known to have stomach and intestinal disorders one time or another. This condition that affects humans is attributed to eating indiscretion, to stress and to environmental situations. This is probably the reason why a pink bottle of pepto-bismol is a reliable standby commonly found in medicine cabinets. Dogs have been the steadfast companions of humans for thousands and thousands of years. However, the bond between humans and canines goes beyond friendship. Scientists have proven that man and dog have many genetic similarities.
This is probably the reason why medications that work for man would be effective for man’s best friend as well. Would it be OK to give pepto-bismol to a dog? Yes! Pepto-bismol, a relief medication for stomach upset and mild diarrhea is one of the human medications that can be given and would work for dogs as well.

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What is diarrhea?

Stomach upset, vomiting and diarrhea is also common in dogs. Dogs are noted to be indiscriminate eaters. Even well fed ones would not pass up the chance to raid trash cans. Ingesting rotten food and toxic substances can have adverse effects on the digestive system of the dog. The introduction of a new diet can upset the stomach of the dog; a change in the environment as when a puppy is taken to a new home can stress the dog and result to diarrhea.

What is Pepto-Bismol?

Pepto-bismol is Bismuth Subsalicylate. This drug comes in caplet, in oral suspension, in paste and in chewable tablet. This is a relief medication for stomach upset, for indigestion, for vomiting and for diarrhea. Mild cases of diarrhea can be treated at home…often with pepto-bismol as the formulation is designed to ease diarrhea caused by intestinal infestation. A canine first aid kit must have this medication. This FDA approved formulation has a chalk-like compound that when taken will coat the lining of the intestines and stomach to provide relief.

Dosage and administration

Pepto-bismol is an over the counter medication. This means that the dog can be obtained and used even without prescription. However, a veterinarian’s recommendation for the right dosage and administration would be important. One half to one teaspoon of liquid pepto-bismol administered with a syringe every three to four hours is given for every 10 lbs body weight of a dog. ¼ of the extra strength tablet per 20 lbs body weight is given every 6 to 8 hours. This mode of administration is preferred by most dog owners.

Pepto-bismol side effects

Pepto-bismol turns the tongue to black. The stool will have a gray-black color too. But these side effects will only last while the medication is being taken. This medication is generally safe for dogs but it must be realized that the constitution of some dogs will not tolerate this medication. For instance, the medication will not work for dogs intolerant of silicates. This formulation must not be given to dogs with hypersensitivity to aspirin. The pepto-bismol must not be given to nursing or pregnant dogs as well.

What Medicines Are Safe to Give a Pet?


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