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Can You Give A Dog Pepto Bismol?

Can You Give A Dog Pepto Bismol?

We know how uncomfortable stomach issues can be. Pain, gas build up, nausea — just some of the symptoms we might experience. But while we know how to help ourselves in most cases, our pets rely on us.

Our dogs can be affected with intestinal problems as well. And it’s not even rare at all. In most cases it is best to contact a vet as our dogs can’t simply tell us what it is that is making them feel bad. However, if the issue isn’t too severe we might consider treating our dogs ourselves. In those moments you might wonder if it’s okay to give your dog some over-the-counter medications.

When it comes to stomach issues, one of the most popular ones definitely is Pepto Bismol. So if you are one of the ones wondering “Can you give a dog pepto bismol?”, keep on reading this article to find out. Your dog’s digestive tract will be thankful. 🙂

Pepto bismol — What is it?

The generic name Pepto Bismol is actually bismuth subsalicylate. A chemical substance we know as antacid that is popular all over the world for treating temporary discomforts of the stomach and gastrointestinal tract, such as nausea, heartburn, indigestion, upset stomach, and diarrhea. It is also commonly known as pink bismuth. However, Pepto Bismol has become a genericized trademark for the substance. Most people know it as the “pink medication that helps with diarrhea”.

Can you give a dog Pepto Bismol?

In most cases, yes. Pepto Bismol is mostly speaking safe for our canine companions. However, there are some things that you need to consider. Salicylates in medication can lead to gastric bleeding. In some cases bismuth can even make the stool turn black in color. Many dog owners can confuse this black stool with the one that happens during intestinal bleeding. This condition is also called melena — black tarry stools. If you’re giving your dog Pepto Bismol, always consult your veterinarian before doing it.

Even though it’s safe for most dogs, vets still prefer other medications that are specific for canine gastrointestinal symptoms. Also, remember that dogs with bleeding disorders and dogs who are pregnant or nursing should not take any form of bismuth subsalicylate. That’s why it’s so important to contact your vet first before giving your dog Pepto Bismol. In some rare cases, this medication could do more harm than good.

Pepto Bismol tablets are also available, but my advice is: do not use them, they are chewable tablets but a dog will not chew. Just do not let them get the whole package, since foreign metal objects of the packaging can harm them.

What’s the right dosage?

Disclaimer: The following guidelines cannot replace the prescribed dose of your veterinarian. Please contact your vetbefore giving your dog any medications at all. He will be the one deciding on the right dosage.

The recommended dosage is one teaspoon of Pepto-bismol for every ten pounds of body weight. This medication can be given every six to eight hours. However, If you notice that even after giving Pepto Bismol to your dog he still has diarrhea, contact your vet.
To much Pepto BIsmol, or any other drug, will harm your dog.

How to give my dog Pepto Bismol?

There are different ways to give your dog Pepto Bismol. However, the best and easiest way to administer Pepto Bismol to dogs is with the help of a plastic syringe. Open your dog’s mouth, place the syringe facing the back of his tongue and push the plunger. Make sure your dog actually swallows the medications.

Possible side-effects of giving your dog Pepto Bismol

Just like with any other medications, dogs can have side effects with Pepto Bismol as well.

The risks and side effects are especially often if you don’t give your dog the right dosage of Pepto-bismol. That’s why your vet should always have the last word when it comes to the right dosage.

Pepto Bismol can cause a dog’s stool to turn a black color, which is easily confused with melena. Melena is black and tarry stool caused by intestinal bleeding. It can be the sign of a life threatening condition. However, black stool from Pepto Bismol intake isn’t a severe medical condition, but a more or less harmless side effect.

The tablets can also appear radioactive on X-rays which means that the vet may confuse them for a metallic foreign object.

When dogs should not take Pepto Bismol

Although dogs generally can take Pepto Bismol, you should again check if your dog is allergic or does not tolerate this medicine. Here are some quick facts and reasons:

1. A dog is alergic to some of the active ingredients

2. A dog has a severe bleeding disorder

3. Pregnant or nursing dogs should not use Pepto Bismol

4. A dog is taking other medicine that could interact with Pepto Bismol (Good idea: ask a vet if you are not sure, do not take any risks)

Alternative solutions – Bland diet 

When your dog is experiencing diarrhea, usually they do not need help from humans. But, if you are really determined do to something, try plain, boiled chicken or white rice as a home remedy for your dog. A bland diet is something that usually helps.

Rubbing your dog’s tummy while he is lying next to you is a great way to calm them down. After all, if the overall condition is not getting better, please take your dog to a veterinarian. 

Also, OTC medications like Pepcid famotidine and Imodium loperamide can be used as an alternative medications.


If your dog is experiencing some intestinal upset, the best possible option would be to contact your vet. Giving your dog medications without discussing it with your vet first can often do more harm than good. While the side effects of Pepto Bismol are mostly harmless, some dogs could still be sensitive to it. In order to better be safe than sorry, it’s always best to contact your vet first.

My name is Katy and I am 27. I love to travel and you would be surprised how good I am at karaoke. 🙂 Passionate dog lover and a "mother" to a beautiful toy puddle named Zara. I work as a volunteer in a local shelter and I am a veterinary assistant helping our four-legged friends every day.