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Pepto Bismol for Dogs – Be Careful

Can I give my dog Pepto bismol for vomiting? It’s not a long-term solution but it can help in a pinch. Before giving your dog Pepto Bismol, or any over-the-counter medication, it’s important to consider the underlying problem.

It’s not unusual for dogs to vomit and the reasons vary. A sudden change in food, for example, could induce short-term vomiting. If your dog vomits once and has no other unusual symptoms, it’s likely just a case of upset stomach.

My dog regularly munches a little too much grass or swallows something weird from the beach. I try to stop her from doing that, but when it happens she just regurgitates the mess.

It’s disgusting, but I know it’s not a serious condition. I wouldn’t give her Pepto Bismol for that. I would, however, give her a little bit if she wasn’t feeling well throughout the day.

Giving your dog Pepto Bismol is never a simple solution. It could work in a situation where you can’t get to a veterinarian as soon as you’d like. Camping, for example, could introduce your dog to all kinds of digestion issues.

If you have Pepto Bismol on hand and you want to each your dog’s stomach issues, a small amount probably isn’t going to cause harm.

Pepto Bismol for dogs may not be the answer.

What’s the Cause?

Is there something in your dog’s DNA causing those tummy troubles. What else might be lurking? Get ahead of the health issues with a detailed canine DNA report.

There are many on the market and Wisdom Panel is just one option. It might not be an option for everyone, and it’s important to realize that having a predisposition toward some type of illness doesn’t necessarily mean your dog will become ill.

Arming yourself with knowledge is never a bad thing. The more you know, the more you can prepare.

Pepto Bismol for Dogs is Time Limited

If you’ve been giving your dog Pepto Bismol for vomiting for 24 – 48 hours, it’s time to stop. Think of it as the expiry date. If your dog still has diarrhea and vomiting after 24 hours, he/she needs medical attention and you need to contact your veterinarian.

When it comes to puppies or dogs with other underlying conditions, 24 hours might be too long. Watch for signs of dehydration.

Signs of dehydration include:

-Sunken eyes

-Loss of skin elasticity (Gently lift the skin on the back of your dog’s neck. In a healthy dog, the skin will quickly slide back into place. In a dehydrated dog, the skin will stay puckered and not slide back into place.)

-Not interested in eating



-Dry nose

-Dry gums

In addition to vomiting and diarrhea, dogs become dehydrated through excessive panting, breathing, urinating, defecating, and evaporation through the paws. Dogs compensate for this by drinking and eating.

However, if they are vomiting too much to keep any of that down, the risk of serious dehydration goes up.

Pepto Bismol for Dogs is Just a Bandage on a Wound

The active ingredient in Pepto Bismol is bismuth subsalicylate. The medication is sold in most drug stores and does not require a prescription.

The drug treats nausea, heartburn, and diarrhea in people. The active ingredient in Pepto Bismol acts as an anti-inflammatory In fact, the drug warrants the same kind of caution in people as it does in animals. Think of it as treating an injury. A bandage will temporarily protect the injury, but it may need further attention.

If your dog has just come in from the park and vomits a pile of grass clippings there’s a pretty good chance that nothing serious is going on. However, if your dog continues vomiting beyond 24 hours, he/she is at risk of dehydration. There might even be something very serious going on that needs prompt veterinarian attention.

Common sense is the bottom line for giving your dog Pepto Bismol for vomiting. It may help ease uncomfortable symptoms at the time, but it’s not designed to be a cure for vomiting in dogs.

Dog Allergies and Food Sensitivities Could be to Blame

It’s not always easy to get to the bottom of gastrointestinal issues in dogs. As mentioned previously, it’s always important to get a veterinarian’s opinion, but at the end of the day, your dog could simply have a food intolerance.

Some breeds are more predisposed to food allergies than others. Buying a Wisdom Kit DNA panel kit is one way to uncover the genetic mystery. If you think your suspicions are correct, consider a change in dog food. Forget grocery, pet, and department stores. The best way to change your dog’s diet is by going straight to the experts.

When To Be Concerned

Common sense is key. A sudden change in dog food can cause stomach issues in dogs. However, if your dog that likes to eat household objects (baby socks, for example), he/she might have a bowel obstruction, which can turn into a very serious situation.

Every breed has a health condition specific to him/her. Find out the specifics of those conditions so that you can learn what to look for. Educate yourself about your dog’s potential health conditions before they become a problem.

Dogs will regurgitate things sometimes. That’s normal. However, if your dog throws up blood or retches over and over again (but nothing comes up), something very serious could be happening. If your dog is panting excessively, appears anxious, paces, whines or cries, or shows any signs of pain, he/she needs to be brought to the veterinarian.

When Not to Give Your Dog Pepto Bismol

If your dog is healthy one minute and suddenly vomiting or acting unusual (panting, pacing, swollen belly), he could be suffering from bloat or some other serious condition that needs immediate medical attention.

Bloat in dogs is a medical emergency. Do not wait to call the veterinarian, even if you’re not sure what’s happening. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

It’s also possible that your dog has swallowed a poisonous substance. Rat poison and antifreeze are two relatively common household products. Antifreeze in particular has a sweet taste that attracts dogs to it.

Unfortunately, ingesting toxins like antifreeze are often fatal. If caught in time, the veterinarian will administer activated charcoal. The charcoal helps absorb the toxins before they can travel through the digestive system.

Diseases like pancreatitis, kidney failure, parasites (intestinal), and certain viruses can cause vomiting. In addition, the side-effects of certain medications can cause vomiting in dogs.

How to Introduce a Bland Diet

Adult Dog

A bland diet is just what it sounds like. It should consist of boiled, plain white rice and lean meat like chicken or beef. Adding oil, spice, or flavorings (including salted broth) defeat the purpose. A bland diet should ease your dog’s digestion issues fairly quickly.

To introduce a bland diet into your dog’s routine, start with 75% white rice and 25% lean protein. Ground beef should be boiled. Chicken should not include the skin or bones.

Offering a bland diet to a dog with digestive issues helps to give the intestinal tract a little break. It’s not designed to be a long-term solution, however. Over time, your dog won’t be getting enough crucial vitamins and minerals to support good health.

Again, if vomiting and diarrhea are accompanied by other unusual symptoms, he/she needs to be treated by a veterinarian. A bland diet should only be a temporary solution. If it doesn’t ease the vomiting or diarrhea, seek medical attention.


Growing puppies need nutritionally dense food. If he/she throws up because of car sickness or because they ate another dog’s food, that’s one thing. If your puppy suddenly starts vomiting and it continues over a couple of hours, he/she should be brought to a licensed veterinarian. Puppies are very susceptible to dehydration.

There are a variety of other serious conditions that could be affecting your puppy. These include

kennel cough


intestinal parasites like roundworms or hookworms


food allergies



Senior Dogs

Senior dogs (8 years old and over) have special requirements. As they age, dogs are more likely to suffer underlying conditions. New medications can cause gastrointestinal issues that could cause vomiting. Unfortunately, you can’t really know if it’s the medication causing the vomiting, or something else.

The more they vomit, the higher the chance of dehydration. This is especially true of diarrhea is present.

Anytime you have the slightest suspicion that something more serious is going on, get your dog to the veterinarian. It’s always better to get medical assistance before your dog gets to the point of dehydration.

At Home Treatments for Mild Dehydration in Dogs

When symptoms persist, even after administering Pepto Bismol, there are a few things you can do until you can bring your dog to the vet. If you dog appears to be suffering from some of the more serious signs mentioned above (panting, circling, pacing, whining, crying, pain, swollen belly), get him/her to a vet STAT.

Otherwise, the next important thing to concentrate on is keeping your dog hydrated. If symptoms persist, the best thing to do is contact the veterinarian’s office and speak to a technician for suggestions. They might suggest continuing with Pepto Bismol combined with Pedialyte to help keep your dog’s electrolytes in balance.

Keep your dog calm and cool (air conditioning) and do not exercise your dog. Until all signs of vomiting and diarrhea have passed and he/she is eating and drinking normally.

Can I Give Pepto Bismol to My Dog Safely?

The bottom line is yes, you can administer Pepto Bismol to a dog safely. Use an empty syringe to deliver the liquid and watch to see if your dog appears to get better or worse.

When giving Pepto Bismol, make sure there’s no artificial sweetener (xylitol, for example) because these are thought to be toxic to dogs.

The general dosing guide for pepto bismol in dogs is 10 mg per pound. Side effects include darkened stool. Darkened stool is temporary, but it may disguise any signs of actual blood in the stool.


At the end of the day, we want our dogs to be safe, healthy, and happy. If your dog has an upset stomach and a bout of vomiting and diarrhea, there’s generally nothing to worry about. However, when symptoms persist and combine other signs of illness, it might be time to call the veterinarian.

You know your dog better than anybody else so trust your instincts!

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