Over the counter medicine for dogs with diarrhea

When your dog has stomach problems like diarrhea or vomiting, it can be concerning, but knowing which over-the-counter diarrhea medications you can give your dog will help a lot.

Many times when our dog has diarrhea, we want to immediately “fix” the situation with over-the-counter diarrhea medications, but in some cases, it’s best to let the body do what it does best. More often than not, diarrhea or even vomiting is used as the body’s way of getting rid of toxins, and you won’t want to use the medications listed in this article. This is especially true if he knows your dog may have eaten something that didn’t sit well with him, like old garbage food or poison. in this case, call your veterinarian or poison control and discuss the next best steps with them. To read about common reasons for diarrhea in dogs, click here.

Reading: Over the counter medicine for dogs with diarrhea

Although the remedies discussed below are mostly safe, you’ll want to discuss giving them to your pet before with your regular veterinarian. this is especially true if symptoms persist after a couple of doses or if you are using a food or medicine listed below for the first time.

Let’s look at some of the common over-the-counter diarrhea and vomiting remedies for dogs and dosages of how much anti-diarrheal medication you should give your dog.

over the counter diarrhea medication for dogs

1. Petpo-Bismol (bismuth subsalicylate)

what is it for? diarrhea

pepto-bismol is a fairly safe over-the-counter medication to use in dogs with diarrhea; in fact, there is a bismuth subsalicylate veterinary suspension that your vet would probably prefer to use. It works by protecting your stomach and lower esophagus from stomach acid through a thick coating, it also kills some bacteria that cause diarrhea, and is a mild antacid. giving pepto bismol to dogs is also discussed in this akc article.

If you decide to use this on your dogs, make sure you don’t give more than one or two doses before taking your dog to the vet.

bitches with bleeding disorders or pregnant or lactating bitches should not take this medication.

dosage for dogs

How much Pepto Bismol should I give my dog? a general rule of thumb is 1 teaspoon per 10 pounds, but always check with your vet for a proper dosage. can be offered to the dog every 6 to 8 hours. ideally, you don’t want to give more than a few doses at home. If your dog still has diarrhea after a few doses, it may be time to visit your vet.

drug interactions

  • NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents) such as rimadyl & deramaxx

side effects

  • gastric bleeding (due to salicylates)
  • black stools (may mask blood)

is pepto-bismol ok for my cat? no, it is toxic to cats

2. imodium (loperamide)

what is it for? diarrhea

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Imodium is another over-the-counter medication that is quite safe for dogs with a mild case of diarrhea. if the diarrhea is severe, do not give more than one dose before visiting your vet, as this can sometimes make the situation worse in the long run. works by slowing the movement of fluids through the intestine

dosage for dogs

How much imodium should I give my dog?

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The general dose for dogs is one 2 milligram tablet for every 40 pounds of body weight. you can wrap the tablet in a pocket for treats or in a small amount of food. be sure to give only enough to cover the pill, as you don’t want to make the situation worse.

who shouldn’t take it?

Some breeds should never receive imodium because it can cause extremely harmful side effects. these are collies, shetland sheepdogs, australian shepherds and other herding breeds can carry a gene that prevents them from breaking it down so can dogs with certain predisposing conditions and those taking certain medications,

side effects

it should be noted that even with an adequate dosage, some dogs may experience side effects

  • vomiting
  • loose or bloody stools
  • stomach pain

Is immodium okay for my cat? no, cats can have a reaction to this drug

3. peptide (famotidine)

what is it for? vomiting, specifically gastric ulcers

pepcid works by decreasing the amount of acid produced by the stomach. making it extremely helpful in treating issues like stomach acid buildup, gastric ulcers, or other gi-related issues. however, this drug is not FDA approved for use in pets, so contact your veterinarian before giving it.

dosage for dogs

how much pepcid should i give my dog?

For both dogs and cats, the dosage is one 10-milligram tablet for a 20-pound dog every 12-24 hours, but always check with your vet for the proper dosage as it depends on weight. It is best to give this medication one hour before meals to help with stomach acid production. When purchasing Pepcid, be sure to purchase the original Pepcid strength to avoid additional ingredients that don’t sit well with your pup.

who shouldn’t take this

  • pregnant or lactating bitches
  • bitches taking certain medications such as cefpodoxime, iron, or certain antifungals that are poorly absorbed
  • dogs with predisposed conditions

side effects

  • loss of appetite
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • drowsiness

4. dramamine (dimenhuydrinate)

what is it for? vomiting (specifically for motion sickness)

Dramamine is an antihistamine that reduces the effects of the natural chemical histamine in the body (meaning it’s almost like a milder form of benadryl). This medication works by inhibiting stimulation of the brain’s vestibular system which is responsible for detecting movement. Dramamine is not approved for use in animals by the FDA, but your veterinarian can legally prescribe it.

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dosage for dogs

How much Dramamine should I give my dog?

  • medium to large dogs should get 25 to 50 milligrams at least one hour before traveling by car
  • cats and small dogs should get about 12.5 milligrams, whenever check with your veterinarian for an appropriate dose for your pet

side effects

  • drowsiness
  • dry mouth
  • urinary retention
  • if you notice anything unusual, contact your veterinarian

5. pedilith

what is it for? electrolyte replacement

While this is not a medication that prevents vomiting or diarrhea, Pedialyte is helpful when you are concerned about your puppy’s hydration after a severe episode of upset stomach. Pets lose a lot of fluids through diarrhea and vomiting, Pedialyte works by replacing fluids and electrolytes that may have been lost during episodes of excessive fluid loss from your dog’s body. It’s a fairly safe over-the-counter option to give to your dog with diarrhea or even vomiting if he can keep something down.

The best thing about adding clear, unflavored pedialyte to your dog’s water is that there are very few side effects or chance of overdose, although it is possible, so always talk to your vet before giving it.

side effects

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side effects are seen as electrolyte imbalances

dosage for dogs

How much Pedialyte should I give my dog?

the general rule is

  • small dogs: 1/8 cup every hour
  • large dogs: 1/4 cup every hour

6. metamucil

what is it for? diarrhea

Psyllium hydrophilic mucilloid or metamucil can help with diarrhea. Supplementing your pup’s diet with fiber will help improve diarrhea, as dietary fiber reduces fecal free water and helps prolong transit time.

How much metamucil should I give my dog: 1/2 teaspoon per 5 pounds of body weight is a general rule of thumb, but talk to your vet for a dose specific to your dog’s weight

7. slippery elm

what is it for? diarrhea

Slippery elm bark is a long-lasting home remedy for diarrhea in dogs. It is known to fight inflammation and form a protective layer on the lining of the stomach, which is said to aid in quicker recovery from bouts of diarrhea. If you decide to give your dog slippery elm, the best thing to do is get one that is formulated for dogs and has a specific dosage for your dog’s weight like this one.

the end result

There are several over-the-counter diarrhea medications that we stock in our medicine cabinets that will help our dogs in times of need. just be sure to talk to your trusted vet before giving them to your dog to avoid over or under use on your pet.

references

  • akc
  • petmd

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Any information shared on this blog is for informational purposes only, please speak to your veterinarian before administering any medication

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