Does your dog have an upset stomach? There are many things that you can do to help settle their stomach. Most people consider giving their dog some of the same medications that they take when they have an upset stomach, and Tums certainly falls into that list!
Tums is a generally safe remedy for mild gastrointestinal (GI) issues in dogs as long as the specific formula does not contain xylitol. The dosage will need to be adjusted upwards or downwards depending on the dog’s size.
You may be able to get some relief and may even cure your dog’s issues. Many GI issues are more serious, and you may need other medications.
If your dog is experiencing GI issues such as vomiting, diarrhea, or gas, it would be best to consult with your veterinarian before giving this medication to your dog!
What is Tums?
Tums is an antacid that many people take to relieve heartburn. This medication is found over the counter in most drugs stores.
The active ingredient in Tums is calcium carbonate. This helps neutralize your stomach acid and helps decrease heartburn.
Many people will give this to their dog to help decrease stomach acid and help treat a dog with an upset stomach.
How much Tums can I give my dog?
There is a very wide range of dosages that you can use for your dog. This usually depends on your dog’s body weight and the severity of their GI issues.
This is a typical dosage of Tums in dogs:
- Small dogs will need 1250 mg over 24 hour period
- Medium dogs will need 2 grams to 4 grams over 24 hour period
- Big dogs will need 4 grams to 6 grams over a 24-hour period
- Giant dogs will need 6 to 10 grams over a 24 hour period
Before starting any new medications for your dog it is best to talk with your vet to make sure that it is appropriate for your dog.
Common side effects of Tums in dogs
Tums is usually very safe to give to your dog. There are a few side effects that you may see in your dog after giving them Tums.
These are a few things you should know if you give your dog Tums.
- Some contain xylitol: Some formulations of Tums contain xylitol. This is an artificial that is toxic to dogs. Make sure that there is no xylitol in the Tums that you are giving to your dog.
- Kidney Damage: Kidney issues can be seen with long term uses of Tums. If your dog needs to take something long term, there are much safer choices of antiacids you can use.
While diarrhea and constipation are the most common side effects that are seen with giving your dog Tujs there are other side effects that may happen, such as:
- Not eating
- Issues breathing
- Irregular heart rate
- Electrolyte imbalance
Why does my dog have an upset stomach?
There are many reasons that your dog would have an upset stomach and would need Tums some of the most common causes of an upset stomach are:
- Sudden Change in food
- GI foreign body
- Organ Failure
If your dog has GI issues that do not quickly resolve or if your dog is getting worse, it is always best that you see your vet.
What can I give my dog to help an upset stomach?
While Tums is one thing that many people reach for there are also other medications that you can give to help your dog with an upset stomach such as:
- Imodium: If your dog is having diarrhea, giving them things such as Imodium to help. This medication can stop your dog’s diarrhea if it is cause by gastroenteritis.
- Pepcid/ Prilosec: If your dog is vomiting other gastric acid reducers such as Pepcid or Prilosec will help calm their stomach.
- Pepto-Bismol: Some people will also consider using Pepto-Bismol. This medication is usually found in a liquid and can cause a very messy situation if your dog is not wanting to take their medication.
- Bland diet: IF your dog has an upset diet, feeding them a bland diet will help calm their stomach. This usually consists of boiled chicken, rice and scrambled eggs. Just make sure that this is as bland as possible with no added seasonings, oils or butter.
- Probiotics: If your dog has diarrhea, probiotics can help rebalance the normal GI flora. You can usually find probiotics at your local pet store to give to your dog.
- Prescription GI medications: If your dog is vomiting, your vet will commonly prescribe Cerenia or Zofran to help calm their stomach and stop them from vomiting.
Before starting any of these medications it is best to talk with your vet to make sure that your dog does not have any other medical issues preventing them from taking these medications.
When do I need to see my vet for an upset stomach?
For many dogs, you can give them a bland diet and try some over-the-counter medications to help calm an upset stomach. Sometimes no matter what you do at home your dog continues to get worse.
There are a few signs that would indicate that your dog needs to see the vet right away. These signs include:
- Vomiting for more than 24 hours
- Vomiting more than 4 times in a 24-hour period
- Bloody diarrhea
- Not eating
- Unable to walk normally
Most dogs with medical issues that involve an upset stomach will also have other issues that you see. If your dog is just vomiting but still active, playful, and eating, then you can try a few of these over-the-counter and at-home treatment options.
A dog who is not eating, is lethargic, and also showing signs that they are sick should be taken to see the vet. Most vets will want to fully examine your dog, run bloodwork, take x-rays and give your dog medications to help them feel much better.
If your dog is very sick, your vet will want to keep your dog in the hospital for a few days while they recover. Many GI issues cause your dog to lose more fluids than they are taking in and they can quickly become dehydrated.
Final Thoughts on Tums for Dogs
While you can give your dog a Tums, there are many other great things that would be more beneficial for your dog. Using some of these other over-the-counter suggestions for GI issues or seeing your vet for prescription medication may be better.
It is also always best to consult with your vet before starting anything new with your dog. Your dog may have underlying medical issues that need to be addressed before starting certain medication.