Pepto Bismol for Dogs: How to Use It Safely

Pepto Bismol is safe for dogs when used properly.

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Vomiting and/or diarrhea can be distressing for a dog and definitely no picnic for his owner. It’s only natural to want to offer some relief as quickly as possible. Pepto Bismol (bismuth subsalicylate) can be used to safely reduce a dog’s symptoms of nausea, heartburn, gurgling, uncomfortable stomach and most effectively, diarrhea.

Will Pepto Bismol stop my dog’s vomiting and diarrhea?

Pepto Bismol coats the irritated surfaces in the dog’s gastrointestinal (GI) tract, reducing inflammation of the stomach lining, which slows or stops the release of excessive fluid into the digestive tract. This helps slow or stop diarrhea and reduces the dog’s discomfort.

How much Pepto Bismol should I give my dog?

Pepto Bismol comes in a number of formulations, including the original liquid and an ultra-strength liquid, as well as caplets, liquid-caps and chewable tablets. For accuracy in dosing, stick with the original strength liquid formulation, which will allow you to give just the right amount for your dog.

A generally accepted safe dose of Pepto Bismol (or a generic version of bismuth sub- salicylate) for dogs is 0.25 to 2 ml per kg of the dog’s body weight (0.1 to 0.9 ml per lb), for a maximum of three to four times a day. Be aware that use of Pepto Bismol may change the color of your dog’s stool to a gray or greenish-black.

Can I give my dog Pepto Bismol with other medications?

Do not give your dog Pepto Bismol if she receives anti-inflammatory medication (such as prednisone, carprofen, meloxicam, or aspirin), heart medication (furosemide, enalapril, benazepril), or is pregnant or nursing. Also, Pepto Bismol can interfere with radiographs (x-ray studies) so don’t use it if you are planning a visit to the veterinarian within 24 hours.

If your dog is not improved after 24 to 48 hours, stop using and consult your veterinarian.

Vomiting and diarrhea are not uncommon in dogs. Often the cause is not serious and home treatments like Pepto Bismol can be helpful. If, however, your dog is markedly distressed or does not improve after a couple of days, the GI problems could be a sign of something more serious and he should see his veterinarian immediately.


Dr. Kathryn Allen has a journalism degree from the University of Arizona and a veterinary degree from Cornell University. She is a small-animal veterinarian in Phoenix, where she lives with two dogs and two pigs.

19 COMMENTS

  1. I tend to not make a comment because whatever would come out of my mouth would be construed as “snarky” and would only make matters worse. There was only one time I said something, and it was in a parking lot on a very hot day. There was a child of maybe 10 or 11 with a medium sized dog on hot asphalt parking lot. I told her to touch the surface with her hand and then asked her how it felt. She said it burned her hand. So then asked how might the dog feel since it was barefoot, and suggested she move to a very close shady spot. Complimeted her on her well behaved handsome dog and left.

    • I heard that too and also about a sweetener that was added to the formula. I would sure like to know for sure!

  2. My kgs weigh 30kgs+
    Surely I can’t give them up to 60ml of Pepto 3 or4 times a day. That seems a huge amount.

  3. Good gracious, if I ever have to use the liquid form ever again, it will be too soon! Projectile pink vomit is really difficult to wash out of clothing! The tablets designed for children’s dosing typically come in a small, sturdy pink bottle that can survive in my purse, dog show ringside supply bag, center console pocket of my van, as well as in the medicine cabinet. Granted, my dogs have all been in the 38-55lb range, so children’s dosing is a convenient overlap. It’s a simple matter to curl the pup’s lips over the carnassial teeth (the big chewing molars) and then shove the tablets down, followed by a tasty cookie; I’d typically cover the tablets in some peanut butter, but one of my Wet Noses would roll the tablet around in her mouth, suck off all the peanut butter, then spit out the now very wet and soft pink tablet.

  4. We need to be talking about the effective homeopathic remedies, such as Nux Vomica, instead of pepto bismol. Or how about Activated Charcoal administered via liquid emulsion with syringe (no needle syringe obviously!) or plastic dropper such as a pipette.
    This article is promoting a disgusting company (P&G) and disgusting product with no true care for people nor pets. They do not even make their ingredients for this product accessible on their website!
    They are more interested in appearing to have a fancy, dynamic website with a lot of marketing fluff….typical big corporation arrogance.

  5. Pepto Bismol Original Liquid does contain Sucralose, an artificial sweetener. The ingredients are listed on their website.

  6. I remember being told by my vet to use the caplets, not the liquid. I don’t know the reason for this, but I follow his advice. Does anyone know why he might have said this?
    Anyway, I keep the caplets on hand, especially when traveling because diarrhea can strike anytime. I seldom have to dose more than twice before my dogs have a more normal bowel movement.

    • Hello Andrea, Dr. Allen says, “Because the coating of the stomach is key for relief, the liquid form is a much better option as it coats the GI tract much more readily and effectively.”

    • Metrics is not a UK only system. In fact the United States, Liberia, and Myanmar are the only countries that do not use it so it is kind of poor manners to expect others to post for our lack of going along with most of the rest of the world! Use any of the very easily downloadable apps to do conversion; they will help you expand your knowledge!

  7. Hi! Love the idea of Pepto Bismo. However, there are versions (some generic0\) out there that are made with xylitol! So, we must all be careful! Perhaps famtodine is a better option??

  8. Why is pet weight always measured in kg? Can you please also list pounds for those of us who live in the US? At least most syringes have ml as well as tsp measurements. It’s a real pain to have to look up conversions in order to get the dosage right.

    • If you ask Siri or Alexa they will convert it without you typing. There are also lots of Apps super easy to use. It is good to expand your knowledge base!

  9. Not to be mean but there is no way in heck that I would ever give my little dog Pepto. There’s always “.hidden ingredients” that are not listed on label. PLEASE GO THE HOMEOPATHIC ROUTE. Google “ how to treat vomiting in dogs”. There’s a wide range of herbs, tinctures, etc. I always keep a bottle of Activated Charcoal. If you think your dog has eaten something he wasn’t supposed to…. my vet said give Hydrogen Peroxide to make her throw up and take to vet asap. My little BABYGIRL took a few nibbles off a rat bate block before I jerked it away from her. HP done the trick. She throwed up green vomit which was the color of the rat bate. Have her 1 tsp 3 times until all the green vomit was gone. Vet put her on Vitamin K and sent us home. He also said keep a bottle of Activated Charcoal on hand

  10. Each and every one of us needs a first aid kit with our dogs. Yes, to activated charcoal and most definite yes to pepto tablets.
    When your dog is sick, it’s important to observe signs and symptoms, if necessary, contact the poison hot line and have things ready to use just in case.

  11. there is a product for animals that does not have any additives, called Kaolin Pectate, get that instead., does the same thing.

  12. my vet recommended that I use Kaolin Pectin for diarrhea, which has several of the ingredients of Pesto Bismol, but no aspirin. She said it is a mechanical acting substance (kaolin is a very fine clay, and Pectin is what causes jelling in making jelly) rather than a medicinal one. For my Golden, she said two tablespoons. I put it in her food and she laps it right up. It’s readily available for not very much at Tractor Supply and probably other farm stores. I keep a big bottle of it on hand.

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