If your dog is exhibiting symptoms of heartburn, acid reflux, or other digestive issues, such as a lack of appetite, pain or discomfort in the abdomen, the overproduction of saliva, vomiting foamy, yellow liquid, gurgling sounds, bad breath, or other issues, then you may be asking yourself – can you give a dog Tums safely?
The answer is yes, you can give your pup Tums to relieve the discomfort from heartburn or similar problems, at least until you can get to a veterinarian for a checkup and a professional opinion for diagnosing and treating the issue.
It is always recommended that you speak to your vet first before giving your pup any over-the-counter or prescription medications.
Still, Tums is a relatively safe antacid for alleviating mild digestive problems in dogs, but when administered correctly and in the right dosage.
There are also some alternative methods for helping a dog with heartburn and digestive issues, which are safer than giving it medications.
How do Tums work for dogs?
Tums can safely be given to dogs to help alleviate mild stomach discomfort, diarrhea, or heartburn. The drug contains calcium carbonate, which helps reduce the acid in the stomach, which is the reason for heartburn in dogs and humans alike.
But keep in mind that dogs’ metabolism is faster than that of humans, so the medication may pass through the pup’s digestive system faster and thus not be as effective in alleviating the discomfort caused by excess acid in the stomach.
Then again, Tums has proven to work in many dogs for heartburn, as well as for controlling the levels of phosphorus in the bloodstream. Some vets prescribe the drug for some dogs with kidney disease.
While Tums can be used by some people as a Calcium supplement, this type of usage is not recommended for canines.
It would be best if you talked to your veterinarian before treating any issue which your dog has with Tums or with any other human or veterinarian drug.
What are the potential side effects of Tums for dogs?
Tums are relatively safe for use with dogs and are not considered a dangerous medication for canines, but they can cause some mild side effects, such as loose stools or constipation, which can make the digestive problems worse for the pup.
In some cases, Tums can be bad for dogs, including:
- The ingredients in Tums may include some components, especially the added food dyes, which can cause allergic reactions in dogs with allergies
- Overuse of Tums can lead to more serious adverse effects in dogs, including urinary stones, kidney disease, pancreatitis, and others. This is why you should only use Tums occasionally for temporary relief and speak to your veterinarian about a safer and proper treatment plan for your dog
- The calcium contained in Tums can be damaging to the proper bone and cartilage development in puppies and younger dogs, so always ask your vet before giving a growing puppy Tums
- Tums can also interact adversely with other medications which you are giving to your dog, so speak to the vet about giving your dog Tums, if it is already taking other medicaments
- Tums can lead to the worsening of other health conditions, including kidney disease
- It can be harmful to pregnant and nursing dogs and their puppies
- Your dog may suffer more severe adverse effects such as an upset stomach and constipation if it takes more Tums than prescribed, so if you accidentally overdose the pup with Tums, contact your veterinarian for professional advice
Can you give a dog Tums, and what is the proper dosage?
The safe and effective dosage of Tums for dogs depends on the formula of the drug and on the weight of your pup, as well as any other health issues it has and medications it is being given.
To stay safe, always talk to your veterinarian before giving your dog any medication, even Tums, which are considered safe for canines.
Here are the basic guidelines for the typical dosage of Tums for dogs:
- Small dogs: 1.25 grams per 24 hours
- Medium dogs: 2-4 grams per 24 hours
- Big dogs: 4-6 grams per 24 hours
- Giant dog breeds: 6-10 grams per 24 hours
What are some safer Tums alternatives for dogs?
Please note that if your dog is suffering from severe vomiting, diarrhea, or is exhibiting signs of extreme pain in the abdomen, you should contact your vet immediately and consider the situation an emergency.
On the other hand, if your pup is suffering from some mild symptoms of reflux, heartburn, or other digestive discomforts, you can try keeping it hungry and without food until the symptoms pass. Remember that you should reintroduce the food back carefully in smaller and gradually increasing quantities after the fasting. Plus, you should always have fresh water available for the dog during and after the fasting period.
You can also try to alleviate the problems with too much acid in the stomach of the dog by switching it to new dog food that is easier to digest, such as food with novel or hydrolyzed proteins, in case the dog is sensitive to specific animal proteins.
Plus, switching to a food with lower fat content, dog food without added preservatives, or without certain ingredients which seem to trigger the acid reflux can help prevent it altogether, without the need for Tums or other medicaments.
Pumpkin puree can help alleviate digestive problems in canines as well.
Some veterinarians will prescribe other antacids and over-the-counter drugs for mild digestive problems, such as Imodium or Pepto. But always make sure that you speak with your vet before giving your dog any medication, even over-the-counter ones like Tums, and discuss the appropriate treatment or long-term diet for your pup to prevent future acid reflux or heartburn issues altogether.