“Can I give my dog Tums?” You probably ask this question if your dog suffers from a tummy ache, diarrhea, or other digestion problems. Tums makes your stomach feel better, so would this medication work on your pup?
The short answer is yes, you can give your dog Tums for digestion issues, and it may provide temporary relief, even though it almost certainly isn’t the most effective choice for treatment. However, you must follow certain guidelines and consult your veterinarian first, or you could make your dog much sicker.
Additionally, safer and more effective alternatives exist to treat digestion issues in dogs. Here’s what you should know.
What Does Tums Do For Dogs?
Tums can be used to treat mild discomfort from stomach issues, heartburn, and diarrhea in dogs. The active ingredient, calcium carbonate, reduces excessive stomach acid in humans who take it. However, dogs digest things more quickly than humans, and the medication might pass too rapidly to be effective in many cases.
Still, several dogs experience temporary relief from some digestive problems after taking Tums.
Some veterinarians use Tums to affect phosphorus levels in the blood, as it works as a phosphate binder. This should only be done by a veterinarian.
Sometimes vets will use it in the treatment of kidney disease, but it can also make certain kidney conditions worse, so only a trained veterinarian should make decisions with regards to treating serious health issues with Tums.
Some humans use Tums as a calcium supplement, but this is not a good idea for dogs. While dogs don’t tend to experience side effects from one or two infrequent doses, repeated exposure can cause serious health issues in canines. If your dog needs calcium supplements, talk to your vet about your dog’s diet.
How Is Tums Bad For Dogs?
Usually, Tums causes only minimal side effects in dogs when taken infrequently if it causes any at all.
However, the compounds in the drug may actually cause constipation or loose stools, which is the opposite effect you probably want it to have. This is one of the reasons you must consult your veterinarian before giving it to your dog.
Here are a few of the other situations where Tums may be bad for dogs:
- Toxic ingredients. Always read the label to check for potentially harmful ingredients before giving any medication to your dog. Artificial sweeteners, like xylitol, cannot be consumed by dogs.
- Allergies. Some dogs may have an allergic reaction to the ingredients or the artificial dyes that give Tums their bright colors.
- Repeated use. Regular exposure can lead to kidney disease, urinary stones, pancreatitis, and other conditions in dogs. Alternative treatment is necessary for chronic stomach issues, and there are safer alternatives if your dog needs calcium supplements.
- Puppies. Too much calcium can cause problems with bone and cartilage development. Do not give a puppy this drug without veterinary approval.
- Pregnant or nursing dogs. These dogs should almost never be given medication without veterinary approval or supervision.
- Other medications. As with almost all medications, Tums can interact poorly when combined with other drugs that your dog takes.
- Medical conditions. Tums can actually worsen certain issues, like kidney disease. If your dog suffers from a medical condition, ask your vet which over-the-counter medications are safe to use.
If your dog somehow eats a lot of Tums when you aren’t looking, call your veterinarian. It’s not likely that your dog will overdose or experience extreme sickness, even if they eat quite a few tablets, though they may suffer from constipation or upset stomach.
Your vet will likely tell you to wait it out and come in if symptoms concern you.
How Much Tums Can I Give My Dog?
A proper dosage of Tums for your dog varies widely depending on the strength of the drug, the formula, and the weight of your dog, which is another reason why you need to ask your veterinarian before giving it to your dog.
The following is a guideline for typical use of the drug in dogs and must not replace your vet’s advice for your individual pet.
The typical dosages are as follows:
- Small dogs — 1250 mg over 24 hours
- Medium dogs — 2 grams to 4 grams over 24 hours
- Big dogs — 4 grams to 6 grams over 24 hours
- Giant dogs — 6 to 10 grams over 24 hours
What Safer Alternatives To Tums Can I Give My Dog, Instead?
However, for mild stomach issues, vets often suggest fasting until your dog’s digestive system runs its course. They may also suggest reintroducing food in smaller portions or switching to a more easily digestible diet.
When vets do suggest using medication to treat mild digestion problems, they usually prescribe medications other than Tums. They may advise using Pepto or Imodium, instead. Again, do not give your dog any medications, even over-the-counter drugs, without asking your vet.
Certain foods can help firm your dog’s stools and improve digestion. Pureed pumpkin helps a good deal, and it’s one of the top safe choices of dog parents to cure mild tummy troubles.
If your dog experiences frequent digestion issues, you may need to adjust their diet, or it may be a symptom of a bigger medical issue. Talk to your vet about symptoms that concern you.
What do you give your dog for digestion troubles? Have you ever given your dog Tums? Let us know in the comments below!