If your dog is prone to getting an upset stomach or diarrhea, tums will let dogs experience temporary relief but should not give too many. Pet owners should follow specific guidelines and consult their vet.
The rest of this article will explain why you can give tums to your dog and what too much can do.
What Are Tums?
Tums are a medication much used to treat symptoms of heartburn, indigestion, or upset stomach. It is an antacid and works by lowering the amount of acid in the stomach.
This medication does this by using calcium carbonate, one of its main ingredients, to neutralize acid right on the spot.
Calcium carbonate binds to hydrogen in stomach acid, which eliminates the free-floating acid.
Can Tums Help Your Dog?
Tums are a great way to temporarily treat dogs’ mild discomfort for an upset stomach, diarrhea, and heartburn.
Tums include an active ingredient, calcium carbonate, that reduces excessive stomach acid for humans. That being said, dogs tend to digest things more quickly than humans, so tums may pass too rapidly through the digestive tract to be effective.
Despite this, many dogs have still seen temporary relief from taking tums.
According to some veterinarians, in their practice, they have used tums to affect the phosphorus levels in the blood since it happens to work as a phosphate binder. They have also been known to use this to treat kidney disease, but it has also been known to make specific kidney diseases worse.
A licensed veterinarian should only do this!
Although some humans have been known to use tums as a calcium supplement, dogs should not have frequent doses, as it can lead to serious health issues. There are other calcium supplements your dog can take.
What is Acid Reflux?
Acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux, can occur when the contents of the stomach and intestines flow in the wrong direction. This will cause the stomach discomfort.
There are several signs of acid reflux in dogs, including vomiting bile, regurgitating food, and decreased appetite. There may also be lip-licking as a sour taste accompanies the pain. Dogs may also suffer from reduced appetite, as their upset stomach causes them discomfort.
These stomach ailments can also be symptoms of other things, and it is essential that a vet looks at your dog’s esophagus to figure out the root of the problem.
What is Heartburn?
Heartburn happens when intestinal or other digestive liquids come from the stomach and flow into the esophagus. This can cause inflammation, irritation, or damage to the lining. Heartburn is a symptom, not a disease.
Common signs of this can include regurgitation or vomiting. Foamy, yellow fluid signals that your dog is having issues with heartburn.
Both heartburn and acid reflux can be caused by your dog ingesting strange food, which can lead to a stomach upset and mess with acid production. They can be helped by different prescription medications or, for short-term use, tums.
Are Tums Bad For Dogs?
If used infrequently, tums will not have any lasting effects on your dog.
That being said, some parts of the drug can cause constipation or loose stools, which is what you were likely trying to avoid in the first place.
Let’s dive into some of the other reasons tums may be bad for dogs:
Some dogs may have an allergic reaction to tums, as it contains several ingredients and artificial dyes that can cause this.
Puppies are fragile, and too much calcium can cause young dogs’ bone and cartilage development issues. Therefore, pet owners should not give puppies this drug without consulting their vet first.
If dogs are regularly exposed to this drug, it can lead to kidney disease, pancreatitis, urinary stones, and other conditions. However, there are safer alternatives if your dog has chronic stomach issues that will keep your pets healthy.
Repeated use can and will lead to excessive calcium in the bloodstream, which will exacerbate kidney disease and cause urinary complications.
Before giving your dog tums, you should check the label for potentially harmful ingredients such as artificial sweeteners like xylitol, which your pet should not consume.
Xylitol can lead to a dangerous drop in your dog’s blood sugar, which will need immediate veterinary attention.
Tums can make certain conditions worse, such as kidney disease. If they have a condition, dog owners should find different medications that are safer. Tums can cause extreme sickness in some cases and should only be given to dogs with medical conditions under veterinary guidance.
Pregnant or Nursing Dogs
Pregnant or nursing dogs should never be given any kind of medication unless a vet approves it.
You should ensure that your dog is not on any other medications, as they can interfere with them. These can include corticosteroids, ketoconazole, ranitidine, tetracyclines, and digoxin.
Why Would You Give Your Dog Tums
Although it is not one of the most effective options for stomach relief, tums can be a helpful solution in some of your dog’s health situations.
A simple antacid, this medication can be used to treat several situations for dogs. Most of these should not be used by a dog owner but by trained professional vets.
When a dog’s kidney fails, it can lead to higher phosphorus levels in the body. When that happens, a dog will likely be prescribed phosphorus binders, which will help to eliminate some of the problems.
Though it is not generally recommended, tums can be used if there is a financial constraint, but they will likely not be as trusted as over-the-counter medications that vets will prescribe.
Tums will bind to the phosphorus in the food and remove it through the bowel as they pass stool, thus preventing extra phosphorus from being absorbed into their bodies.
Though this can help, tums require a much more significant amount to be effective and have substantial risks.
Some vets have been known to use tums to combat eclampsia, or milk fever, a deadly drop in calcium in nursing mothers.
Sudden drops in calcium in the blood are a medical emergency and can result in death. Dogs with this issue will tremor and seize and eventually die.
Although vets will often treat this with anti-seizure medication and IVs full of calcium supplementation, many vets will also recommend tums because of the calcium carbonate it contains.
When You Can Use Tums for Your Dog
If your dog suffers from an upset stomach, they can have a tum as long as it is not constant.
Your dog’s diet can cause stomach pain, so you must see if there is anything that you can point to as an issue if this is constant. Some acid reflux dogs can be returned to something they have eaten.
Can I Give My Dog Tums For Upset Stomach or Gas?
Dogs can sometimes suffer from gastrointestinal upset, gas, and heartburn, just like humans do.
Signs of Heartburn in Dogs
Heartburn symptoms in dogs include bad breath, decreased appetite, and drooling.
Signs of upset stomachs include vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain.
Although tums are usually safe to give healthy dogs who are not on other medications, you should make sure that they are not given too much.
How Many Tums Can My Dog Have?
It is best to consult your vet if you believe that your pet should be given tums. However, if you think that your pet’s discomfort will be able to have instant relief by being given tums, you should make sure to know the proper dose.
The recommended doses:
- Small dogs of 20lbs and under: 1250 mg in 24 hours
- Medium breeds of 20-50lbs: 2 to 4 grams in 24 hours
- Large breeds of 50-85lbs: 4 to 6 grams in 24 hours
- Very large breeds over 85lbs: 6 to 10 grams per 24 hours
Are There Alternatives to Tums?
There are multiple alternatives to tums if your dog suffers from vomiting, heartburn, or stomach pain.
Suppose your dog has GI and stomach problems due to their food allergies or other food-related issues. In that case, you should consult your veterinarian, who can possibly put your dog on a special diet trial or limited ingredient food.
This is safe for most dogs but should be monitored since it can lead to gastric bleeding. The bismuth in Pepto Bismol can also turn stool black.
You should get veterinary approval before giving this to your pet.
Immodium can be given to dogs for diarrhea. Dosage includes 2mg pill per 40lbs of body weight two to three times daily. That being said, it should not exceed three doses in a 24 hour period. This should not be used for more than 48 hours.
Tagamet reduces acid production in the gastrointestinal tract. It is also used in veterinary medicine to prevent stress, help drug reactions, and help stomach ulcers and inflammation.
This comes in 10mg tablets and is an antacid. You should get veterinary approval before giving this to your pet.
Stomach upset and other issues can be the result of beneficial microbes in the gastrointestinal tract being destroyed. If you find that your dog is suffering from chronic diarrhea, your vet may suggest probiotics to boost nutrient absorption.
What Should You Do If Your Dog Eats Tums?
If you suspect that your dog has gotten their paws on some tums, especially if you think that they have ingested quite a few tablets, you should call your vet right away. There may be a couple of toxic side effects.
If you suspect that your dog has ingested tums that may have been made with xylitol, you should call your vet immediately as well as contact the 24/7 pet poison helpline at (855) 764-7661.
Final Thoughts- Can Dogs Have Tums?
Although tums are unlikely to do your dog harm and may actually help your dog’s heartburn, easing your pup’s discomfort, you should make sure that you are not giving them too much and that you check with your vet about other options if the issues continue.
Your dog’s acid reflux may be due to many reasons, including something in their food not agreeing with them. If the issues persist, you should check with your vet and the ingredients included in their food.
If your dog ate tums you did not willingly give them, you should see if you can find out how many they have eaten and consult your vet.