Can Dogs Taste Alka Seltzer?

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Introduction

Alka Seltzer is widely known and used as an antacid. It helps with heartburn and indigestion when you eat something that does not sit right in your stomach. Alka Seltzer is now branded as a pain reliever as well, although the medication is used in this way much less. Alka Seltzer has been on the market for a long time, but it was never developed as a medication that could help dogs with heartburn and indigestion. It comes in a tablet, you place it in a glass of water, and it will fizz and bubble like crazy, at which point, you drink it. 

Alka Seltzer is effective and safe for humans, but you should not treat your dog's indigestion with this particular medication. We will explore the details below about why you should refrain from giving your dog, Alka Seltzer. 

Signs of a Dog Experiencing Indigestion

Indigestion is also known as heartburn. It is that uncomfortable burning sensation in the chest or the throat region that often creeps up after we eat tangy, sour, salty, or spicy foods. Indigestion might be instant, but it can also take some time after you eat a particular food the for signs to pop up. Heartburn and indigestion may even come from an underlying medical condition if you wind up experiencing this pain on a frequent basis and food is not the cause. 

If your dog is experiencing heartburn and indigestion, there are a few common signs you can keep an eye out for to determine what the issue is. Please keep in mind that symptoms will vary from dog to dog, so it is essential you know what is normal for your dog and what is not. If your dog is experiencing indigestion, they may experience vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, gas, foul breath, stomach pain, lack of appetite, lethargy, and dehydration. 

These signs overlap with many other issues and conditions as well, so you will want to speak with your vet so they can determine if these symptoms are caused by heartburn or if there is another issue they must address and fix. 

Body Language

These are some signs you may notice if your dog has indigestion:
  • Shaking
  • Weakness
  • Raspy panting
  • Head bobbing
  • Stomach flip
  • Sleepiness

Other Signs

Here are some other signs you might notice if you dog has indigestion:
  • Burping a lot
  • Not drinking water
  • Lethargy, moping around, or not acting energetic
  • Vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation

History of Dogs and Alka Seltzer

Alka Seltzer was created on February 21, 1931. When it hit the pharmaceutical world, it promised to help with a myriad of symptoms - from fevers to aches and pains, headaches to an upset stomach. The medication was invented by Miles Laboratories in Elkhart, Indiana. 

The idea was born when a few years prior, there was a terrible outbreak of the flu and many people became sick. The inventor of Alka Seltzer remembered that someone had mentioned they kept a team at work from getting the flu by giving them a combination of aspirin and baking soda. With this idea in mind, Miles Labs set out to recreate this treatment with a combo of baking soda, citric acid, and aspirin. A few years later, this particular fizzy medicine became known as an excellent cure for hangovers! 

Alka Seltzer was never invented or made for use in any other life from, except for humans. Therefore, dogs would not have been treated with this type of medication for similar symptoms. Dogs would have been taken to the vet for their special medicines or perhaps given natural remedies to help fight their issues. 

Although today it has become popular to treat some conditions in dogs with human medication, Alka Seltzer is not a safe option to give your dog. We suggest speaking with your vet about the risks if you have any questions. 

Science Behind Dogs and Alka Seltzer

Now that we know Alka Seltzer is unhealthy for your dog, you likely want to know why. This medicine contains acetaminophen in many of the different varieties. Also known as Tylenol, this ingredient can cause severe damage to your dog's liver and their stomach lining. Your dog's body is not equipt for this form of medication, and they are particularly not able to handle the dosage we typically find in Alka Seltzer for humans. 

Alka Seltzer also contains sodium bicarbonate and citric acid, which can harm their stomach lining as well, and if enough is taken, it can be toxic. Yes, your dog would have to eat a large portion of these ingredients for it to become toxic, but we simply do not recommend taking the risk at all. There are plenty of dog-friendly, dog-specific, and natural medications that can help combat doggy heartburn and indigestion. 

Dog-Friendly Alternatives to Alka Seltzer

As with any form of medication, medicines that pose a risk to your dog should always be kept away from them. In fact, even medications they can have should be locked away as well. Your dog is curious, and they will eat just about anything that looks remotely appealing, including medications. 

If they can get into a bottle that has been left on the counter or side table, there is a high probability they can get the lid off and eat the whole bottle of medicine. Therefore, it is imperative you keep the medications on a shelf your dog cannot reach, or better yet, keep them in a closed cabinet they cannot get into or cannot reach. 

If you are looking for a way to help treat your dog's heartburn and indigestion, there are a lot of safe ways to help relieve their symptoms. Firstly, you can eliminate any high-fat foods or treats from their diet. This can worsen or cause acid reflux-like issues. You can also limit the amount of protein in their diet to help reduce these uncomfortable symptoms even more. 

You can also change their eating schedule. Instead of feeding them two larger meals in the morning and night, you can break up their food into smaller and more frequent meals throughout the day. When your dog's stomach is empty, they can have acid buildup and even puke up yellow bile. Smaller meals and a snack before bed will help resolve the issue. 

You may want to try slippery elm bark as well. This plant will coat the esophagus and help soothe and prevent irritation from the stomach acid. Slippery elm bark generally comes in a powder, which you dissolve in boiling water, and then feed to your dog in appropriate doses.  

How to React if Your Dog Gets into Alka Seltzer:

  • Take any remaining tablets away from them.
  • Assess how many they ate.
  • Call your vet.

Safety Tips for Keeping Medications in Your House:

  • Always keep medication out of reach from your dog.
  • Lock medications away in a high cabinet.