Written By hannah hollinger
Published: 07/22/2020Updated: 08/30/2021
Pepto-Bismol for Dogs | Wag!

Pepto-Bismol is an over-the-counter antacid used to treat several gastrointestinal issues in dogs, including diarrhea, nausea, and constipation. Pepto-Bismol is a commonly used medicine for both humans and animals and is generally safe to give to dogs for a short period.

Complications usually only arise as a result of the active ingredients in Pepto-Bismol interacting with preexisting conditions or allergic reactions. Here's everything you need to know about giving your dog Pepto-Bismol.


If your dog has diarrhea, constipation, or nausea without any additional symptoms, it is generally safe to give your dog Pepto-Bismol. It is important to note that you should only give your dog Pepto-Bismol for a day or two. If your dog's condition has not improved after a few doses, you should contact your veterinarian for an examination. 

Pepto-Bismol is always administered orally, usually in liquid form. However, Pepto-Bismol does occasionally come in paste or capsule form. You can give your dog this medication either with food or without. If your dog is sick after taking Pepto without any food, try giving them a dose after a meal. 

The best way to give your dog Pepto-Bismol is with a plastic needleless syringe. You'll have to open your dog's mouth, push the syringe in, and inject the Pepto-Bismol. Gently hold your dog's snout for a few seconds afterward to ensure they swallow the medication.

Dosage instructions

You should give your dog one teaspoon of Pepto-Bismol per 10 pounds of body weight. Pepto-Bismol should be administered orally every 6 to 8 hours. Do not give your dog Pepto-Bismol within two hours of another medication.


Pepto-Bismol is effective in treating minor gastrointestinal distress for a short period. The effects of Pepto-Bismol should show up within 24 to 48 hours. As mentioned, if your dog's diarrhea, vomiting, or constipation doesn't stop within this period, contact your veterinarian. 

Active ingredients in Pepto-Bismol

The active ingredient in Pepto-Bismol is bismuth subsalicylate, which belongs to the salicylate family.


A bottle of original Pepto-Bismol costs $5 on average. The price of other forms, like chewable tablets, may vary.

Side effects

One reason why veterinarians advise against taking Pepto-Bismol more than a few times is that it can cause bleeding from the stomach. Furthermore, the bismuth compounds in Pepto-Bismol will discolor your dog's stool, making it difficult to tell if there's blood present. If you contact your vet, they'll usually prescribe an alternative antacid designed especially for dogs known as Corrective Suspension.


Drug interactions

Before giving your dog Pepto-Bismol, you should consult your vet if they are currently taking any of the following:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) including Deramaxx and Rimadyl

  • Asprin

  • Antibiotics, including tetracycline

  • Loop diuretics

  • ACE inhibitors

You should also inform your vet if you are giving your dog any supplements or vitamins as these may have active ingredients that negatively react with bismuth subsalicylate.

Allergic reactions and sensitivity

You shouldn't give your dog Pepto-Bismol if they are allergic to aspirin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. If you notice your dog is having an allergic reaction to Pepto-Bismol, contact your vet immediately. Consult your vet if you plan on giving your dog Pepto-Bismol if they are pregnant or currently nursing. Do not give your dog Pepto-Bismol if they have a stomach or intestinal ulcer

Frequently asked questions

Is Pepto-Bismol safe to give to my cat?

You should never give your cat Pepto-Bismol. The active ingredient, bismuth subsalicylate, is toxic to cats. If your cat has ingested Pepto-Bismol or another product containing bismuth subsalicylate, contact your vet immediately.

What should I do if I forget to give my dog a dose of Pepto-Bismol?

If you forget to give your dog a dose of Pepto-Bismol, give it to them as soon as possible. While Pepto-Bismol is generally safe to use, do not double up on dosages, and wait 6 to 8 hours before giving your dog their next dose.

What should I do if my dog's stool is discolored after ingesting Pepto-Bismol?

While discoloration of the stool is a common side effect related to Pepto-Bismol, this should subside within 24 hours of taking the medication. If this discoloration continues for any longer, contact your vet for advice. 

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