Can I Give My Dog Tums?
We all have our favorite upset stomach remedies. Some folks bring out the heavy artillery at the first sign of indigestion—they rush into their bathroom, yank open the medicine cabinet, and pull out the nausea-busting, diarrhea-fighting, indigestion-calming miracle of science they found at their local drugstore. On the other end of the spectrum are the folks who stubbornly refuse to throw over-the-counter drugs at their health problems; these are the people who prepare themselves peppermint tea and plain toast to settle an upset stomach. For most of us, however, the answer is a simple, relatively tame antacid: Tums.
Many of us use Tums to soothe our upset stomachs—this antacid is considered so safe that it is often recommended even for pregnant women. But is it safe enough for our pets to use, too? What should I do when my Labrador’s stomach starts to complain? Can my dog have Tums?
The answer: technically, yes, you can give your dog Tums. Fortunately, this antacid consists mostly of calcium carbonate, which does not appear to be at all toxic to canines. This means that you will almost certainly have no problems with toxicity if you give your dog a dose of Tums. Even if your overzealous pooch eats a whole bunch of them, they are unlikely to suffer from any poisoning symptoms. So, if your canine companion eats all the Tums in your purse, don’t panic. Keep an eye on them for the next 24 hours or so, but rest easy knowing that calcium carbonate is not considered poisonous to dogs.
Health Benefits of Feeding Your Dog Curry
Chewing a couple of these sweet, chalky, almost candy-like antacid tablets is a safe, quick fix for humans suffering from upset stomach, indigestion, and even diarrhea. If your dog has a simple case of indigestion, Tums can work for them, too. We hate to see our furry friends suffering, so we are often tempted to raid our own little pharmacies to help alleviate their discomfort. All good pet parents want to ease their pet’s symptoms. However, you may want to hold off on giving your dog any over-the-counter drugs.
As humans, we can monitor our own symptoms and tell a medical professional what’s going on if we absolutely need to. Our dogs don’t have this luxury, so we have to interpret their symptoms for them. And we can’t do that properly if we’re covering them up with over-the-counter medications like Tums!
Though most cases of upset stomach are harmless, some of them can be signs of serious underlying problems. If your dog is suffering from a serious condition and you only treat the symptoms that you can see, you may put off getting them the veterinary care they really need. Because we have no way of knowing for certain what is causing our dog’s symptoms, it is generally best to monitor them until they go away. If they do not dissipate within 24 hours or so, or if they get worse, it would be wise to consult a veterinarian before trying to treat your dog’s symptoms at home.
Our inability to diagnose our dogs at home can lead to other problems, too: depending on the reason for your dog’s digestive woes, feeding them Tums may actually exacerbate their symptoms. The minerals in Tums, though not toxic, can sometimes exacerbate diarrhea. More often, though, the high levels of calcium content in this medication may result in constipation.
It is important to note that this drug should never be used as a canine calcium supplement. High quality dog food should meet all of your dog’s calcium needs. Adding a supplement on top of whatever calcium exists in their food is a recipe for disaster—too much calcium can damage your pup’s kidneys, which can be fatal for pets who already have kidney problems. High levels of calcium are also thought to increase your dog’s risk of developing kidney stones, bladder stones, and kidney disease (which is incurable). Excess calcium also increases your dog’s chances of developing pancreatitis.
Things to Consider
If you decide to give your dog a dose of Tums, select an unflavored option if possible. Beware sugar free flavors, which may contain artificial sweeteners like Xylitol—these sweeteners are extremely poisonous to dogs and cats. Take your dog’s body weight into consideration when figuring out the proper dose. It may be necessary to break tablets into pieces to achieve the proper dose. If your dog’s problems persist or worsen, take them to a vet as soon as possible.
As long as your dog does not regularly binge on Tums, there is no need to fear keeping the handy antacid around the house. This drug, which is mostly made of calcium bicarbonate, is not poisonous to dogs and can safely treat upset stomach or heartburn. However, because you don’t know what is causing your dog’s symptoms, it is generally better to avoid administering any over-the-counter drugs without the guidance of a veterinarian.