Are Tums Safe for Your Dog?

Tums are a great remedy for stomach upset, heartburn, and diarrhea. If your digestive tract is giving you some troubles, popping a few of these chalky tablets usually gives you instant relief. But if your dog’s stomach is ominously rumbling, don’t hand them your trusty Tums.

Can I Give My Dog Tums?

Tums aren’t immediately dangerous for your dog, but you shouldn’t liberally give them Tums unless it’s under the guidance of your veterinarian. Because of the mineral compounds in Tums, they can actually cause some side effects in your dog that are far worse than an upset stomach.

The magnesium compounds create loose stools, while the calcium and aluminum compounds can lead to constipation, creating quite the opposite of why you gave your dog Tums in the first place. It can also lead to a lack of appetite.

Some people think the calcium is good for their dogs, particularly pregnant and nursing dogs, but excessive calcium is horrible for your dog’s kidneys and can be deadly in dogs with existing kidney failure. Excess calcium has been linked to the development of kidney disease and urinary stones. Kidney disease is not curable, and it’s something your dog will have to live with for the rest of their life. Too much calcium in puppies will disrupt bone and cartilage development and create orthopedic abnormalities that cause the bones to grow too quickly, damaging the joints and leading to lifelong arthritic pain.

If you think you need to help with calcium intake, you should stick to a high quality dog food formulated for their size and talk to your veterinarian about the appropriate levels of calcium for your dog. There are far better ways to supplement calcium than with antacid tablets.

Is It Safe to Give My Dog Tums?

If you’re wanting to give Tums for an upset stomach, you’ll be surprised to know that your dog’s digestion moves too quickly for Tums to be effective. A dog’s digestion moves much more rapidly than a human’s does, so the calcium carbonate in the Tums doesn’t have enough time to react with stomach acid and actually treat anything. If your dog’s upset stomach is caused by a food they ate, the food is typically already digested and excreted by the time the Tums are able to treat the symptoms.

What Can You Give Your Dog for an Upset Stomach?

If your dog is experiencing diarrhea, canned pumpkin can help. The amount of fiber in the pumpkin absorbs the excess water in the intestinal tract and firms the stool. Usually the best treatment for an upset stomach is simply not giving your dog any food for about six hours. This allows their stomach to work on getting rid of whatever upset it to begin with. Recurring bouts of diarrhea and vomiting should be further investigated by your veterinarian with bloodwork, a stool sample, and x-rays. Sometimes constant vomiting can be an indication of an intestinal obstruction or a protozoal infection known as Giardia.

While the internet tells you a variety of stories, the final confirmation on what’s safe for your dog should always come from your veterinarian. Having a good relationship with your vet will leave an open door for you to ask the questions you need to ensure your dog stays as healthy as possible.

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