Gaviscon for Dogs [Feeling Ruff?]

Zack Keithy, our author, is a certified veterinarian technician (UC Blue Ash) for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers including Dr M. Tarantino. Learn more about us here.

Have you ever experienced that heart-wrenching moment when your furry friend starts frantically nibbling on everything in sight, desperately trying to soothe their upset tummy?

I know it too well, and it’s never a pleasant sight.

And it’s no surprise that any dog owner would want to turn to Gaviscon for dogs, hoping to resolve the issue.

But is Gaviscon safe for dogs? Let’s find out more.

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What is Gaviscon Used for?

You’ve probably heard of Gaviscon before, especially if you’re prone to digestive issues since it’s a handy antacid medication used to relieve heartburn and indigestion. 

When you eat, stomach acid can sometimes creep up into your esophagus, causing that uncomfortable burning sensation. 

Gaviscon comes to the rescue by creating a protective barrier on top of your stomach contents, which helps soothe the irritation and keep that pesky acid down where it belongs. 

It’s like a gentle superhero for your tummy!

Can I give my dog Gaviscon?

Can I give my dog Gaviscon

Two main ingredients make up Gaviscon, and these are aluminum hydroxide and magnesium carbonate, and both are generally safe for dogs to consume since they aren’t toxic.

However, that doesn’t mean it’s the right medication for your dog.

And even though some vets do use it, a better alternative would be Pepcid (famotidine).

Call me paranoid but Gaviscon can be a strong drug for your pup, so you gotta make sure it’s safe for your own dog.

Can You Give Dogs OTC Medicines?

As a hands-on fur parent, I know the question of whether you can give your dog OTC medicines have already crossed your mind a couple of times before.

The answer is yes AND no.

Over-the-counter medicines can both be good and bad for your dog.

The key is knowing which ones are safe and which ones are not.

Safe OTC medicines that you can give your dog

Antihistamines

Antihistamines are popular OTC allergy medications that are not unsafe for dogs when given in the right doses.

Benadryl and Claritin are two common antihistamines that are used as remedies for allergies, and YES your dog can benefit from them too!

But let me just remind you that the OTC medicine for allergic reactions you’re gonna give to your dog should only have antihistamines.

Any OTC allergy medication that has decongestants is a big NO because it’s dangerous for dogs.

The normal dose for Benadryl is 1 mg per pound of your dog’s weight which has to be taken twice a day.

For Claritin, only give 0.5 mg per pound of your dog’s weight. And like Benadryl, it should also be taken twice a day.

Tummy Medications

Pepto-Bismol and Imodium are two gastrointestinal medications that are safe for your dog to take.

They don’t have any toxic ingredients, and they are fairly good at curing vomiting or diarrhea among dogs.

You should give your dog 1 teaspoon of Pepto-Bismol per 10 pounds of his weight every 6 to 8 hours. 

You can’t give your dog Pepto-Bismol more than necessary because overdosing on this medication can cause tummy aches in your dog!

Imodium is quite stronger than Pepto-Bismol so you should only give your dog 1 mg per 20 pounds of his weight every 4 to 6 hours.

Dramamine

Dogs can also experience motion sickness! Some dogs might feel nauseous when riding a moving vehicle, and it’s normal.

It does become a hassle when traveling with dogs who have it, but the good news is that you can totally give your dog Dramamine.

Dramamine helps dogs who have motion sickness without giving any side effects. The antihistamines in Dramamine make this OTC safe for dogs.

2 to 4 mg per pound of your dog’s weight every 8 hours should do the trick to calm your dog while traveling!

Hydrogen Peroxide

A great cleaning agent when it comes to your pup’s wounds, Hydrogen Peroxide is also an OTC antiseptic that can be used to induce vomiting in dogs.

If your dog ate something harmful to him, you can use Hydrogen Peroxide to induce vomiting by giving him small doses of it.

But only induce vomiting if your vet tells you so!

Don’t do so if you didn’t receive any go signal from your vet to avoid complications.

OTC medicines that are not to be used on dogs

Acetaminophen

If you’re wondering what acetaminophen is, just think about painkillers like Tylenol. Yeah, that popular human pain control drug is so not safe for doggies.

Acetaminophen is kind of toxic to dogs since it can damage your poor dog’s liver.

If your dog is in pain, just consult a vet for advice, and please don’t give him any human painkillers.

Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) are very helpful when you need to dull physical pain, treat fever, and such.

But are they good for dogs too? Sadly, no.

Ibuprofen and Aspirin are two of the most famous (NSAIDs), and I know it can be tempting to give those OTC meds to your dog when he’s in pain or has a fever.

But these OTC medicines are bad for your dog since they can cause kidney AND lung diseases.

The dangerous side effects of (NSAIDs) can quickly manifest once your dog ingests them. Your dog will surely experience seizures and vomiting right after. 

What Causes Acid Reflux in Dogs?

What Causes Acid Reflux in Dogs

Doggy tummy trouble, known as dog acid reflux, is quite similar to what humans experience.  

It occurs when some icky tummy fluids flow from the stomach to the food pipe or esophagus.

These fluids can irritate and sometimes harm the lining of the food pipe. 

If you’ve already experienced that before, you would know just how uncomfortable and sort of disgusting acid reflux can be for your dog.

There are many causes of acid reflux in dogs. It’s best to know them all so your dog won’t have to experience it again.

Anesthesia

If your dog has been injected with anesthesia, his sphincter— which makes sure all intestinal fluids remain in his tummy, will feel loose.

If the sphincter is relaxed or loose, acid reflux will happen since the fluids can come up to your dog’s esophagus.

Vets will usually remind dog owners that dogs should fast before undergoing any medical procedure that needs anesthesia.

It’s the easiest way for dogs to avoid acid reflux while being under the influence of anesthesia.

Allergic reactions

Allergic reactions triggered by allergens in food like gluten and dairy can sometimes cause acid reflux in your dog.

Dogs are unique from one another, and their allergic reactions can manifest in so many different ways.

Sadly, acid reflux is one of the most annoying reactions your dog might experience if he ingests something he’s allergic to.

Brachycephalic dogs

Brachycephalic dogs are those adorable pups with short skull bones and cute mushy faces such as Pugs, Shih Tzu, Brussels Griffons, Bullmastiff

Because they have shorter esophagi, they’re more prone to acid reflux as their fluids can easily come up to their throat.

Elevated levels of gastric acid

There are many reasons why your dog’s gastric acid is above the normal level.

It could be due to how fatty his food is, the stress or anxiety he’s feeling, or even bacterial infection.

Nonetheless, when your dog has elevated levels of gastric acid, you can only expect acid reflux to happen to release the excess acid in his tummy.

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Doggy says, you might wanna read this too: Will Nyquil kill my dog?

What Helps a Dog With Acid Reflux?

Small, frequent meals

Drop the large twice-a-day meals and consider feeding your dog small but frequent meals instead.

This technique can ease your dog’s digestive system since the flow of food will be smoother and less of a burden.

With small yet frequent meals, your dog won’t be at risk of the overproduction of stomach acid that can trigger acid reflux.

Elevated feeding bowls

Using elevated feeding bowls for your dog is simple physics.

Elevated bowls will keep your dog from bowing down while ingesting his food.

This better posture will make the gastric fluids harder to come up to the esophagus again.

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Low-fat diet

A low-fat diet helps prevent acid reflux in dogs since fatty food only relaxes the sphincter that keeps the gastric fluids down from the esophagus.

Plus, a low-fat diet balances the level of stomach acid in your dog. If there’s a lower or higher level of stomach acid, your dog will experience acid reflux.

Limited exercise after meals

It’s never a good thing to engage your dog in a hyper exercise after eating since it could disrupt his digestion.

Plus, the food he has just ingested will be jostled inside his little tummy, which may cause acid reflux as the acid may come up to his throat.

Limited exercise after meals will ensure that your dog will be able to digest his meal fully, without any reflux or vomiting.

Weight management

If your dog is overweight, he’ll be more prone to gastrointestinal issues like acid reflux since his tummy carries more pressure.

The pressure makes it hard for your dog to hold down the gastric acids from coming up to his esophagus. Plus, his fat triggers bouts of reflux.

Weight management is one of the keys to helping your dog from experiencing acid reflux, so always monitor his food intake!

Avoiding trigger foods

You should avoid giving your dog trigger foods like fatty food if you wanna save him from acid reflux.

These trigger foods will easily relax your dog’s sphincter, which will be almost impossible to keep the fluids down to his tummy.

Anti-acid medications

For dogs who experience acid reflux almost regularly, anti-acid medications are the best way to help them.

Vets will prescribe suitable and safe anti-acid medications to your dog and remember, it’s never a good thing to just give your dog any medication without consulting the vet first.

There are a wide variety of anti-acid medications available and the least you can do is learn which one is compatible with your doggy.

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What Are the Potential Side Effects of Anti-acid Medications for Dogs?

Although many anti-acid medications are safe for dogs, there are still some instances when your dog might experience some side effects.

The potential side effects of anti-acid medications for dogs range from bloating, constipation, and diarrhea to kidney damage.

Now, kidney damage is only a possible side effect if your dog has been taking anti-acid medications on a long-term basis.

Although most side effects of these medications are mild, it’s still best to talk with your vet about what particular anti-acid medications you should administer to your dog.

Doggy thinks you may be keen to read this too: Can antibiotics cause constipation in dogs?

Home Remedies for Dogs With Acid Reflux

Slippery elm

Slippery elm is a natural herb known for its soothing properties. Dog owners who prefer treating their dog’s condition at home always have this at home.

When mixed with water, it forms a gel-like substance that can coat the stomach and esophagus, providing relief from irritation caused by acid reflux. 

Let me tell you that it’s also very helpful in lessening inflammation in your dog’s gastrointestinal tract, promoting a healthier environment for digestion.

Aloe vera juice

Aloe vera juice is a great home remedy too!

Many dog owners like you have shared how it gives anti-inflammatory and cooling effects on the digestive system. 

This home remedy can also soothe your dog’s esophagus which may feel a little raw from acid reflux.

Marshmallow root

No, marshmallow root isn’t the same pillowy marshmallow you use to barbecue by the fire.

Marshmallow root is an essential home remedy that’s oozing with mucilage. 

This mucilage is one of the keys to creating a protective layer on your dog’s tummy and esophagus lining.

This protective layer can help shield your dog’s gastrointestinal tract from stomach acid, providing relief from acid reflux symptoms.

Coconut oil

Although an excessive amount of coconut oil isn’t good for your dog, minimal doses of it can actually be a great anti-inflammatory home remedy.

So if you give your dog just the right amount of coconut oil, it’ll reduce the inflammation your dog might have in his gastrointestinal tract caused by acid reflux.

It’s safe to say that it aids in improving digestion and reducing acid reflux symptoms among doggies.

Ginger

Ginger has long since been used as a home remedy. Even in the past, ginger was well-known for the benefits it gives to the digestive system.

Hence, you can only imagine how helpful ginger can be in your dog’s acid reflux dilemma since it can smoothly reduce the nausea that your dog might be feeling due to acid reflux.

Chamomile tea

Chamomile tea is almost similar to ginger in so many ways when it comes to battling acid reflux in dogs at home.

It also has calming and anti-inflammatory properties that will undoubtedly relieve your dog’s digestive system. 

It may reduce irritation caused by acid reflux and promote better digestion. Offer cooled, diluted chamomile tea to your dog in small amounts.

Probiotics

Let’s just say that probiotics are the good bacteria that make sure your dog has a healthy gut environment. 

Adding probiotics to your dog’s diet can help balance his stomach acid, improving digestion and reducing the likelihood of acid reflux episodes.

Key Benefits

  • For the dietary management of puppies and adult dogs with diarrhea
  • Contains a probiotic to promote normal intestinal microflora
  • Helps reduce flatulence
  • Proprietary microencapsulation process for enhanced stability

Apple cider vinegar

If the cause of your dog’s acid reflux is low stomach acid, apple cider vinegar will help you balance that stomach acid out.

When given in correct doses, apple cider vinegar can increase your dog’s stomach acid just enough to balance it.

Doggy says, you might be keen to read this too: Is Mylanta safe for dogs?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can dogs take antacid liquid?

Dogs can take antacid liquid but make sure that you are following the right dosage to avoid overdosing your dog. The antacid is safe for dogs, but only if administered the right way.

Is it possible for my dog to overdose on antacids?

It doesn’t always happen, but it is possible for your dog to overdose on antacids. The side effects of overdosing on antacids can lead to irregular heartbeat that may be fatal.

What human medicine can I give my dog for vomiting?

A human OTC medicine you can give your dog for vomiting is Pepto-Bismol. It’s generally safe and has no toxic chemicals in it for dogs. However, consulting your vet if this medicine is suitable for your dog is recommended.

Can I give my dog Rennie tablets?

Yes, you can give your dog Rennie tablets. Rennie is an OTC human medicine that’s taken if you have heartburn or digestive problems. Nothing in its ingredients says that it’s unsafe for dogs, but checking up with your vet to know if it’s alright to give it to your dog will be wise.

In Conclusion: Gaviscon for Dogs

Although Gavison is not toxic or poisonous to dogs, it doesn’t do that great a job when compared to other medications such as Pepcid.

To be certain, I recommend that you check with your vet to get the all-clear before administering any medicines!

Hey! If you found this post useful, check out these dog care tips too:

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Zack Keithy
Zack Keithy

Hey, I'm Zack, the Chief Editor here. I was formerly a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) for a good 6 years before moving on to greener pastures. Right now, I am still heavily involved in dog parenting duties, and it is my desire to share all our knowledge with fellow dog owners out there! Connect with me on LinkedIn, or read more about Daily Dog Drama!

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