Dogs can safely take antacids for health problems. Your veterinarian may prescribe antacids for a variety of reasons, the most common of which is gastric upset. Antacid decreases acidity in the gastrointestinal tract, which can help with symptoms such as vomiting and allergic reactions. Too much can have the reverse effect, causing diarrhea or constipation as well as vomiting.
Effects of Antacids
Antacids are a group of medications, typically containing an aluminum, magnesium or calcium compound, that increase the pH of the stomach, decreasing problems caused by acid. Dogs do not absorb much antacid, limiting its toxic potential as the medications work within the stomach. Antacids can help prevent absorption of toxins when a dog gets into chemicals or medication. They can bind phosphate, which increases with kidney failure.
While excess antacid consumption can cause vomiting or constipation, more commonly, problems arise when antacids bind with medications given to the pet, preventing the other medication from working. When you give your dog multiple medications -- such as antibiotics or pain medication, they often have to be given at set intervals, often hours apart. Have your veterinarian determine the antacid to use, its dosage and frequency.
Elizabeth Muirhead is a practicing veterinarian with an undergraduate degree in biological sciences. She has real-world experience with the husbandry, grooming, training and feeding a variety of household pets.