Dogs are naturally curious creatures who are happy to get into just about anything you leave lying around. They will sniff out trouble, like tums, especially a dog who’s understimulated and needs more to do. Unfortunately, that means they can get into food and even medicines like tums. Some things won’t hurt them, like zucchini. Meanwhile, other items like gum with xylitol, and other human-safe ingredients can kill your dog.
Rather than worrying all the time, I suggest you always keep your cabinets secured with baby locks and only give your dog vet-approved products. Are tums on that list, or should you be seriously worried and rush a pooch who had some antacid to the hospital for a stomach pumping? Take a deep breath. I can answer that question for you right now.
Will tums hurt my dog? Tums will not hurt your dog in moderation. Because they neutralize stomach acid with calcium carbonate, tums and generic alternatives are generally benign. One or two won’t hurt your dog, and may even help on rare occasions
When Can a Dog Have Tums
When it comes to dogs and tums, the first thing you need to know is that many vets won’t approve of using them even though they may help with stomach issues. Why is that? Well, the simple answer is that tums aren’t the best choice for your dog.
The next thing that comes up frequently is, “What if my dog ate tums by accident?” For the most part, a healthy, average-sized dog will be fine with a tablet or two. However, anytime they eat a whole package, you should keep an eye on them for symptoms of a problem and see a vet right away. I’ll get into tums overdose more in a minute.
Some pet owners feed their dog tums for stomach upset. Diarrhea, nausea, and other problems can get relief from a dose of calcium carbonate. However, it should not be your go-to. Additionally, tums should, at most, be a very rare thing for a dog, if they have any at all.
When your dog has stomach issues, turn to a safer alternative. I use Amazing Probiotics for Dogs at home. They have an incredible formula that helps my dogs keep their intestinal flora intact and working the way they should. I like the fact that they’re made in the USA and have no byproducts, but my dogs only care about the flavor. You can find out more by clicking here.
Tums Dosage & Effects
Please be aware that there is no recommended OTC (over the counter) dosage for a dog since only your vet can prescribe antacids safely. Typically they will suggest different products for stomach upset or calcium. Some pet owners have used tums as calcium supplements, but they do so at the risk of severely damaging their dogs’ stomach health.
I am not a veterinarian, so the following information is only intended to give you an idea of when to worry about a dog accidentally overdosing on tums they got into without your consent.
Healthy smaller dogs will likely be alright with as much as two to two point five tums in their body in a day. For a teacup or puppy, it might be far less. Meanwhile, depending on body weight and metabolism, an extra-large dog like a Saint Bernard, might be able to withstand as much as twelve to twenty tabs in a day and still be okay. However, it’s not a good idea.
As I mentioned, you need to know what’s going into your dogs’ body. If you know your canine companion just snarfed a roll of tums or got into a bottle of them, either read the label or look it up online.
You can consult many lists on dog health to discover why some things, like xylitol, will hurt your dog. There are flavoring ingredients that can harm them in many human products. Moreover, having a dog who survived a harmful component, like chocolate, doesn’t guarantee their future health.
Different dogs have more or less sensitivity. However, the long and short of it is that you need to go to an emergency animal hospital immediately if our dog consumes a harmful ingredient.
The Downside to Antacids
A dog who has tums may be alright, but it’s not a guarantee. Some people eat tums like they are candy. While people don’t always associate their problems or their pets with tums or other seemingly benign substances, that doesn’t mean they’re ‘healthy.’
Antacids use calcium carbonate to neutralize stomach acid. Although this can be an immense relief, not all symptom treatments are a good thing. Too many tums can destroy so much of a stomach’s natural acid that it makes the stomach stop working correctly.
What Tums Does to Your Dog
Antacids, like tums, may be prescribed by a vet in some circumstances. For example, dogs who suffer from Acid reflux, hyperphosphatemia (excess phosphorus in the blood), or gastric ulceration may benefit from using them as prescribed. Because tums and other members of the antacid family bind phosphorous within the blood, they can help lower the levels when they’re dangerously high.
Instead of using tums for my dogs’ stomach upset, I prefer to give them probiotics, and I keep a bottle of Paxxin Digestive Rescue for Dogs around. When they aren’t feeling well, have diarrhea, or are ‘off their feed,’ I’ve always found that Paxxin helps. Properly supporting their digestive health will help your dog live a long and happy life. You’ll find prices and availability when you click here.
Antacid Overdose in Dogs
Happily, antacid overdose in dogs is extremely rare. Most pets who get into the tums are none the worse for the experience. However, some warning signs and issues can come with overuse. I mentioned the reduced stomach acid already, but there are other problems to watch out for as well.
- Aluminum in antacids can contribute to electrolyte imbalances. More alarmingly, if overused, it may lead to toxicity, muscle weakness, and thinning of your pets’ bones.
- Constipation can result from the overuse of tums.
- Diahrrea may seem like a strange symptom from something that can also cause constipation, but either condition can result.
- Heart arrhythmia or an irregular heartbeat is a serious concern. Unfortunately, antacid overdose can lead to this alarming heart issue.
- Magnesium, potassium, and sodium present in antacids like tums can also contribute to electrolyte imbalances.
- Lack of appetite, which stems from lack of stomach acid and other complications with antacids, could be the first sign there’s a problem. Most dogs eat their food without complaint.
- Kidney damage is another unfortunate possibility when a canine gets too much antacid. Their body can’t process the tums fast enough.
If your dog ate tums and they’re showing any visible signs of discomfort, especially if they have one of the symptoms on this list, you need professional help. A vet may tell you to wait out the problem if it’s minor. Regrettably, the more dangerous side effects of antacid overdose like kidney failure aren’t as easy to spot.
Dogs Who Should Never Have Tums
Whether your dog is pregnant or nursing, tums are the last thing she needs. It may seem smart to give your pooch a little calcium pick-me-up, but don’t do it! Not only can it cause problems for her, but it can damage the nursing puppies as well.
Like pregnant pooches, dogs with kidney failure shouldn’t take any medications with magnesium, a common ingredient in antacids. Sadly, it’s an ingredient that can contribute to the problem in severe ways. Lastly, pets on certain medications should never use tums. Unfortunately, antacids can interact with many prescription drugs.
Tums Increase the Effects of Some Drugs
While having a more effective medication may seem like a good thing on the surface, there’s more to medicine than meets the eye. Too much of a good thing can cause lasting damage. Don’t risk making your dog sicker, and always talk to your vet about what prescriptions your dog is taking. Here are some of the drugs tums can boost in a damaging way:
- Ephedrine and other sympathomimetics
Tums May Decrease Drug Absorption
When your dog needs medicine, the last thing you want to do is skip a dose. However, making the medication less effective can also cause problems. The ingredients in tums can cause absorption issues in some drugs. That means your dog isn’t getting the medicine into their body as they should. There are quite a few drugs tums can effect this way; here are some of them:
- Valproic acid
- Pancreatic enzymes
- Iron salts
Like the ‘constipation and diarrhea’ side effect, antacids can cause different drugs to have increased or decreased effects. Though this may confuse the layman, both medicines and bodies are highly complex. What works for, or with one may harm another.
Tums are Not a Calcium Supplement
Tums may not hurt your dog, but that doesn’t mean it’s helping either. While they do contain calcium, no pet owner should ever use an antacid as a calcium supplement. The long term health ramifications are alarming. Your pet trusts you to take care of their health, so be worthy of that trust by always doing your research before you give them a supplement.
If your dog needs calcium, turn to a more pure source. Instead of feeding them tums, which are made for stomach upset, and contains other ingredients, pick a source of calcium that stands on its own. There are lots of natural and safe calcium supplements that don’t run the risk of kidney failure or heart arrhythmia.
My top choice for calcium is Pet’s Friend Eggshellent from Amazon. I like the company because they’ve been around for a quarter of a century, which is a reputation you can rely on. Moreover, they don’t use seaweed or bonemeal calcium sources, which are harder to absorb into the body. Plus, there’s no real smell or flavor to the powder, so you can mix it into any pet’s diet without worrying that they’ll pick around it or refuse to eat. To get some for your dog, click here.
When to Worry About Dog Stomach Issues
Before you feed your dog tums, consider their overall health, and talk to your vet. I’ve always recommended taking a proactive, preventative stance when it comes to health. Giving your dog a high-quality food and digestive support is one way to accomplish that.
Unfortunately, the best pet owner in the world couldn’t save their dog from every discomfort and problem. Sometimes you need to act immediately, but others you can afford to wait out the issue. What’s the difference? In general, there are signs that you need a vet appointment soon and those that spell emergency.
If your dog has a low appetite, minor weight loss, excess gas, or troubles with pooping, then you need to see a vet. Never ignore diarrhea or constipation. However, in the absence of other symptoms, most of these problems can wait for the next available appointment with your vet.
Keep an eye on any problems to make sure they don’t get worse. Instead of treating them at home, make the appointment. Be certain you let the vet or secretary know that it’s urgent, and what’s going on. They will direct you to an emergency center if they think the problem is worse than you anticipated.
Alternately, if there’s blood in their stool (poop) or you catch your pet throwing up liquid instead of a chunky consistency, you should be more concerned. Dry heaving, panting and shaking, signs of dehydration, or lethargy are all warning flags that tell you your pet needs the emergency vet hospital right away. Never try a home remedy like tums if your dog has acute symptoms.
You need to do two things before you ever let something go in your dogs’ mouth. The first is to talk to your veterinarian about it. They are the pros and have been to school. They spend years learning the ins and outs of what a dog can have, and why. Secondly, read the labels.
Keeping a chart of everything that can kill your dog is a good idea. I taped mine inside the cabinet, where I keep their food and treats. However, knowing off the top of your head that xylitol will kill a dog is also essential. Since it’s used in so many sweet things, like medicines and human treats, gums, and sodas, you’ll need to know if your dog got into something deadly right away.
Remember that occasional vet-approved tums are fine, but too many can throw off the balance in a dogs’ stomach and make them unable to digest food. Always consult a professional when introducing any new medicine to your dog.