15 Human Over-the-Counter Drugs Safe for Dogs

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Learn more about how to safely dose Calcium Carbonate (Tums®) in Dogs and Cats.


  1.  Omeprazole (Prilosec®)

Omeprazole, commonly known by the brand name Prilosec®, is used in the treatment and prevention of stomach (gastric) and intestinal ulcers in dogs and cats.  Omeprazole belongs to a class of drugs called proton pump inhibitors and lasts about 24 hours.

The dose most commonly used in dogs is 0.25 mg to 0.5 mg per pound once daily (ever 24 hours).  Common OTC dosage sizes 10 and 20 mg pill sizes.

Therefore, the dose for a 10-pound dog would be 2.5 to 5 mg (1/4 to ½ of a 10 mg tablet). The dose for a 50-pound dog would be approximately 12.5 to 25 mg total dose. It would be safe to give this dog 10 mg to 25 mg (1 to 2 ½  of the 10 mg tablets). Remember, you could give one 20 mg tablet as well if you purchase that size tablet.

Learn more about how to safely use omeprazole in your dog.

  1.  Esomeprazole (Nexium®)

Esomeprazole, commonly known by the brand name NexIUM®, is used in the treatment and prevention of stomach (gastric) and intestinal ulcers in dogs and cats.  It is less commonly used then omeprazole (Prilosec) discussed above.

Learn more how to safely use esomeprazole in your dog. Esomeprazole (NEXIUM) for Dogs and Cats.

Human OTC Bowel Medications Used in Dogs

  1.  Loperamide (Imodium®)

Loperamide, commonly known as Imodium®, is a synthetic piperidine derivative, that is used to treat diarrhea in dogs. It works primarily by slowing the movement of the intestines and may also decrease intestinal secretions, and enhance mucosal absorption.

It is best to use this over-the-counter medication under the guidance of your veterinarian. If your dog is showing concurrent vomiting, lethargy or weakness, it is best to have your dog evaluated by a veterinarian.

Learn more about how to safely dose Imodium in dogs and drug interactions that you should know about.

  1.  Psyllium (Metamucil®)

Psyllium is a bulk-forming laxative, commonly known by the brand name Metamucil® as well as many other generic names. It can be used in dogs with constipation and sometimes in dogs with chronic watery diarrhea.

Diarrhea in dogs is often treated with a bland diet as well. Please see more about Home Care of Diarrhea in Dogs. Learn more about how to safely dose Metamucil in dogs. Please make sure your dog always has plenty of water to drink when giving Metamucil.

  1.  Simethicone  (Gas-X®)

Simethicone, commonly known as Gas-X, is an anti-foaming and anti-flatulence agent used to treat discomfort, pain, bloating, burping, and flatulence caused by excessive intestinal gas. It is generally safe for dogs of all ages.

Learn more about how to safely dose Simethicone in dogs: Simethicone (Gas-X) for Dogs and Cats

Also- here is an article that might be useful that discusses causes and treatment options for flatulence in dogs.

  1.  Polyethylene Glycol 3350 (Miralax®)

Polyethylene glycol 3350, commonly known as MiraLAX®, is used as a laxative to treat canine and feline constipation. It commonly comes as a power you can mix with water or sprinkle on your pet’s food. MiraLAX® is also used to empty the intestines prior to diagnostic procedures such as a colonoscopy or intestinal surgery in both pets and humans. MiraLAX® is available without a prescription at most pharmacies. Learn more about how safely use MiraLAX in your pet. Learn more about how to safely give Miralax to your dog.

11.  Bismuth Subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol®, Kaopectate®)

Bismuth subsalicylate, better known as Pepto-Bismol, is used to treat diarrhea and minor stomach problems, such as stomach inflammation. New formulations of Kaopectate® contains salicylate. This is important because two tablespoons of Pepto-Bismol contain almost as much salicylate as one aspirin tablet. Some dogs are sensitive to aspirin and should not be given with other medications including steroids (such as Prednisone, Dexamethasone) or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) drugs (such as Rimadyl, Novox, Meloxicam, Deramaxx and many more). Please use only under the advice of your veterinarian.  Learn more about how to use bismuth subsalicylate in dogs.

IMPORTANT WARNING: Bismuth Subsalicylate should never be used in cats.

  1. Culturelle®

Culturelle is a probiotic recommended in dogs with diarrhea, constipation, or dog that have excessive “gas”. Probiotics are substances that stimulate the growth of beneficial microorganisms in the intestinal flora. They are generally live bacteria and yeasts.

The intestinal tract is normally full of bacteria, both good and bad, and in the healthy body has the right balance. In illness or while taking certain medications such as antibiotics, the bad bacteria can take over. Probiotics can help restore the good bacteria and reestablish the right balance. There are many types of probiotics and one that is commonly used in dogs and cats is called “Culturelle”. Learn more about probiotics and prebiotics.


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