Will Kaopectate Help My Dog

Will Kaopectate Help My Dog

Author WDF Staff


One of the most common issues dogs and their owners have to deal with is diarrhea. Dogs have gastrointestinal problems, and their owners need to clean up after them. It is not surprising we want to do whatever we can to help our dogs deal with diarrhea, partly for our own comfort but primarily for their sake. One of the things humans can take to deal with indigestion and diarrhea is Kaopectate, and many dog owners wonder, “Can dogs take Kaopectate?” If you’d want to help your dog by giving them this medication, here’s what you should know about it.

What is Kaopectate?

Kaopectate is a human medication for indigestion and diarrhea. It is an anti-inflammatory antacid with antibiotic properties that helps restore gastrointestinal health and balance. The FDA has not approved this drug for animal use. However, prescribing and using human medication to treat our furry best friend’s health issues is not uncommon in veterinary medicine. In fact, many drugs are used off-label to treat dogs.

SAFETY TIP: Since this drug wasn’t explicitly developed for animal use, it is absolutely crucial you stick to your vet’s instructions. Stick to the schedule and Kaopectate dosage your vet prescribed for your dog.

golden-retriever with diarrhea

This medication has a new formula, but the brand name stayed the same. The earlier version of Kaopectate contained kaolin/pectin, which wasn’t especially effective. The modern-day version of the drug contains bismuth subsalicylate, the same active ingredient found in Pepto Bismol. The good news is that Pepto Bismol is safe for dogs. It is often prescribed as a solution to the dog’s gastrointestinal issues. You can read more about it here - Can dogs take Pepto?

Is it effective?

The most important question that needs to be answered is, “Is Kaopectate effective?” Many of us know that this drug is pretty effective for humans, but that is beside the point. The good news is that this medication is considered fairly effective for particular cases. Here are some health issues that can be treated with Kaopectate;

  • Mild diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Indigestion

Although, many dog owners and vets are skeptical regarding the drug’s effectiveness against stomach ulcers.

SAFETY TIP: If you’re trying to help your dog by giving them Kaopectate, you should know that the treatment can last 48 hours at max. After that, if the issues continue, call your vet and see what else can be done.

Is Kaopectate safe for dogs?

Another common thing dog owners are interested in regarding this drug is - Is Kaopectate safe for dogs? Naturally, we assume the drug is safe because vets prescribe it, but we want to know if it can cause adverse reactions. The good news is that Kaopectate is considered fairly safe. However, it is absolutely crucial you stick to your vet’s directions. Plus, before you use it for your dog, make sure you read the drug’s label and see what is in it.

old labrador

Kaopectate side effects

Another crucial thing we need to know about is side effects. Sure, we want to help our dog deal with mild diarrhea, but we don’t want to switch one problem with another. As you can imagine, human medications can cause side effects in dogs, and Kaopectate is no different. However, those side effects are not that bad (if you stick to the recommended dosage, of course). The most common Kaopectate side effects in dogs are;

  • Lethargy
  • Constipation
  • Black or tarry stool
  • Fever
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Increased thirst

Dogs with diarrhea can get dehydrated pretty fast. Make sure your dog has plenty of water available at all times. Some owners think that giving Pedyalite to dehydrated dogs is a good idea. You can read more about it here - Pedyalite for dogs.

SAFETY TIP: If you have multiple pets in your home, especially cats, make sure Kaopectate is out of their reach. While this drug is safe for dogs, it is very unsafe for cats.

Where can I get Kaopectate?

Kaopectate is an over-the-counter medication, which means you don’t need a recipe for it. However, you should never give any medication to your dog without consulting your vet first. You can pick up this drug in your local pharmacy, or if you prefer online orders, you can get it on Amazon.

SAFETY TIP: In some cases, Kaopectate is not a safe option. If your dog is already taking NSAIDs (like Carprofen), Digoxin, Lincomycin, Aspirin, or steroids, this drug should not be administered.

World Dog Finder team

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