Metoclopramide for Dogs - Usage, Dosage, & Safety

Metoclopramide for Dogs - Usage, Dosage, & Safety

Author WDF Staff


One of the most common issues dogs experience is with their gastrointestinal tract. Diarrhea, vomiting, gassiness, or stomach aches are common in dogs, and if they happen, our dogs might need some help to deal with them. In one specific issue, vets can prescribe metoclopramide for dogs. If that happens, dog owners often want to know more about it and its effects on their dog’s bodies. Here’s what you should know about metoclopramide for dogs.

What is metoclopramide?

Metoclopramide is a drug that will stimulate the stomach and upper small intestine to prevent esophageal reflux. In this condition, the stomach acid backs up in the esophagus and throat. That causes the dog to throw up undigested food. This drug will prevent vomiting, nausea, and acid reflux in dogs, which makes it pretty helpful for these conditions.

Metoclopramide is the active ingredient in two drugs - Reglan and Maxolon.

How does it work?

The basic idea behind these drugs is fairly simple - it should stop dogs from vomiting. However, there are different things that might cause these health issues in dogs, and metoclopramide can resolve a few specific ones. 

french bulldog sleeping

This drug will cause the release of acetylcholine, which will cause the digestive tract muscles to contract more frequently. That way, the built-up food and bile will get pushed into the stomach. Plus, these muscles will get stronger over time, and the dog might get this problem resolved entirely.

VET TIP: Another great thing about this drug is that it can cross the blood-brain border and block dopamine. Blocked dopamine will decrease the dog’s urge to vomit.

Is it effective?

All of these things sound pretty good, but dog owners want to know how effective the drug really is. If they give it to their dogs, will it help them, or is it a half solution that will not solve the problem? Here is the most important information about this drug’s efficiency.

The good news is that metoclopramide is very effective for the specific issues it is used for. However, dogs can vomit or be nauseous for various reasons, so before you give your dog this medication, make sure your vet diagnosed it correctly.

Safety measures

Vets will know when to use and prescribe this drug. They are probably aware of the safety measures. Some dogs should not take this medication, and you have to make sure your vet knows if your dog falls into that risky category. Here are some dogs that should not take metoclopramide;

  • Dogs with metoclopramide allergies (or allergies to similar drugs)
  • Dogs with para-amino benzoic acid allergies (PABA in sunscreen)
  • Dogs with pseudopregnancy
  • Dogs with bleeding stomach
  • Dogs with intestinal blockage
  • Dogs with adrenal gland tumor

happy golden retriever

Is metoclopramide safe for dogs?

Another important question dog owners want to know the answer to is, “Is metoclopramide safe for my dog?” Naturally, we want to help them with their health issues, but we need to know if the drug will cause other problems for our dogs. The good news is that metoclopramide is very safe. Of course, for the drug to be safe, you need to tell your vet if your dog is taking other medications or if they have preexisting conditions like epilepsy or seizures.

Metoclopramide side effects

Like any other drug your dog might have to take, metoclopramide can cause potential side effects. There are virtually no medications that are 100% safe for dogs, especially meds that help you resolve such a complex health issue. The most common metoclopramide side effects are;

  • Hyperactivity
  • Restlessness
  • Twitching
  • Constipation
  • Drowsiness
  • Increased urination

Keep in mind that just because side effects are possible doesn’t necessarily mean your dog will develop them.

Where to get it?

You cannot get this drug without a licensed vet’s prescription, so you should visit your vet first. They will perform a thorough checkup and make sure metoclopramide is the proper treatment for your dog. Plus, the vet needs to make sure your dog is not in the high-risk group. After the vet writes a prescription, you can visit your local pet pharmacy and pick up the drug. If you prefer online orders, you can simply order it on Chewy’s online pharmacy.

World Dog Finder team

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