My Dog Ate Tums: What Should I Do Now?

Tums are good antacids for humans, but these little, colorful tablets can be very tempting for dogs as well.

If your dog ate tums, do not worry because these pills are not harmful to dogs unless ingested regularly or in big quantities. Some dogs benefit from eating tums, but they’re actually not recommended to treat stomach ache in dogs.

What should you do if your dog ate tums?

If your dog ate tums tablets you should watch out for symptoms. Most dogs will be completely unaffected by tums ingestion, but it doesn’t mean tums agree with their bodies.

Maybe you give your dog tums when they experience stomach ache, diarrhea, or other minor discomforts and it seems like it works out well, but you shouldn’t do it again.

Mineral compounds found in tums aren’t as good for your dog as you may think and they might cause bigger discomfort than the one you’re trying to fix, so you should be careful and ask for your veterinarian’s advice before giving your dog unknown medications.

Dogs are quick and gluttonous, so they may be attracted by the different tums flavors. If your dog ate a bottle of tums, it’s unlikely they will experience any serious consequences, unless they have pre-existing medical conditions or are very small.

However, it would be better to call your veterinarian and discuss how to proceed, because ingesting a big quantity of tums means ingesting a lot of minerals as well.

Are tums safe for dogs? 

If you’re wondering whether tums are toxic or poisonous to dogs, you can sleep peacefully because these tablets aren’t a threat to your dog’s life.

That’s not to say they should be given to your pet, though. A dog eating tums can still experience different degrees of symptoms and long-term ingestion of antacids can become really harmful for your dog.

What happens if a dog eats tums? 

In the absence of an already compromised clinical situation, a dog that ate tums pills should be fine.

Tums do nothing to your dog, but they also do nothing for your dog, which it’s not what you wish for when you decide to give them antacids, right? 

Tums are ineffective because dogs have much quicker digestion than humans, so the calcium carbonate doesn’t have the time to react with the acids in your dog’s stomach. 

What does this mean? What if your dog ate antacids because of bad ingestion, they will most likely digest and expel the food before the tums can start treating the symptoms.

Issues can arise when your dog eats a large amount of tums pills or when they are administered to them regularly. 

Allergies 

Easily the most immediate reaction your dog can get upon eating tums is an allergic reaction.

Tums have additives and dyes added to them in order to produce their large variety of flavors and colors, but these industrial components can easily make a sensible dog sick.

Symptoms of a bad allergy in dogs include:

  • Vomiting
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Obsessive scratching or licking
  • Red eyes
  • Coughing or drooling
  • Dermatitis

Allergies are to be taken seriously from the start because if left untreated could be deadly for your pet. If you recognize any of these symptoms, please head to your veterinarian immediately.

GI discomfort. 

As sad and ironic as it is, giving your dog tums could make their GI problems worse instead of treating them.

Dogs who ingest too many tums can experience:

– Diarrhea: the magnesium component of tums can actually make diarrhea worse because it creates loose stools.

– Constipation: the calcium carbonate and the aluminum components of tums can lead to serious constipation, which is the opposite effect of what you were trying to achieve.

– Vomit: as aforementioned, some components of tums don’t agree with dogs, so they can experience episodes of vomiting if they ingest a big quantity of these pills.

– Blockage: some tums come in boxes or wrappers that can be easily torn apart by your dog. Ingesting these non-edible materials can lead to the creation of dangerous blockages in the stomach or intestines. A severe blockage may require surgery.

If your dog ate many tums, make a preventive call to your vet. You might need to bring them in for a medical check-up.

Kidney failure. 

Calcium is good for the bones and it’s usually regarded as a healthy component in foods, but an excessive amount of calcium can be very heavy on your dog’s kidneys.

Being calcium carbonate the main component of tums, a dog eating too many tums or eating tums regularly, could be accumulating a large amount of calcium in their kidneys.

This can lead to the development of kidney stones, which are very painful and will most likely require surgery to remove them if your dog cannot pass them naturally.

Unfortunately, that’s not the worst-case scenario. Putting kidneys under this kind of stress could also lead to the development of severe diseases that could turn out deadly for old dogs or dogs with already compromised kidneys.

Even in healthy dogs, kidney disease is usually a life-long sentence and your dog will need to be under treatments their whole life.

Intoxication. 

Before giving your dog tums, you should consider their previous treatments and what kind of medicines they’re taking now.

As it often happens with medications, some of them may interact poorly with each other, and that’s the case with tums as well. A mixture of wrong medications can be toxic for your dog and put their life at risk.

Although it’s not usually a component of tums, you should also watch out for xylitol. This sugary ingredient is especially dangerous for dogs, as it can lead to hypoglycemia and consequent death really quickly.

Alternatives to tums for dogs. 

When your dog experiences gastrointestinal discomfort, you can be sure your veterinarian won’t recommend tums for your pet.

Moreover, if your dog suffers from chronic stomach ache, vomiting, diarrhea, or abdominal pain, not only tums should not be your first option, but they shouldn’t be an option at all.

In the best case, tums would slightly alleviate your dog’s discomfort, but the presence of recurring symptoms could be an alarm bell for more serious diseases, so the first thing you want to do is to bring your dog to the veterinarian.

Even for regular stomach aches, the options you are given from a professional are usually different.

Fasting 

The most used treatment for an upset stomach or diarrhea is usually related to avoiding any food for at least six hours and monitoring your dog to see if they pass the stools and whatever it was that made them sick.

Sometimes you will be recommended to make your dog skip their meals for the rest of the day and start with breakfast the next day. This will allow the body to clean itself completely.

Reintroducing food slowly is also recommended in these cases and it should be something light and easy to digest like plain white rice or chicken. Your veterinarian will be able to decide the best course of action to take depending on the situation.

Canned pumpkin 

Plain canned pumpkin is ideal to treat diarrhea in dogs, as it is full of nutrients and fibers that will absorb the water and help bulk up your dog’s stools.

On the other hand, canned pumpkin is also good for constipation. Experts confirm that adding 1-4 tablespoons of canned pumpkin to your dog’s food can help ease moderate constipation. 

Be careful: it is important you only use plain canned pumpkin, without additives, salt, sugar, or spices that could irritate your dog’s GI tract and make the problem worse. 

Stay absolutely away from canned pumpkin pie, because it contains xylitol, which can be lethal for your dog.

Other medications 

It’s unlikely your veterinarian will suggest medication to treat seldom stomach discomfort, but if upon examination your local professional decides for medical treatment, it won’t be tums tablets but antacids for dogs.

There are also many different human medicines that could serve the purpose, for example, Imodium and Pepto Bismol. 

These medicines are good alternatives to tums, but could still make your dog sicker, so it’s important that you never give your dog medication that hasn’t been prescribed by your veterinarian.

Can dogs have tums? 

Dogs can have tums as a one-time event without bearing consequences, but be aware that this medication is mostly useless to treat their stomach problems because their digestion is too fast for the tums to have time to act.

Large or regular ingestion of tums could turn very dangerous, so this isn’t a recommended treatment for gastrointestinal problems in dogs. 

Your veterinarian will suggest the best treatment for your dog’s abdominal discomfort, often without resorting to medication, so you should ask them for advice.

If your dog suffers from stomach ache often, it would be wise to have them examined to rule out the possibility of serious diseases. 

It will be fundamental not to give your dog any kind of medication without consulting your veterinarian first.