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Health & Wellness

Famotidine helps reduce stomach acid in dogs

Don’t reach for your human-prescribed famotidine, though.

Finding out that your pup has a stomach ulcer isn’t the happiest news. But a diagnosis from your vet brings you closer to helping your dog feel better.

One treatment option they might prescribe is famotidine, but you’ll want to be aware of the potential side effects when making sure it's the right match for your pet. 

What’s famotidine used for in dogs? 

Famotidine can be used to treat health issues in humans as well as dogs. According to Dr. Emily Singler, VMD, Fetch’s on-staff veterinarian, this medication is recommended to reduce stomach acid and treat ulcers in pups. 

“Some dogs will also take famotidine after having gastrointestinal surgery or if they have gastroesophageal reflux,” Dr. Singler adds.

Even though famotidine is sometimes prescribed by a veterinarian when a dog is vomiting or is taking another medication that could upset their stomach, it isn’t an anti-nausea or anti-vomiting solution. So ask your veterinarian about proper medicine if your pup is vomiting or nauseous. 

Famotidine dosage for dogs‍

Your veterinarian will decide the right famotidine dosage and length of time your pup should take the medication based on their symptoms, diagnosis, weight and age.

Typically, famotidine is a short-term medication given twice a day before mealtimes. Although this medicine is sometimes injected at the vet's office, it's also available over the counter in tablet, oral-liquid and capsule forms. But you should only purchase dog-friendly versions of this medication with permission from your veterinarian and instructions on the correct dosage.

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Common famotidine side effects for dogs

Your dog might experience some side effects when taking famotidine, but they’re typically mild and don’t require treatment. The possibilities include:

Read the medication label instructions carefully and talk to your veterinarian if you don’t think your pup is getting better, Dr. Singler encourages. And always speak with a vet if you have any questions about the medication or if you notice your dog exhibiting any unusual behaviors.

How long does it take famotidine to work for dogs?

If your veterinarian recommended famotidine to reduce stomach acid and the symptoms of acid reflux, the medication could take about 1 to 2 hours to begin working. However, depending on the severity of symptoms and a dog’s weight and age, it could take longer for pet parents to notice a difference.

Of course, if your veterinarian has recommended famotidine to prevent stomach ulcers, the only sign that the medication is working may be a happy, healthy pup.

Famotidine alternatives for dogs

Dr. Singler doesn’t recommend giving your dog famotidine or any other medications without consulting your veterinarian. Readily available antacids made for humans could contain toxic ingredients, like xylitol.

Plus, any over-the-counter medication not recommended by your veterinarian could interfere with other medicines your dog is taking or even worsen some health conditions.

“While other antacids are used in dogs, there may be situations where one is preferred over another,” Dr. Singler says. “Always ask your veterinarian before giving your pet any medications you can access at home.”

The Dig, Fetch Pet Insurance's expert-backed editorial, answers all of the questions you forget to ask your vet or are too embarrassed to ask at the dog park. We help make sure you and your best friend have more good days, but we’re there on bad days, too.

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