Just like us, our canine companions can also experience allergies and upset stomach. In such cases, what is a concerned pet owner to do? Those looking for medications to help their pet may have come across famotidine in their research. Many may rightfully ask: is famotidine for dogs safe?
What is Famotidine? Is it Safe?
Famotidine is an antihistamine, or allergy medication, and an antacid, or a drug that helps neutralize stomach acid. The FDA has not approved this medication for veterinary use, but veterinarians may still prescribe famotidine for dogs thanks to its safety record.
The usual dosage of famotidine for dogs is 0.50 mg to 1 mg per kg of body weight, given twice daily.
Side effects in dogs are rare, which is why veterinarians often prescribe famotidine over other medications that treat gastrointestinal (GI) issues. When side effects in dogs present themselves, they may include:
- Loss of appetite
Famotidine may not be safe for dogs with kidney or liver problems, stomach cancer, and sensitivity to similar medications. Moreover, because the drug can pass through breast milk, it is not recommended for dogs that are pregnant or nursing.
Should famotidine for dogs be given with food?
No. VCA Hospitals states that famotidine should be given on an empty stomach before the first meal of the day.
Does famotidine help with diarrhea in dogs?
No, famotidine can cause diarrhea.
Is Pepcid or omeprazole better for dogs?
Studies in healthy dogs and cats have shown that omeprazole (Prilosec OTC, OmePPi, Zegerid OTC) is more effective than Pepcid and is often recommended for the treatment of stomach and intestinal ulcers.
When Fido experiences an upset stomach, a licensed veterinarian may prescribe famotidine for dogs. While it is not FDA approved for this purpose, the drug’s relatively safe track record means it is often a veterinarian off-label go-to drug for treating canine GI issues.