Are Rolaids Toxic for Dogs?

By Betty Lewis

Rolaids, an antacid, are a staple in many medicine cabinets because they're helpful for reducing stomach acid and providing relief from heartburn. If your dog ate some Rolaids, don't worry. They aren't toxic to dogs, though he may experience gastrointestinal upset. When used with veterinary oversight, human antacids can be helpful.

Dogs and Antacids

The active ingredients in Rolaids are calcium carbonate and magnesium hydroxide, which work together to increase the digestive tract's pH level. Occasionally, a vet will prescribe an antacid to treat symptoms from peptic ulcers, heartburn and acid reflux in a dog. If a dog in renal failure has high amounts of phosphate in his blood, an antacid may be useful to lower the phosphate level.

Side Effects of Antacids

A dog taking Rolaids or another antacid may experience side effects, including loss of appetite, diarrhea or constipation. Veterinarians generally avoid long-term use of antacids because they can cause electrolyte imbalances leading to irregular heart rate and weakness. Antacids containing aluminum may cause bone-thinning, weakness and aluminum toxicity.

Reactions with Other Drugs

Rolaids and other antacids can react with a variety of other medications, so it's important to consult your veterinarian before administering this human medication to your dog. Since the stomach's acidity is affected by the antacids, any medication your dog takes may be affected. Discuss how to schedule administering antacids and other medications with your vet. Antacids affect the absorption of corticosteroids, tetracycline and a host of other medications used for a variety of medical conditions. If your dog takes digitalis or digoxin, he should not take Rolaids or other antacids containing calcium due to the risk of an abnormal heartbeat.

Dogs suffering from renal failure should not take antacids containing magnesium. Dogs with certain health conditions, including dietary mineral restrictions, kidney disease and stomach emptying disorders or obstructions, require veterinary oversight when taking antacids. Pregnant and lactating dogs should not take antacids.