19 September, 2020

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Zantac For Dogs Side Effects & Alternatives

Zantac for Dogs Side Effects & Alternatives

Zantac for Dogs Side Effects & Alternatives

Like humans, dogs may also experience gastrointestinal (GI) problems like acid reflux, gastritis, esophagitis, stomach/intestinal ulcers, and mast cell tumors. These are primarily caused by excessive production of gastric acid in your dog’s stomach. 

Ranitidine, more commonly known as Zantac, is an anti-ulcer drug that is used to manage GI problems in canines. Zantac for dogs regulates gastric acid levels in your canine’s stomach, and reduces the risk of ulcers. If you want to know more about this drug and its helpful benefits to dogs, continue reading below.

What Is Zantac for Dogs?

Ranitidine, brand name Zantac, is a known histamine-2 (H2) receptor antagonist that is mainly used to treat stomach and intestinal ulcers in humans, canines, and felines. Zantac for dogs is prescribed by vets to treat symptoms of gastritis, acid reflux disease, and other gastrointestinal diseases. 

Ranitidine works by inhibiting histamine-2 (H2) receptors that secrete gastric acid in the stomach. Gastric acid can cause abdominal cramping, diarrhea, inflammation, and swelling. Zantac regulates gastric acid levels in the stomach to prevent these problems and minimize the risk of stomach and intestinal ulcers in dogs. 

Dosage of Zantac for Dogs

Though available over the counter, it is important to note that Zantac should not be given to your dogs without proper supervision of a veterinarian. Remember, only a professional can know the cause and the severity of your dog’s illness. The recommended safe dose of Ranitidine (Zantac) for dogs is 0.25 – 1 mg per pound (lb.) to be taken every 8-12 hours. 

Zantac for dogs may be administered in three ways: oral, intramuscular, and intravenous. Tablets are available in 75mg, 150mg, and 300mg dosages. These are usually taken without food for easy and fast absorption. Injectable Ranitidine is usually given to dogs that are weak, lethargic, and unable to eat. 

Side-Effects of Zantac for Dogs

Ranitidine does not usually cause adverse reactions and side-effects to canines. But there are instances wherein your dog may experience the following:

  • diarrhea
  • vomiting
  • rapid breathing
  • irregular heartbeat
  • abdominal pain
  • itching
  • restlessness 
  • drowsiness
  • a sudden decrease in your dog’s platelets (thrombocytopenia)

Note that like any other medication, there is a possible risk for hypersensitivity or an allergic reaction in your dog that can be deadly. Whenever you see signs of an allergic reaction such as redness, inflammation, and difficulty breathing, contact your vet immediately. 


30 pieces of Zantac 75-mg oral tablet usually costs $6 – $11 while 30 Zantac 150-mg tablets cost $12 – $13. Thirty (30) pieces of Zantac 300-mg oral tablet usually ranges from $13.5 – $16. A 6-ml Zantac 25-mg/ml injectable solution typically costs $38 – $42. 

Interaction with Other Drugs

Drug interaction may alter how a medication works or increase your dog’s risk for serious reactions. It should be taken into consideration to not compromise your dogs overall health. Zantac for dogs should not be mixed with antacids and certain antifungals such as ketoconazole and itraconazole. 

This should also not be administered with cephalosporins, propantheline, and other drugs that contain ranitidine and other H2 blockers (nizatidine, famotidine, cimetidine, etc.). Zantac may also interfere with certain urine protein examinations, causing false test results. 

Ingredients in Zantac

The main active ingredient in Zantac is ranitidine hydrochloride (HCl), a histamine H2-receptor antagonist. This whitish granular substance is water-soluble, has a sulfur-like odor, and possesses a slightly bitter taste. Zantac also contains inactive ingredients such as hypromellose, magnesium stearate, titanium oxide, microcrystalline cellulose, titanium dioxide, triacetin, and yellow iron oxide. 

Zantac Alternatives

Managing gastrointestinal problems in dogs can be costly and time-consuming. Medical treatments and medications can also cause adverse reactions, stress, and trauma to your beloved pup. The good thing is other remedies can be used to manage your dog’s GI problems. These alternative treatments include:

  • Diet

High-fat, high-protein diets should be avoided because they increase acid production in your dog’s stomach. A low-fat, high-protein diet is the most ideal diet plan to help manage GI problems in your dog. Give your pet dog foods that are high in carbohydrates such as pasta, rice, bread, and boiled potatoes with lean white meats. Avoid feeding your dog processed meats, cream, butter, and junk foods. Also, feed your dog 4-5 small, frequent meals daily to prevent or manage acid reflux. 

  • Herbs

The following herbs may also be used to manage symptoms of GI problems in dogs:

  • Ginger – Ginger is a widely used herb that possesses gas-reducing and cramp-soothing properties. This powerful herb can be made into a tea to immediately soothe GI upset and other symptoms.
  • Fennel seed – This can be incorporated into your pet’s food to relieve gastric spasms and other discomforts. Fennel seed is also rich in vitamins and minerals such as ascorbic acid, iron, and potassium that can improve your dog’s mood and appetite. 
  • Slippery Elm – This herb is rich in tannin and mucilage that reduces inflammation of the digestive mucosa and prevents acid reflux. 
  • Mint – This aromatic herb possesses carminative (gas-reducing) and antispasmodic properties that ease or relax the digestive tract. 
  • Kefir

Kefir is a type of fermented milk beverage packed with essential probiotics that can soothe indigestion in dogs. Unlike pasteurized cow’s milk, fermented milk (kefir) is not irritating to your dog’s GI tract. 

  • CBD Oil 

Cannabidiol or CBD is the second most active ingredient of the hemp plant. It is extracted from the flowers, stalks, and leaves of the hemp plant. The good thing about CBD is it only contains 0.3% of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active substance in cannabis that can make your dog “high”. The extremely low levels of THC in CBD oil make it not psychoactive and safe to use. 

How Does It Work?

Like humans, dogs also have an endocannabinoid system (ECS) in their bodies. This is an essential part of the digestive process that regulates different bodily functions, including digestion, gastric secretion, and bowel movement. CBD oil works by releasing certain biochemicals that boost the endocannabinoid system. This can also maintain homeostasis – or a state of balance in the body. 

Cannabidiol (CBD) oil interacts with the dog’s soft muscle tissues in the digestive tract. It relaxes the peristaltic movement that moves digested food and waste products. CBD oil also reduces the secretion of hydrochloric acid as it manages burning and inflammation of the esophageal lining. CBD oil does not only target digestive ailments in dogs; it also provides a more holistic approach that can be beneficial to a dog’s overall health and wellness. 

How to Use CBD Oil

The following are the different ways to administer CBD oil to your canine:

  • mixing with foods and treats
  • direct administration
  • CBD capsules
  • sublingual (under the tongue) application using a dropper

Gastrointestinal problems such as acid reflux and ulcers in dogs can cause alteration in your dog’s overall health and well-being. These should prompt you to seek immediate medical attention and help from an animal expert. Zantac for dogs is considered as the drug-of-choice for GI problems in dogs. But you can also use other alternative and more natural treatments such as CBD oil. The cannabis extract is beneficial to dogs due to its holistic approach and a more natural way of healing. Remember to use it safely and make it a habit to seek help from an expert.