Zantac for Dogs Side Effects & Alternatives

Zantac for Dogs Side Effects & Alternatives

PHC LLCJun 17, '20

Zantac for Dogs Side Effects & Alternatives

Stomach ulceration in dogs is a common and prominent medical condition that can compromise your dog’s health. Increased production of gastric or stomach acid is the main cause of ulcers in dogs and other gastro-intestinal problems. 

Ranitidine (brand name Zantac) is used by veterinarians to decrease acid production in the stomach and prevent ulcers of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Zantac for dogs is available in the market without prescription. However, you need to seek advice from an animal expert before giving this to your dog. To know more about how Zantac manages gastrointestinal problems in dogs, keep reading below.


What is Zantac for Dogs

Zantac (Ranitidine) is a medication that inhibits acid production in the stomach in both humans and animals. It is an anti-ulcer drug that belongs to the histamine-2 (H2) antagonist class of medications. Ranitidine works by inhibiting the receptor that stimulates the production and secretion of gastric acid. This is to establish a stomach environment with balanced pH and prevent irritation of the GI tract.  Zantac for dogs is also used in managing acid reflux in dogs, gastritis, and mast cell tumors. 



Zantac (Ranitidine) is available in 75 mg, 150 mg, and 300 mg tablets. It is also supplied as an oral syrup, an injectable, and as granules. The typical dose of Zantac in canines is 0.25 – 1 mg per pound (lb.), every 8 – 12 hours. In case of a missed dose, the next dose should not be doubled or stopped. Just administer the same dose and be careful not to commit the same mistake again. When in doubt, seek help from your vet. 



Zantac is generally safe and effective to canines but this can also cause reactions and side effects to your pet. The vet may not give this drug to canines with known allergy or hypersensitivity to ranitidine, liver/kidney disease, and those taking other medications. 

These are the possible side-effects of Zantac for dogs:

  • nausea and vomiting
  • loose bowel movement (diarrhea)
  • fast breathing
  • irregular heart rhythm 
  • abdominal pain
  • itchiness
  • weakness and drowsiness



A pack (30 pcs.) of Zantac 75 mg tablets usually costs $6 - $11, one pack of Zantac 150 mg costs $12 - $13, while a pack of Zantac 300 mg ranges from $13 - $16. A 400-ml Zantac 15 mg/ml oral syrup usually costs $ 54 - $55.4. Meanwhile, you may need to spend $38 - $42 for one 6-ml Zantac 25 mg/ml injectable solution. 


Interaction with Other Drugs

Before administering Zantac to your dog, make sure to review his medication history. Do not treat your canine using any medication without your vet’s prescription. Ranitidine or Zantac tends to weaken the metabolism of acetaminophen. This drug should not be mixed or taken with metoprolol, ketoconazole, itraconazole, nifedipine, and Vitamin B12. Do not administer Zantac to your dog when your pet is taking cephalosporin, propantheline, and other histamine-2 blockers. Also do not give Zantac to pregnant and lactating dogs.


Ingredients in Zantac

Zantac is mainly composed of the active ingredient ranitidine hydrochloride that makes it a histamine-2 antagonist. Zantac also contains inactive ingredients such as microcrystalline cellulose, magnesium stearate, titanium oxide, triacetin, sodium, and yellow iron oxide. Zantac drugs do not contain lactose and gluten. 


Zantac Alternatives

Zantac medication may not be administered to all dog breeds due to possible hypersensitivity and adverse reactions. But there are still other alternative treatments for GI disorders in dogs. These include:

  • Acupuncture and acupressure

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine that can be used to manage digestive issues in dogs. Restoring your dog’s chi or energy flow in the body can bring all his bodily processes into a normal state – including digestion. Acupressure therapy is performed by stimulating specific points in your dog’s body that are related to digestion. 

The following points in your canine’s body are stimulated during acupuncture and acupressure therapy. 

  • CV 12 – This is the Center of Power, which is located midway between the navel and sternum.
  • St 36 – The Leg 3 Mile (St 36) is found on the lateral part of the hind leg, 2 - 2 ½ inches below the patellar bone (knee).
  • Sp 6 – The 3 Yin Meeting is located in the medial aspect of the posterior leg, just above the hock along the groove of the shinbone (tibia).
  • St 45 – Also called the Evil Dissipation, St 45 is located at the nil bed of the posterior paw, on the third digit. 
  • GB 41 – The Foot Above Tears can be found at the top part of the hind paw, specifically in the valley where 4th and 5th metatarsals (foot fingers) meet.
  • Essential Oils

Essential oils are made from plant extracts that possess several healing properties such as antimicrobial, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and mood-stabilizing properties. For dogs’ GI disorders, peppermint oil can improve weakness, nausea, pain, and inflammation. You can also give other essential oils such as ginger, lemongrass, cardamom, spearmint, and peppermint. Just make sure to mix essential oils with a carrier oil such as avocado oil to make it safer and more effective. 

  • Hemp Oil 

Also called hempseed oil, hemp oil is extracted from the seeds of the hemp plant. This possesses a non-psychoactive substance that makes it safe and effective for humans, canines, and felines. Hemp oil is packed with Omega-3, Omega-6, Omega-9, and beneficial protein compounds. Just like CBD oil, which is extracted from leaves, flowers, and stalks of the hemp plant, hemp oil also contains extremely low levels of THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) – approximately 0.1% – 0.3%. 

How Does Hemp Oil Work?

Hempseed oil is rich in Omega-6 fatty acid called gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) beneficial to your dog’s health. According to research, GLA is a building block of prostaglandins – essential substances that are abundant in dogs. 

Prostaglandins mimic the action of hormones to maintain homeostasis in the body. They also regulate many different bodily functions such as smooth muscle contraction, regulating body temperature, controlling inflammation, and digestive functions. Hemp seed oil can be administered by mixing with your dog’s food or incorporating into a treat. It is best to mix hempseed oil with red meat to boost your canine’s health. The recommended hempseed dosage is 1 teaspoon for every 1 – 1 ¼ lb. of dog food. 

Gastro-intestinal disorders such as acid reflux, gastritis, esophagitis, and mast cell tumors can greatly affect your dog’s overall health and well-being. When your dog shows signs of GI irritation such as nausea and vomiting, bring it immediately to the nearest animal clinic. 

Zantac (Ranitidine) may be given to your pet to inhibit the production of gastric acid that can lead to GI disorders. Your vet may also advise you to use hemp seed oil or hemp oil. Though considered an OTC (over-the-counter) medication, Zantac for dogs should never be administered without your vet’s prescription.  Do not compromise your dog’s health. Follow the right dosage and the right route of drug administration. Lastly, always ask an expert!