Metoclopramide (also known as Reglan(®)) is a medicine used in dogs to help relieve symptoms of reflux and stomach discomfort or to treat nausea and vomiting, particularly in those undergoing chemotherapy. The drug increases gastrointestinal motility, which basically means that it speeds up the passage of food through the body, though it does not have much (if any) effect on colon motility. It also antagonizes dopamine at receptor sites to prevent vomiting which may also explain the sedative effects sometimes associated with this medicine. Side effects are not very common and usually mild which makes the drug a popular choice in veterinary practice.

Dosage For Dogs

Note: Always speak to a vet before you begin treating your dog with medicine. Metoclopramide should not be used unless it is recommended by a vet.

The correct dosage range when using metoclopramide to treat your dog will depend on what you are using the medicine for.

Purpose Of Use

Treatment Plan

As a vomiting preventative (general)0.05 – 0.18 mg/lb by mouth or SC/IM injection every 6 hours
To treat gastric motility disorders0.1 – 0.18 mg/lb by mouth every 8 hours
To improve bladder contractility0.1 – 0.22 mg/lb by mouth every 8 hours

When treating gastric motility disorders the medicine should be given 30 minutes before meals.

Example: A 10 lb dog could be given 1 mg every 6 hours as a vomiting preventative or every 8 hours to treat GI motility disorders.

How Safe Is It?

The medicine is safe and bad reactions are not very common in healthy dogs. Overdoses are also rarely dangerous unless extremely high amounts are given. However dogs may not be suitable for treatment if they have:

  • GI bleeding, perforation or obstruction
  • A seizure disorder
  • Pheochromocytoma

It may also interact or cause adverse effects when given to those who are taking other medicines or supplements. This includes anaesthetics, depressants, cyclosporine and others.

Pregnancy/Nursing: It can be safe for pregnant and nursing animals if used with caution, please speak to a vet if your dog is pregnant or nursing before beginning treatment. For more, see these metoclopramide pregnancy studies.

Safety Guidelines

When treating a dog with this medicine you should:

  • Only start treatment if recommended to do so by a vet
  • Store in a light-resistant container (the drug is sensitive to light)
  • Tell the vet about any medical conditions affecting your dog
  • Tell the vet about any other medicines/supplements you are giving your dog
  • Tell the vet if your dog is pregnant or nursing

If any unexpected adverse effects occur during treatment get in contact with your vet for advice on how to proceed.

What Can It Be Used For?

This drug can be used to:

  • Prevent vomiting/nausea
  • Treat GI motility issues
  • Improve bladder contractility

For preventing nausea and vomiting the recommended dosage plan may vary depending on the cause.

Side Effects

Side effects are usually mild and uncommon but changes in mental activity and behavior are possible. Based on adverse reactions seen in humans nausea, diarrhea, elevated prolactin levels and raised blood pressure may be possible when using metoclopramide.


Dr. D. Twedt
Dr. R. Washabau
Plumb’s Veterinary Drug Handbook (sixth edition)