Dog Upset Stomach: Causes And Treatment Options
No dog owner enjoys seeing their pet in obvious discomfort. Were used to our dogs having energy to spare, always ready for a walk or to play fetch. People love their dogs and want them to feel better fast. Theyre a very valuable family member after all!
So, when they seem a lot quieter and are off their dog food, your dog may have an upset stomach. Of course, from time to time, people will also deal with an upset stomach. Any human knows what that feels like and what home remedies can help settle things down.
If youre wondering how help your dogs upset stomach, there are definitely some things you can do at home. Not all upset stomachs require a veterinarian appointment.
Consider Changing Their Diet
If your dog has frequent upset stomach, diarrhea or vomiting, and illnesses and medical conditions have been ruled out, consider changing the dog food youre putting in their bowl. There are a multitude of food varieties other than the traditional kibble you may be used to, such as:
If your dog has a specific medical concern, your vet may authorize a specialized therapeutic dog food for them. In order to purchase vet-authorized food, you must obtain authorization for your pet.
Information in this article is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure your pet and is not a substitute for veterinary care provided by a licensed veterinarian. For any medical or health-related advice concerning the care and treatment of your pet, contact your veterinarian.
What If My Dog Does Not Like The Bland Diet
If you do not have any rice and chicken or ground beef or if your dog does not like the bland diet, you can try to feed meat-based baby food with no onion or garlic in it. This is very bland, and most dogs find it tasty. Warming the canned food up or adding a little bit of warm broth may make the food more enticing. Keep in mind though that a lack of appetite suggests he is not feeling very well, which is indicative that a vet visit is a better option than trying to force him to eat.
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Try Slippery Elm Bark
Slippery elm bark is the inner bark of the Red Elm or slippery bark tree. The inner bark of slippery elm contains tannins that help reduce inflammation. They also include a substance known as mucilage. When mixed with water, this slimy, gooey material coats your dogs inflamed stomach or intestines giving relief from several gastrointestinal disorders. Remember to check with your veterinarian before giving your dog natural remedies, just as you would over-the-counter medications.
What Your Veterinarian Is Likely To Do
It is important to regularly monitor your dogs bathroom habits even if they are shy about it! This helps you know what is normal and abnormal for them. It will alert you to problems sooner which may avoid a vet visit. These key pieces of information change in pooping habits, changes in poop color, firmness, amount, etc. are very valuable when providing information to your dogs veterinarian. It may save you a lot of time and possibly eliminate a lot of extra testing.
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Why Dogs Lose Their Appetite
Refusing to eat for more than two meals is uncommon for most animals. Loss of appetite is a serious indicator of an underlying illness, which can vary from depression to cancer. If you notice a change in your dogs eating habits, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian immediately. It is especially important to respond quickly to a refusal to eat in dogs who normally have a good appetite.
The most common reasons a dog will lose their appetite include:
Other, more serious reasons for a dog being sick include:
When Should I Take My Dog To The Vet For An Upset Stomach
Take your dog to the local emergency veterinary hospital if you notice blood in his vomit or diarrhea.
You should also take him if he vomits at least three times within eight hours.
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What To Give A Dog With An Upset Stomach
Treatment for when your dog has an upset stomach depends on the severity of pain and its underlying cause. If a dog has pancreatitis that’s causing their upset stomach, for example, their treatment will be different from that for a dog whose upset stomach is a result of a food allergy. If your dog only has mild stomach upset that passes quickly, treatment may not be needed. If you are unsure, its always best to consult your veterinarian.
Veterinarians have many options to help pets with upset stomach and some can be given orally or by injection and reduces nausea and stops vomiting. Depending on what your dog is suffering from, the vet may also prescribe antacids, antibiotics, intravenous or subcutaneous fluids or deworming medicine. Some dogs require hospitalization and/or surgery.
How Do I Know My Dog Has Digestive Problems
Asides from the apparent vomiting and diarrhea, you may notice other sickness symptoms, such as excessively licking of lips, gulping the air to fight the reflux, gaging or heaving, and even licking objects or paws. High temperature can be a sign of food poisoning, so watch out for dry and warm noses. When feeling nauseated, dogs will sometimes eat grass to soothe the stomach or induce vomiting. In general, you will notice your pooch lying around, lacking energy and appetite.
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Potential Causes Of Your Dog’s Upset Stomach
Part of dealing with your dog’s stomach being upset is figuring out what caused the issue.
The most common reason for upset stomach in dogs is because of something your dog ate or how he ate it.
If your dog eats too quickly and immediately goes outside to play, you may find yourself dealing with an upset stomach in dogs.
Or, if your dog eats something bad for him, this can also cause upset stomachs.
Your dog’s stomach may also get upset if he is constipated or has gas. It can also be due to parasites or bacteria.
Yet another possibility is that your dog has food sensitivities.
If your pup’s stomach gets upset regularly, then dog owners may want to ask their vet about possible conditions causing the problem.
Bloating, gastrointestinal infections, obstructions, inflammation, ulcers, hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, digestive system cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, ulcers, motion sickness, or malabsorption can all be causes.
Other potential causes include liver failure, kidney issues, parvovirus, or uterine infections. Your dog may also have a viral or bacterial infection or have ingested poison.
You don’t always need to figure out the cause of your dog’s upset tummy. That is especially true if it goes away on its own or with one of the remedies mentioned above.
However, if it continues or happens frequently, you should visit the vet. He will ask about your dog’s symptoms other than the upset stomach.
Keep Your Pup Hydrated
One of the most important things is to keep your pup hydrated at all times. Hydration wont cure the upset stomach, but it can help your dog feel better. This is especially important if they are experiencing lots of vomiting or diarrhea. Dehydration from vomiting and diarrhea occurs because the dog is losing too much fluid.
Dont assume that you can prevent dehydration by offering water to your furry pet. Your dog may feel so icky that they dont even feel up to drinking water.
Losing fluid also means losing essential electrolytes and vitamins. One possible solution to this dilemma is to use Pedialyte.
You can obtain a dry mixture made for animals by going to your nearest farming store. The packet is mixed with water and then fed to the dog . If your dog does not improve quickly, do not continue to try self-treating. Dehydration in dogs can quickly progress from a passing concern to one of possible organ failure and even death.
So, please, if your dogs symptoms last more than 24 hours, take him to the vet immediately for treatment.
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Common Causes Of Upset Stomach In Dogs
There are many reasons your dog may have an upset stomach, though theres one common cause: they ate something they shouldnt have, says Kathy Backus, DVM, at Holistic Veterinary Services in Kaysville, Utah.
Dogs are curious like kids theyre always putting things in their mouth, she says. Vomiting and diarrhea are signs that a dogs body is trying to expel something that shouldnt be in their system. In a healthy dog, its a protective mechanism of the body thats totally normal.
These are a few things that can trigger an upset stomach in dogs:
Ingesting something that they shouldnt
Bacterial imbalances within the digestive tract
Chronic conditions such as food sensitivities
What Are The Symptoms Of An Upset Stomach In Dogs
Your dog can have a stomach ache for any number of reasons, but you might not know whats causing it. It could be that they are sensitive to something in their diet or just dealing with stress and anxiety. Unfortunately, some dog owners might not realize their pup is suffering from tummy troubles unless a dog has an accident on the living room rug.
Dogs may not show signs of pain as openly due to their instinctive tendency to hide weakness. However, some subtle symptoms could indicate an issue. Keep your eye out for the following behaviors and get in touch if you notice anything unusual. Here are the most common symptoms of an upset stomach to watch for:
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Never Introduce A New Food Right Away
Any new food must be added gradually to the older food to prevent tummy problems. Most dog foods clarify how to do this in the feeding instructions. The only possible exceptions to this rule are special diets for sensitive tummies. These generally do not create problems when switched right away because they are very bland. Consult with your vet if in doubt!
Vitamin E Oil For Healthy Skin
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that helps fight aging, says Dr. Judy Morgan, a holistic veterinarian based in New Jersey. While your dog couldnt care less about maintaining her youthful glow, she can still benefit from Vitamin E oil. Morgan says it adds protection against UV radiation, which is especially beneficial if your dog spends a lot of time outdoors.
It can also be used to moisturize your companions dry skin. Morgan recommends massaging Vitamin E oil on your dogs coat. Vitamin E capsules can also be broken open and used on warts, calluses, or dry spots, she says, adding that there is no cause for concern if your pet licks off the small amount of the oil.
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Quick Look At The Steps For Relieving Your Dog’s Upset Stomach With Home Remedies
How To Soothe A Dogs Upset Stomach Naturally
As they are famous for their unquenchable appetite, its not uncommon for a dog to suffer from indigestion or stomach issues. Canine stomach ache is usually a result of spoiled food, a food intolerance or allergy, or because they have ingested something questionable. Most tummy issues are easily treated by the vet, but if youd like to alleviate your pups pain naturally at home, check out the following advice and remedies.
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Avoid Too Many Dog Treats
Too many rich and high-calorie treats are the most common reason a dog develops an upset stomach. No more than 10% of their daily caloric needs should come from treats.
While some healthy treats are less likely to upset a dog’s stomach, keep the amount to a minimum and only use them as a training reward.
Remember that you can also use your dog’s regular dry kibble as treats, which will normally be lower in calories and healthier for the dog.
How To Help Your Dog Feel Better
Its understandable that dog owners want to take action if they know their pup is feeling sick. However, the vast majority of gastroenteritis cases will clear up on their own in a day or two. If symptoms are mild, the best course of action is usually to wait around 24 hours and see if symptoms improve. In the meantime, there are a few at-home remedies you can try.
A short fast may be all the stomach needs to right itself. You can try keeping food from your dog for 12 to 24 hours, to allow their gastrointestinal system time to process whatevers causing the trouble.
Giving ice instead of liquid water will keep your dog from overdoing it. After theyve thrown up, dogs often want to drink excessively. This may cause further upset, though. Providing ice chips will ensure they continue to stay hydrated, while also forcing them to slow down a bit.
Providing soothing foods can help to relieve symptoms. Canned pumpkin is a great choice for settling a dogs stomach, and veterinarians recommend providing 1 to 4 tablespoons per meal to help provide relief. Other popular choices include small portions of white rice, unsweetened yogurt and bone broth.
Soaking kibble in water to soften it can help ease the digestion process, soothing discomfort for some dogs.
Another angle to consider is whether your pup is getting enough probiotics. Probiotics are ideal for keeping a dogs gut healthy, and can be found in certain high-quality dog foods, such as NutriSource dog food.
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Rule Out Food Allergies
First and foremost, make sure your dog doesnt have an allergy to something in their diet. Its not uncommon for dogs to have an upset stomach sometimes.
But if its a regular occurrence, it could men that Betty or Bentley has a food allergy. Talk to your veterinarian about the possibility your dog might be allergic to something in their dog food.
How To Avoid A Dogs Upset Stomach
Looking for remedies on how to calm a dogs stomach is difficult. Therefore, with proper digestive health, you will prevent your dog from suffering in this painful issue too often.
Make sure that your dog absorbs all the needed nutrients every day. It covers his intestines with cells that require a lot of vitamins and minerals to function. The cells that need a lot of nutrients are the immune cells.
You should also give them high-quality and easily digestible proteins. These nutrients will help your dogs digestive system to develop beneficial bacteria inside and outside his stomach.
Last, you can also ask your vet if what kind of food is best suitable for your dogs breed and age. The right diet will help your dogs digestive system to absorb the nutrients.
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What About Using Probiotics
Probiotics are great for restoring good bacteria in your dog’s gut. If antibiotics have been prescribed, they may have wiped away the good bacteria along with the bad. There are several types on the market, including:
- Prostora, made by Iams
- Proviable, made by Nutramax Labs
- Fortiflora, made by Purina
There are, of course, several more brands of probiotics for dogs on the market.
Most vets recommend giving probiotics after, not during, a course of antibiotics. According to veterinarian Lorie Houston, “Using antibiotics, such as metronidazole, with probiotics is a somewhat controversial topic. Some veterinarians recommend using one or the other but not both. Others feel that the two products can be used together. In this case, the worst-case scenario is that the antibiotics might kill some or all of the bacteria contained in the probiotic, rendering the probiotic ineffective.” Some vets recommend giving the probiotics several hours before or after the administration of antibiotics to prevent this from happening.
If your dog has a sensitive stomach and repeated diarrhea, it may be helpful to get some probiotics to help him restore some healthy bacteria. Keep in mind, though, that because probiotics are alive, they must be stored in a cool place and have a short shelf life. If you are planning to use probiotics you bought for your dog’s upset stomach in the past, check the expiration date to make sure they are still fresh!