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.
Attention From Pet Parents
Other dogs may have learned that when they eat grass, their pet parents pay them more attention. You may talk to your dog more or offer your dog treats to get them to stop eating grass and eat the treats instead. Sometimes, pet parents pull their dogs away from a patch of grass. This restriction may spur a dog to eat any grass as soon as they find it because its forbidden.
When To See A Veterinarian For A Dogs Stomach Ache
Just like people, dogs can get stomach aches for a variety of reasons, from eating something they shouldnt have to catching a disease. Because these causes have a wide range of severity, many dog owners are unsure of how to respond to a dog showing gastrointestinal upset and if a trip to the veterinarian is always necessary.
Dr. Emily Gould, a clinical assistant professor at the Texas A& M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, discusses the common causes and symptoms of digestive issues, as well as what owners can do to help their pup through the pain.
The most common gastrointestinal issues causing owners to seek veterinary care for their dogs are dietary indiscretion , ingestion of a foreign object, intestinal parasites, pancreatitis, and chronic inflammatory intestinal disease , she said.
The most common symptoms for any form of GI upset are vomiting and diarrhea, which can appear as acute symptoms with a sudden onset or chronic symptoms with multiple episodes over several weeks.
Some animals with GI upset will also become nauseous, which can manifest as excessive drooling/salivation, lip licking, and lack of interest in food, Gould said. The development of flatulence and/or loud gut sounds might also be noted in some cases.
Puppies, in general, also become dehydrated very quickly, so more than one or two episodes of vomiting or diarrhea in a young dog necessitates veterinary care, Gould said.
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Applesauce For Dog Upset Stomach
Just like humans, apples are extremely healthy and beneficial for dogs. Being a citrus fruit, they are rich in vitamin C and calcium. Similarly, they contain a lot of dietary fiber. Despite their nutritional value, they are low in calories which makes apple a really useful ingredient.
Most of the benefits of apples are transferred to unsweetened applesauce. The blandness of applesauce is often used to treat a dogs upset stomach. The presence of pectin helps in alleviating loose stool by soothing the dogs intestines.
Likewise, it is quite useful for preventing dehydration in case of diarrhea. You can make unsweetened applesauce at home by following this easy recipe.
- 4-5 apples, peeled and cubed
Thank you Leash and Tails for this recipe.
What To Give A Dog For Upset Stomach: Remedies To Settle A Sick Tummy
This content was reviewed by veterinarian Dr. JoAnna Pendergrass, DVM.
To keep the lights on, we receive affiliate commissions via some of our links. Our review process.
Does your dog have an upset stomach? Normally dogs will eat grass to clean out their system. This is the natural method to cure your dogs sick tummy.
However, this wont always do the trick. In fact, your dog may not even feel like eating grass. So, here are some additional tips to help cure your dogs upset tummy.
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Monitor Your Dog If Symptoms Persist See Your Vet
If your cuddly canines symptoms dont improve after a 24-hour period of fasting and a subsequent bland diet, then its time to take a trip to the veterinarians office. Your vet may treat your dogs symptoms with medications or probiotics while they work toward determining the cause of stomach ache.
Why You Should Use Extreme Caution With Imodium
Imodium is a synthetic opioid. All opioids are known to cause constipation. They work by slowing down gut motility which allows for more fluid and salts to be drawn back into the body system.
Imodium, when administered at safe levels, is not helpful for pain and, therefore, will not relieve any abdominal discomfort your dog may have. While, in some cases, Imodium may help, there are others where it can cause potentially serious side effects. Some of these side effects include constipation, sedation, bloating, and even pancreatitis.
You should never give Imodium to your dog if:
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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!
Belching Or Passing Gas
Chihuahuas are known for their flatulence, an annoyance that we chihuahua owners have learned to live with. While you might think its cute when your little dog farts on your face, its not so funny when he does so in public. If youre concerned about how much gas your chihuahua is producing, heres how to tell if hes gassy:
- Look for signs like excessive farting or pooping, which could indicate stomach discomfort or pain .
- Be aware of changes in behavior. For example, they may be more lethargic than usual or seem nervous around other animals because of their discomfort. The best way to keep track of these things is through daily observation and communication with other pet owners who have experience with gassiness issues themselves, such as those who own small dogs like chihuahuas.
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Soothing An Upset Stomach
McKenzie et al. designed a study in which one group of dogs were fed a diet containing fructo-oligosaccharide . The other group of dogs were fed a standard diet. FOS is extracted from sugar beets and passes undigested through the small intestines and into the large intestine, where it ferments.
Large quantities of FOS can cause watery, loose stool. The dogs fed the standard diets had more episodes of grass eating compared to the FOS dogs that had diarrhea. This meant that dogs with gastrointestinal upset were less likely to eat grass.
However, in this particular study, the diarrhea originated in the large intestines, so it doesnt give us insight on grass-eating behavior in dogs that have gastrointestinal upset in their stomach or small intestines.
Signs Your Dog Has An Upset Stomach
The symptoms of an upset stomach in dogs generally depend on the severity and your pet’s stomach sensitivity. âIt could be anything from eating more slowly or skipping a meal all the way to vomiting, lethargy or dehydration,â Dr. Bullen notes.
If your dog has been sick or not eating for over 24 hours, or if theyâre unresponsive or lethargic, Dr. Bullen recommends seeking call your vet or going in for a check up.
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Symptoms Of A Dogs Upset Stomach
If your dog has an upset stomach or an issue that makes you think they have a stomach or gastrointestinal issue, they can display some or all of the following symptoms. These symptoms are grouped by cause to show you their similarities:
- Parvovirus: dullness, fever, loss of appetite, progressing to vomiting and blood in the stool
- Intestinal inflammation: diarrhea, strain to move bowels, pain when emptying bowels, weight loss, and vomiting
- Constipation: hard, dry feces, straining to move bowels
- Bloating: restlessness, discomfort, rapid breathing, abdominal swelling, dry retching, excessive drooling
- Stomach inflammation: vomiting of bile, froth, fresh blood, or digested blood
- Cancers: vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite, weight loss, lethargy, pale gums
- Obstruction: lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, abdominal pain, abdominal swelling, low body temperatures, dehydration
- Ulcers: vomiting fresh or digested blood, abdominal discomfort, pale gums, dark stool with blood, decreased appetite
- Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis: sudden vomiting, bloody diarrhea, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, depression
- Inflammatory bowel disease: weight loss, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, swollen abdomen, fluid retention, watery diarrhea
- Malabsorption: weight loss and/or diarrhea
Can You Give A Dog Pepto Bismol
Its hard to watch your dog feel uncomfortable, especially if what ails him is as common and simple as an upset stomach. If your dog has diarrhea, he may not be acting like himself and you may want to help him feel better by reaching for the same thing that comforts you when your stomach hurts: Pepto Bismol.
The famously pink over-the-counter medication, Pepto Bismol is used to treat gastrointestinal upset in humans, and although it may aid in the resolution of diarrhea in dogs in certain situations, it should only be used if directed by a veterinarian and at the appropriate dose, says Dr. Jessica Wallach, a staff doctor at NYCs Animal Medical Center, adding that it should not be administered long-term.
While Pepto Bismol can work wonders on your stomach, it could cause more harm than good when it comes to your dogs overall health.
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Common Causes Of An Upset Stomach
According to veterinarians, its completely normal for dogs to experience mild digestive problems every so often. The top reason is because dogs are curious animals who often eat something they shouldnt while playing or exploring. When they ingest something thats bad for them, retching and diarrhea are often quick to follow. These are natural and protective processes a dogs body uses to expel things that shouldnt be in their bodies. Other common causes of an upset stomach include:
- Bacterial infections or imbalance
- Spoiled food
Sometimes, you might be able to figure out whats causing your dogs digestive issues, while other times, its a bit of a mystery. Learning to recognize the signs of your dogs upset stomach can help you determine how best to help your dog, whether its with at-home remedies or seeking professional help from a veterinarian.
How Long Can A Chihuahua Go Without Eating While Sick
The fact is chihuahuas are very resilient and can often survive for quite some time even when they are not eating. Some chihuahuas will actually eat grass as a way of dealing with an upset stomach. This is usually because the grass helps them to pass any blockage in their intestines or bowels. But too much grass can also cause an upset stomach, so always focus on your chihuahuas way of eating!
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What Caused Your Dogs Upset Stomach
Before you start using home remedies for upset stomach to make your dog comfortable, you need to make sure they did not ingest something dangerous.
If you have been with them all day, review where they have gone and what they might have gotten into. Check to see if youre missing a shoe or a small toy, and look for signs of anything they might have chewed or eaten. Also, review what plants are toxic to dogs as well as human foods that are toxic to dogs, and make sure your pet hasnt come into contact with or eaten any of them.
If you suspect your dog has ingested an object or a poisonous substance, contact your vet immediately.
What If The Upset Stomach Persists
If your dog is still having an upset stomach despite the fasting and bland diet, it often means that the upset stomach is severe, and home remedies will not work.
Instead, a more intense treatment, such as meds, may be required from your vet. It also often means that there may be a problem that needs to be addressed, such as intestinal parasites, protozoans , or even a serious condition, such as parvovirus , gastroenteritis, pancreatitis, an intestinal blockage, or another condition affecting the gastrointestinal tract. At times, other organs may be affected, such as the liver and kidneys. So, go see a vet immediately if you think your dog has more than a mild upset tummy and don’t try home remedies.
As seen, the natural home remedy of a bland diet may be helpful in many cases, but there are cases that need immediate vet attention. Usually, your dog’s behavior will give you hints on what to do. Chances are that if your dog is not acting right, the vet may need to be seen the same day.
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Other Things That Can Help With Diarrhea
In addition to rest, fasting, and a bland diet, there are some other things you may find helpful in dealing with diarrhea issues at home.
Probiotics may be helpful when dealing with diarrhea. Since the digestive tract makes up about 60 to 80% of your pets immune system, keeping it healthy is important. Probiotics help support a healthy immune system by keeping the intestinal bacteria in good balance and aiding in digestion. You can try regular, unflavored, probiotic-rich yogurt , or you can pick up a probiotic like Purinas FortiFlora, Nutramaxs Proviable , VetriScience Fast Balance GI Paste, VetriScience Vetri Probiotic BD, or Iams Prostora Max.
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Again, these remedies are only for mild cases due to dietary indiscretions or abrupt diet changes. Seek your vet if your dog is sick and the vomiting and diarrhea are severe and not getting any better. If in doubt, it’s best to err on the side of caution and see the vet than to use home remedies and delay treatment.
Once you have determined that your dog may be a good candidate, you can move on to step two to make sure your dog isn’t dehydrated, and then you can try following the bland diet protocol.
Warning! If your dog’s stomach appears distended or your dog is pacing nervously, drooling, and retching without producing vomit, see your vet immediately as this may be bloat, a life-threatening condition seen more often in deep-chested dogs.
Did You Know?
Stomach upsets are one of the primary reasons dogs see the vet, according to Veterinary Pet Insurance .
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Dont Change Your Dogs Food Suddenly
Completely switching a pet’s diet all of a sudden can be the reason for a dog with an upset stomach.
Any diet changes should happen gradually because a dog’s stomach needs time to adjust to new ingredients.
Also, food variety is rarely necessary for dogs, as long as they’re getting a well-balanced meal. More than variety, dogs need consistency when it comes to their diet.
If you are going to change your dogs food, do it slowly over the course of 6-10 days.
Add a handful of new food to a dogs regular food and slowly increase the amount of new food mixed with the old food until your dog is comfortable eating only the new food.
How To Prevent An Upset Stomach
While you cannot eliminate the risk of gastroenteritis, there is one easy step you can take to minimize the possibility. The most common cause comes down to what your dog eats.
Dog food that is made with low-quality grain fillers and zero probiotics is likely to cause upset stomach over time, due in part to the fact that 70% of a dogs immune system is located in their gut microbiome. As weve talked about before in When does your dog need a change in diet, NutriSource is a terrific choice for keeping your dogs stomach feeling good.
Its recipes incorporate healthy gut ingredients like prebiotics and probiotics, organic selenium yeast and essential trace minerals. Just remember to switch foods gradually, since sudden diet changes can also lead to sour stomach.
You can use our find a store tool to locate your nearest independent pet supply retailer. Their professional expertise can help you make diet decisions for your dog that will keep them happy and their gut healthy!
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Be Prepared To Answer Your Veterinarian’s Questions
Being able to answer your vet’s questions about your pets diet, environment, habits, behavior and knowing the details about your dogs diarrhea will aid in narrowing the list of possible causes.
There are different characteristics for when diseases cause small intestinal diarrhea versus large intestinal diarrheas, and the diagnosis and treatment for both are generally different. Here are some details to pay attention to when you suspect your dog has diarrhea.