Stomach Upset in Dogs

You probably reach for crackers or ginger ale when you have an upset stomach, but what should you do when your dog has an upset stomach? There are some specific things you can do to help your canine.


Why Do Dogs Get Upset Stomachs?

There are various reasons your dog may have an upset stomach, though the one common cause is that they ate something they shouldn’t have. Dogs are very curious. They are just like kids and always putting things in their mouths! Diarrhea and vomiting are signs that their bodies are trying to expel something that shouldn’t be there. It’s a protective mechanism and is totally normal.

Some of the triggers for a dog’s upset stomach are bacterial imbalances within the digestive tract, ingesting something they shouldn’t have, and chronic conditions such as food sensitivities. The most common signs of an upset stomach are vomiting and diarrhea. If they are nauseous, they may eat grass to suit their stomachs or try to induce vomiting. Other signs of an upset stomach are loss of appetite, fatigue, drinking less water, seeming depressed and looking uncomfortable, stretching often, gulping to combat reflux and licking their lips or other objects.


Monitor Symptoms/When to Seek Help

Monitor their symptoms. If your dog is uncomfortable or the symptoms worsen, call your vet. Watch for increasing discomfort, blood in their vomit or stool, vomiting more than twice, foreign objects in their vomit or stool, or weakness and collapse. These can all be signs of something serious like pancreatitis, stomach bloating, allergic reactions or parasites.

If you think your dog has eaten something they shouldn’t have. Seek immediate vet care. Call Poison Control as well. It is very important to consult with your vet before administering any home remedies to your dog.

It can be helpful to stop putting things into their stomach for about 12 to 24 hours, when your dog’s stomach is trying to get rid of something. You don’t want their gastrointestinal system to digest more things when it’s already having a tough time. Fasting seems simple, but it’s important to speak with your vet first because some dogs can’t tolerate it. Some vets recommend a bland diet after the fasting period is over.


Treatments and Diet for Upset Stomach

If your dog has diarrhea or is vomiting and you want them to stay hydrated, but water will make them even more sick, try giving them ice cubes. If your dog keeps down small amounts of water or ice chips, increase gradually the amount and how often you are offering them.

When fighting an upset stomach and indigestion in dogs, 100% canned pumpkin is a favorite. It has a glycemic index that is low so it absorbs slowly, which helps with digestion and stomach upset. Make sure to get 100% pumpkin and not pumpkin pie mix because you don’t want to feed your dog spices and other ingredients that are not healthy for them. Small dogs can be fed 1/2 teaspoon of canned pumpkin, while large dogs can be fed 1 tbsp.


An upset stomach every once in a while is normal in a dog, but if it is often, it signals that something is wrong with their gastrointestinal tract. If it’s a frequent occurrence for your canine, discuss the possibility of a food allergy with your vet. When a food allergy is diagnosed in dogs, it’s often an allergy to a source of protein, which is why a different protein may be recommended. There are many protein source options, but some are buffalo, beef, venison, or lamb. Dogs enjoy eating these newer types of protein and they bring a variety to their diets.

The famously pink Pepto-Bismol is used to treat humans, and it may aid in the resolution of diarrhea in dogs in specific situations, but it should only be used if directed by a vet and at the correct dosage. Also, it should not be given for long periods of time. Pepto Bismol works wonders on your stomach, but it can cause more harm than good when it comes to your canine’s overall health. 

Feed your dog a bland diet of plain, boiled chicken with white rice for a few days and this can work wonders on the gastrointestinal tract. Feeding a bland diet and treating the gastrointestinal tract will help eliminate the bad stuff in their tummy that’s creating the problem!

To help your canine maintain a healthy gut, think about giving them a prebiotic and probiotic. There are both probiotics and prebiotics made specifically for dogs, some of these are available over-the-counter. Be sure to ask your vet if they recommend a certain kind.

And remember – always talk to your vet first to find out the best course of action.



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