my dog has an upset stomach
Category_Dog Knowledge

What To Give a Dog for an Upset Stomach

by Andrew Ehlert

Having a dog is one of the most enjoyable experiences possible, except when they're sick. Then it's nothing but worry and anguish for your unhappy pup. Luckily, there are some interventions you can try.

We'll review expert advice for identifying an upset stomach in dogs and then explain what to give a dog for an upset stomach depending on the symptoms your dog presents. That way, you can both start feeling better.

Before we begin, if your dog is frequently vomiting, has blood in their diarrhea, or has a fever, seek emergency veterinary care immediately.

Symptoms of an Upset Stomach in Dogs

Some of the signs of an upset stomach in dogs are pretty clear, such as infrequent vomiting or diarrhea. If it happens frequently–more than twice a day or more than two days in a row–take them to the vet.

Your dog may display less apparent signs of an upset stomach as well. These include decreased appetite and not drinking water, especially if they usually eat with gusto. After all, it makes sense to your dog not to put anything else in their sore belly.

Your dog may also seem lethargic or depressed and might not want to play or go for their usually beloved walk. At the same time, you might see your dog shifting around and stretching a lot in an effort to relieve their discomfort.

One alarming symptom is compulsive licking. Your dog may lick its lips, the air, or objects repeatedly, and it might be hard for them to stop. They might also gulp the air in an attempt to calm acid reflux.

You can rely on your senses of smell and sound to help you identify an upset stomach in your dog. You might hear gurgling noises coming from their bellies. What you're likely hearing is gas moving through their digestive tract.

Some of these sounds are normal, and it's possible your dog just has a noisy gut if you hear it a lot. But if it seems louder or more frequent than usual, it could signify that something is wrong. Speaking of gas, if your dog appears to be passing it more than average, that's also a sign of distress.

What To Give a Dog for an Upset Stomach

Depending on their symptoms, there may be medicines and other treatments you can use to soothe your dog's aching insides. You should always consult your veterinarian before giving your dog any medications. They can ensure that the dosage is appropriate and won't interact negatively with anything else they're taking.

Make sure your dog gets enough water, but not too much. If your dog isn't drinking water, try putting chicken or bone broth in the water. If your dog suddenly seems to drink too much, give them ice cubes every few minutes instead of bowls of water. The cold may also ease their tummy.

Fruits & Vegetables That Can Help Your Dog's Upset Stomach

There are some fruits and vegetables that can help to calm your dog's upset stomach. You can read about all of the fruits and vegetables your dog can eat. Below are a few fruits and vegetables that can aid your dog's stomach ache.

If they display signs of acid reflux, like gulping the air, you can give them omeprazole (also called Prilosec). Check with your vet for the correct dosage based on their weight. If it seems to be an ongoing issue, they may put them on a regular regimen of this medication.

You can also withhold food from your dog if its stomach is upset. It's probably a good idea to withhold food for 24 hours if they vomit. Dogs' bodies work differently from humans, and it isn't as drastic for them to go a day without food.

Withholding food gives their stomachs time to work out the issue without worrying about more food. However, call the vet if you feed them again a day later and they vomit again.

Or, instead of altogether withholding food, feed them canned pumpkin or plain white rice instead. Canned pumpkin has a low glycemic index and is easy to digest. Be very careful to buy 100% pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling or any other combination. Holistic veterinarians highly recommend it.

You can use white rice instead of withholding food or after withholding food if you don't think your dog is ready to eat their regular food yet. Give them the same amount of white rice as food.

Other Remedies for an Upset Stomach

Animals are sometimes more in touch with their instincts than people, and one of their instincts is to eat grass to ease an aching stomach. If your dog is eating grass, keep an eye on them, but let them do it. They may be able to induce vomiting, which can provide relief for them.

Especially if your dog seems to have chronic flare-ups of upset stomachs, probiotics or prebiotics might be a helpful solution. Once again, consult your vet before starting a regimen of anything.

Possible Causes of an Upset Stomach in Dogs

Many things can cause upset stomachs in dogs, and some of them are more serious than others.

Start with the basics; think about whether there have been any changes in the last few days in your dog's diet or routine. If you're switching their food, that can be a source of severe distress for them. Giving them medications, such as flea or heartworm prevention, can also upset their stomachs.

Even stress can cause stomach distress in dogs. If you're in the process of moving or have had any other significant life changes, it affects your dog. Your mood can also rub off on dogs, as they are more in tune with you than you may know.

Look around to ensure that your dog hasn't gotten into anything dangerous in your home. Keep cleaning products, gardening supplies, fertilizers, and other things locked away where your dog can't get to them.

Final Thoughts

Like people, dogs can catch viruses or bacteria that make them sick. Dogs are also inclined to eat things they come across that smell enjoyable but that can make them sick. Their bodies usually just need to work it out but look for signs that they need to visit the vet.

Once again, vomiting or diarrhea more than once a day or over a few days are signs that something more serious might be going on. Call your vet to schedule a visit immediately if this is the case.

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