As a responsible dog owner, you should always keep a lookout for any health issues your dog may be suffering from. A stomach upset is a common problem that many dogs face.
Is your dog showing excessive drooling or a sudden of loss appetite? You might want to check your pup for a potential stomach upset. Usually, dogs will start to eat grass to flush their internal system. But most of the time, the fix is not that simple.
This article is for you if you’re facing difficulties addressing this issue.
Contents & Quick Navigation
- Symptoms of Upset Stomach In Dogs
- What Causes Stomach Upsets in Dogs?
- Dangers and Risks of a Stomach Upset
- Remedies for an Upset Stomach
- Monitor Diligently
- Reintroducing the Regular Food
- Word of Caution
- Some Final Words
Symptoms of Upset Stomach In Dogs
A dog with stomach upsets shows various symptoms. The main symptoms are:
- Noise from the tummy due to an excessive gas formation
- Loss of appetite for food and water
- Dehydration – your dog will have dry gums
- Diarrhea – consult a vet if it’s excessive
- Consumption of grass – a natural response to stomach upsets
- Your dog might start showing anxiety or depression
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What Causes Stomach Upsets in Dogs?
There can be more than one reason behind a stomach upset. The two main culprits are a change in food patterns and dehydration.
Change in the Food Pattern
Dogs are usually not very picky when it comes to the food they eat. As an owner, you might have to change the dog’s food pattern if you are foreseeing problems. We often have to change a dog’s diet as it ages.
Sudden changes in food do not always suit a dog’s stomach readily. Don’t be surprised if your pup is showing symptoms if you have just changed his food brand. It is always advised to go slow and follow a transition when changing his food pattern. The same goes for the dog. Make sure he eats the food slowly.
The moment you see that your pooch is suffering from diarrhea, bear in mind that dehydration may be the cause. Dehydration also causes loss of appetite in dogs. Your dog will develop a tendency to abstain from food and water.
Check if your dog is suffering from dehydration. His gums should feel wet to the touch. You can also gently grab your dog’s skin behind its neck. It should recover immediately. However, if it stays in the same position after you release it, he might be dehydrated.
Ingesting Toxic Material
Your dog can sometimes develop an upset stomach if it accidentally eats a toxic houseplant. Or it can be anything that it is not supposed to eat. Take him to a vet right away if you suspect your dog has consumed something harmful.
Dangers and Risks of a Stomach Upset
A stomach upset can often lead to other major problems in dogs. Stomach upsets can also be a signal that something more serious is going on. For example, a dog suffering from canine parvovirus can show symptoms of a stomach upset.
Therefore, it is very important not to overlook this condition. If the problem carries on for too long, your dog will lose a lot of weight. The loss of appetite will cause him not to eat adequately. Excessive dehydration due to stomach upsets can be fatal. It is best to address this problem as soon as it’s noticeable.
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Remedies for an Upset Stomach
The best option for curing stomach upsets in dogs is to take them to the vet. A vet will be able to provide the best guideline and prescribe the right medicine required.
But going to a vet is not always possible. So, you can try a few home remedies to cure this problem. Remember, these remedies should be applied only when your pup has a stomach problem from a recent food change or dehydration. Contact a vet if you sense a more serious condition.
Make sure that the hydration levels are at a satisfactory level before you try this method. Don’t let your dog have any food for anywhere between 12 hours and one day. No food means no treats too. You have to step in so that your doggy doesn’t get an opportunity to eat anything during this period. The goal is to rest his tummy and prevent further inflammation in the intestines.
Don’t be worried about what might happen if your dog fasts for this long. In the wild, their canine cousins often perform some form of fasting which benefits their overall health. Just remember not to fast small dogs or puppies for a day. They are better off with a 12 hour period.
Make Sure your Pup is Hydrated
Since dehydration is a major side effect of a stomach upset, make sure your pooch is hydrated. A dog will often consume excessive water if he is too dehydrated. Try to avoid this to prevent vomiting.
You can give him some ice chips to see how it goes. Or a liquid mixture of 50% water and 50% apple juice might also work. If there is no vomiting for a few hours, it’s safe to give your doggo small amounts of water.
For making this you’ll need two basic ingredients: white rice and low-fat meat. The meat can be chicken meat or ground beef. The rice should be boiled at first and will make up 75% of one serving. The remaining 25% will come from the meat. The meat will be used mainly as an encouragement for the dog to eat.
Make sure there is no skin, bones or extra fat in the meat. You should avoid adding any extra oil or spices in the mix. These additives might further aggravate the upset stomach. Offer this meal two to three times a day. But start slow. There are chances that your pup might not like this meal at the first go. Offer smaller amounts and then gradually build up to larger meals based on the progress.
An Alternative – Meat Based Baby Food
If the above bland diet doesn’t work then you can try this alternative. Offer some meat-based baby food. Warm it up a little or add some meat broth. This will tempt the dog more. Just keep in mind not to include garlic or onion in any of the ingredients.
Some More Tips
You can add a little cottage cheese. This ingredient is known to reduce inflammation in the stomach. It will help reduce diarrhea if your dog is suffering from it. Canned pumpkin containing no spices in another ingredient you can give to your dog with a stomach upset. Offer one tablespoon for small dogs or puppies. For larger dogs, you can give up to four tablespoons.
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This is one of the most important steps in trying to cure a stomach upset in your pup. Throughout the whole process, look for some key signs of improvement. Things are good if the stool is normal and hydration levels are getting better.
Also, your dog will slowly stop vomiting if his health is improving. Overall, his appetite will increase too. But if he is getting weaker and showing more symptoms then take him to a vet immediately.
Reintroducing the Regular Food
Once your dog has been cured of any stomach issues, you can start to reintroduce his regular food. But don’t do it right away. The process of reintroducing the regular food should be a gradual one. For the first three days, three-quarters of the meal should consist of bland diet and the rest should be his general kibble.
Gradually, you should provide a 50/50 mixture of bland diet and kibble. Depending on how well your dog is doing, slowly reduce the bland diet portion. At one point, you won’t have any problem feeding a 100% kibble diet.
Important Read: Guide To Buying The Best Dog Food For Sensitive Stomach
There are a few over-the-counter drugs like Imodium and Peptol-Bismol to treat stomach upsets in dogs. These drugs are made to specifically treat diarrhea. However, common side effects such as allergies can occur using these medications on dogs. Always consult a vet before trying any sort of drug on your dog. A vet will be able to clearly examine your pup’s problem. He will give advice based on his examination and your dog’s age and breed.
Probiotics can be provided to dogs to restore the good bacteria in their stomachs. Often, antibiotics, if prescribed, destroy good bacteria in the dog’s gut. Probiotics like Prostora or Proviable can help redevelop those microbes.
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Word of Caution
If your dog is continuously vomiting or is showing blood in its stool, then don’t try any home remedy. In these serious cases, take it to a vet immediately. Your dog will be lethargic in these cases. If not given proper treatment, it will get weaker. Over the time, the conditions might worsen and can prove fatal.
Some Final Words
A stomach upset is a very bothersome problem for your pup. It certainly brings down his energy levels. If not given proper care, it can definitely cause more serious complications. Always have a vet’s contact number to hand at all times. You will find it very helpful in case of an emergency. Also, try to keep your house clear of any items that might be hazardous to dogs.
Dogs are naturally curious animals. They often risk ingesting something harmful which is a major culprit behind stomach upsets. Always provide fresh water and food for your doggo. And make sure he is well hydrated, especially during summer or during your hiking adventures.
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