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Your dog will certainly experience an upset stomach at some point in their lives. This condition should not scare you because it can be dealt with at home.
Most dogs will fully recover within the first two days of showing signs of stomach illnesses. Dogs with aching tummies will somehow have reduced appetite.
Learning what can you give your dog for an upset stomach is a great way to ensure your pup recovers in time.
It is important to know how to help your dog through the process to reduce discomfort and speed up recovery. The following are some of the best foods for dogs with upset stomachs:
- Sweet Potatoes
- White Rice
- Bone Broth
- Plain Yogurt
Continue reading to find out how these foods affect your dog. You will want to avoid letting your dog eat anything for a few hours before bedtime.
What Can I Give My Dog Naturally for an Upset Stomach?
You can naturally soothe your dog’s upset stomach in the comfort of your home. Here are some home remedies for a dog’s upset stomach.
These remedies are non-toxic to dogs and they can also be used regularly to strengthen your dog’s immunity.
1. Intermittent fasting
You can put your dog on fasting for between 12 to 24 hours to relieve them from an upset stomach. Adult dogs can manage 24 hours without food but puppies should only go for 12 hours.
If your dog is lethargic, you need to consult your vet before fasting. The vet will determine whether they are safe to stay for long without eating.
Fasting has been shown to settle upset stomachs in dogs and reduce diarrhea and vomiting.
If you keep feeding your dog with a disturbed stomach, then you are making the situation worse. Fasting will allow their GI tract to rest and recover from irritation.
Fasting should not be equated to starving. The former allows the dog’s digestive system to be maintained. This can best be done when the system does not have to deal with incoming food.
Ginger is an anti-inflammatory herb that can be used to relieve your dog’s upset stomach. It also helps to cool down vomiting because of the antispasmodic effects.
They should only consume very small amounts of ginger. Add a pinch of ginger powder to a cup of warm water to make ginger tea for your dog.
Ginger contains Gingerols and Shogaols compounds which can help in treating nausea. They work by emptying the stomach and increasing the response to proper digestion.
Rosemary has powerful medicinal properties that help calm down stomach-related complications. It eases constipation, diarrhea, bloating, and upset stomach in dogs.
These powerful herbs are also immune boosters. They will help your dog create a strong defense line against infections.
You can add 1 tablespoon of rosemary when cooking your dog’s food. This herb is also a breath refresher. It leaves a good smell in your dog’s mouth after consuming the herb.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) can be used to relieve your dog’s upset stomach. Mix one tablespoon in your dog’s drinking water. You can sweeten the water with honey to encourage puppies to drink.
ACV helps to ease digestion and to free the build-up of gas in your dog’s stomach. It has been shown to reduce the discomfort caused by an upset stomach.
It also has antimicrobial properties which can destroy Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus strains.
Be sure not to overdose your dog with ACV. The antimicrobial properties might cause an imbalance in the gut microbiome.
Always use fresh products when trying to remedy your dog’s stomach.
5. Regulated water intake
Keeping your dog hydrated is a good way to ensure that their stomach issues are resolved. A dog loses a lot of water when vomiting and passing stool. This lost water should be replaced before the dog becomes dehydrated.
A dehydrated dog will appear lethargic and restless. You can check for dehydration in your dog by observing their lips.
An affected dog would have dry lips and mouth gums. In normal occurrences, they should be pink in color and wet.
Monitor your dog’s water intake and be cautious not to give them too much water to drink. Give the dog small portions of water regularly.
Too much water might stir your dog’s already upset stomach and make them vomit. If your dog is a heavy drinker, you can give them ice cubes to regulate their water intake.
What To Feed a Dog with An Upset Stomach
There are different types of foods that can be used to cool down an upset stomach. Dogs with upset tummies and diarrhea are best fed on bland diets.
These foods are simply made by boiling. They are not seasoned with herbs and spices.
You can also make a bland diet from low-fat canned foods by mixing them with water to achieve a soupy consistency.
The following are some of the best homemade dog foods for upset stomach:
Cooked pumpkin is rich in fiber and helps to improve your dog’s digestion. It also supports the nutritional requirements of your dog.
This makes them grow healthier and stronger. Pumpkin is one of the best foods for dogs with an upset stomach.
You can serve this food to your dog or use it as a food topping. Add about two tablespoons to your dog’s diet to help with slight constipation.
2. Sweet potato
Cooked sweet potato is rich in vitamins and minerals that help the dog’s digestive system. They also contain dietary fiber which helps your dog to digest food properly.
The fiber also acts as a prebiotic in your dog’s gut. They provide resources to the microbiome hence stimulating the growth of beneficial bacteria.
You can unpeel the sweet potatoes to give your dog an easy time when eating this delicious food.
3. White rice
White rice is easily digestible and is therefore suitable for dogs with an upset stomach. Make the rice plain by avoiding spices and oils. These seasonings may worsen your dog’s stomach situation.
White rice can best be served with boiled chicken. This is a good bland combination that sits well with your dog’s stomach.
4. Beef Bone broth
Bone broth is a delicious dog meal. It helps to add moisture and improve the taste of dry food for dogs.
You can feed your pup bone broth after vomiting or diarrhea. This yummy soup settles well in the dog’s stomach and is easily absorbed.
Filter out the small bones from your cooked broth before giving it to your dog. Chipped bones are not good for your dog’s stomach.
5. Plain Yogurt
Yogurt is a simple food that helps your dog with diarrhea. You can feed your dog with plain yogurt to enable them to repopulate the gut with good bacteria.
Always go for plain, unsweetened yogurt for the best results. Yogurt is also a good source and proteins and calcium which helps to improve their immune system.
The benefits of dog probiotics are weighty and relevant for your pup’s health.
Properly cooked eggs can help your dog relieve an upset stomach. They are easy to prepare and also easy on the dog’s digestive system. It also contains proteins and amino acids that are beneficial for your dog.
Egg protein helps with relieving diarrhea in dogs. Do not feed your dog with raw eggs. They may contain live salmonella bacteria which can be pathogenic to the dog.
These root vegetables are packed with vitamins and minerals that help the dog’s gut. The starch in potatoes can easily be digested by dogs. This makes them a good option for dogs with digestive issues.
Potatoes should be properly cooked before feeding them to your dog. They are best served plain without seasoning, for dogs with an upset stomach.
Raw potatoes have solanine, a compound that is toxic when ingested by dogs.
These simple homemade foods could help out your dog with an upset stomach. If your dog stays for more than 2 days without improving, then you should speak with your vet.
An upset stomach is in most cases an acute condition. But it could also be indicative of a severe health condition.
Give your dog small portions of these foods regularly. remember not to overfeed your dog.
Signs of an Upset Stomach in Dogs
The most common signs of upset stomach in dogs are vomiting and diarrhea. There are other signs that will show your dog’s tummy is disturbed.
1. Vomiting and diarrhea
Vomiting and diarrhea are caused by several issues. An affected dog will vomit when trying to excrete poorly digested foods or toxic substances.
Diarrhea will also occur when the dog is not absorbing food poorly. They will try to flush out everything in the bowel to free the GI tract.
2. Loss in appetite
A dog with an upset stomach will most probably turn their mouth away from food. This is not a sign of being finicky but it shows an underlying problem.
The stomach is not able to accept more food at the moment because it contains too much gas. Adding more food will make things worse for the dog and they will potentially vomit the food.
You can try these foods and see if your dog can eat them, they are easy on the stomach and dogs usually like them.
3. Stomach Sounds
Dogs may produce gurgling sounds occasionally during the digestion of food. If the stomach noise becomes repetitive then it can be a sign of poor digestion.
This might result from your dog eating new food, toxic substances, or non-food items.
An upset stomach may also make your dog miss their regular bathroom breaks. Constipation occurs when the dog is not able to pass stool due to poor digestion.
Foods that lack dietary fibers can cause your dog to constipate.
Passing gas is a common occurrence in dogs but sometimes it can be indicative of an upset stomach. The excess gas (Flatus) is a by-product of bacteria fermentation in the dog’s GI tract.
Certain dog breeds are more prone to flatulence than others. Repetitive passing of gas can be a result of dietary indiscretion. Your dog will mostly get affected when they ingest spoilt foods.
6. Eating Grass
Dogs may eat grass when they feel something unusual in their stomach. Green grass is packed with fiber and it helps dogs to digest food and pass stool.
This habit is a natural occurrence. You should not be scared when your pup stops to chew some grass during your evening walks.
7. Licking objects
An affected dog might start licking the carpet, furniture, and other items as a result of an upset stomach. They do this because they cannot access grass while inside the home. Licking objects can be a sign of nausea in dogs.
You need to monitor your dog and discourage them from licking foreign objects. Licking sharp edges might injure the tongue.
They may also ingest too many particles that may cause intestinal blockage. This can be a life-threatening condition if not countered in time. Such dogs may also lick part of their bodies e.g., paws.
8. Poor breathing
A dog with an upset stomach will sometimes have trouble in breathing. The stomach is full of food and gas hence making it difficult to breathe and move freely.
You should be able to solve these symptoms at home. But, if your dog’s condition becomes severe, take them to the vet immediately.
When Things Get Out of Hand
How do I know if my dog’s stomach hurts? If your dog is getting overwhelmed then you should take action immediately. Take your dog to the vet and let them get examined for possible conditions.
Stomach-related complications in dogs can be dangerous when left unchecked. Your dog loses a lot of water from vomiting and diarrhea.
They might become very weak, dehydrated, and susceptible to severe infections.
You should look out for the following signs in your dog. They are indicative of something serious impacting them:
- Visible body weakness
- Significant weight loss
- Excessive drooling
- Staggered movement and collapsing
- Excessive vomiting and diarrhea
- Blood in vomit and stool
These are serious signs that need to be attended to by a professional.
Your vet will do some blood & stool works on your dog to determine all the possible conditions affecting them.
Potential Causes of Upset Stomach in Dogs
The causes of upset stomachs in dogs are all related to their feeding behavior and digestion of food. Sometimes your dog may suffer because they ate toxic substances.
Other severe conditions may also cause your dog to have a stomach problem. An upset stomach may come as a side effect of a more serious underlying health condition.
Some of the potential causes of upset stomach in dogs are:
1. Changes in diet
Dogs are creatures of habit and they get used to the kind of food they love most. Your dog might have an upset stomach because of changes in the diet or eating foods they are allergic to.
New food should be introduced to your dog gradually while still feeding them what they are used to.
2. Stress and Anxiety
Stressful situations might have an impact on your dog’s stomach activities. An affected dog may not have the appetite to eat anything at all and this might worsen the situation.
When a stressed dog is not monitored, they may develop anxiety and it can get worse. Some of the major causes of stress in dogs are frustration, separation, boredom, moving to a new home, staying alone for too long, etc.
3. Bacteria imbalance in the Gut
An imbalance of the gut’s bacteria might cause issues in the dog’s stomach. The dog’s microbiome is made up of beneficial bacteria, pathogenic bacteria, and other microbiota.
Both types of bacteria may compete for scarce resources hence causing an imbalance. I strongly recommend that you get dog probiotics for your furry friend to balance their gut microflora.
4. Eating non-food items
Dogs can also be curious like kids. They will sometimes put objects in their mouth when playing. Teething puppies are also prone to chew any object they find.
Once a dog ingests a foreign item, they risk upsetting their stomach. An affected dog might try to vomit foreign matter from the body.
The common items that dogs may easily ingest are; toys, towels, wet wipes, beddings, paper materials, wood, and soft rocks.
Canine pica is the unusual behavior where dogs get to eat non-food items. You need to speak to your vet if you notice that your dog is willingly eating foreign materials.
5. Canine parvovirus
This is a highly contagious virus that can easily spread from one dog to the other through contact. Luckily enough, canine parvovirus can be contained by vaccination.
You need to ensure that your puppies receive all their scheduled vaccines in time.
How To Prevent Upset Stomach in Dogs
You can help your dog avoid stomach upset by monitoring their diet. Adult dogs have a more robust digestive system and hence they become prone to upsets.
You can do the following to ensure that your dog’s stomach runs smoothly:
1. Balanced diet
Giving your dog a properly balanced diet is a sure way to prevent them from health problems. A good diet should contain easily digestible proteins, vitamins, carbohydrates, and essential minerals.
Don’t forget to add foods with dietary fiber. This will help improve digestion and provide the resources for the gut’s bacteria.
Feed your dog low-fat foods to keep their overall health in good condition. High-fat diets will subject your dog to indigestion and heart issues.
Puppies and elderly dogs have delicate digestive systems and may require simple foods. Get the right kibble sizes for them and be sure to soften their dry foods. Seek advice from your vet on the best foods that are easily digestible by your dog breed.
A balanced diet is not complete without clean drinking water. Give your dog enough supply of water throughout the day to keep them hydrated.
2. Supplement your dog’s diet
You can use dog supplements to strengthen the nutritional uptake of your dog. Supplements that contain the dietary fibers kaolin and psyllium are helpful to cool down upset tummies in dogs.
These supplements are also helpful in binding up the dog’s stool to cut down diarrhea.
Electrolytes such as potassium, calcium, and sodium are important to keep your dog’s body healthy. They help retain water in the body to ensure your dog does not get dehydrated.
You can get electrolyte drinks from an online store or ask your vet to recommend one for your dog. They are usually formulated with delicious flavors to encourage your dog to drink.
Daily exercises will streamline your dog’s body functions. It helps with proper digestion and to maintain a healthy weight for your dog.
You should wait for at least 2 hours after eating, before taking your dog for their daily walks and runs.
Exercising your pup immediately after eating might cause digestive discomfort, bloating, and gastric dilatation-volvulus when done repeatedly.
Always keep an eye on your dog’s behavior. If they seem to be restless, that’s enough sign that something is not right.
What can I give my dog for an upset stomach? You should rely on bland foods that can easily be digested and absorbed by your dog.
Remember not to overfeed or starve your dog. If your dog’s stomach situation is getting worse, you should visit the vet for diagnosis and treatment.
Laura is the founder of Furs'n'Paws. She is a pet expert with more than 20 years of experience working with dogs and cats. She developed a very strong love for animals at a young age. Her passion led her to establish a thriving pet sitting and dog walking business in Dubai. As an expert in pet training, behavior, and nutrition, Laura is committed to helping pet owners and pet lovers by offering high-quality information on a wide range of topics.
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