Pet Wellness Guides > How to Treat a Dog's Upset Stomach: Home Remedies and Tips
How to Treat a Dog’s Upset Stomach: Home Remedies and Tips
There are many reasons why a dog might have an upset stomach. It could be from eating something they shouldn’t have or drinking unclean water. Sometimes it’s simply a result of anxiety or stress. Whatever the reason, there are some home remedies that you can use to help your dog’s stomach feel better. Let’s discuss some of the most effective methods for treating an upset stomach in dogs.
What are the symptoms of an upset stomach in dogs?
Your dog can have a stomach ache for any number of reasons, but you might not know what’s causing it. They could be sensitive to something in their diet or just dealing with stress and anxiety. Unfortunately, some dog owners may only realize their pup is suffering from tummy troubles when they have an accident on the living room rug.
Dogs may not show signs of pain as openly due to their instinctive tendency to hide weakness. However, some subtle symptoms could indicate an issue. Keep your eye out for the following behaviors, and get in touch if you notice anything unusual. Here are the most common symptoms of an upset stomach to watch for:
Lip-smacking or drooling
The dog’s natural instinct is to vomit when it feels sick. The acid in the dog’s stomach can damage teeth, throat, and mouth if not warranted by an overproduction of saliva that helps neutralize its effects. If you notice your dog drooling more than usual or smacking their lips to contain the extra saliva, there’s a good chance they have an upset tummy.
Diarrhea and vomiting
One of the most obvious signs that your dog might have a stomach problem is vomiting and diarrhea. If you see your dog doing either one, note the color and consistency of the vomit to share with your vet if you take your pup in. While it may not be appealing, always check your dog’s stools for color and consistency. There may also be an indicator of the cause of your pup’s tummy issues.
Burping and flatulence
Burping and flatulence are entirely natural occurrences in dogs. So how do you know if it’s something normal or a symptom of stomach issues? Watch for increased gas, gurgling noises inside the abdomen, and excess burping, as those abnormalities indicate an upset stomach.
Loss of appetite
You know how much your dog loves to eat, right? Well, if your pup suddenly stops eating dog food, that’s a sure sign that something isn’t right. When you notice that your dog is refusing to eat, that may be a sign of stomach pain. If this state continues for more than one day, contact your veterinarian to recommend the best care for your dog.
Stretching the neck and looking up.
When you notice your dog extending their neck and looking upwards, there is a good chance she is experiencing pain in the abdominal region. Dogs do this to ease the pain and pressure of gastrointestinal problems.
There’s much debate about whether dogs eat grass to induce vomiting or they do so for fun, and then it happens to cause an upset stomach. Unless your dog loves eating grass for pleasure, they may have an upset stomach, especially if they eat grass in combination with some of these other symptoms.
If your dog displays some severe signs of illness, a quick trip to the vet is necessary. Medical intervention is required if you notice they have repeated frequent vomiting and diarrhea, a fever, or bloody stool.
What causes a dog’s upset stomach?
There are various potential causes for an upset stomach, but here are the most common sources of nausea below:
- changes in dog food (especially when done suddenly)
- viral infection
- overeating or eating too little
- food allergies and sensitive stomachs
- stress and anxiety
- exposure to toxins or poisons
- reaction to medications
- ingestion of foreign bodies
- stomach ulcer
- bacterial infections
Most of these conditions are successfully treatable if treatment happens shortly after the first symptoms.
Natural home remedies for an upset stomach in dogs
Are there ways you can alleviate your dog’s tummy troubles from home? In general cases of nausea, yes, there are practical and natural ways to settle a sour stomach. Here are some remedies that can manage your dog’s sickness.
1 Try a reset fast
Fasting can be a great way to help your dog recover from illness. Still, a dog mustn’t go longer than 12 hours without food, especially for a puppy. When your dog goes without regular dog food for a few hours, her stomach has time to settle down and let those indigestion symptoms pass.
2 Use some pumpkin
There are many health benefits of canned pumpkin, including relieving indigestion. Pumpkin has a low glycemic index, which means it’s absorbed slowly and soothing for an irritated gastrointestinal tract. Use 100% pure pumpkin only, not pumpkin pie or spiced pumpkin filling containing sugar or potentially lethal artificial sweetener. Speak with your veterinarian about how much pure pumpkin is suitable for your dog, as amounts are based on the dog’s weight.
3 Offer some bone broth
If you’re looking for a way to keep your dog hydrated, plain chicken bone broth is an excellent choice. It may take some time and effort to prepare, but worth doing since they love the taste, and it prevents the dehydration associated with vomiting and diarrhea.
4 Feed a bland diet
To help your dog feel better when feeling sick, give her a bland diet of soft foods like boiled chicken with plain white cooked rice. Extra-lean hamburger, ground beef, and sweet potatoes will soothe the digestive tract until it’s back on track to a normal appetite and bowel movement. To make the transition easier, you can feed your dog regular food after 2 or 3 days of eating a bland diet.
5 Cube it up
The best way to avoid dehydration in your dog is by providing small amounts of water in their bowl or a couple of ice cubes every few minutes. You can even offer your dog ice chips if that’s easier for her to lick. It’s important not to overdo it with the fluids, to not worsen the situation.
6 Try slippery elm bark
Slippery elm bark is the inner bark of the Red Elm or slippery bark tree. The inner bark of slippery elm contains tannins that help reduce inflammation. They also include a substance known as mucilage. When mixed with water, this slimy, gooey material coats your dog’s inflamed stomach or intestines, relieving several gastrointestinal disorders. Remember to check with your veterinarian before treating your dog with natural remedies, just as you would over-the-counter medications.
When should your dog see the vet?
Occasional vomiting or diarrhea in dogs is not uncommon. Most cases will improve within a day, but if these symptoms are present for more than 48 hours, you should consult your vet immediately. When digestive upsets occur frequently or with intensity, the dog’s condition could worsen quickly due to dehydration. Do not hesitate to take your pup to the vet if stomach issues come on suddenly or violently.
If your dog exhibits these serious symptoms, take her straight to a veterinary hospital or emergency facility for medical attention:
- continuous diarrhea and/or vomiting
- uncontrollable drooling
- weight loss
- dry heaving and retching
- bloody stool
- distended abdomen
- foreign objects in vomit or stool
- nervous pacing and whining
You know your pup best, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to our fur babies. See a vet right away if you think your dog is in distress!
Put tummy trouble to rest with pet insurance.
The best way to keep your pup safe is by watching her closely; however, even then, expect your dog to experience stomach upset at some point. Dogs may ingest something harmful, have an adverse reaction to a medicine, or overeat human food, leading to a painful tummy. While most canine stomach problems can be remedied from home, some pose a severe risk to your dog’s health and require veterinary advice and assistance.
Protecting your canine friend with a pet insurance plan can ensure your pup will have access to the best care possible, no matter the cost of the vet bills.
Many providers offer plans to reimburse you for up to 90% of treatment costs! Pet Insurance Review is the quickest way to find the best provider coverage that meets your budget. Get a free pet insurance quote today, so you can both be ready to face whatever comes your way.
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2. Abraham, H. (2021). Why Does My Dog Keep Stretching Her Neck? 6 Unexpected Reasons! Retrieved from https://joypetproducts.com/why-does-my-dog-keep-stretching-her-neck/
3. Burke, A. (2021). Can Pumpkin Help With Dog Diarrhea? Retrieved from https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/can-pumpkin-help-with-dog-diarrhea/
4. Scott, D. (2022). How To Make Bone Broth For Dogs. Retrieved from https://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/how-to-make-bone-broth-for-your-dog/
5. Arlington Animal Hospital. (n.d.). Bland Diet Feeding Instructions. Retrieved from https://www.arlingtonanimalhospital.biz/storage/app/media/BLAND_DIET.pdf
6. Gagne, M. (2021). 9 Times Slippery Elm Can Help Your Dog. Retrieved from https://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/the-soothing-qualities-of-slippery-elm/Disclaimer
The information contained on this blog is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. It is not a substitute for professional veterinary care. Always consult with your veterinarian before making any changes to your pet's health care or treatment plan.
The authors of this blog are not veterinarians and do not claim to be experts in pet health. The information provided here is based on our own experiences and research, as well as information from reputable sources. However, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this information.
We encourage you to do your own research and consult with your veterinarian before making any decisions about your pet's health.