Can I Give My Dog Something for Upset Stomach?

Can I Give My Dog Something For Upset Stomach?Dogs are definitely prone to cases of upset stomach. There are many potential reasons for this but poor food choices and/or overeating can be culprits.

If your pet already has an upset stomach, maybe you are considering an over-the-counter product or a natural remedy. But often, time itself can fix such a problem. A typical canine stomachache can be cured by withholding food for several hours.

Owners worry because it’s tough to determine the severity of a dog’s upset stomach. Certainly chronic or recurring stomach pains require a vet visit for a proper diagnosis. Obviously that’s urgent if your dog is vomiting severely, has a prolonged case of diarrhea or is noticeably lethargic.

Can I Give My Dog Something for Upset Stomach? Answer: Yes

Vets sometimes use Imodium, also known as Loperamide, to cure dogs of stomach aches. This is especially true if they’re suffering with a combination of associated symptoms including diarrhea.

Imodium for children is even safer but your dog’s size and their overall health still plays an important factor. The general rule of thumb is not to exceed 1mg per 20 pounds over a period of 8 hours. Small dogs are particularly vulnerable to improper doses.

Even better may be a good canine probiotic because it can help to restore your dog’s gastrointestinal balance rather than just dealing with the symptoms. Also, if you know they have food sensitivities, consider a high-quality limited-ingredient dry dog food made specifically for food sensitive dogs.

Diarrhea & Dehydration

Some pets with upset stomachs will refuse to drink or eat, causing them to become dehydrated which worsens their problems. Evaluate your dog’s hydration by pulling some skin up between their shoulder blades. If it doesn’t instantly bounce back into place, then a visit to a vet would be prudent. Skin that takes a second or two to get back into place is a telltale sign that your dog is considerably dehydrated, perhaps seriously.

Dogs with uncontrollable diarrhea often need to have their bowel movements examined for blood in the watery stool. When this is observed it means they’re likely experiencing dehydration. Upset stomach and dehydration often go hand-in-hand in dogs.

Some Natural Remedies

If your dog’s upset stomach isn’t very severe and they are still their happy-go-lucky selves, try removing all food for 24-hours. They’ll act as if they’re starved, but it’s an effective way to give the stomach time to return to normal.

After they’ve had no food for awhile, start feeding them smaller meals made up of cooked white rice and boiled chicken. This food is plain and bland which is easily digestible. After a couple of days, return them to their normal dog food. You’re likely to see a full recovery assuming your dog isn’t suffering from some other underlying condition.

Sometimes we put our dogs on a special diet combination of oatmeal and pumpkin to treat an irritated stomach. Carrots are also good and bananas mixed into yogurt isn’t bad either.

Things to Watch For

If your dog is vomiting severely and is also lethargic, maybe they’ve eaten something poisonous. In such a case, get your beloved dog to the vet as soon as possible. Food poisoning is serious enough but a veterinarian can also diagnose and possibility rule out more serious conditions.

Keep an eye on the severity of any diarrhea symptoms, such as blood in the stool, in conjunction with upset stomach. If your dog develops the squirts, beyond anything short term, then they need professional dehydration monitoring. Do not underestimate how severe diarrhea can very easily and completely dehydrate your dog. The skin test is very highly recommended.

Conclusion on Upset Stomach

Dogs live and eat in the moment and tend to experience bouts of stomachaches more often than we do. If your dog’s upset stomach is worsening, it may be necessary to visit a veterinarian. In any case, prioritize the prevention of dehydration during such a vulnerable time. You may be able to successfully treat a routine upset stomach by withholding food for a period, giving bland meals thereafter. Imodium is also commonly used. Most importantly, if your four-legged friend isn’t recovering, go in for a veterinary diagnosis for your dog’s sake.

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{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

Cheyenne March, 2016

I found my 7 year old Chihuahua/Rat Terrier mix with a chocolate kiss in his mouth a couple days. I’m really not sure how much of the bag he consumed because there was half a bag and I think my other 3 dogs ate it as well. They are not showing any symptoms but Buddy is very lethargic and isn’t acting normal. He won’t let me touch him much.

His stomach was making really loud gurgling noises and the next day it was twitching a lot. Now his stomach twitches a little bit when I touch him. He goes poop and pee. His urine was dark yellow and poop looked normal. He whimpers in pain when I try to touch him sometimes and can barely get off the couch. He’s acting better though since it started happening.

I can’t afford a vet at all and I don’t know what to do. Please help, he’s my best friend. Thanks in advance.

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Robin September, 2015

My 10 year old Australian Shepherd mix has been dealing with stomach problems for the past 4 days. She is eating and still goes outside to urinate but I have not seen her poop yet. She has messed on the carpet but it’s clear liquid and a lot of it. She gets into the backyard and eats other critters poop. She is being a little mellow, for her breed, but still has bouts of energy. What should I do?

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John July, 2015

It is well known that Collies and related breeds can have adverse reactions to drugs such as Ivermectin, Loperamide (Immodium) and others. Advances in molecular biology at Washington State University led to the discovery of the cause of multi-drug sensitivity in affected dogs. The problem is due to a mutation in the multi-drug resistance gene (MDR1). This gene encodes a protein responsible for pumping many drugs and toxins out of the brain. Dogs with the mutant gene cannot pump some drugs out as a normal dog would. This may result in abnormal neurological signs. The result may be an illness requiring an extended hospital stay or even death.

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Judy May, 2015

My 7 year old Beagle woke up this morning, ran outside and started to eat grass. He came in and looked like he didn’t want to eat but, finally, slowly ate his regular food. He’s been drinking, pooping and peeing normal but is not himself as he’s just laying around yet seems restless. There’s no vomiting. Should I switch to chicken and rice or just continue with his regular food?

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Lori May, 2015

Our 5 year old Puggle does this often. From what we have researched, dogs do this sometimes to help an upset stomach by eating the grass to induce vomiting. Other times, they may be seeking a nutrient. We gave our dog Pepcid AC, as agreed upon with our vet. She has a very sensitive stomach and eats a special grain-free bland diet.

The Pepcid stops the grass binging. We also added a probiotic to her diet to stop the problem, instead of just the symptoms. We use Best Probiotics for Dogs by Amazing Nutritionals which is highly rated on Amazon

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Donna May, 2015

My dog spit up yellow foamy liquid this morning. In the past couple of months, I have been transitioning her from Benefil after the poisoning scare to another food. She has had a little bit of diarrhea but nothing frequent or urgent more just loose bowel movements. Will oatmeal help her settle her stomach?

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Elizabeth May, 2015

Hi Donna. First, we experienced this exact issue with our Keeshond when she was eating Beneful. She would throw up yellow foamy bile. I took her to the vet who ran a Liver Panel, which showed liver damage. Of course, we can’t prove the damage was caused by eating Beneful. But, we were able to start treatment immediately to help her liver enzyme levels.

When a dog vomits yellow, foamy bile, it is directly related to something wrong with the liver. I would get your pooch to a vet ASAP and ask them to run a Liver Enzyme Panel. Depending on the results, they may order an ultrasound to see the liver better and look for damage.

We did all of this with our Keeshond and she is now happy and healthy. She’s eating fresh boiled chicken breast, brown Rice and fresh chopped apples every day. She loves her new diet and is happy to be off of Beneful. If you have any questions, or if there’s anything I can help you with, feel free to text me on my cell or email me. My cell number is 207-252-4101 and my email is pancakeandlizzy@yahoo.com. Good Luck to you and your little fuzzy one!

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Kate May, 2015

I just happened to see your comment about yellow throw up. My dog has thrown up yellow stuff before as well and I have been occasionally feeding her Beneful also. If the problem is coming from this food, I wonder what is the culprit in it? Are they using some garbage from China perhaps? Do you recall what happened to pets a few years ago from that incident? I don’t want to kill my animal so I will not be feeding her anymore Beneful!

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Elizabeth May, 2015

Hi Kate. If you run a Google search, “Beneful Problems 2015” you will find a world of information. Provided you wish to do so, there are instructions on how to join an ongoing class-action law suit against Purina. In the interim, stopping any consumption of Beneful would be a wise decision. Of course, having your little fuzzy one checked out by your vet is a good idea. Having a liver panel run would be a top priority in this case as yellow bile is a sign of something malfunctioning with the liver. If caught early enough, there are many ways to ensure your dog still leads a long, happy and healthy life.

Also, while your waiting to see your vet, stop feeding any kibble or grocery store brand wet foods. Grab some white meat chicken breasts, no skin and no bones. Trim off all of the fat and then boil it until it’s well cooked. While you’re waiting for that to cook, throw some white rice on the stove too! Shred the chicken and then toss it together with the cooked white rice. They’ll love it and it’s easy on the liver.

Your vet may prescribe Hill’s Science Diet, Prescription L/D Kibble and Canned food, until your little one’s liver panels are lower. The L/D diet is quite bland, but, you can continue to add fat-free, skinned, de-boned white meat chicken breast into the kibble for a more enticing meal time.

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Kate May, 2015

Hi Elizabeth. Thanks for taking the time to add your reply! I have been feeding my dog raw food ever since I got her. Then I decided to supplement that with making my own doggie meals and a bit of Beneful as well. I thought that a little variety of foods would be a good thing. But it does sound like Beneful is full of poison if it’s having an effect on the liver. I’m now throwing out all the Beneful I bought and just sticking to my homemade meals and the raw food I buy.

This reminds me of that Chinese situation a few years back when pets were dying. If the pet food manufacturers are at it again, I think they do need to be sued. I call this situation, “more than likely another bad case of greed” and I shall look into joining the class action law suit. Thanks for your advice and comments!

Tania May, 2015

Hi Elizabeth. Did your vet tell you that by adding apples she would have the proper vitamins and minerals? I ask because I have wanted to take my dogs off of commercial dog food for what seems like forever. Thanks for your time!

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Veronica March, 2015

I have a Yorkie Schultz mix. I gave him an flea treatment on Friday. He ate yesterday morning and has not eaten or drank anything since then. This morning he started throwing up foamy clear liquid and just laid around. He has an appointment with the vet on Saturday, I don’t get off until 5pm when the clinics are closed. What do I need to do?

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Robin March, 2015

My Bichon would get violently sick from flea meds. Don’t use them, instead get a natural repellent like neem oil tea tree and just rub on them.

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Robin March, 2015

My 10 year old Shih Tzu is throwing up but is active and wanting her dry food. There’s no sign of diarrhea. She’s only eating her normal diet. I put her food bowl up so she won’t eat anymore tonight. I’ll put it back down tomorrow to see how she does. Was this a good idea? My other dog will have to do the same, but he’s not sick.

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Sarah April, 2015

Our 15 year old Golden Retriever is currently going through very similar circumstances. No runny nose, stomach feels normal, normal appetite, no diarrhea, and she’s her normal self. Can you update your post? Did removing food for a while stop the vomiting? We also have a 10 year old Retriever he’s fine.

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Tim February, 2015

I took in a older dog 3 years ago. She has had nothing but G.I issues since day one. I’ve taken her to vets multiple times with always the same response of, “oh she probably just got into something.” Despite my concerns that something is being missed I feel that I just being dismissed and sent on my way home with the same plain diet plan. I have tried pumpkin, probiotics and making her dog food and no matter what she will have a flare up. I explained to the vet that it looks like intestinal lining is sloughing off in her bowel movements. It used to be months between flare ups but now it’s happening more frequently. Anyone have any ideas what I can do? Is there a test I should be asking my vet to do?

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Gail February, 2015

One possibility has the nickname of ‘strawberry bowel syndrome’. It’s been many years since I practiced as a vet, but surely these days some vets will know about it. When I practiced, it was not clear what caused this, but it looked like strawberry jam in the faeces and it was thought to be an inflammatory response of some kind. It was common in little fluffy dogs, e.g. Shih Tzu. The dogs that I saw with it seemed to be excitable dogs.

The other cause to rule out is Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency. However, this second condition usually shows up with oily, sloppy undigested looking faeces and would be due to a lack of the digestive enzymes that the pancreas normally secretes. Try Googling “strawberry Bowel syndrome” and find a vet who will listen to you.

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Margaret February, 2015

It sounds like Clostridium. Take a stool sample that you’re describing to the vet and have them check for it.

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Debra February, 2015

My dog hasn’t eaten in the past 36 hours. She has been lethargic and has vomited a yellowish/greenish foamy liquid. She usually drinks very little but now can’t even seem to keep water down. Over the past 36 hours she has turned her nose up to any type of food.

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Ann February, 2015

Give her white rice that’s well cooked. Never give dogs people foods. It might have ingredients dangerous for dogs.

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DorrieL February, 2015

Take her too the vet. Then give the dog something nutritious, like slow cooked plain chicken, chicken baby food, yogurt and broth (without onions). With few limitations, feed them what you would feed a sick child. Many dogs are sick from the lack of nutrition in so-called dog food.

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Helena February, 2015

My dog has been shaking all night and is acting like she has stomach pain. She is not eating or drinking. She hasn’t vomited or had diarrhea. She must of ate something. I gave her a small piece of beef from my lunch yesterday which I found out later had onions in the ingredients. She is a small dog, only 15 pounds, and 6 years old. I don’t know what to do for her.

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DorrieL February, 2015

Onion is toxic. The smaller the dog, the less it will take. Bring her to the vet. Ask for a liver detox or ask whether you can give milk thistle and/or SAM-e on your own. If so, get the dosage.

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Wanda February, 2015

I have a puppy that’s been vomiting and has had diarrhea for two days. I gave him Pedialyte and replacement milk. I don’t know what else to do. Please help me.

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DorrieL February, 2015

Always worry about Parvo with a vomiting puppy. Vet treatment and relatively high doses of Vitamin C are great. Google Parvo and Vitamin C.

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Jane January, 2015

My dog, a Labrador cross with a Collie, has an upset stomach after changing her diet. She won’t stay in the house and it is so cold outside. Will this hurt her? She has got hot skin syndrome.

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Georgina January, 2015

I’ve not heard of hot skin syndrome in dogs. If her new diet isn’t agreeing with her then I’d recommend a gluten free one. Many dogs now, like people, are intolerant to gluten which is found in wheat. A good one that I have recommended for a dog that I walk, and which I feed to my own Collie Lab mix, is James Wellbeloved Fish and Rice. It sounds very strange that she won’t stay in the house though, if she has normally preferred to. If she is still like that once you’ve changed her diet again then I would take her to the vet. Has anything else changed in the house that may have caused her to want to stay outside? Ours goes out a lot if our parrot is particularly noisy.

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Ricky December, 2014

My Pit/Box mix has had a lot of stomach issues. I have talked to vet a number of times but we can’t find the cause. Now it seems to have gotten worse. She has not drank much water the last few days, unless I use a syringe. Lately, she will not eat much. I feed her a bland diet of rice and chicken. Today she will not eat but has always been playful.

Her stomach has made a lot of noise this past week. She is taking Metronidazole 500mg plus Famotidine and Equate equivalent 20mg of Pepcid. I need to know how to fix her. She is my baby. Thank you for all your time and concern.

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Georgina January, 2015

Our Pit/Boxer mix will eat all sorts of things and has had blockages which required surgery. If he doesn’t want food, we know it’s a bad sign. You don’t say whether the vet x-rayed your dog using Barium, but if not it would be a good idea. We are watching our dog who is vomiting right now and trying to judge if he needs to be rushed to the emergency vet. Good luck.

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Natasha February, 2015

It can be an intestinal problem like IBS or a variety of problems affecting any part of the digestive system. Get second and third vet opinions including ultrasounds which can see things that x-rays miss. If you think there’s an undiagnosed problem, my bet is you’re right. Find a vet who listens to you.

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Lynne December, 2014

My Maltese tends to spit up and today has the runs. She is acting hungry yet sad. I made rice for her but I’m worried. She did have a speck of blood in her stool. Any recommendations?

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Laegacy January, 2015

She is probably sensitive to the food you give her. Rub a little maple syrup on her gums for energy and give Gatorade mixed with water for electrolyte balance. Make sure she is hydrated. My Shepard/Lab mix experienced the same thing and I figured out it was his food. I also feed him fresh washed veggies to regulate his system. I hope this helps.

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Christine November, 2014

My Sheltie is vomiting, smells like something dead. She is also whining. She won’t come in, just wants to stay outside. What should I do?

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DorrieL February, 2015

I hope you took your dog to the vet.

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Cindy November, 2014

I have a Shitzu and every now and then she begins to heave and possibly vomits. I was giving her a treat every time I would leave the house, or when she would see me 1st thing in the morning. She’s 11 years old. Should I be doing something different? A vet told me to give her green beans, she loves them. I give her a few at a time to replace the other treats. But she still throws up every now and then. Please advise. Thank you!

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Maruquel November, 2014

I found that snacks were the culprit. Once I stopped giving them to my girl, a Westie, she got better. My vet gave us a probiotic for daily use and I give her boiled chicken and rice as the article says and it works. My baby seems to be prone to upset tummy which she gets every once in a while. The vet said green beans are a good substitute. Good luck, hope your baby feels better.

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DorrieL February, 2015

Ginger capsules may help. An anti-histamine may also help. Getting the vet to run a blood panel is always good. You may try introducing more vegetables that are dog safe. It sounds like nutrition was the problem, or a part of it.

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Jessica February, 2014

I have a blue nose pit and she has been throwing up since 12 today and it’s foamy. What do I do? Is there anything I can give her?

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Rebecca February, 2014

I give mine nothing for 12 hours, and then plain rice. I then reintroduce her food with some rice for a few days. It seems to work to ease her stomach 🙂 I hope it works for you!

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Terence February, 2014

Hi Jessica. Why not try a home remedy like peppermint essential oil which you can dilute 50:50 and maybe use as a dietary supplement. Other essential oils are lavender, patchouli and fennel.

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Anonymous October, 2014

Peppermint is considered toxic to animals.

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DorrieL February, 2015

It’s toxic for cats but not for dogs.

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