What To Do When Your Dog Has Stomach Upset?

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Dogs tend to get stomach upset more often than people do.

This typically happens for two reasons:

  1. Questionable foods
  2. Overeating

Can I Give My Dog Something For Upset Stomach?Yup, those are common culprits. But whatever your canine’s case, we are here to help!

So what should you do?

Well, a dog’s tummy will respond to meds, but natural remedies are obviously preferred.

Thankfully there is a completely effortless approach to settling down a stomach. Works wonders actually! Simply withhold food for several hours. Too easy!

A Dog’s Upset Stomach Can Be Handled In Several Ways

A probiotic (one that’s designed for canines) is worth looking into because your pet’s gut health could be out of whack.

One thing is absolutely certain:

Treating only stomach symptoms is not the way to go. Any dog with recurring abdominal pain should be properly diagnosed.

Quick Fix With Imodium

It is true that vets sometimes utilize Imodium for this exact purpose.

Sure, it’s a fix.

The childrens’ version is OK for alleviating a dog’s upset stomach. Of course, this OTC medication comes with some risk.

Minimize it:

Never exceed 1mg per 20 pounds of the dog’s body weight.

Fast a Furry Friend

Again, the best approach is to remove food for 24-hours or so.

In fact, dogs with a mildly upset stomach really should be fasted.

Why is that?

Fasting gives the stomach time to normalize.

Don’t worry. You can resume feeding your dog small meals after awhile.

Be selective though!

Cooked white rice and boiled chicken are great for this purpose.

This bland food is easily digestible. Perfect for a stomach recovery!


Important: Avoid feeding greasy or rich foods.


Return to dog food days later.

This usually does the trick for a traumatized tummy.

Of course, it’s possible fasting won’t make a difference. If so, get a vet’s assistance. Your dog could have a serious gastric problem.

Use Certain Foods

There are other foods that can greatly improve a stomach situation (equally effective compared to meds like Pepto or similar pharmaceuticals).

Absolutely!

When necessary, we give our dogs unflavored oatmeal and pumpkin. Those 2 can really aid an irritated or upset stomach.

Another is mashed bananas. Shredded carrots are also good.

Here’s one that is less known…

Bone broth can be a secret weapon for a dog’s stomach.

Diarrhea And Dehydration

Many dogs with an unsettled gut will refuse to drink.

Uncontrollable diarrhea is common as well.

These have a horrible effect on hydration. So concerning!

Avoid such a worsening situation.


FYI: Having a dehydrated pet dog is much more serious than an upset stomach.


Concerning Conditions

Vomiting and lethargy are indicators of toxicity.

What exactly did your dog eat?

Make no mistake, food poisoning can be quite serious.

Have a vet to assess your dog.

Diarrhea, with blood in the stool, is associated with upset stomach.

That’s also worrying. But that’s not all…

The squirts, beyond anything short term, requires close observation.

The Bottom Line

Go with natural remedies to soothe a dog’s upset stomach.

Avoid drugs whenever possible.

Try fasting Fido for a bit. It works. Meanwhile, monitor for dehydration.

Get your dog a diagnosis for serious or stubborn tummy troubles.

What Do You Think? Have Your Say Below…

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47 thoughts on “What To Do When Your Dog Has Stomach Upset?”

  1. Mild cases of stomach upset are usually from changes in diet and eating rubbish. I’ve tried boiled rice with chicken which solves mild stomach upsets for my dogs.

  2. My Lhasa Apso struggles with food. She’s on a rice and chicken diet which seems okay. What else could she have other than that?

  3. My Yorkie reuses to eat, sometimes all day long. Her stomach growls like she is hungry but still won’t eat for 24 to 36 hours.

    I give her boiled chicken every day and she always has a supply of fresh water and dry dog food. What makes her stomach growl and why is she not eating?

  4. I found my 7 year old Chihuahua/Rat Terrier mix with a chocolate kiss in his mouth a couple days. I’m 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.

  5. 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?

  6. 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.

    1. I have a Border Collie mix. I had her tested for the gene at Washington State. They send you a DNA test kit, you swab the gums and send in the sample. In a couple of weeks or so they provide the result.

      http://www.vcpl.vetmed.wsu.edu/cheek-swab

  7. 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?

    1. 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

  8. 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?

    1. Elizabeth says:

      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.

      1. 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!

        1. Elizabeth says:

          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.

          1. 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!

      2. 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!

  9. 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?

    1. 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.

  10. 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.

    1. 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.

  11. 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?

    1. 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.

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

  12. 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.

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

    2. 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.

  13. 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.

    1. 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.

  14. 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.

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

      1. Pixie1234 says:

        Your dog is in real danger. Dehydration is a killer!

        Hydrate your pooch using an enema method. Use a 5ml syringe (no needle) and Vaseline to make the insertion painless. Warm water, 1/16 teaspoon salt and 1/16 teaspoon of sugar is best. Administer as much as you can, slowly and repeat every 2 to 4 hours until hydrated.

        Also, you can feed your dog with a syringe. Use a mixture of raw egg and water and you can add some sugar. Whisk this together well and give orally from the side of their snout. You can cup their snout/muzzle to help them get this down.

        You could also use Pedialyte but go with a plain and unflavored version.

  15. 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.

    1. 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.

  16. 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.

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

  17. 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?

    1. 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.

  18. Christine says:

    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?

    1. I hope you took your dog to the vet.

  19. 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!

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

  20. 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?

    1. 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!

    2. 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.

      1. Anonymous says:

        Peppermint is considered toxic to animals.

        1. It’s toxic for cats but not for dogs.

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