Why do you have an upset stomach? Well, it could be a resultant of excessive eating, bacterial infection, depression, consuming ‘fiber-free’ foods or an adverse side effect of an undetected chronic disease. Similarly, a dog too has similar reasons to explain their upset stomach issues. The main reasons behind a dog’s upset stomach are stress, consumption of an incorrect food item, a serious ailment that is currently undetected, a bacterial infection that causes imbalance in the digestive tract or severe food allergies. Dog upset stomach issues in progression should not be taken lightly.
What is a Dog’s Immediate Reaction to an Upset Stomach?
A dog with upset stomach shall try an expel the undesired element from his body via the mechanism of vomit. At times, your beloved pet would lick objects (even imaginary) and eat green grass in order to soothe his stomach. If you find your dog behaving strangely, eating grass, licking his lips and even vomiting, you need to comfort your pet by administering the correct remedial action. In order to do so, you need to know the cause, the symptoms, as well as the remedies that describe a dog upset stomach issue.
How to Detect a Dog Upset Stomach Issue Beforehand?
If your dog is salivating excessively, vomiting, passing gas, eating grass, licking his lips, producing unusual sounds from the stomach, has blood in his stool, acting lethargic, getting excessively dehydrated or is not eating well enough, you can be rest assured that your beloved pet’s stomach is not keeping too well.
Why Does a Dog with Upset Stomach Eat Grass?
There is no fixed reason behind this strange phenomena exhibited by sick dogs. Some are of the opinion that it is the animal’s natural impulse that propels him to eat grass. Others claim that eating the correct quantity of grass allows the dog to expel a foreign object by vomiting. Vets however suggest that you should stop your pet from consuming grass as it may contain harmful fertilizers that would further damage the animal’s intestinal track.
The Dog Dehydration Test
When your dog pukes or passes stool excessively, he is sure to get dehydrated. To check whether your dog is dehydrated and in need for water, you can simply lift the skin from the back of the animal’s shoulders using two fingers and hold it for a second before releasing it back. If the skin goes back to its original position slowly or stays put in a ‘tent-like shape’, your pet is severely dehydrated and in need for vital fluids. Alternatively, you can check the gums of the dog. If they are pink in color and wet with a heavy coat of saliva, then your pet is hydrated. On the other hand, if the gums are tacky and dry, your pet is in dire need of vital fluids.
Dog Upset Stomach Cure & Home Remedies
I am listing a few home-based remedies that should be tried only if :
a) Your dog has been introduced to a new kind of diet that has somehow upset his stomach. It could be a resultant of a hasty transition from a regular diet to a relatively new eating pattern.
b) Your cherished pet has had an uncanny run-in with a trash can that was full of junk food items. All those awful food items may have upset your dog’s stomach.
Top 6 Ways to Cure a Dog’s Upset Stomach
1) Give Your Dog a Meal Break – First and foremost, you need to ensure that you do not feed your dog for the next 12 to 24 hour period. This would ease your pet’s digestive tract and allow it to heal on its own accord. By not ingesting food items in the gastrointestinal track, you are avoiding inflammation of the gut and initializing the natural healing process. In case your pup has an upset stomach, try not to starve him for more than 12 hours at a stretch.
2) Avoid Giving Water – A dehydrated dog would want to drink large quantities of water, which would further upset his stomach and force him to vomit. To ensure that your pet is dehydrated, offer him an ice cube every two to three hours. This would avoid your pet from drinking excessive quantities of water and keep him well hydrated. If your dog seems lethargic, rub small quantities of maple syrup on his gums to keep his energy levels high.
3) Post Fasting Diet Plan – After the dog has not eaten anything for a 24 hour time period (assuming it is an adult dog), you may begin by giving him a light diet. You can add a little quantity of white chicken to a bowl of cooked white rice and serve to your pet. Ensure that the chicken is boneless and that no spices or oils are included in the pet’s meal. Initially, offer small quantity of the bland diet to the pet (one fourth of a bowl). Then, after two to three hours, allow your pet to have half a bowl of bland diet. If your pet is comfortable with the diet you prepared for him, continue feeding him half a bowl every four hours.
4) Additional Food Items to Soothe a Dogs Upset Stomach – Apart from a low fat and low spice diet, you may want to include a spoon of yogurt in the dog’s serving bowl to ease the animal’s digestive tract and reduce intestinal inflammation. Alternatively, you may encourage your dog to consume probiotics such as Culturelle, to promote healthy bacteria within your pet’s intestinal tract. If your pet is suffering from diarrhea, feed him slippery elm bark. Alternatively, boiled pumpkin also aids in solidifying the stool of your pet.
5) Keep Your Dog Under Strict Watch – Carefully monitor the progress of your pet for the next 24 hours. If your pet stops vomiting and is feeling more energetic, it implies that your remedies have worked. If your bland diet is working, you may like to slowly bring your dog back to his normal diet. This is a slow process and it usually takes a week to complete.
6) Gradual Change in Diet – After 48 hours of the stomach infection, you may feed your pet 75% bland diet and 25% normal diet. If your pet is getting better, split the meal plan to a 50%-50% normal to bland diet after 72 hours. Once again, closely monitor the dog’s progress before feeding him 75% normal and 25% bland diet on the very next day. If all goes well, on the sixth day, feed your dog only his original meal and remove bland diet completely from the diet chart.
Over the Counter Drugs for Upset Stomach in Dogs
While a select few ‘over the counter’ medicines do help in relieving pet diarrhea, they should not be administered without the prior permission of a qualified vet. Two popular medicines that are administered to your pet in such situations include Imodium and Pepto-Bismol.
Pepto-Bismol is a better bet as it has lesser side effects. There are a variety of Pepto-Bismol medications in the market, be sure to choose the original formula. If you are unsure, you may buy it here Pepto-Bismol Original Liquid 5 Symptom Medicine – Including Upset Stomach & Diarrhea Relief, 8-Ounces. Nonetheless, if your dog exhibits sensitive tendencies, he may develop an allergy to Pepto-Bismol.
Pepto-Bismol Dosage for Dogs
Before treating your dog with Pepto-Bismol, be absolutely sure that you did not administer any prior medications on your dog such as asprin. Asprin as you know is a blood thinner which will irritate your dog’s stomach lining and gives you the opposite effect. The recommended dosage of Pepto-Bismol for dogs is – 1 teaspoon for every 10 lbs of your dog’s body weight. This will equal to 0.5 mL/per pound of your dog’s body weight. You can give your dog this recommended dosage every 5-6 hours for a maximum of 4 days. Here is a dosage chart that you may follow to measure out the correct amount of Pepto-Bismol for your dog.
What About Pre-Prepared Bland Meals and Probiotics?
In case you do not like to cook for your dog or your busy work schedule does not allow you to do so, opt for soothing diets that are commercial available in most pet stores. Some of the popular ones include Waltham Low Fat and Lams Recovery Diet. As far as probiotics are concerned, you may opt for popular variants such as Proviable and Prostora. Always give your dog freshly packed probiotic drinks and avoid feeding your pet with expired variants.
Alternatively, you may also try Probiotics dog treats by Buddy & Lola which helps with an array of dog upset stomach issues including diarreah & indigestion. These are probiotic supplements that you can give your dog daily in order to improve their immune system. It is also helpful if you have a dog with excessive flatulence problems. From personal experience, I know many of the Boxer breeds have this problem. The dosage for Buddy & Lola is one soft chew per 25 pound of your dog’s body weight.
What to Do if Your Pet Does Not Recover?
Undoubtedly, you need to take him to a vet. When your dog does not respond to fasting or bland diet, he may be suffering from severe gastrointestinal infection such as parasites, protozoa, parvo virus, pancreatitis or partially blocked intestines. Sometimes, a dog upset stomach issue may be an indicator to an undetected ailment such as a chronic kidney or liver disease. In such a scenario, never hesitate to fix an appointment with your vet.