Why do you have an upset stomach? It could be a result of excessive eating, bacterial infection, depression, consuming ‘fiber-free’ foods, or an adverse side effect of undetected chronic disease. Similarly, a dog also has its reasons for upset stomach problems. The main reasons behind a dog’s upset stomach are stress, consumption of an incorrect food item, a severe ailment that is currently undetected, a bacterial infection that causes an 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 an 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 to soothe their 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. To do so, you need to know the cause, the symptoms, and 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, etc., the chances are that your dog has an upset stomach.
Other symptoms of upset stomach issues in dogs include a rumbling stomach, blood in his stool, acting lethargic, and dehydration.
Why Does a Dog with Upset Stomach Eat Grass?
There is no fixed reason behind this strange phenomenon exhibited by sick dogs. Some think that it is the animal’s natural impulse that propels them to eat grass. Others claim that eating the correct quantity of grass allows the dog to expel a foreign object by vomiting. However, Veterinarians suggest that you should stop your pet from consuming too much grass as it may contain harmful fertilizers that would further damage the animal’s intestinal tract.
Tips for Testing Dehydration Problems in Dogs
When your dog pukes or passes stool excessively, he is sure to get dehydrated.
To check whether your dog is dehydrated and in need of water, you can 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 needs 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, 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
You can try the following home remedies to relieve upset stomach problems in your dog if it meets one of the following criteria.
- A recent introduction of a new dog food caused the dog upset stomach problems. It could be a resultant of a quick transition from a regular diet to a relatively new eating pattern.
- Your cherished pet has had an uncanny run-in with a trash can 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
Here are some of the top helpful tips when it comes to comforting your dog and bringing them back to normalcy.
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 hours. Fasting will ease your pet’s digestive tract and allow it to heal on its own accord. By not ingesting food items in the gastrointestinal tract, you avoid inflammation of the gut and initialize the natural healing process. In case your dog has an upset stomach, try not to starve him for more than 12 hours at a stretch.
2. Avoid Giving too much Water
A dehydrated dog would want to drink large quantities of water, which would further upset their stomach and force them to vomit. To ensure that your pet stays hydrated, offer them an ice cube every two to three hours. If your dog seems lethargic, rub small quantities of maple syrup on their gums to keep the dog’s energy levels high.
Also, try to get the dog on a fluid therapy plan as soon as you can. Here is an amazing product by Virbac that will help your dog bounce back quickly from their illness.
3. Post-Fasting Diet Plan
After the dog has not eaten anything for 24 hours (assuming it is an adult dog), you may begin by giving them a light diet. You can add a small quantity of thoroughly boiled white chicken to a bowl of cooked white rice and serve to your dog. If you can shred the boiled chicken and mix it into the rice that would be even better, please ensure that the chicken is boneless and that no spices or oils added.
Initially, offer a small quantity of the bland diet to the pet (one-fourth of a bowl). After two to three hours, allow your pet to have half a bowl of bland food. If your pet is comfortable with the diet, you should be prepared to feed them half a bowl every four hours.
4. Soothe a Dogs Upset Stomach
Apart from 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 them slippery elm bark. Boiled pumpkin also aids in solidifying the stool of your pet.
5. Keep Your Dog Under Strict Watch
Carefully monitor your pet’s progress 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 dog upset stomach issue, 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 the bland diet completely from the diet chart.
Dog Upset Stomach Issues and Over-the-Counter Meds
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 veterinarian.
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.
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 aspirin. Asprin, as you know, is a blood thinner that 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 are not comfortable cooking for your dog or your busy work schedule does not allow you to do so, opt for soothing diets that are commercially 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 diarrhea & 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 pounds of your dog’s body weight.
What to do if your pet does not recover?
Undoubtedly, you need to take your dog to a Veterinary doctor. When your dog does not respond to fasting or bland diet, he may be suffering from a severe gastrointestinal infection such as parasites, protozoa, parvovirus, pancreatitis, or partially blocked intestines. Sometimes, a dog upset stomach issue may be an indicator of an undetected ailment such as a chronic kidney or liver disease. In such a scenario, never hesitate to fix an appointment with your veterinary clinic.