What to Give Your Dog When They Have an Upset Stomach?

Last updated on August 21st, 2020 at 02:43 pm

What to Give Your Dog When They Have an Upset Stomach?

Does your dog have an upset stomach? Most dogs eat grass or leaves to relieve their stomach if they face any

Constipation in dogs

indigestion or stomach upset issues. However, a few times, they might not even feel like eating grass. If you notice that your dog has been dull and not very excited to eat his/her food, your dog might have stomach issues.

Though it is recommended to visit a vet if the problem is severe, you can still take measures at home to nurse your dog back to health in cases where the stomach upset is not extreme. However, how can you determine if the problem can be treated at home or not?

Identifying the severity of upset stomach

The following symptoms can indicate that your dog needs professional care:

  • Being lethargic
  • Continuous vomiting
  • Squirts of liquid diarrhea
  • Bloody stools
  • Experiencing dehydration

While analyzing the symptoms, you need to keep in mind that younger pups are more likely to experience dehydration, whereas older dogs might have diarrhea or vomiting as symptoms. Apart from these symptoms, if your dog is acting sick, has a fever, or even just not being his usual self, take him to a doctor. In any of these cases, he might be experiencing serious health conditions such as parvovirus, gastroenteritis, pancreatitis, or intestinal obstruction.

Also, take him/her to the vet if you observe your dog’s stomach to be distended or if it is drooling excessively, nervously pacing, and gagging without any vomit. These symptoms can be a sign of bloat or a life-threatening condition, especially for deep-chested dogs.

When can you treat your dog with upset stomach at home?

Is your dog not facing any of the above-mentioned extreme symptoms? Then you could treat your furry friend at home. However, to be sure that your pooch is suffering from stomach upset problems, look out for the below symptoms:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Looking to eat grass or chew/lick the carpets/floor
  • Increased salivation
  • Losing appetite
  • Stomach gurgling noises
  • Passing gas

if you have recently changed the diet of your dog or caught it raiding the trash can or consuming any other outside food, it might likely end up with an upset stomach. Additionally, in case you have fed your dog a bone and doubt that might have been causing a blockage.

To reiterate, be sure your dog doesn’t have any serious issues, even in a case of little doubt, please don’t delay and take it to a veterinarian. Sometimes even health problems that may seem usual and small can turn into grave issues. If your dog often has upset stomach issues, its time to shift him to a sensitive stomach dog food.

Home remedies that can cure your dog’s stomach upset

If you are confused about what to feed your dogs when their stomach is not alright, worry no more. We bring you a vet-approved list of things you can feed your dog in such times:

  • Ensure your dog is adequately hydrated

If your dog is displaying symptoms like diarrhea and vomiting, the first thing you need to do it make sure that it is not dehydrated. Excessive vomiting or even liquid diarrhea can cause rapid depletion of hydration, leaving your dog dehydrated even to dangerous levels.

Smaller breeds or young puppies would get dehydrated more quickly than the bigger and older dogs. You can do the following things to check if your dog is properly hydrated or not:

  • Examine the elasticity of the skin: One of the first signs of dehydration in dogs is the loss of elasticity in the skin. Hence, it should be one of the first things you check for dehydration and lack of moisture. To test this, use your two fingers to softly lift your dog’s skin between the shoulders or the back like a tent. If the skin quickly goes back to its original position, you have nothing to worry about. However, if the skin takes time or even worse, stay in the same position, you swiftly have to rehydrate your dog.  Rehydrating would usually mean giving your dog subcutaneous fluids from the vet.
  • Look at the gums: Another effective way to check for dehydration is by checking the gums of your dog. A healthy dog would generally have salmon pink-colored gums with a coat of slimy film of saliva on top of them. For checking this, use your finger to run over the dog’s gums for sliminess. If you find the gums to be dry or tacky, it a clear symptom of dehydration.

Another method of checking it through gums is the capillary refill time (CRT). So, if a dog is dehydrated, the blood circulation in its body will be slower than usual, and gums are one of the most visible places to identify this. A capillary refill time test would include the following steps:

  • Reach the dog’s gums with your fingers and press them till they turn white
  • Once it is white, remove your finger and check for how long the gum takes to turn into its usual pink color.
  • For a healthy dog, it should take less than two seconds to come back to pink color, i.e., the standard average CRT is 1.5 seconds.
  • If the gums of your dog take more than 2 seconds to come back to normal, it depicts that the blood circulation is slow, and your dog might be dehydrated.
  • Keep your dog fasting

Once you checked the hydration levels of your dog and confirmed that it is adequately hydrated, you can go to the next step that is fasting. This simple, don’t give your dog anything to eat for at least 1 to 24 hours. In case you have any food in its reach, make sure you are removing it from there, which not in range of the dog. Fasting helps the gastrointestinal tract to get some rest and inflammation to subside.

Though most dogs would lose their appetites for at least a few hours, do this process naturally when they are sick. However, if your dog is not very unwell to lose its appetite, you need to make him/her practice fasting forcefully to cure its stomach issue.

Do not worry! Making your dog fast just for a few hours would not do it any harm and, on the contrary, could be a detoxing experience for it. In fact, some veterinarians suggest the once in a while, skipping a meal or fasting can be good for your canine’s health.

The standard cure for a normal (not extreme) diarrhea or vomiting is at least 12 to 24 hours. However, the time you need to fast your dog also depends on its size and age. Smaller dogs and puppies should not be fasting for more than 12 hours or one whole night. However, to prevent glucose levels from plunging, you can try to give or rub on the gums of your dog with very little amounts of anything that is safe with glucose content. Just make sure that the glucose product you give your dog doesn’t contain any lethal or toxic artificial sweeteners or xylitol.

  • Hydrating your dog

Is making your drink more water is only causing it to vomit more? If yes, this might only worsen the dehydration problem. Here, the problem is not drinking the water but gulping down large amounts of water quickly. Hence, when your dog’s stomach is upset, it might be thirsty and gulp down a lot of water at once, which might cause your dog to vomit again. In such cases, replace water with ice chips, that too, instead of giving them all at once, let your dog lick a chip once in few minutes. Alternatively, put only some water in its water bowl and let it sip some water every half an hour.

Once your dog is doing well with drinking water, offer it clear liquid foods such as diluted apple juice with 50-50 water proportion, or chicken broth without garlic and onion or other liquids like Gatorade and Pedialyte.

  • Introduce bland food

Only if your dog is not having an adverse reaction to the hydration and liquid diet after hours, you give your bland dog food without any spices, oils, or harsh ingredients that could irritate your dog’s stomach or cause inflammation. Your bland diet may include boiled rice and a small amount of fully cooked white meat.  You also give your dog yogurt, recommended probiotics, or vegetables like pumpkin.

  • Keep a close check on the dog

Give your dog bland food for at least a couple of meals while recovering from a stomach issue. While it is eating the bland diet, monitor it carefully to make sure it doesn’t have a relapse, and it can digest the solid bland food properly.

  • Go back to its regular food

Only after you are pretty sure that your dog is entirely back to normal, start slowly introducing its normal food with the bland diet. Incrementally increase the proportion of the regular food and even if it faces slightest of the issues cut back on it.

The above mentioned step-by-step would prove efficient to bring back your dog from an upset stomach. At any stage, if you feel that your dog is not responding to the procedure as desired or getting worse, please consult a professional.


Elyce Nicholls
Elyce Nicholls

Leave a Reply