When our furry companions experience stomach discomfort, it’s natural for us to want to alleviate their pain and help them feel better. A dog’s stomach can become upset due to reasons such as dietary changes, ingestion of inappropriate foods, or underlying health issues. Understanding how to make a dog’s stomach feel better can not only provide relief but also promote their health.
Firstly, provide a bland diet consisting of cooked chicken and rice, boiled boneless chicken, plain yogurt, or pumpkin to firm up their stool. This will help soothe their stomach and aid in digestion.
Additionally, ensure your dog stays hydrated by offering plenty of water, broth, or Pedialyte to prevent dehydration, which can worsen an upset stomach. Avoid giving them treats or table scraps, as these foods can be difficult to digest and aggravate their stomach further.
Monitor your dog’s symptoms closely, especially if they experience vomiting or diarrhea. If their symptoms worsen or persist for more than 24 hours, it’s recommended to seek veterinary advice. Give your dog ample rest in a quiet environment, refraining from strenuous activities until their stomach settles.
What are the signs of an upset stomach in dogs?
Signs of an upset stomach in dogs can vary but commonly include:
- Vomiting: Dogs may vomit or attempt to vomit when their stomach is upset. It can range from occasional episodes to persistent vomiting.
- Diarrhea: Loose, watery, or frequent bowel movements are common indications of gastrointestinal upset in dogs. Diarrhea can be accompanied by changes in stool color or consistency.
- Loss of appetite: When dogs have an upset stomach, they may show a decreased interest in food or refuse to eat altogether. This can be a temporary loss of appetite or a prolonged decrease in food intake.
- Abdominal discomfort: Dogs may exhibit signs of abdominal pain or discomfort, such as restlessness, pacing, whining, or a hunched posture. They may also display sensitivity when their abdomen is touched.
- Excessive gas: Flatulence or excessive gas production is another sign of an upset stomach in dogs. You may notice your dog passing gas more frequently or with a stronger odor.
- Lethargy: Dogs with an upset stomach may appear tired, sluggish, or lacking energy. They may be less active than usual and seem uninterested in their surroundings or usual activities.
- Excessive drooling: Increased salivation or drooling can occur when a dog’s stomach is upset. This may be accompanied by lip-smacking or excessive swallowing.
- Changes in behavior: Dogs may display changes in behavior, such as being more irritable, restless, or seeking isolation. They may also exhibit signs of discomfort like licking their lips or excessively licking their abdomen.
- Dehydration: Persistent vomiting or diarrhea can lead to dehydration. Signs of dehydration in dogs include dry gums, sunken eyes, lethargy, and decreased skin elasticity.
It’s important to note that these signs can also be indicative of other health issues, and if your dog’s symptoms are severe, and persistent, or if you have concerns, it’s advisable to consult a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and guidance.
What are some of the causes of an upset stomach in dogs?
There are several potential causes of an upset stomach in dogs. Some common factors include:
- Dietary indiscretion: Dogs are known to explore their surroundings with their mouths, and this can lead to them ingesting something inappropriate or potentially toxic. Consuming spoiled or fatty foods, garbage, foreign objects, or toxic substances can irritate the stomach and cause digestive upset.
- Sudden diet changes: Abruptly switching your dog’s food or introducing new treats or table scraps can disrupt their digestive system, leading to an upset stomach. It’s important to transition to new foods gradually to allow their digestive system to adjust.
- Food intolerance or allergies: Some dogs may have sensitivities or allergies to certain ingredients in their food, such as grains, dairy, or specific proteins. Ingesting these trigger foods can result in gastrointestinal symptoms and discomfort.
- Stress or anxiety: Dogs can experience upset stomachs as a response to stress, anxiety, or changes in their environment. Events like travel, moving to a new home, changes in routine, or separation anxiety can contribute to digestive disturbances.
- Bacterial or viral infections: Infections caused by bacteria, such as Salmonella or E. coli, or viruses like parvovirus or distemper, can lead to gastrointestinal issues, including vomiting and diarrhea.
- Parasitic infestations: Intestinal parasites like roundworms, hookworms, or Giardia can cause upset stomachs in dogs. These parasites can be acquired through contact with contaminated soil, water, or other infected animals.
- Medications or toxins: Certain medications, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), can cause gastrointestinal irritation in dogs. Additionally, ingestion of toxic substances, including certain plants, household chemicals, or medications not intended for dogs, can result in stomach upset.
- Underlying medical conditions: Dogs with underlying medical conditions like pancreatitis, gastrointestinal infections, inflammatory bowel disease, or organ dysfunction may experience recurrent or chronic upset stomachs.
It’s essential to consult a veterinarian to determine the specific cause of your dog’s upset stomach, especially if the symptoms persist, worsen, or if you’re uncertain about the underlying reason.
When should I take my dog to the vet if they have an upset stomach?
It is important to monitor your dog’s condition and seek veterinary care if their upset stomach is severe, persistent, or accompanied by any concerning symptoms. Here are some situations that warrant a visit to the vet:
- Severe or prolonged vomiting: If your dog is unable to keep any food or water down and is continuously vomiting for an extended period, it may lead to dehydration and require immediate veterinary attention.
- Diarrhea with blood or severe changes: Diarrhea that is persistent, contains blood, is black and tarry, or has a foul odor should be addressed by a veterinarian.
- Abdominal pain or discomfort: If your dog shows signs of severe abdominal pain, such as whimpering, restlessness, or a hunched posture, it may indicate a more serious underlying condition requiring professional assessment.
- Loss of appetite and lethargy: If your dog refuses to eat, experiences a prolonged loss of appetite, or is unusually lethargic, it can be a sign of an underlying health issue that requires veterinary evaluation.
- Dehydration: If your dog shows signs of dehydration, such as dry gums, sunken eyes, excessive panting, or decreased skin elasticity, it is important to seek immediate veterinary care.
- Persistent or worsening symptoms: If your dog’s upset stomach symptoms persist for more than 24 hours, worsen, or are accompanied by other concerning signs, it’s advisable to consult a veterinarian. Other symptoms may include excessive drooling, rapid weight loss, weakness, or difficulty breathing.
- Ingestion of toxic substances: If you suspect your dog has ingested something toxic, such as chocolate, household chemicals, or plants that are poisonous to dogs, contact a veterinarian immediately for guidance.
Remember, every dog is different, and their individual health conditions and circumstances can vary. If you are unsure about the severity of your dog’s upset stomach or have any concerns, it’s best to err on the side of caution and contact a veterinarian for professional advice.
What are some of the things I can do at home to help my dog’s stomach feel better?
There are several things you can do at home to help your dog’s upset stomach feel better. Here are some suggestions:
- Withhold food: Give your dog’s stomach a break by withholding food for 12 to 24 hours. This allows their digestive system to rest and recover. However, always ensure they have access to fresh water to stay hydrated.
- Introduce a bland diet: After the fasting period, gradually reintroduce food with a bland diet. This usually consists of boiled chicken (skinless and boneless) and plain white rice or plain pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling). Feed small, frequent meals over a few days until their stomach settles.
- Probiotics: Consider giving your dog a probiotic supplement or incorporating probiotic-rich foods like plain yogurt into their diet. Probiotics can help restore the balance of healthy bacteria in their gut and aid digestion.
- Ensure hydration: Make sure your dog has access to fresh water and monitor their intake. It’s important to keep them hydrated, especially if they are experiencing vomiting or diarrhea. However, if they’re excessively drinking or showing signs of distress, contact a vet.
- Provide a calm environment: Create a calm and quiet space for your dog to rest and minimize stressors that may contribute to their upset stomach. Noise, excessive activity, or changes in their routine can add to their discomfort.
- Monitor their symptoms: Keep a close eye on your dog’s symptoms and overall behavior. If their condition worsens, they become lethargic, show signs of severe pain, or if you have any concerns, contact a veterinarian for further guidance.
It’s important to note that these home remedies are suitable for mild cases of upset stomach in dogs. If your dog’s symptoms persist, worsen, or if you’re concerned about their health, it’s best to consult a veterinarian for professional advice.
Can I feed my dog a bland diet to help their stomach feel better?
Feeding your dog a bland diet can help their upset stomach feel better. A bland diet is typically recommended for dogs with digestive issues as it is gentle on the stomach and easy to digest. It provides temporary relief and allows the digestive system to recover.
A typical bland diet for dogs consists of boiled chicken (skinless and boneless) and plain white rice or plain pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling). These ingredients are easily digestible and provide necessary nutrients without adding additional stress to the digestive system.
When feeding your dog a bland diet, it’s important to introduce it gradually. Start with small portions of the bland diet mixed with their regular food. As their stomach settles, you can gradually increase the proportion of the bland diet and decrease the amount of their regular food.
Feeding smaller, frequent meals throughout the day is generally recommended for dogs with upset stomachs. This helps prevent overloading their digestive system and allows for better digestion.
While a bland diet can be helpful for mild stomach upset, it’s important to consult a veterinarian if your dog’s symptoms persist, worsen, or if you have any concerns about their health.
Can I give my dog Pepto-Bismol to help their stomach feel better?
While Pepto-Bismol is sometimes used to treat upset stomachs in humans, it is generally not recommended to give it to dogs without the guidance of a veterinarian. While the active ingredient in Pepto-Bismol, bismuth subsalicylate, can have a soothing effect on the digestive system, it is important to note that dogs can react differently to medications compared to humans.
Some dogs may have adverse reactions or be more sensitive to the ingredients in Pepto-Bismol, such as salicylates.
Additionally, Pepto-Bismol contains other inactive ingredients that may not be suitable for dogs. It’s also worth mentioning that Pepto-Bismol can interfere with certain medications or medical conditions, so it’s important to consult with a veterinarian before administering it to your dog.
If your dog is experiencing stomach upset, it is best to seek veterinary advice. A veterinarian can properly assess your dog’s condition, determine the underlying cause of the upset stomach, and provide appropriate treatment options. They may recommend specific medications or provide guidance on managing your dog’s symptoms based on their individual needs.
Can I give my dog activated charcoal to help their stomach feel better?
Administering activated charcoal to your dog should only be done under the guidance and direction of a veterinarian. While activated charcoal can be used in certain situations, such as in cases of poisoning or toxin ingestion, it is not a general remedy for upset stomachs.
Activated charcoal works by absorbing toxins and preventing their absorption into the bloodstream. It can be effective in cases where certain substances have been ingested, helping to reduce the potential harm.
However, it is important to note that activated charcoal may not be suitable or beneficial for all types of stomach issues.
If your dog is experiencing an upset stomach, it is best to consult a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment. The underlying cause of the upset stomach needs to be identified in order to provide appropriate care. The veterinarian can assess your dog’s condition, recommend specific treatments or medications, and guide you on the best course of action.
It is crucial to avoid administering any medications or substances to your dog without veterinary advice, as they can potentially cause harm or interfere with other treatments.
Can I give my dog probiotics to help their stomach feel better?
Giving your dog probiotics can be beneficial for their upset stomach and overall digestive health. Probiotics are live beneficial bacteria that help maintain a healthy balance in the gut flora. They can aid in digestion, support the immune system, and alleviate gastrointestinal issues.
Probiotics can be particularly helpful if your dog is experiencing stomach upset due to dietary changes, stress, antibiotics, or other factors that can disrupt the natural balance of gut bacteria. They can help restore and promote the growth of beneficial bacteria, which can improve digestion and reduce digestive disturbances.
When selecting a probiotic for your dog, it’s best to consult with a veterinarian. They can recommend a suitable product and guide you on the appropriate dosage based on your dog’s specific needs. There are various forms of probiotics available, including powders, capsules, and treats, so you can choose the option that works best for your dog’s preferences.
It’s important to note that probiotics are not a cure-all solution and may not provide immediate relief for all stomach issues. If your dog’s symptoms persist or worsen, or if you have concerns about their health, it’s advisable to consult a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and guidance.
Can I give my dog yogurt to help their stomach feel better?
You can give your dog yogurt to help their upset stomach. Yogurt is a natural source of probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that support a healthy gut. The live and active cultures in yogurt can help restore the balance of good bacteria in your dog’s digestive system and promote better digestion.
When choosing yogurt for your dog, opt for plain, unsweetened yogurt without any additives or artificial sweeteners. Avoid yogurt that contains added sugars, artificial flavors, or artificial sweeteners like xylitol, as these can be harmful to dogs. Greek yogurt is a good option because it tends to have a higher protein content.
Start by giving your dog a small amount of yogurt and monitor their reaction. Some dogs may have lactose intolerance or dairy sensitivities, so it’s important to watch for any signs of digestive upset or intolerance. If your dog tolerates yogurt well, you can incorporate it into their diet as an occasional treat or as a supplement to their regular meals.
How long will it take for my dog’s stomach to feel better if I make these changes?
In general, if you make the following changes, your dog’s stomach should start to feel better within 24-48 hours:
- Feed a bland diet: This will help to settle your dog’s stomach and give it time to heal. A bland diet can consist of boiled chicken and rice, or a commercial bland diet that is available at most pet stores.
- Keep your dog hydrated: This is especially important if your dog is vomiting or having diarrhea. You can offer your dog water, Pedialyte, or a rehydration solution that is available at your veterinarian’s office.
- Avoid giving your dog any treats or table scraps: These can irritate your dog’s stomach and make their symptoms worse.
- Monitor your dog’s symptoms: If your dog’s symptoms do not improve after 24-48 hours, or if they get worse, you should take them to the veterinarian.
Here are some additional tips that may help your dog feel better:
- Gently massage your dog’s stomach: This can help to relieve nausea and gas.
- Give your dog a warm compress: This can help to soothe a sore stomach.
- Keep your dog quiet and comfortable: This will help them to rest and heal.
What are some of the signs that my dog’s stomach is getting better?
Signs that your dog’s stomach is improving can vary depending on the underlying cause and severity of the upset stomach. However, here are some positive signs that may indicate your dog’s stomach is getting better:
- Decreased vomiting or elimination of vomiting: If your dog’s episodes of vomiting become less frequent or stop altogether, it is a positive sign that their stomach is improving.
- Firming stools: If your dog had diarrhea or loose stools, you may notice that their bowel movements are becoming more formed and returning to a normal consistency.
- Increased appetite: A returning or improved appetite is often a good indication that your dog’s stomach is feeling better. They may show more interest in their regular meals or the bland diet you’ve introduced.
- Increased energy and activity: As your dog’s stomach discomfort subsides, you may observe them becoming more energetic, playful, and engaging in their usual activities.
- Decreased signs of discomfort: Your dog may exhibit fewer signs of abdominal pain or discomfort, such as restlessness, pacing, or a hunched posture. They may seem more comfortable and relaxed.
- Improved hydration: If your dog’s upset stomach caused dehydration, you may notice that their hydration levels are improving. Their gums should appear moist rather than dry, and they may drink water more regularly.
It’s important to note that individual dogs may show different rates of recovery, and the signs of improvement can vary.
What are some of the signs that I should take my dog to the vet again if their stomach is not getting better?
If your dog’s stomach is not getting better despite your efforts, it’s important to consider seeking veterinary attention. Here are some signs that indicate it may be time to take your dog to the vet again:
- Persistent or worsening symptoms: If your dog’s upset stomach symptoms continue or become more severe, it’s a red flag that professional medical intervention may be necessary. This includes ongoing vomiting, persistent diarrhea, or other signs of gastrointestinal distress that don’t improve over time.
- Loss of appetite and weight loss: If your dog’s appetite does not return or they continue to lose weight despite your attempts to address their upset stomach, it’s a cause for concern. Sustained lack of interest in food and unexplained weight loss could indicate an underlying health issue that requires veterinary evaluation.
- Dehydration: If your dog shows signs of dehydration such as dry gums, sunken eyes, lethargy, or decreased skin elasticity, it’s crucial to seek veterinary care. Dehydration can worsen the overall condition and lead to further complications.
- Changes in behavior or other alarming symptoms: If you observe significant changes in your dog’s behavior, such as extreme lethargy, excessive pain or discomfort, difficulty breathing, or any other concerning symptoms, it’s important to have them examined by a veterinarian as soon as possible.
- Pre-existing medical conditions: If your dog has pre-existing medical conditions or a history of gastrointestinal issues, it may be prudent to consult with a veterinarian earlier in the process to ensure appropriate management and treatment.
Ultimately, if you have any doubts or concerns about your dog’s health, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and consult with a veterinarian. They can evaluate your dog’s specific situation, provide a proper diagnosis, and recommend the most appropriate course of action to address their ongoing stomach issues.
Are there any medications that can help an upset stomach in dogs?
Some common medications that may be prescribed for dogs with upset stomachs include:
- Antiemetics: These medications help control vomiting and can provide relief from nausea. They work by blocking certain receptors in the brain and gastrointestinal tract. Examples of antiemetic medications for dogs include maropitant (Cerenia) and ondansetron.
- Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs): PPIs reduce stomach acid production and can be useful for managing conditions like gastritis or gastric ulcers. Examples of PPIs used in dogs include omeprazole and pantoprazole.
- Gastric protectants: These medications help protect the stomach lining and promote healing. They can be useful in cases of gastric ulcers or gastritis. Commonly used gastric protectants for dogs include sucralfate and famotidine.
- Antibiotics: If a bacterial infection is suspected or confirmed, antibiotics may be prescribed to treat the underlying cause of the upset stomach. The choice of antibiotic will depend on the specific bacteria involved.
It’s essential to remember that these medications should only be used as directed by a veterinarian, and the dosage and duration of treatment should be followed carefully. Your veterinarian will evaluate your dog’s condition, consider any underlying factors, and determine the most appropriate medication and treatment plan tailored to your dog’s needs.
Do not administer any over-the-counter medications to your dog without consulting a veterinarian first, as some human medications can be toxic to dogs.
Are there any surgical procedures that can help an upset stomach in dogs?
In certain cases of severe or chronic stomach issues in dogs, surgical procedures may be considered as a treatment option. However, the decision to pursue surgery for an upset stomach would depend on the specific underlying condition and the recommendation of a veterinarian or veterinary specialist.
Here are a few examples of surgical procedures that may be performed to address certain stomach-related issues in dogs:
- Gastropexy: Gastropexy is a surgical procedure that involves attaching the stomach to the abdominal wall to prevent gastric dilation-volvulus (GDV), also known as bloat. GDV is a life-threatening condition where the stomach twists and becomes distended. Gastropexy is often performed preventively in dogs at a higher risk for GDV.
- Exploratory surgery: In cases where the cause of the upset stomach is not clear, exploratory surgery may be recommended to directly visualize the internal organs and identify any abnormalities. This can help diagnose conditions such as tumors, foreign bodies, or organ-specific issues that require surgical intervention.
- Resection and anastomosis: If there is a segment of the stomach or intestine that is damaged, blocked, or diseased, a surgical procedure called resection and anastomosis may be performed. This involves removing the affected portion and reconnecting the healthy ends of the digestive tract.
It’s important to note that surgical procedures for upset stomachs in dogs are not common and are typically reserved for specific situations where other treatment options have been exhausted or when there is a clear indication for surgical intervention.
The decision to pursue surgery will be made based on the individual dog‘s condition, diagnostic findings, and the expertise of the veterinarian.
How to make a dogs stomach feel better: Taking care of a dog’s upset stomach involves a combination of measures to provide relief and promote healing. By implementing dietary adjustments, such as introducing a bland diet, and considering the use of probiotics under veterinary guidance, you can support your dog’s digestive health.
Providing a calm environment, monitoring their symptoms, and seeking veterinary attention when necessary are also crucial steps in ensuring your dog’s stomach feels better. Remember, each dog is unique, and the underlying cause of the upset stomach may vary.
Therefore, it is always best to consult with a veterinarian for an accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment plan to help your furry companion on their path to recovery.