Are you worried about your furry friend’s upset stomach? Just like humans, dogs can experience tummy troubles for various reasons. It could be due to eating something that doesn’t agree with them or a more serious underlying medical condition. In this article, we’ll explore the common causes of upset stomachs in dogs and their corresponding symptoms. Furthermore, we’ll provide you with five handy remedies recommended by veterinarians to help alleviate your dog’s discomfort. By understanding the signs and having the right tools in your arsenal, you can ensure your dog gets the relief they need and get back to their energetic self in no time.
What causes upset stomachs in dogs?
Like humans, there are dozens of reasons why your dog could get an upset stomach. It could be a grave medical condition. But in most cases, dogs get upset stomachs due to eating stuff that doesn’t go well with them. An upset stomach in your dog could be a symptom of medical conditions like gastrointestinal infections, Digestive System Cancer, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, ulcers, and Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis. Or it could be the result of something more common like inflammation, allergies, obstructions, malabsorption, gas, or motion sickness.
Here’s more on some of these causes and the symptoms your dog will show.
Gas and Constipation
When a dog digests food, the body naturally produces gas. It is a by-product of the digestion process. As the gas builds, the dog instinctively releases it. If this process is blocked or slowed for any reason, excess gas will accumulate and cause an upset stomach.
Your dog could stretch to try and make it easy for the gas to pass. But exerting the tummy could end up trapping the gas and cause a potentially fatal bloating condition known as Gastric dilation volvulus (GDV).
In the same way, your dog will naturally absorb water from digested food in the large intestines. If the food has low-fiber content or overstays at the colon, it becomes rock-hard. The pooch experiences constipation – pain and discomfort when releasing feces.
Obstruction and Inflammation
Some dogs are curious and want to taste anything and everything. Such dogs often end up swallowing toys, human food with spices, small items like bolts and nuts, and other things they shouldn’t. According to The Miami Vets, a foreign object could block the digestive system or cause inflammation in the stomach lining. Your dog would be in pain, have no appetite, and lack energy.
Infections and Poisoning
When your dog comes into contact with other people and dogs, he could contract contagious pathogens like parvovirus. The virus can cause upset stomachs in dogs. Ingesting poisons can also cause stomach upsets.
Like many people, your dog could get sick when they experience repetitive unfamiliar movements. It could be in a car, a train, a rocking chair, or a fun ride at the fair.
Symptoms of Upset Stomach in Dogs
When your dog has an upset stomach, he will display several symptoms. Understanding your dog’s behaviors and looking at the surroundings can help you narrow down what could be the potential cause. Thus, it would be easier to pick out suitable remedies. You also need to be familiar with other indicators like the texture and color of his stool, his typical energy levels, and the size of his abdomen.
- If your dog is dull and has a temperature higher than 102.5 degrees, he could have a fever. If your dog vomits whatever he eats and there are traces of blood in the vomit, probably he has contracted an infection like parvovirus.
- If the dog shows pain when experiencing bowel movement, has rock-hard dry feces, and frequently licks the rear, it could be constipated. If these symptoms combined with bloody diarrhea or bloody vomit, he could have intestinal inflammation.
- Excess gas and bloating can trigger restlessness, rapid breathing, and abdominal swelling.
- Obstructions would cause the dog to lose appetite, have an enlarged abdomen, have lethargy, the dog will try to induce vomiting, and have low body temperatures.
Handy Remedies for Upset Stomach in Dogs
If your dog displays symptoms of an upset stomach, observe him closely for some time. Take him to the vet if you notice the following:
- Increasing intensity of pain or discomfort.
- Multiple episodes of vomiting or diarrhea.
- Blood in the vomit or stool.
- Yellowish liquids in the vomit.
- Foreign objects (like toys or rocks) around the dog or in the vomit.
- Severe lethargy or if the dog collapses.
The vet will examine your dog and prescribe treatment. Vets often recommend the following remedies for stomach upsets in dogs:
Remedy #1 Fasts
Give your dog nothing to eat for 12-24 hours. The time variations rely on the age and breed of the dog. Short-term fasts give the gastrointestinal system space and time to recover. A fast could help relieve gas and inflammation. Although fasting your dog seems simple, you should consult the vet. Some dog breeds and puppies don’t respond well to fasting.
Remedy #2 Discourage water intake
It may sound counterintuitive, especially for a dog that looks dehydrated. But if you allow your dog to gulp water, it will further aggravate an upset stomach. Restricting the water intake will help you monitor your dog’s water retention. You can increase the amount as the condition improves.
Remedy #3 Give the dog a dose of pure pumpkin
Pumpkins have high fiber content, slow absorption, and a low glycemic index. They are a favorite for holistic vets when treating indigestion or upset stomach in dogs. But it has to be pure pumpkin, not pumpkin pie mix or pumpkin with enhanced taste. You don’t want to give your dog other ingredients, including sugar.
If your dog is a small breed or a pup, give him one-half teaspoon. But if he is large, more than 75lbs, a tablespoon of pumpkin will do.
Remedy #4 Feed the dog on a bland diet
A bland diet such as rice and low-fat meat, like chicken, will help your dog remove irritating substances from the digestive system. Gradually, your dog will restore balance in the digestive system.
Remedy #5 Medication and surgery
In some cases, the above remedies fail to work. Your dog could have something more serious. The stomach upset is just a symptom.
Ailments like cancer or bloating could require invasive treatment, like surgery or medication. Conditions like IBS could require a change in diet and medication.
Only a vet should make such a call after carefully examining your dog.
Monitor your dog as you consult the vet
Monitor your dog’s behaviors, vomit, and stool as you give these remedies. If the situation improves, you can gradually resume regular feeding. However, if the dog doesn’t improve, do not hesitate to visit the vet.
Remedies Upset stomach in dogs – The Bottom Line
The internet is teeming with remedies for upset stomach in dogs. Do not entrust the well-being of your fur baby to bloggers and website administrators who hardly know anything about your pooch.
If your dog has an upset stomach, observe him. Then talk to the vet and explain what you consider off-character. The vet could recommend simple treatments or more intricate or invasive remedies like surgery. Trust the vet, follow their recommendation, and your dog will feel much better.