Dogs of any breed, shape or size can experience acute intestinal distress, commonly known as an upset stomach. Serious cases of upset stomach in dogs require veterinarian care. For the occasional, mild cases, there are several ways that you can treat your dog’s upset stomach naturally. Treatment options vary depending on the severity. Take a look at these symptoms, causes, and home remedies for dogs with an upset stomach.
Before treating a dog for an upset stomach, it’s important to understand the symptoms of the problem to eliminate other more serious illnesses. A dog with an upset stomach will typically experience diarrhea, vomiting and/or gas. When these symptoms are severe, you may be dealing with an illness more serious than a simple stomach ache. During the phase of stomach upset, the dog’s appetite and energy levels may decrease. Some dogs will eat grass when they have a stomach ache.
Causes of an Upset Stomach
Common causes of stomach upset in dogs are most often related to something the dog has eaten. A change in diet, overeating, the wrong type of food or an allergic reaction to an ingredient can all lead to stomach upset. Physically, dogs can experience stomach upset from motion, stress or trauma.
Treating a dog’s upset stomach naturally involves finding the underlying cause and treating the symptoms. At the very first sign of a stomach ache, owners can begin a 12 to 24 hour fast by eliminating all food. VetInfo does not recommend fasting for puppies for longer than 12 hours. In some of the cases, water is also eliminated; however, dogs that have severe diarrhea or vomiting need water to prevent dehydration.
Following the fasting stage, begin a very bland diet and provide plenty of water. Bland foods include rice and skinless chicken or turkey. Foods should be cooked and unseasoned. Cottage cheese and yogurt are also good choices during the first stages of food introduction following a fast. Dogs that are refusing water can be offered ice chips or an electrolyte such as Pedialyte mixed with their water.
Over-the-counter medicines designed for humans, such as Pepto Bismol and Kaopectate, are often used in treating upset stomach in dogs. For Pepto Bismol, VetInfo recommends “one teaspoon per 20 pounds of weight, every four to six hours for stomach upset” and for Kaopectate, “give one teaspoon per ten pounds of weight, every four hours for stomach upset.” However, Jon Geller, DVM, advises that Pepto Bismol “will not be effective for diarrhea, since it only acts on the stomach and is long-dissolved and absorbed by the time it reaches the large intestine.”
A short fasting stage followed by a simple bland diet is the most common way to treat a dog’s upset stomach naturally. If your dog does not respond to this remedy or the symptoms prolong or worsen, seek veterinary medical attention to rule out a more serious health condition.