Vomiting, bloating, gas — having an upset stomach isn't fun. When you see your dog feeling miserable, you probably wonder, "What can I give my dog for an upset stomach?" Luckily, there is an abundance of home remedies that can improve the symptoms of an upset stomach.
It would be best if you tried to pinpoint why your dog is experiencing an upset stomach. Dogs can get an upset stomach for a variety of reasons, some more serious than others. Once you figure that out, it will be easier for you and your vet to work together to find home remedies that will benefit your pup.
What Causes Upset Stomachs in Dogs?
Just like us, dogs can get an upset stomach for a variety of reasons. It's important to figure out the source of your dog's upset stomach so you can provide a proper treatment plan for your pooch. While most upset stomachs aren't serious, sometimes it can be the side effect of an even bigger health problem.
You've probably smelled it before — dogs definitely get gas! But when a dog can't pass gas for an extended period, the gas can build up inside its body. This can cause a lot of pain for your pup.
Similar to a gas buildup, constipation can also lead to an upset stomach. This means that your dog's stool is also backed up, creating a lot of discomfort and pain. Constipation can also signify a bigger issue, including intestinal problems, hernias, or kidney disease. So always take your dog to the vet when you notice a change in their bowel movements.
One of the most common reasons dogs get constipated is eating things they shouldn't. Dogs will often eat toys, socks, and human food they can't properly digest. Sometimes this can inflame the lining of your dog's stomach. Even more concerning, larger items can get stuck in their intestines. This type of obstruction can make it difficult to digest food, causing constipation and leaving your dog in severe pain.
Trapped gas in your dog's stomach can often lead to bloating. For dogs, bloating is a very concerning and sometimes severe condition. When your dog's stomach stretches from trapped gas, it can sometimes end up twisted. This is known as gastric dilation volvulus, and it can lead to medical emergencies due to blocked internal organs.
If your dog's stomach lining is damaged due to inflammation, medicine, or other complications, your dog can develop ulcers along their stomach lining. Ulcers can become agitated when your dog eats, leading to a variety of stomach and digestive issues.
The stomach lining can also tear over time if the ulcers are not treated. This is a life-threatening situation that would need an emergency vet visit immediately.
Inflammatory bowel disease makes your dog's bowels inflamed for no real reason. Having irritated bowels will, unfortunately, lead to stomach pain and symptoms of an upset stomach. If your dog experiences ongoing issues, reach out to a vet to run some tests.
If your dog can't digest food correctly, that means they are suffering from malabsorption. This condition is often hard to diagnose since the symptoms are similar to other stomach-related issues. It's usually caused by a deficiency in enzymes released by the pancreas, resulting in stomach pains and bloating.
Parvovirus is a contagious virus that dogs pass on to each other if they come in direct contact with dogs or their feces (yuck). One of the symptoms is stomach pain and bloating. Vomiting and sluggishness are also symptoms of affected pooches.
Is It Common for Dogs to Have an Upset Stomach?
Just like us, dogs can experience upset stomachs from time to time — it's totally normal. The issue could be due to something your dog ate. But if your dog seems to have an upset stomach quite often, this could mean that there's something wrong with your dog, including serious health conditions.
Signs Your Dog Has an Upset Stomach
It's normal for dogs to feel queasy here and there. But how can you tell if your dog has an upset stomach that needs attention? Here are some of the most common symptoms of an upset stomach.
- Weight Loss: Dogs who have stomach pain for a long period might appear thinner because they have trouble eating. They might just be too uncomfortable to eat. They could even choke or vomit when they eat.
- Lip Smacking: If your dog repeatedly smacks their lips and appears uncomfortable, they most likely feel nauseous and might vomit.
- Vomiting: If your dog's stomach is in distress, they'll often end up vomiting.
- Diarrhea: Loose bowel movements are another reaction to having an upset stomach.
- Stomach Bloat: When your dog has gas buildup, its stomach may become distended. Sometimes it's blatantly obvious, but you can also feel its sides and see how it reacts. If your dog seems to find this painful, there's a gastric issue happening.
- Bad Breath: Because of the bile, excess stomach acid, and vomiting, you'll notice that your dog has worse breath than usual. It will smell a bit acidic and stronger than usual.
- Change in Behavior: If you notice that your dog is sluggish, lethargic, or otherwise acting differently (even aggressive), it could be due to their constant stomach pain and discomfort. Your dog might also feel weak, lazy, and tired.
- Eating Grass: When dogs have an upset stomach, they will often eat grass. This is known as "self-medication," as studied by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. Grass will help them vomit up whatever is bothering their stomach.
- Gas: Unless your dog is experiencing a back-up of gas, your dog will be gassier than usual when their stomach is upset. This could be your dog's stomach attempting to relieve itself of pressure.
- Car Sickness: Just like us, dogs can get queasy from being in the car. Motion sickness can make your dog dizzy, leading to vomiting and other upset stomach symptoms.
- Anxiety: Stress can affect dogs in a variety of ways. For some dogs, fear and nervousness could result in stomach pain.
Home Remedies for a Dog with an Upset Stomach
While it's always important to contact a vet when your dog has ongoing stomach issues, there are a few methods for reducing its symptoms and making it feel better at home. This will ensure that your dog experiences some relief in a natural way.
If your dog is vomiting or has diarrhea, it usually means their stomach is trying to get rid of something. Some vets will recommend not feeding your dog if these symptoms continue, usually around 12 to 24 hours. This is something you should ask a vet about first. Some vets might recommend that your dog switches to a different, blander diet while experiencing stomach pain.
Some dog breeds are simply predisposed to bloating. To avoid bloat, it's important to spread out your dog's daily food intake. Give them half their required daily food in the morning and the other half at night. This guarantees that your dog can't scarf down a lot of food at once.
You should also allow your dog to rest after each meal. Encourage your pet to lay down, as this will give your dog time to digest. Easy digestion increases the chance of avoiding stomach bloat.
CBD is a natural compound found in the hemp plant. It's not intoxicating and has many benefits for your dog's overall health and well-being (both body and mind). CBD interacts with the receptors in your dog's endocannabinoid system (ECS), including all the body's major systems.
One of those systems is the digestive tract. CBD is known to help regulate your dog's digestion. It can also reduce symptoms of an upset stomach, including vomit and nausea. This can help your dog remain active and regulate its appetite.
CBD is also beneficial for the mind. It can reduce your dog's stress and nervousness, minimizing negative behaviors like scratching, chewing, and barking. It can also help with physical side effects, including queasiness and excessive shedding. If your pup gets nauseous when nervous, premium CBD for dogs can help with its upset stomach.
Try adding CBD oil to your dog's food. A few drops will provide it with a regular dose. Check out the bottle for more dosing information. CBD oil will usually work within 30 minutes, allowing your dog some pretty instant relief. The benefits of CBD will also last up to eight hours. By then, you can provide your dog with more CBD.
Sometimes dogs that are experiencing stomach issues (including vomiting, diarrhea, and pain) cannot properly drink water without making them feel even more uneasy. Ice cubes are a great way to ensure that your dog stays hydrated without your dog gulping down water.
Canned pumpkin is a great food to provide to your dog when it's experiencing indigestion. Holistic veterinarians often recommend it since pumpkin has a low glycemic index that fights an upset stomach and improves digestion.
When finding canned pumpkin for your sick dog, look for 100% canned pumpkin rather than pumpkin pie mix. Pumpkin pie mix often has spices, sugar, and other added ingredients that aren't healthy for your pup.
If your dog is five pounds or less, try about one-half teaspoon of canned pumpkin. Larger dogs that are about 75 pounds can be fed one tablespoon.
How Long Does a Dog's Upset Stomach Last?
An upset stomach usually lasts about 24 to 48 hours. If your dog has upset stomach symptoms for longer than 28 hours, you should contact a vet immediately.
Final Thoughts - What Can I Give My Dog for an Upset Stomach?
Dogs can experience an upset stomach in a variety of ways. Some common symptoms include vomiting, bloating, gas, eating grass, acting lethargic, and avoiding meals. Luckily you can take care of these symptoms and reduce side effects with some home remedies. This includes CBD oil and CBD treats to reduce digestive problems and nervousness. You can also give them canned pumpkin and ice cubes.
If your dog is experiencing upset stomach symptoms for more than two days, contact a veterinarian immediately. It could be something serious, like an illness or bloat. Vets can work with you on a treatment plan to make sure your pup is feeling better soon!