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Does my dog have an upset stomach?

Symptoms of an upset stomach in dogs, are similar to the symptoms people get when they have an upset stomach. That said, when we get sick we typically know what to do to make ourselves feel better, but what should you do if your dog has an upset stomach?


Signs & Symptoms of Upset Stomachs in Dogs

Vomiting and diarrhea are common signs of an inflamed, irritated stomach and intestines, or gastrointestinal upset in dogs and puppies.

Other signs that your dog has an upset stomach could include, licking lips or licking the air (sign of nausea), gulping (as a way to combat acid reflux), loss of appetite and lethargy.

But when it comes to treatment, the severity of your dogs symptoms should dictate your response.

Severe Symptoms of Upset Stomach

If your dog is displaying severe signs of illness such as repeated, frequent vomiting and diarrhea, bloody diarrhea, or fever, contact your vet or your local emergency veterinary hospital immediately.

If you have a puppy between 6 weeks and 6 months old that is showing severe signs of upset stomach, call your vet immediately. Parvovirus (parvo) is a very serious and contagious condition that can be fatal for puppies. 

Infrequent Vomiting

If your dog is vomiting infrequently, chances are good that there is nothing seriously wrong with your canine friend. That said, it's always advisable to call your vet before giving any remedies to your dog for their upset stomach.

Here are a few things you can try, to help your dog feel better if they have an upset stomach:

Withhold food.

  • Give your dog's stomach a break from the hard work of digesting food. Have your dog skip a meal or two while their GI track deals with the issue. Fasting for 24 hours will not harm your dog and may help your dog's tummy to recover more quickly.

Provide your dog with ice cubes.

  • Rather than providing a full bowl of water for your dog to gulp down, provide small amounts of water in their bowl or a couple of ice cubes every few minute. It's important to keep your dog hydrated while they have an upset stomach but drinking too much water may make your dog's tummy feel worse.

Give your dog bone broth to drink.

  • Dogs love home cooked bone broth and providing your dog with small amounts of bone broth is a tasty way to keep your canine friend hydrated. Bone broth takes a long time to prepare so it's a good idea to have some in your freezer in case of emergencies.

Feed your dog canned pumpkin.

  • Canned 100% pumpkin is an excellent remedy for indigestion. Pumpkin has a low glycemic index which means it is absorbed slowly by the body which can be soothing for an irritated GI tract. Be sure that you buy pure pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling which contains sugar and spices. How much pumpkin to offer your dog will depend on weight. Contact your vet for guidelines on how much pumpkin you should give your dog.

Signs of an upset stomach should disappear within 24-48 hours. If your dog's symptoms continue for more than a couple of days. it's time to see the vet.

Causes of Upset Stomach in Dogs

From indigestion to cancer there are a vast number of reasons why your dog may have an upset stomach. While all dogs will vomit occasionally, if your dog vomits or has diarrhea often or continuously it's time to visit the vet for a checkup. Chronic or frequent vomiting or diarrhea are a signs that there is an issue with your dog's health that needs to be addressed.  

Contact your vet if your dog is experiencing ongoing or frequent symptoms of an upset stomach. Your vet will be able to examine your dog and run tests if necessary in order to provide an accurate diagnosis of the problem, and provide appropriate treatment. 

Some causes of upset stomach in dogs include:

  • Bloat
  • Parvovirus
  • Intestinal Parasites
  • Viral Infection
  • Reaction to Medications
  • Intestinal foreign bodies
  • Heat Stroke
  • Change of Diet
  • Constipation
  • Pancreatitis
  • Kidney Failure
  • Liver Failure
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Toxins or Poisons
  • Ingestion of toxic substances
  • Uterine Infection
  • Stress
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Food sensitivities & allergies
  • Bacterial Infection
  • Cancer

Most of the conditions listed above are treatable, particularly when treated as soon as possible after symptoms appear.

If you're concerned that your dog may be sick, contact our Southeast Memphis vets to book an appointment today.

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