What to Give Dogs for Upset Stomach: Remedies that Naturally Help

What to Give Dogs for Upset Stomach: The Power of Bland Foods to Help Your Dog

Ever watch your furry friend mope around with a rumbling tummy? It’s enough to worry any pet parent. But fear not! Before you worry about what to give dogs for upset stomach or worse, reach for doggy medicine, there’s a simple solution that can soothe your pup’s stomach woes: bland food.

This informative post will be your guide to navigating the world of bland diets for dogs. We’ll explore why bland food works wonders for upset stomachs, what kind of food qualifies as bland, and how to create a gentle meal plan to get your pup back on their playful paws.

By the end of this article, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge to identify the signs of an upset stomach in your dog, understand the power of bland food and its role in aiding digestion, prepare a simple and effective bland diet using common household ingredients, know when to seek professional help from your veterinarian if your dog’s tummy troubles persist.

So, ditch the worry and whip up a bland food masterpiece! With this knowledge in your back pocket, you can become your dog’s hero and conquer their next upset stomach like a pro.

Why My Dog Has an Upset Stomach

There’s a whole number of reasons why your dog might be having a stomach flu. Just like us, they can experience indigestion from eating too fast, indulging in human food that doesn’t agree with them, or encountering a sneaky bug or parasite. Sometimes, a change in diet or stress can also throw their digestive system out of whack. In more serious cases, it could be a symptom of an underlying health issue.

But for most doggy bellyaches, the culprit is a simple irritation in their digestive tract. This irritation can be caused by anything from a scavenging session in the backyard to a bout of nervous tummy grumbles during a thunderstorm. The good news is, a bland diet can often act like a soothing reset button, giving their digestive system a break to heal and get back to feeling better.

Common causes of upset stomach in dogs

Upset stomach, also known as gastroenteritis, is a common condition in dogs that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and loss of appetite. There are many different causes of upset stomach in dogs, some of which are mild and can be treated at home, while others are more serious and require veterinary attention. Here are some of the most common causes:

  • Dietary indiscretion;
  • Foreign objects;
  • Food allergies;
  • Stress and anxiety;
  • Parasites;
  • Bacterial infections;
  • Viruses;
  • Liver or kidney disease.

Symptoms of an upset stomach in dogs

Here are some common symptoms to watch out for if you think your dog might have an upset stomach:

  • Digestive issues: Vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, or excessive belching are all telltale signs of gastrointestinal distress;
  • Loss of appetite;
  • Nausea: Lip licking, smacking, or excessive drooling can indicate nausea in dogs.
  • Abdominal pain: A dog with a stomach ache might be flinching or vocalizing when their belly is touched. They might also adopt an uncomfortable position, like hunching their back or stretching with their front legs extended.
  • General discomfort: Lethargy, restlessness, and excessive shivering or trembling can all be signs your dog isn’t feeling well.
  • Dehydration: Vomiting and diarrhea can quickly lead to dehydration. Watch for signs like dry gums, sunken eyes, and loss of skin elasticity.

It’s important to note that some of these symptoms can also be signs of more serious conditions. If your dog’s symptoms are severe or persist for more than a day, it’s best to err on the side of caution and consult a veterinarian.

How to identify if vomiting is a symptom of your dog with upset stomach

If your dog vomited once or twice and seems otherwise normal or if they threw up clear liquid or white foam, it could be due to eating something they shouldn’t have that caused an irritated stomach.

If your dog vomited repeatedly, especially if there’s blood or other concerning materials like plastic or fabric bits, they might have ingested a foreign object requiring veterinary attention.

Look at the content of the vomit, the duration of the vomiting, and other accompanying symptoms to determine if the vomiting is due to an upset stomach. Accompanying symptoms like diarrhea, lethargy, loss of appetite, fever, or excessive straining, dehydration, or abdominal pain are signs of more serious health conditions.

When in doubt, a trip to the vet is the best course of action.

When to Consult a Veterinarian for Your Dog with an Upset Stomach?

While a mild upset stomach might resolve on its own, there are situations where a vet visit is crucial. Don’t wait if your dog’s vomiting or diarrhea is severe or lasts more than a day, or if there’s blood or parasites in their vomit or stool. Also consult a vet if your dog shows other concerning signs like lethargy, fever, dehydration, or abdominal pain.

Puppies, senior dogs, and those with pre-existing conditions should see a vet sooner rather than later for any digestive upset. Finally, if you suspect your dog swallowed something foreign, a vet can diagnose and potentially remove the obstruction.

How can a veterinarian diagnose and treat your dog’s upset tummy

Veterinarians diagnose and treat a dog’s upset stomach through a two-pronged approach: pinpointing the cause and addressing the symptoms.

For diagnosis, the vet will likely start with a thorough physical examination and discussion of your dog’s medical history and recent activities.  They might recommend diagnostic tests like fecal exams to check for parasites, bloodwork to assess overall health, or X-rays or ultrasounds to visualize the digestive system.

Once the cause is identified, treatment can begin.  This might involve a bland diet like boiled chicken and rice to ease digestion, medications to address vomiting, diarrhea, or nausea, or even antibiotics if a bacterial infection is found.

In severe cases, hospitalization with intravenous fluids might be necessary to combat dehydration. Probiotics are also commonly prescribed to help restore gut flora balance.

Home Remedies to Help Settle Your Dog’s Upset Stomach

Home remedies can be a beneficial first-aid approach to help settle your dog’s upset stomach.  These methods focus on easing discomfort and aiding natural recovery. However, it’s important to remember that home remedies are best suited for mild cases. If your dog’s condition worsens, persists for more than a day, or involves concerning symptoms,  consulting a veterinarian is essential for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Natural remedies to soothe your dog’s digestive system

Here are 4 natural remedies proven to soothe your dog’s digestive system:

  • Hydration with Electrolytes:  Dehydration is a major concern with vomiting and diarrhea.  While water is essential,  offering low-sodium bone broth can be a great way to keep your dog hydrated and replenish electrolytes lost through illness.
  • Bland Diet:  This involves switching your dog’s food to easily digestible options that put minimal strain on their stomach. These bland options provide essential nutrients while allowing the digestive system to recover.
  • Probiotics: These supplements contain live bacteria that can help replenish good gut flora, which is crucial for healthy digestion.  A balanced gut microbiome aids nutrient absorption and keeps bad bacteria in check.
  • Fiber-Rich Foods:  Once your dog shows signs of improvement, introducing small amounts of fiber-rich foods can be beneficial. Options like plain canned pumpkin puree, mashed bananas, or cooked oatmeal help solidify stool and promote regular bowel movements, aiding your dog’s digestive system in getting back on track.

Treating your dog’s upset stomach with a bland diet

Here’s how to treat your dog’s upset stomach with a bland diet:

1. Give your dog’s digestive system a break for 24 hours. Withhold food but offer small amounts of water throughout the day to prevent dehydration.

2. After the fast, select bland protein and carbohydrate sources that are easy to digest. Boiled chicken breast, cooked white rice, boiled sweet potato, and low-fat cottage cheese are some easily available bland sources of protein and carbohydrates.

3. Cook your chosen protein source thoroughly.  For chicken, remove skin and bones before cooking.  Mash or shred the cooked protein for easier consumption.  Cook white rice according to package instructions.

4. In a bowl,  mix the cooked white rice with the protein in a 2:1 ratio. Start with small portions and offer this bland food mixture several times a day throughout the next few days.

5. As your dog improves, gradually increase the amount of bland food offered at each meal.  Monitor their progress closely.  If vomiting or diarrhea ceases, you can slowly reintroduce their regular food back into their diet.

What Foods to Feed Your Dog When They Have an Upset Stomach?

When your dog’s stomach is feeling uneasy, there are certain types of food that can act as a gentle remedy.  These foods are generally bland and easy to digest, putting minimal strain on their digestive system.  This allows the stomach to rest and recover from irritation.

While there are various options for bland ingredients, the overall goal is to provide essential nutrients without overwhelming their sensitive tummy.  Feeding a bland diet for a short period can be a helpful first step towards soothing your dog’s upset stomach and getting them back on the road to recovery.

Safe and healthy food options for dogs with stomach issues

For dogs with sensitive stomachs or occasional tummy troubles, safe and healthy food options prioritize easy digestibility and minimal irritation. Here are some general categories to consider:

  • Lean protein sources: Boiled chicken or turkey; white fish like cod, haddock, or flounder;
  • Simple carbohydrates: White rice; sweet potato;
  • Natural fiber source: Plain pumpkin puree.

When to introduce probiotics to help your dog’s upset stomach

Probiotics can be beneficial for introducing during your dog’s upset stomach, but the timing depends on the severity and cause.

If your dog’s upset stomach is mild and seems to be caused by dietary indiscretion or minor stress, you can introduce probiotics right away alongside a bland diet.

For moderate cases with vomiting or diarrhea, but no major underlying concerns, introducing probiotics after the initial 24-hour fast can be helpful. Once vomiting subsides and your dog starts tolerating small amounts of bland food, probiotics can be incorporated.

For severe cases with persistent vomiting, diarrhea, bloody stool, or lethargy, consult a veterinarian before introducing probiotics.  They can diagnose the cause and determine if probiotics are appropriate alongside other medications.

How to Naturally Prevent Your Dog’s Upset Stomach

Upset stomachs are no fun for our furry friends, but the good news is there are steps you can take to keep your dog’s digestive system running smoothly. By implementing some simple preventative measures in their diet, lifestyle, and healthcare, you can help reduce the chances of your pup experiencing tummy troubles.

Diet and Feeding: Provide your dog with a high-quality, balanced diet formulated for their age and activity level so they receive all the essential nutrients for optimal digestion. Maintain a regular feeding schedule while avoiding overfeeding or free-feeding, which can lead to digestive issues. Avoid giving your dog table scraps or human food, as these can be difficult to digest and cause stomach upset.

Preventative Measures: Regular deworming helps prevent intestinal parasites that can contribute to upset stomach. Provide a calm and predictable environment, and identify ways to manage stress factors like separation anxiety or loud noises. Pick up after your dog on walks to prevent them from ingesting anything that could cause an upset stomach, like garbage or foreign objects.

Veterinary Care: Schedule regular checkups with your veterinarian for preventive care. This allows early detection of any underlying health issues that might contribute to digestive problems. Maintain good dental hygiene for your dog.

Dog Training: A well-trained dog is less likely to encounter situations that can trigger digestive distress. Obedience training promotes good manners and impulse control. By incorporating training into your dog’s life, you can establish good habits, minimize situations that could cause digestive upset, and promote overall well-being, all contributing to a healthier and happier pup with a less upset tummy.

Interested in learning more about how personalized dog training can benefit your furry friend? Give us a call today!

Remember, if you notice any signs of digestive trouble in your dog, consult a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.

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