An upset stomach is an unpleasant experience for anyone, but it can be especially so for animals who can’t tell us what the problem is and likely don’t understand why they are suffering. As responsible and caring pet owners, we want to ensure that our animals are as happy and healthy as possible. Thankfully there are some things that you can do to help your dog if he is suffering from an upset stomach.

Reasons that your dog may have an upset stomach

Understanding the cause of your dog’s upset stomach will help you to identify the best ways to help him. There are many causes, but the primary reason for a dog to suffer from stomach problems is because he has eaten something he shouldn’t have!

Dogs are well known for their unfussy attitude towards food… and anything else they can munch on given the chance! Extremely curious, they tend to explore things using their mouth. However, if they consume something that they shouldn’t their body will try to expel it either through vomiting and diarrhea.

Another common reason for your dog to have an upset stomach is stress. Despite their bouncy nature, dogs can be quite sensitive to changes in their routine and can suffer from separation anxiety if they are away from their normal human family for too long.

Other causes can include food intolerances, bacterial infections in his gut and underlying illness.

Remedying an upset stomach

Hydration

The most important thing to do for a pet with an upset stomach is to keep them hydrated. However, too much water may make his stomach even more unsettled. A good alternative to bowls of water is to offer your dog some ice chips every few hours. This is enough to keep him hydrated without allowing him to overfill and potentially make his situation worse.

Remove all food

If your dog has a mild stomach upset, removing all food for around 24 hours can give his digestive system time to return to normal as all irritants can be expelled without being further aggravated.

Once you are ready to re-introduce food, do so with smaller, plainish meals. Cooked white rice and boiled chicken are often recommended by many veterinarians as it is bland and easy to digest.

Medications

Although there are medications available that can help to remedy an upset stomach in a dog, these should never be administered without the approval and advice of your veterinarian.

When does an upset stomach require veterinary intervention?

The need for veterinary intervention for an upset stomach really varies from dog to dog. Short bouts of the condition are a relatively normal occurrence for many dogs. However, if your dog is suffering from belly problems on a regular basis, it could indicate that there is something more sinister going on.

Equally, if your pet is suffering from a bout of upset stomach and is becoming dehydrated despite your efforts to increase their fluid intake, it is important that you seek the advice of your vet immediately. Dehydration can cause irreparable damage to your pet’s organs, and in some cases, even death.

Watch the pattern of symptoms, which should begin to fade within 48hours. If any of the following occur, you should speak to your vet immediately:

  • Blood in the vomit/stools
  • Severe stomach bloating
  • Rapid breathing
  • Collapse

As his owner, you know your pet better than anyone. If you are concerned, never hesitate to contact your veterinarian for advice.