All dogs experience an upset stomach from time to time. It doesn’t matter whether they are older or just a pup, upset stomachs appear to be an equal opportunity ailment.

There’s nothing like being woken up in the middle of the night by the awful sound of your dog trying to puke on your floor. Fortunately, upset stomachs are usually not too serious, and often the problem will resolve on its own given some time.

However, if your dog seems to be very sick, or his symptoms last longer than 24 hours, a trip to the vet might be in order.

Signs of Upset Stomach in Dogs

Some of the most common symptoms of an upset stomach in dogs are:

  • Audible gurgling that you can hear coming from your dog’s tummy.
  • Excessive gas, even more so than normal.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Eating grass to alleviate discomfort.
  • Dehydration due to vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Dogs can also display excessive thirst as well as burping.
  • Breath that smells foul.
  • Behavior changes such as depression and disinterest in their surroundings.

Sometimes dogs can experience more severe cases of an upset stomach, or have some underlying issue that can cause a worsening of symptoms.

Signs of something more sinister going on are:

  • Severe vomiting, especially vomit that has a sudden onset and is considered “acute”.
  • Vomit that appears to have blood in it.
  • Vomit that looks as though it has coffee grounds in it, which is digested blood.
  • Vomit that looks a bit yellow with bile.
  • Dogs that are very sick can sometimes also suffer from abdominal pain, which can range anywhere from mild to debilitating. You may notice your dog standing in an odd stance, as though he is bowing or praying, or standing with his head hanging.
  • Weakness and lethargy are clinical signs of an upset stomach.
  • Sometimes your dog may have blood in his stool, which can occur with cases of gastritis that are particularly severe.
  • Dogs with a chronic stomach condition may have a dull-looking coat.
  • Dogs that are suffering from some sort of blood loss will have pale looking mucous membranes.
  • If your dog has ingested any kind of toxins, his mucous membranes could appear jaundiced and yellow in color.
  • Drooling is also sometimes a sign that your dog has ingested something toxic.

What to Do If Your Dog Has an Upset Stomach

Wondering what to do if your dog has an upset stomach? If you suspect that your dog has an upset stomach, you can try withholding food from him for 12 to 24 hours, and see if the condition improves. Just make sure that he has access to plenty of water, and that he is at least drinking it regularly.

It’s also a good idea to think back over what your dog has eaten recently and try to see if there are any potential causes to your dog’s sudden upset stomach. Sometimes new brands of food can upset a delicate digestive system, and sometimes dogs get into things they shouldn’t, such as eating plants outside, or digging in the garbage and eating spoiled food. Also, older dogs can experience digestive issues as a natural part of the aging process.

If you choose to withhold food from your dog for a time, when you do feed him, make sure you’re offering him a very bland diet. Food that you make yourself is usually best. Unseasoned chicken and rice are good options, as well as baby food with meat. Just make sure it isn’t seasoned with things like onion or garlic.

Oatmeal is a good option for dogs with stomach problems, as it gives them fiber as well as minerals and nutrients, and is soothing to the gut. Once your furry friend is ready to eat again, stick to bland food and integrate a probiotic supplement to help speed up the recovery process. Probiotics such as Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, Streptococcus, and Enterococcus are beneficial bacteria that naturally live inside your dog’s digestive system, as it helps to keep the natural flora and bacteria balanced and healthy.

Often when dogs are sick they try to eat grass. This is fine, it’s a natural response, so if you see your dog doing it, just allow him to and his upset stomach could resolve without any intervention from you at all!

If your dog’s symptoms are extremely severe, or if the symptoms last longer than a 24-hour period, you should consult your veterinarian right away. Symptoms that continue beyond a 24-hour period could lead to further health complications, including dehydration, anemia, and weight loss.

*This article is for informational purposes only. Please see a vet if your pet shows any symptoms.


Comments (57)

  1. jo says:

    Thank you. My little dog (jack Russell) Lucy definitely has a belly ache. Her belly is tender to the touch, she is lethargic and it is gurgling. I’ve put a blanket around her on the chair and giving her cuddles which seem to help. She is in a deep sleep, hopefully sleeping it off.I am also using your above advice. She’s my life. XxX

  2. Chris&Eilene says:

    We have a two year old blue nose putt bill and he is oh so very sensitive to a lot of different things it’s over whelming at times. Does anyone know how to tend to such a needy sensitive lí. We love him so much just as our other children but we could use some advice on foods he should be eating because currently he eats chicken mostly and we try to get at least a pound to three pounds daily of the “Fresh Pet” which is a pretty good source of nutrition for pets I was informed.. We would prefer he eat a Raw diet but it hasn’t worked so far so we feed him chicken cooked with the Fresh Pet as well but I feel he is not getting enough to eat so what can we do I need advice anyone have any comments we can benefit from trying at least will not hurt.. Our boy is our priority and now we are bringing home a girl companion an addition to our family so we will nmbe needing some advice on feeding and with hope find a strong healthy reliable nutrition source for both our precious children. Thank you…

  3. Abby says:

    I have a puppy who shows some of these symptoms, but people close to me say it’s nothing because she’s a puppy(and in heat at a very young age-twelve weeks)She’s been eating grass, plants, dirt, and flowers. She’s been vomiting up her food. Her treats look undigested, but we looked at the reviews for the brand and everyone liked it. Her vomit is yellowish and she’s been urinating more often and acting weird. She goes potty in the house a lot. I hope she’s okay-thx for the advice! 🙂

  4. Celestia Stratheimer says:

    It was really informative how you said that sick dogs may sometimes suffer from abdominal pain and that I can confirm that this is the case of I see him standing in an odd stance like he was praying or bowing. And here I thought my pet was just trying to play with me. I should have been more sensitive to what he was feeling. I will be sure to take him to a vet as it seems that the problem is not getting any better. Thank you for sharing the info.

  5. Jeannette Conde says:

    I hope your dog get well soon. My dog is having issues with his stomach he normally eats OK but I notice today that he is shaking and is moving slow and does not want to eat.I been giving him pedigree since he was two months old and house food that I make fresh for them I have 3 dogs two pittbulls and a chihuahua.

  6. Cody Taylor says:

    What if it doesn’t want to drink any water or eat any food and take its medicine

    • Ryan Picardal says:

      That could be so many things, but does not sound fun for the pup. Has it gotten any better? Did you ask your vet?

  7. ErinW says:

    My dog Roxy (4 Years, jack Russel King Charles cross) regularly gets an extremely loud gurgley stomach and becomes very lethargic and would just sit in the corner in an unusual stance. It’s upsetting to watch because you can tell she’s not herself. We take away her food and make sure she’s got plenty of water. The best thing we have ever bought is Protexin Pro-Kolin, it’s a beef flavoured vitamin paste you squirt into their mouth. I honestly couldn’t recommend it more!

  8. Karen says:

    I have a dog with allergies, she is allergic to so many foods it is very overwhelming. One that she loves is, I will boil chicken, this way I get the broth, don’t forget do not put in any seasoning whatsoever. I also feed her rice, brown or white, also peas. And she loves this and it’s also gentle on her stomach. The rice works as a filler, I hope your dog likes this. Remember if you boil the chicken too much that you lose all the nutrients. You can also use some of the chicken broth if you want to add it to the dogs meal.

    • Sean says:

      That’s awesome Karen! We’d like to add:
      -Make sure there are no bones. Cooked bones of all kinds splinter when chewed.
      -Check out our immune-boosting organic The Missing Link Pet Kelp products! They are great for home cooking or raw diets because they fill in the phyto-nutrients and minerals that your dog or cats needs to go with their macro-nutrients like chicken and rice!

  9. George says:

    My 10 year old yellow lab has not had an appetite for over a week all she does is sleep and when she wakes up drinks lots of water.She is not interested in eating anything .I tried different foods wet dry treats nothing she will eat.I took her to vet he said she has impacted anal glands .they expressed them 3 weeks in a row.she has not lost any weight and her stomach looks bigger than normal. I’m worried what is wrong any thoughts?

  10. Julie Turner says:

    My 2 year old beagle yelps when I try to pick him up, is “hiding” in the other room and just not behaving normally. He is usually very hyper and gets excited for “cookie time” but he has had no interest in it at all today. He walks a few steps and sits down with his back legs off to the side. I don’t know what to do for him.

  11. Jorge gonzalez says:

    My baby chijuajua sometimes throws up and gets upset stomach she has a sensitive tummy ,what should I do I’m very worry for her.please help..thank u

    • Sean says:

      We’ve heard that unseasoned chicken and rice or ground beef and rice can help sooth an upset tummy. Also plain canned pumpkin works wonders. If it’s something that happens often, you’ll want to get her looked at by a vet, it could be many things causing it. Poor baby!

  12. nikki says:

    yogurt works

  13. Rose's Mommy says:

    My dog is randomly vomiting cream-like liquids. She has been doing it for around a day or so. She’s a 1 year old German Shepherd, who’s as healthy as can be.
    I’m not sure what the problem is, and work isn’t going too well, so I can’t take her to the vet for an expensive visit. it it seemed serious after a couple of days, I’ll scrounge up some funds, but I just can’t, right now.

  14. Passey says:

    Should I make the oatmeal with water or milk?

  15. Jo Boyland says:

    My 6 yo male yorkie is having tummy pain keeps bowing in the praying position and squirms around whimpering and he sometimes tries to lick his lower abdomen. I heard and felt gurgling in his lower abdomen on his right side. There was some smelly gas yesterday morning and he was whimpering the night b4 while sleeping. I called the vet yesterday 4pm, they said skip his dinner but give him a tsp. canned pumpkin and wait til morning –which is today. Meantime I gave him 5mg famotidine, and a few children’s drops for gas last night. He was still in pain all night on and off again but not as bad however he’s still sleeping its 5am here. Worried because through this he won’t drink any water but is normally a thirsty dog. Hasn’t pooped but I skipped his dinner so. I want to feed him in a few hours I’m thinking I’ll mix canned pumpkin with some grass from the lawn. Ideas? There’s been no vomit, no diarrhea, no bloat. Went on a short walk yesterday 8pm. So. Dunno. What next?

    • Sean says:

      That sounds terrible, you must have been so worried for him! One age old remedy is feeding a rice and chicken mixture, which is easy for them to digest.

  16. Lisa says:

    My 1-1 /2 yr old shepherd mix had the runs on Friday and is now vomiting when he tries to eat. I’m feeding him boiled chicken and rice and have given him peptobismol according to my vets instruction. He’s been drinking but is definitely not his normal self. Worried.

  17. Lisa says:

    My 1-1 /2 yr old shepherd mix had the runs on Friday and is now vomiting when he eats. He’s been drinking but isn’t his energetic. That’s unusual for this guy.

  18. Bev says:

    My patterjack has terrible runs and sickness today he is 8 he vomiting White foam up then licking it ! He has a great thirst too and is shaking I’m actually worried sick

  19. Xhristopher Sorby says:

    Why recommend plant based foods for a carnivore, oatmeal as a good source of fibre?? Don’t you think meat is the best diet and easiest to digest?

    • Sean says:

      That’s a great question! Feeding rice or oatmeal to a dog with a stomach ache is an option that some dog owners recommend. It’s only temporary while they are sick, not a regular diet. Always consult your veterinarian before starting any new diet.

  20. Kaianna says:

    I have a 9 year old shih tzu and last night she threw up twice. It looked very foamy. Throughout the entire night she was moving around and changing positions. Her lower region was shaking and when I tried to comfort her she started shaking even more. She won’t eat anything not even her favourite treats! She won’t drink either. The entire day she has been in severe discomfort and it looks painful. She’s also been drooling quite a bit. I took her to the vet and they said that everything looked fine, they suggested a blood test but told us to come back after a few days and see if it goes away. She is very lathargic and has a hard time laying down. She will start to lay down and then get right back up but keeps her head low. I am terrified for her as I do not want to lose my precious girl:( please tell me if this sounds like a tummy ache or something worse?

    • Sean says:

      Hello Kaianna, poor thing! It sounds like she is really uncomfortable. Did the Vet do an XRay to make sure there were no foreign objects in her belly? We’d definitely keep in close contact with your vet, give them updates on her condition. Also watch our for dehydration if she’s not drinking. We’ll be thinking of you two!

  21. Kim says:

    My 1 year old Pom started vomiting Thursday on Friday & Saturday she’s refused food and water. She’s normally very thirsty. I’ve forced some pedialyte down her throat but she’s weak, sleeps, I heard her stomach gurgling, she’s got abdominal pain and her belly’s tender to the touch. I don’t know what to do? She’s my only baby and I’m so worried

    • Sean says:

      Hi Kim, we’re so sorry your baby is in pain. Definitely call your veterinarian. They might want to do an XRay to check if she swallowed anything she shouldn’t have. We’ll be pulling for her!

  22. anne says:

    Kaiannas pet seems to be experiencing something our old dog did after she was fed a hard cylindrical treat which broke up as she ate it . it was very dry and she became lethargic and couldn’t put her bottom to the ground .head hanging .I am sure she had a bowel obstruction from it .Some of those dried treats are also rumoured to be toxic I have recently found out due to where they are made .

  23. Deepali Nair says:

    My 8th month old Lhasa apso (TOTO) had eaten his soft toys tail ( he loves his toys) but i have taken ways all of them no more soft toys and is gurgling and crying i took him to the vet immediately he has gvn him some painkiller injections and some meds i cldnt sleep was besides him as he keeps cryin in pain my poor boy my child my love… i wish we could understand more wht is going around them, poor children cant even say whts happening…i hope and pray all u peoples babies get bette rnad my little boy tooo…God bless

  24. Amy Winters says:

    Thanks for mentioning that a chronic stomach problem can cause your dog’s coat to dull. I gave my dog a bath recently and noticed his coat wasn’t as shiny as usual. I think I’ll take him to the vet soon in case he has a stomach problem!

  25. bri says:

    My chihuahua is 7 years old and since last night, he started acting weird and won’t eat or drink water and every time before going into his bead, he starts to scratch around his blankets and breaths heavy as if he had just gone running for a long time and won’t calm down until I calm him down. He also has a weird odor when I calm him down and hold him. I really want to know if its a stomach ache or something else.

  26. Pearl L Roberts says:

    My Chihuahua that’s 11 years old started a.m. this morning throwing up slimy white vomit has twice today now whining and shaking what could be wrong

  27. Millie Hue says:

    Thanks for helping me understand that a dog might have issues with their stomach when they stand in an odd position while their head is hanging low. I guess I need to take my dog to a vet first thing tomorrow because of that. He started having issues like that this afternoon. Maybe it was because of the new brand that we bought since it was cheaper dog food.

  28. Diane says:

    My dog stopped eating anything. We ended up at emerency vet on weekend. Gastritis issues. I too changed the food too often and we fed table scraps. Bloodwork showed some vitamin deficiencies but nothing serious. I had to spoon feed her for 3 weeks small meals added some baby green bean sweet potatoes into the canned pate and I ordered from Amazon liquid dog vitamins and give her it couple times a week that have everything in it including digestive enzymes which they need. Also a digestive support formula powder from Only Natural Pet. Soothes the stomach lining. My 2 yr little chipom doing great back to herself and no more table scraps but plain chicken on a good grain free canned food and a good dry pebble just to leave down to pick on. Been reading some dogs have sensitive stomachs even if you change just a little. Do gotta be careful these issues can lead to ulcers.I also give her organic coconut oil too its good for them just go slow with that. Im thankful to God also for answering my prayers to heal my sweet little girl.

    • Sean says:

      Diane, it really sounds like you two have been through a lot. But you kept after the issues, figured it out, and got her back on the right track. She’s a lucky girl!

  29. Sue says:

    Hi, I have a 8 1/2 your own Doxie She is overweight by like 5 pounds so I switched her to new balance fat dog food. But her stomach still makes loud noises really loud and she wakes me up in the night to go out it’s not diarrhea but she has a sensitive stomach I don’t know which food to really get her. I got her off of the taste of the wild wetlands.because she was gaining wight. But her stomach still makes loud noises really loud
    I don’t know which food to really get her. She had me up at 4 AM in the morning again is out and potties twice but not diarrhea she seems to be fine other than that and I give her a half of acid pill That calms her stomach down. It seems after she eats her stomach starts making very very loud noises like it’s rolling all around .

    • Sean says:

      Hi Sue,

      You’d really have to ask your vet as they will know your dog better than us, but ask them if there is possibly one or more ingredients in these foods that your dog is having a hard time digesting. Look for ingredients that are in both feeds and ask the vet about them. Be careful of the condition called “bloat” as well. It is caused by excess gas in the stomach, usually associated with eating too quickly. Bloat is more common in large breed dogs but can occur in all breeds, and it is often fatal. You might try the age-old tummy soothing meal of rice and ground beef (or chicken) for a day or two to provide some relief. It’s really easy for them to digest, though not suited for a long-term diet. We wish you the very best!

  30. Arya Smith says:

    I never took into account the fact that a dog might be in pain when they are standing in an odd position. With that in mind, I will take my dog to a vet tomorrow. This is because I noticed the issue when I was about to feed him, and he was not responding that much.

  31. Bree Ward says:

    My dog has been vomiting and, burping, and having diarrhea since this morning. As you’ve said, these are symptoms of an upset stomach, and it needs veterinary attention right away. I don’t want to lose my dog so I will take an early off and take it to the nearest vet clinic in the area.

  32. Sarah Price says:

    Hi I took my 10 year old lab to the vet yesterday as she’d got vomiting and diarrhoea with blood in, she wasn’t eating but still drinking thankfully. The vet examined her and said she wasn’t overly worried as she thinks there’s some sort of virus going around as she’d had about ten dogs in over last few days with exact symptoms. She gave her an anti sickness injection and told me to make sure she drinks plenty and put her on rice and chicken for a few days with her antibiotics mixed in starting from that night. However, I cannot get her to eat anything, she’s had a few odd pieces of chicken but refusing the rice and chicken with her antibiotics in. She’s not eaten now for over 24 hours but is still drinking and has stopped vomiting do you think I should take her back to the vets or perceiver and when should I worry about her not eating ?

    • Sean says:

      Hi Sarah,

      That’s a tough question! You could try calling the vet and asking their opinion. They might advise you wait, or they might want her back in. Her drinking water seems like a good sign! We wish you two the very best.

  33. John says:

    My 4 year old black lab was outside playing came in and vomited. I took her back outside and she went to the restroom and it wasn’t diarrhea. She laid down and now she is very weak to the point I had to carry her in. She wags her tail and eat when I take it to her but not drink.

    • Sean says:

      Hey John, we’re hoping she is feeling better by now? If not that definitely sounds like an issue for the veterinarian. We wish her a speedy recovery!

  34. Katelyn Myers says:

    My dog joise is 7 years old and she recently ate some rug and it seems it messed up her stomach, we took her to the vet they gave us medicine for her puking and gave her fluids. She was constantly throwing up clear fluid. The vet said she didnt seem in alot of pain, just very uncomfortable. They said they werent sure if she should do the xrays yet just try the medicine then after 24 hours if shes not getting any better they wanna do xrays. But i need a second opinion. She doesnt seem to want to eat the chicken and rice but shes very thristy. I love my dog and i dont want anything to happen to her. But i also cant afford surgery.

    • Sean says:

      Hi Katelyn,
      So sorry to hear about Josie! We hope it doesn’t come to expensive surgery, but sometimes there are ways to finance it over time which may help. We hope everything turns out OK and wish you two the best!

  35. Edna B. says:

    I just want to share,
    My 4 mos baby chihuahua this morning don’t like to eat and she’s throwing up and has diarrhea and doesn’t drink water, until this afternoon I searched online what to give her and thank God i read that pepto can help, before i give her pepto i give her first warm water then pepto a half tsp at 6:30 pm after an hour i let her and her sister play at the backyard she played and running as if she’s not sick after playing i give her food boiled chicken and rice thank God she ate it all..
    thank God i hope and pray she’s gonna be ok

  36. Kiki says:

    My 11 month old pit bull will not eat or drink she has been laying around since yesterday her poop was a watery yellow color I have been giving her ice chips to keep her hydrated should I wait or rush her to the vet

  37. Angela Waterford says:

    My dog may be sick because he hasn’t been paying attention to me lately. I think I’ll take her to an animal hospital service to have her checked. As you’ve mentioned, she’s been having excessive gas lately, so this may be a sign that there’s something wrong with her stomach.

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