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. Unsweetened plain yogurt is also beneficial to 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.

References:

https://www.vetinfo.com/dog-upset-stomach-symptoms.html

http://www.petmd.com/dog/wellness/evr_dg_remedies-for-upset-stomach-in-dogs

http://www.petwave.com/Dogs/Health/Gastritis/Symptoms.aspx

Comments (25)

  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. http://applevalleyanimalhospital.com/wellness/vaccinations/

  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! https://missinglinkproducts.com/purchase/pet-kelp/

  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.

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